Friday, July 03, 2009

Director offering two-day workshop on business of indie filmmaking

Jeffrey Goodman, director of "The Last Lullaby," will host a two-day workshop Sept. 12-13 at the Robinson Film Center, 617 Texas St., Shreveport. Classes go from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with an hour break for lunch. Cost is $350.

Topics include, in no certain order:

  • raising money
  • navigating the world of film distribution
  • how to copyright your material
  • optioning
  • putting together the business plan
  • art of the cold call
  • breaking down the script.

Goodman raised all of the money for "The Last Lullaby," which was shot locally. Currently, it's winding down its theatrical run. (A new poster is featured here.)

"If we are honest about what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong, we'll all get better a lot quicker," he said.

Course is limited to 20 people. To register, contact Goodman at register@thelastlullaby.com.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

that's funny!

Anonymous said...

don't see this going off very well.
One word: hilarious!! No, two!! ridiculous!! Someone's broke!!

JB Jones said...

Not quite sure what's funny about this post. I didn't notice any irony or unique alliteration.

Well, unlike my anonymous amigo, I'm incredibly excited about this workshop! If there's one filmmaking aspect I'm deficient in, it's the money-making part. Ha.

Anonymous said...

A waste of 350.00 from someone with but a NY minute in this business. One unsold picture does not constitute a seasoned pro. However there is a saying in this business. "Those that can, do; those that can't teach." 7,000.00, enough to get em back to L.A., huh?

Anonymous said...

JB Jones,

One will get as much value as his experience can give for a two day 350$ workshop. Considering the source hosting it, tells me there is not much value one can expect, unless of course it is just to say, "Hey, I took so-and-so's workshop." He has made one movie, that has not sold, so how can he help you "navigate the world of distribution". Self distribution is nowhere near "navigating the world of distribution". He has never experienced working with actual industry Investors. He has no proven marketable track record, as a director, much less as a producer. My advice? Find the nearest Samuel French bookstore, and buy the leading books on the subject matter, and then you will have made a worthier investment. So, he brought a runaway production from L.A. to his hometown, got a lot of hoopla from it, and now he's an authority? Here is a bit of an education when it comes to Investors, (real ones). 4 things Investors need to know up front: 1) who are you? 2)what are you going to do with my money? 3) How am I going to get my money back? 4) and when? You demonstrate hard fact answers to the four questions, and you will get satisfactory results. Budget/ script breakdowns? The Singleton method, and a host of software applications. Cold calls? For selling vacuum cleaners. It's not what you know, but who you know. Unsolicitied solicitations, (cold calls), are frowned upon, hence the existence of filtering systems. Self distribution? Only if the investors are in no hurry for compensation, or it's a sensational hit. Not the case here. The correct procedure would have been to entertain an agreement with a distributor, or at least an AE, before lensing. Nothng like having a distributor championing your picture, while it's in principal, way before festivals. There, I was brief on a few subjects. So, now you can save your 350 clams!! The jist of this nonsense? He needs some cash.

JB Jones said...

I find it strange that you are all named Anonymous... You must be brothers... Apparently, sour grapes runs in your family.

How many movies have YOU ALL made?

Jeffrey created a unique and engaging film - and has successfully self-distributed it around the nation. I think there is a great deal he can teach up and coming filmmakers.

The reality of the matter is that many of us will have to go the same avenue to get our movies seen. Hollywood studios don't go around waving their magic wands; turning cinematic pumpkins into coaches.

I'm eager to hear what Jeffrey has to teach - since he is someone who has actually succeeded - where the Anonymous family hasn't.

Anonymous said...

It is worth noting that someone who intentionally paved his own way and played by his own rules because the rules already in place didn't suit him is now attempting to pass those new rules on to other people for a fee, which goes against exactly what his apparent philosophy of filmmaking seems to be.

Self-made men/filmmakers don't pay $350 for filmmaking workshops from someone you wouldn't know the name of had you not lived in Shreveport the last 3 years. The good ones wouldn't even pay for a $350 workshop from Spielberg.

A smart filmmaker, modeling himself in the same spirit of Goodman, would instead invest that $350 in his own film. Or perhaps try and convince 20 people to pay you $350 so you can have more money invested in your project. And if it wasn't his own workshop I wonder if Goodman wouldn't also agree.

Experience is more important than advice, and even if you just make a $350 movie, it would likely be more valuable to you than this workshop. That's the Kubrick model, which I believe Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight) is also a proponent of. Advice is only good to supplement your own experience. It's naive to just try and learn everything from one person and do what he says. It's even more naive to pay for it.

And it does kind of feel like a conflict of interest for an indie filmmaker to charge people to learn what he's learned. I think it is worth considering how he may be exploiting the giddy Shreveport market to make up money he hasn't made with his movie. Saying he's succeeded from a financial and career point of view I think is a stretch. Succeeding in making the film, yes, succeeding in doing it again and again, that remains to be seen.

But either way you can read his blog for free. His Q&As were only the price of admission to one of his screenings. Why his point of view is now worth $350, I don't know.

I'm tempted to agree with Anon, that it seems to be a little bit of a desperate move for cash he isn't getting from his own distribution. Anyone with a lick of business sense might also be laughing at Goodman charging for his advice on the "business of indie filmmaking," which he very clearly has yet to master.

From his blog he's only made around 30k on his tour. From an audio interview he wasn't specific but claimed the budget was between 1 and 4 million, if I remember correctly. That's not good business.

Anonymous said...

JB,
He released it in three to four cities, and did what are termed, "four walls", before and after the weak theatrical run. That does not constitute, "releasing it nationally". That is considered a limited release. I saw the numbers. His claim is his picture was the second highest Indie distro'ed picture, when only because there were just two listed. And that makes his picture last, as far as Indies go. He did AFI-Dallas, then followed that with 2 and 3 tier festivals. The reason you, nor anyone else knows me or what I am doing, is b/c it's by design. It's no one's business, and I don't need to worry about seeing my name in the media, nor the "atta boys". There are a select few who actually know this "anonymous", and know my calibur. I am not one to toot my own horn, but I will say with certainty that, yes, I do know what I am talking about. "Those that can, do; those that can't, teach." And he needs to do a whole lot more "learning" before he even thinks he can "teach". Here's some clarity. His instruction platform is based on his experience with one project. Not a lot of latitude can be gained from that..
Signed,
A. Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Folks, let's get passed the smoke and mirrors of the hoopla and hype behind TLL. In Variety's domestic charts, the week following the release in Bossier, TLL was the second highest grossing Independently released picture, showing 796.00 per engagement, behind Cherry Girls, which was at the 102 position. Those were the only two Indie released pictures listed, according to Variety Magazine. TLL was in the 109th position, out of 114 positions. Spent a month in the domestic markets,where the numbers continued to fall,and more time doing festivals. TLL has yet to sell. Believe me, we would have heard about it by now. Being this close to the anniversary date of lensing, I speculate, REALISTICALLY, that this picture will break even, at best. Why? Let's look at some particulars. Non-guilded, first time Director. Having no track record means he cannot be gaged for performance values in any of the markets, domestic or foreign. One major festival premier at AFI Dallas, with no positive results. Not much help here for the AE or distributor, so far, which equates into risk. Granted Goodman shot a movie in his own backyard, an average movie, and has a finished product for exhibitors. Kudos for that much, at least. However, he has yet to cross the line, by signing on the dotted line, closing a sale. Which in the end of it, it's about sales, money. I wish Goodman the best for his Investors sake. However, I would advise him on stepping out on a limb like this. The participating public deserves better from him, besides a good old fleecing. He is in no terms knowledgable enough, nor experienced enough, at this point in his budding career, to teach anyone, much less charging anyone for his "expertise". This idea goes against his quote in the blog. My hope for his Investors is that he would do the smart thing and focus on getting the funding back, rathering than focusing his time, energy, and resources setting up another "atta boy" session. If I was, and I know I'm not, so no sense ranting at me for it, an Investor, I would rather he focus with singleness of mind to get my money back. Oh, and JB, save your breath responding to my anonymity. I know who I am and what I've done, and am doing, and that's enough for me. I am not worried about wasting my time authenticating and verifying just who I think I am around here. People deserve the REAL truth, and not the HYPED truth.

JB Jones said...

Cynicism is so ugly.

Anonymous said...

JB,
Don't player hate. Sadly, and reflectively, this business of film making is cynical, if you're actually in the real world of it. Why is it cynical? It's the "it's all about the numbers" mentality. Numbers based on productivity levels, (performance values). for example; Ever hear the phrase, "You're only as successful as your last picture"? What basis are an Actors fees negotiated on? What he made his last picture. Numbers, and the black and white have a tendancy to dull down the importance of the creative aspect. Remember the four questions Investors have? It all revolves around numberical values with the dollar sign in front of them. Money. You say cynicism, I say realism, by the numbers. we can, and should be optimistic, but we should also stay grounded, and that's where numbers come in. Numbers don't lie, or hype, they just express the truth in black and white. Yes, you are correct, cynicism is ugly, however, accusing me to be cynical, when you don't know me, personally, is equally ugly. And that's okay, b/c I uderstand your cavalier spirit, and embrace it. It takes me back to my earlier days. BUT, in reality this industry is about dollars and cents. My intent is to freely express the truth, here. No offense intended. And can't call Variety cynical, they just posted real gross B.O. receipts. And I did state that Variety was my source. So, how can I be cynical, if I am simply stating facts? Then that makes Variety, a leading industry publication by the way, a cynical magazine, right? Things that make you go, hhmm! Have a nice day JB.

JB Jones said...

Honestly Anonymous - How do you know I was calling you cynical? There are several other anonymous posters on here... all of them equally cynical. Ha - See what I did there? And I can't call YOU anything, since you won't disclose your real name - probably because you are such a successful movie-maker. Right?

But cynicism IS ugly. Whether you are cynical or not is up to you. And realism - that's just an excuse to be rude.

I prefer to continue to create art and revel in other people's creations - rather than shooting everything down.

And Hollywood is NOT the measure of cinematic success.

Alexandyr Kent said...

Anyone want a Fresca?

Evan said...

I'll take two.

Anonymous said...

JB,
I understand your youthfulness. We all were 10 ft tall and bullet proof, and knew it all. Having spent 21 years in the industry, yes, I am sucessful. It is not a dream or aspiration, but a lifestyle to me. And I was like you, once. So, I generously give you this advice. Speak less and listen more. That's why you have one mouth and two ears. Heed sound advice and don't follow after folly. The truth wasn't rude, it just hurt. Here is an example of the standard of succes I follow. Possessing a distribution contract for a worldwide release on a picture that hasn't been lensed yet. And you thought I was cynical!! Have a wonderful life, JB!! I know I am!!
Alex?! It's time for that Heineken!!

JB Jones said...

Very sorry Mr. Kent...

I'll take a TAB.

Tonya J Perkins said...

Kudos to Jeffrey for creating opportunity, both for himself and for aspiring local newbies. Yes, we ARE out here and eager to learn from ALL sources.

We've taken the courses, own the books, and, yes, even read them. But when it comes to a true creative labor of love, nothing encourages like a personal success story, however financially marginal.

While there may be truth in the saying that those who can do while those that can't teach, my limited life experience has taught me that the majority just sit back and criticize. Where's the fun and inspiration in that?

Personally, I will ignore the negativity, continue to persue my own dream, and work dilligently to scrape up the $350.00 to attend this workshop. If all I accomplish is to support another up and coming local dreamer, then I will consider that money well spent.

Anonymous said...

can i sell tickets to this boxing match???? lol

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I read Jeffrey's current blog on moviemaker.com....all of it, including the comments.

Folks, all I can say is before you buy into his workshop, read his current blog.

Unfortunately, he is wrong on so many points in his blog.

Also, he sounds frustrated and confused in his text, and you can't blame him at this point.

However I will say, in his defense, that his frustration and confusion stems from a real lack of knowledge and experience in this industry.

From one comment in the blog, it is apparent by his countenance of his inner turmoil and frustration.

He is no way mentally prepared nor has enough experience to teach anyone. It will be a bad case of misrepresenting movie making, at best.

Want to know intimately the world of Independent movie making?

Subscribe to Film Specific, like I did.

Film Specific is hosted by Tracey Sparks, a 15 year Independent distributor, who specializes on the Indie producer and Indie distro.

Your yearly subscription would be far more worth than spending 350$ on a two day "workshop" from someone who is inexperienced at this point.

And don't allow euphoric emotions to sweep you up behind this. Keep yourselves grounded to stay realisitic.