When the movie is complete, the independent movie maker – broke and exhausted, but proud – is ready to be creamed by sleazy independent film distributors. Don’t let this happen to you: read the guide to independent film distribution, paying particular attention to the warning given about never allowing a distributor to get a sneak preview of your movie.
The other sharks waiting expectantly for the naïve movie maker are the film festivals, which charge considerable fees to consider your film for admission into the festival and ultimately award prizes on the basis of their own arbitrary, self-indulgent agenda, tossing the hungry, wide-eyed filmmakers onto the street after their money made the festival possible. That said, film festivals are great fun if you can manage your own expectations, and they can open some doors for you and our film. They are certainly not as much of an unmitigated scam as film and video competitions. In the final analysis, film festivals are a necessary evil, and if you go in knowing what to expect, you can at least retain some dignity.
Thanks for reading. Having read through this post after writing it, it does not escape my notice that it might make independent movie making sound like some sort of insane self-inflicted torture. It can certainly feel like that sometimes, and I am a keen proponent of reality checks, but if you have been bitten by the movie-making bug, you have probably noticed that you have no choice and that you are in this for life, whether you like it or not. Welcome to the club.