I recently interviewed Carl MacKenzie, founder and director of the Chelmsford Film Festival in the UK. He had contacted me and wanted to share his experience starting a festival geared towards fiercely independent filmmakers, including microbudgets.
The first challenge that microbudget feature filmmakers face is how to come up with the best story for their feature film. This isn't as straightforward as you might think!
In the first two FAQs I dealt with questions that readers raised about how to participate in the Launchpad's bootcamp and win the $5000 competition and also why I was doing it in the first place. In this FAQ I responded to various questions: like can non-US residents participate, what genres would work, and whether participants can submit already completed scripts.
In the first FAQ, I explained the motivation behind the Launchpad program AND how it works. In this one I wanted to answer another question: why am I doing this?
This is the first in a series of three FAQ videos responding to the most common questions that people raised in the recent poll I did about the upcoming kick-off for the $5000 Microbudget Launchpad - a unique, 4-month bootcamp/competition that will award a $5000 production investment to the winning feature script.
Indiewire has published a post-Cannes article about the future of cinema in the age of Netflix & Amazon that is worth a read because this is something that will be important for microbudget feature filmmakers.
Over the last four months I've been working closely with a group of filmmakers in an intense microbudget screenwriting bootcamp and competition called The $2500 Microbudget Launchpad.
Almost every guru, every screenwriting book, every screenwriting teacher will tell you that you should "WRITE FOR THE MARKET" (in bold letters, yes). I want to suggest that this is terrible advice for a few very good reasons. Here's why. Tell me what you think in the comments.
In a recent poll that I took amongst subscribers, I found that the biggest obstacle that filmmakers felt they faced was "raising the cash". Last on the list was writing a great script. Here I argue that this is upside down thinking. Click on the image to check out the video.
HERE I PROVIDE AN EXCERPT FROM OUR BOOK: MASTER THE NANO ON WRITING GOOD SCRIPT FOR YOUR NO-BUDGET FILM:
Three-act structure gets a bad rep. Blame Hollywood. They have perfected the three-act machine to drain the life and edges out of scripts – catalyst happens at 12 minutes, first act change at 22 minutes, B story introduced at 30 minutes, etc. But this is in part because the three-act structure is such a powerful and simple machine for storytelling. That is, simple to say or analyze – not so simple to do well.
Click on the image