2012 Update

I have been fairly busy since my last posting refining the films I did last year for distribution. Now it looks like things are steamrolling for an eventual release this year of two films: SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL (SFAA) and THE HUMAN WAR (THW).

SFAA is an adaptation of the novella by Tao Lin that also offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film. The film has gotten a lot of attention from its inception as an Indiegogo fundraiser and throughout its filming. Now various edits are making their way through the festival circuit. I haven't sent it to a lot of festivals because it's a costly process, so I'll only send to a few more that seem worthwhile. If it makes one of these festivals--which is difficult when you don't know anyone at a festival and your film is one among thousands--then the release date will be sometime in October. If we don't make any and we go to virtual distribution, then we'll have to wait and see if a virtual distribution company wants to take us on, or if it's in our better interest to distribute independently.

Many independent filmmakers are distributing independently these days. Some are not even bothering with a festival release or going to a virtual distribution company. I understand the sentiment. I do think it makes sense for certain films with an incredible fan-base to go straight to independent distribution. SFAA might be just such a film. Timing is really the main factor. That's why I'm currently looking into how I can coincide a multi-tiered campaign that includes a festival release, digital distribution, and a film tour for indie films and artists. I'm not sure if I can pull off this tour in a major way, but I would like to do a tour of 5-7 cities on the West and East Coast with some of the films I've created (and a few others) and a few bands. I'll be arranging all this when I return from teaching some film courses in Korea in August. Who knows? This might be the best route for SFAA and THW.

Speaking of THW, that film has been a two-year process in the editing room. Why is this? Well, it's mainly due to money and time. Now we've finally gotten things set with a final polish by the best editor in the world Stephanie Shyu--Steph did SFAA and is now editing the Brad Warner documentary. Currently, Mike Franklin is mixing the sound for the film. The final product will start making its rounds to the festivals in August. My guess is that it'll get a festival release by January, if we're lucky.

In the meantime, the Brad Warner documentary will be edited in the next few months. Afterwards, it'll go through its sound mix and be ready for a potential festival release by October. I am not sure of its exact release date, because, at this point, I'll have to see if it'll be in our better interest to go with a festival or straight to distribution. Again, it's a matter of timing. Each successive film builds on the previous, and with the virtual distribution platform changing so rapidly for films, it's hard to say what will be the best route forward.

That's why I'm currently exploring the webisode market. Films are a costly and extensive process. Each one takes at least two years to fully complete, so the attraction of doing webisodes fits better with my interest in creating and releasing something quickly. I don't know how many webisodes I'll do before doing a full film again, but I am looking at how to create a film that operates first as webisodes, and then progresses into a release of a full film with its collected parts. This proposition seems the most attractive way to release a film at the moment. In the future, and with the relative success of these projects, I may have the financial freedom to create a film with a large budget, but, for now, I believe the next projects will be straight webisodes and collected webisodes that can then be released as a feature film.

This next year will be a busy one with releasing the films and creating web content. Brad Warner and I will be moving in together in June to start the process. The plan is to start a factory of creation. We have some ideas ready to go, but I'm most excited about a script I'm writing about zombies. Time will tell if it sees the light of day. Thus far, the first third of the film seems exciting to me. If you see a fundraiser in October or so, then that means it was worth doing. We'll just have to see if anyone else likes the idea as well.

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