“What’s amazing about where we sit now in a society, we’re global we’re more connected than we’ve ever been before, and we have more devices than we’ve ever had before. This is an amazing time to be a storyteller. I think that inherently, what you’ll start to see is that the next generation of social networking will push more story and entertainment will become more social. Some of that will yield different types of experiences and formats, or a marrying of existing formats. That’s all very exciting but audiences need to know the work exists. ” – Lance Weiler, founder of the WorkBook Project
A few weeks ago, The WorkBook Project announced the winner of our first installment of the Discovery and Distribution Award. The award is intended to be multi-faceted, honoring those who have demonstrated achievement and creativity in fields such as film, gaming, music, design, and software, to name a few. This is the first time the award is being given, and this time, it’s for film. According to Lance Weiler, founder of the WorkBook Project, over 100 independent films were considered for this award, and a jury of three prominent figures in the film community (Ted Hope, producer of 21 Grams, In the Bedroom, Adventureland, and founder of TrulyFreeFilms.com; Scott Macaulay producer of Gummo, Raising Victor Vargas and editor of of Filmmaker Magazine. Anne Thompson former film columnist at Variety, the Hollywood Reporter – currently writing for Thompson on Hollywood a part of IndieWire network) settled on a winner: One Hundred Mornings, an Irish film directed by Conor Horgan and produced by Katie Holly. The award gives its winners opportunities for distribution. The winning film is given a theatrical run in Los Angeles at the Downtown Independent Theater and provided with PR, social media and street team support. The top 20 finalist also receive a digital distribution package made possible by IndieFlix which will place them on Hulu, iTunes and other distribution outlets. All with no cost to the filmmaker whatsoever.
We caught up with Lance and Katie last week to discuss the film, the award, and the future of DIY filmmaking and independent distribution.
We’re all aware that technology is changing and becoming more accessible to everyday people. As a result, according to Lance, more films are being made with much lower budgets, which can be a good thing, but on the flip side, fewer are being seen by wide audiences. So what does this mean for the future of distribution and production, and is this necessarily all bad? According to both Lance and Katie, this is actually a very exciting thing, and something that they are embracing and anticipating with enthusiasm.
When Katie began her career as a producer she was working on three films that, by today’s standards, were very high-budget. Now, she says, there is no way that any first-time filmmaker anywhere in the world would be able to access those kinds of funds anymore. But she believes this to be an exciting challenge. For One Hundred Mornings, she fell in love with the story itself, and the strong visuals that jumped off the pages and into her imagination, that did not rely on a huge budget to achieve. Lance adds that, while the future of filmmaking as whole is up in the air, and likely without one definite direction, he anticipates a shift to emphasizing the importance of storytelling and the way that stories are told, and that, to him, and to Katie, is very exciting.
Also at the start of Katie’s career, generally once post-production on a film was complete, the producer would put the project in the hands of a distributor, and the producer’s job would be largely done. But now, since it’s much more difficult to find a distributor, the producer’s role is greatly expanded, and the entire process from start to finish is a lot more DIY. This is something that Katie never expected, but she’s stepping up to the challenge and eager to learn all the new things that the position as “producer” would not have previously allowed.
(making of One Hundred Mornings)
They both hope that this award will stem a pattern of cross-pollination around the globe. In other words, this film, for example, was made in Ireland, and it is being awarded a theatrical release in Los Angeles and a community of filmmakers, organizations and the indie film community are supporting it. So perhaps if things similar to this award catch on, Lance hopes, that lots of niche communities of likeminded people around the world will begin communicating and sharing with one another.
Both Katie and Lance discussed the importance of passion and love of filmmaking that contributes to the success of this award. According to Lance, those who contributed their time to make this award possible don’t have any investment in One Hundred Mornings itself, but were very inspired by the idea and philosophy behind the award, and were very eager to help out. According to Katie, especially now since filmmaking, namely independent filmmaking, doesn’t necessarily reel in the money the way it used to, those who dedicate their lives to it really do it because they’re passionate about it. It’s all about the love of it.
From firsthand experience, Katie advises first time filmmakers in this world of evolving media and technology to just go out and make a film. “The most important thing is action,” she explains. “It’s actually doing it. It’s making a film, with whatever means you have available. The act of making a film, the process, going through all of production’s difficulties and challenges, is the best way to learn.” Her company has been struggling to figure out how to produce a film of theirs that calls for a budget much greater than what they have, and instead of giving up on the project, they decided to accommodate the film and the story to fit the means that they have. The result, Katie says, is very rewarding and challenging, and something that is invaluable. Especially now with communities working together to create and sustain new means of distribution, and since means of production are cheaper and more accessible than ever, there is no excuse not to go for it.
One Hundred Mornings Trailer
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