When I finished Troubadour Blues in summer 2011, I had big ideas about getting into film festivals, and I wasted a lot of time and money on festival submissions. I got a lot of rejection letters before deciding to go it alone. I don’t want to knock festivals in general, but they seem very closed to “outsider” entries like my film.

Instead, I’ve been booking my own screenings in small non-theatrical venues (music clubs primarily, but also coffee shops, bars, public libraries, classrooms, and, once, a yoga studio). I try to get one firm booking nailed down for a given area, and then try to fill in around it by contacting likely venues to see if they’re interested. There is a lot of reinventing the wheel involved as I learn to be my own booking agent, but there don’t seem to be any booking agents working with films on this level.

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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.

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Troubadour Blues Southwest Tour 2012

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FAVORITES AROUND THE WEB

SORRY, THIS HASN’T BEEN UPDATED IN A LONG TIME (9/4/16)
The links are all still good.

John Eger, who teaches communication and public policy at San Diego State University, has posted a fantastic article about advanced technology and the survival of many cities. He’s one of a number of experts who agrees that the world is turning into a collection of powerful city/states in a global economy where nobody is in charge. Excellent reading.

Veteran indie producer Ted Hope, whose credits include 21 Grams by Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu, talks about Five Crucial Things We Want From Movies. Short, sweet, and definitely to the point.

Ted has gone back to producing after stints with the Fandor movie streaming service and the San Francisco Film Society. Here’s his master list of distribution case studies, a useful resource for those of us looking for ways to get our films in front of wider audiences.

 


        

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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