The Director's Chair Issue #35 – May 26, 2003 (What is Your Goal?)
THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors
May 26, 2003 Scene 4 – Take 4
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4. Feature Article – “What is Your Goal?”
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7. Out Takes – “Why English is Hard to Learn”
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Welcome to Issue #35 of The Director’s Chair (May 26, 2003).
1) This month’s feature is “What is your goal?” by Mark Steven
Bosko. Mark is a producer, marketing consultant and author of
“The Complete Movie Marketing Handbook.” His book gives street
level instruction and real-world examples on how to promote,
distribute and sell your productions. From landing a distribution
deal and getting free media coverage to staging a low-cost
premiere and selling your productions to video rental chains and
through the Internet, “The Complete Movie Marketing Handbook” is
a ‘must-have’ for any independent film or videomaker looking to
seriously sustain a career in the entertainment industry.
You can check out Mark’s book at:
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4. FEATURE ARTICLE – What is your goal?
“What is your goal?” by Mark Steven Bosko
Regardless if you are a writer, director, producer, editor,
cameraman or actor, getting involved in an independent feature
means you are facing a lot of work. And to successfully
accomplish the tasks ahead, you better have a goal.
Unfortunately, too many people on too many film projects rarely
take the time to carefully determine just what their underlying
motives are in deciding to become involved in a project. While
not doing so doesn’t always spell disaster, awareness of your
goals – your purpose for doing the work you are doing – does help
you focus your energies and turn in the best possible performance
in front of and behind the camera.
Without the proper information, defining an accurate goal for the
outcome of your project can be tough. What do you use as a
parameter to measure your success? Performance of other similar
films or videos? Income generated? Total number of units sold?
Personal satisfaction? Positive reviews? Amount of media
In addition to identifying this sort of concrete criteria,
consideration of less tangible information like your emotional,
physical and financial state must be part of the goal-setting
process. Settling for nothing less than a national theatrical
release after a particularly productive day of screenwriting is
not wise. Nor is only hoping to break-even on expenses after
deciding to cast your cousin Alvin in lieu of a too-expensive
experienced actor. As these examples illustrate, it’s impossible
to make a reasonable decision about your project while feeling
too high or too low. This is not to say that you shouldn’t “reach
for the stars,” but:
You need to be realistic in defining your goal.
The Big Picture
Let’s step back for a moment and look at the “big picture.” When
you began your film or video, what was your motivation for
creating it in the first place? Was it merely an artistic
expression, were you acting on business instincts and filling a
void in the market, or did you dream of the fame and fortune that
accompanies success in the entertainment industry?
Whatever the case, consider what it is you want your film or
video to ultimately attain, accomplish or achieve, and set that
as your goal. By doing so, you’ll give your energy a specific
focus, enabling you to better sort out what is important and what
is irrelevant. By creating an achievable goal, you can move
beyond any self-doubts, overcome your fears and think
“successful,” which leads directly to being successful.
That all sounds great, but we’re still left with the original
question: What is your goal?
For film and videomakers, many outcomes are possible and
appropriate. Finding the goal that applies to the specifics of
your project while at the same time maintaining relevance to your
personal, artistic and career motivations is a process that
shouldn’t be rushed. While answering your needs on many levels,
this goal will also serve as a guide in determining your level of
effort. This means the amount of money, time and sweat you expend
is directly related to the goals you want to achieve. So were
talking pretty significant stuff here!
It’s important to note that you probably have more than a single
goal. Don’t worry – that’s just the nature of the process.
Before you set any specific goals, examine the major motivations
driving you toward becoming a filmmaker in the first place. To do
that, take some time and honestly answer the following questions:
1) Do you want to become rich and famous?
Who doesn’t? Taking lunches with superstars, doing interviews and
shopping on Rodeo Drive doesn’t sound too shabby. If that is what
you want, there are probably faster routes to getting there than
making an independent film. If you decide rich-and-famous is how
you would like to eventually describe yourself, consider the
varying levels of this goal. By famous, do you mean in your town
or nationwide? The same could be said for being rich. Wealthy to
one person is vastly different than to others.
2) Do you want exposure?
If so, how much, where and what kind? Consider local, regional,
national and worldwide markets. General, entertainment and
industry-specific media. An interview on the FilmThreat.com
website is great for a filmmaker looking to promote his name and
project to the independent filmmaking community. But if your
script deals with youth violence, would a story in an education
journal positioning you as an expert better serve your desires?
3) Do you need to make current contacts and/or money/connections
for a second project?
Maybe you need to find new talent, crew, or subject matter for
your current or future project. Networking with fellow film and
video artists, distributors and others in the industry is easily
accomplished while you work as a writer, director or actor. As
clichéd as it sounds – who you know really makes a difference
when you are working in this business. Also, many independent
filmmakers are banking on a career in the field, with their first
film serving as a resume. Do you want to gain acceptance as a
working professional so that you can continue to do this kind of
work? Do you have a problem with sacrificing your personal life?
Do you like making phone calls, writing letters, and dealing with
4) Are you selling yourself or the product?
Independent filmmakers are often more interested in selling
themselves than the product. Some successfully do both. Kevin
Smith of Clerks fame is a good example. Do you want that elusive
fame, or do you really want your project to succeed? Are you
humble enough to allow others attached to your project grab the
spotlight if that’s what it takes to sell it? Would you rather
have your name or the title of your project appear in a newspaper
5) Do you just want an audience?
The sheer joy of entertaining, informing or affecting an audience
motivates many artists. In these cases, it’s not the potential
riches or connections brought about by a project’s success that
matters to you, but the fact that someone else is watching what
you created. Many one-shot filmmakers find this to be true. After
all the writing, shooting, editing and selling is done, and two
years of their life has vanished, the filmmaker realizes that
they were only looking for an audience – deciding there are
certainly quicker and easier routes to finding one. To others,
the power attached to group influence is strong enough to keep
them working on new films.
You can check out Mark’s book at:
Author Mark Steven Bosko has served in various capacities as
writer, producer, director and distributor on six independent
features, including the cult classic horror comedy, “Killer
Nerd,” which was a widely popular video rental item in North
America, as well as enjoying sales success in far-flung locales
such as Malaysia, Mexico and Sweden. The movie, made for $12,000,
could be found in major video chains across the country, was
featured on CNN and Entertainment Tonight, and was eventually
sold to Troma Pictures – where it became one of their customers’
most requested re-released films of all time.
Bosko’s last produced film, “Pig,” was regionally released to the
home video market, finding chain store sales success in New York,
Florida, and Ohio. A cable premiere is in the works as the film
continues to roll out to other states and is exploited via other
markets. Bosko is also helming marketing activities for a new
reality-based horror feature, “June Nine,” and is already
fielding offers from several major and independent distributors
expressing interest in representing the finished product in the
home entertainment marketplace.
In addition to his direct filmmaking and distributing experience,
Bosko works as a public relations and marketing professional,
assisting the promotional campaigns for his own and other
filmmakers’ product through the Independent Film and Video
Marketing Group, a company dedicated to assisting independent
filmmakers reach their promotional, distribution and sales goals.
Recent work includes Michael Wiese’s upcoming feature “Bali
Brothers” and the Web site http://www.Itsonlyamovie.com. You can
email Mark directly at mailto:markbosko@IFVMG.com.
5. BACK ISSUES OF “THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR”
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6. QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“Mankind isn’t evil, just uninformed.”
Professor Xavier, “X-Men”
7. OUT TAKES – “Why English is Hard to Learn”
1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
2. The farm was used to produce produce.
3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4. We must polish the Polish furniture.
5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was
time to present the present.
8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10. I did not object to the object.
11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13. They were too close to the door to close it.
14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18. After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
20. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
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11. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
Copyright (c) 2000-2003
Peter D. Marshall
All Rights Reserved
Copyright (c) 2000-2009 Peter D. Marshall / All Rights Reserved