Technology Category

My First Documentary

In: Filmmaking, Projects, Technology

Here’s the first documentary I ever made, a half-hour video produced in 1973 while I was working as a research assistant at Harvard. Co-produced by Eric B. Rothenberg, it features Cliff Greene, Jeff Melvoin, Chase Wilson and the kids of the after-school program at Longfellow School in East Cambridge, MA.

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If you want to be an independent filmmaker in today’s rapidly changing environment, you face a very steep learning curve. Even experienced filmmakers are throwing up their hands in despair, and if I see another death-of-cinema article in a national magazine I think I’m going to scream.

The digital age has empowered filmmakers, or so we hear. Anybody with a story to tell can get inexpensive camera gear and user-friendly editing software and make a movie. Seems like you can’t turn around without running into another website or e-magazine dispensing technical advice to filmmakers — what’s the best camera, what’s the best lens, how to get the big-budget look on your low-budget movie.

After that, you’re on your own. You can put up a website and Facebook page, build a mailing list, try to sell your own DVDs or downloads. You can put a trailer up on YouTube, put the whole film in the iTunes store. But getting anybody to pay attention is truly daunting. It’s really true what music guru Bob Lefsetz says: NOBODY CARES!

After that, you’re on your own. You can put up a website and Facebook page, build a mailing list, try to sell your own DVDs or downloads. You can put a trailer up on YouTube, put the whole film in the iTunes store. But — and this is a BIG but — getting anybody to pay attention is truly daunting. It’s really true what music guru Bob Lefsetz says: Nobody cares! Your movie could be the best movie in the world, but you’re going to have to put a hell of a lot of work into making people want to watch it.


        

Tom Weber Films LLC is a producer and distributor of films about music, including the feature-length documentary Troubadour Blues. We also produce artist profiles, electronic press kits, music videos, multi-camera live concert programs and narrative films. We act as distributor for other filmmakers in the North American and international markets. Welcome to our website.




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