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Do It Yourself

10 MPH DIY Manual: Intro

If you watch 10 MPH, you'll see that Josh and my approach to getting into the film industry was one of blind faith. We had no formal training in making films and very little understanding of how the industry worked. This obviously meant we didn't have any connections either. But we could tell things were changing and felt we had the ability to jump in and figure it out. This spirit is one that many filmmakers share. It's a desire to do something more than the ordinary - to create something that will ultimately have an effect on people. After three years, I can honestly say I think we're figuring it out and it's a whole heck of a lot of work. But, the rewards are just enough that it leaves us hungering for more and just certain enough that we're on the path to whatever it is that we're supposed to be doing. That being said, I can see why so many have given this film thing a try and not been able to live out the dream as initially planned. I think things are changing and more of us will be successful in film. That's why I feel compelled to share some of what we've learned.

I also should call attention to a pivotal moment on this path that helped inspire me to write this. In September of 2007, I was at the IFP Filmmaker Conference in New York and met several key people. Scott Kirsner was moderating a panel about new media technologies in filmmaking and after his talk, I approached him. He'd just heard about 10 MPH and was curious about our digital download strategy. Later in the conference, he included me in a panel where I had a chance to talk about our approach to digital downloads and DIY distribution in general. I also spoke with Arin Crumley of Four Eyed Monsters, who along with Susan Buice have orchestrated a brilliant DIY distribution strategy. Arin encouraged me to talk with Lance Weiler, who runs the Workbook Project, a website for people in the industry to share information about their distribution and filmmaking experiences. Lance interviewed me that week while I was in New York (hear the interview). After the panel that I spoke on, I had several filmmakers approach me about their interest in DIY distribution and realized how hot this topic was.

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DIY Resources

Other DIY films
+ Four Eyed Monsters
+ Tijuana Makes Me Happy
+ Head Trauma
+ The Talent Given Us
+ Guatemalan Handshake
+ Book of Caleb
+ Black Gold
Film Festivals & Distribution Books
+ The Insider's Guide to Independent Film Distribution (Stacey Parks)
+ Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide
+ The Complete Independent Movie Marketing Handbook
+ I Wake up Screening: What to Do Once You've Made that Movie
Filmmaking & Production Books
+ Planning the Low Budget Film
+ The Complete Film Production Handbook
+ Clearance and Copyright: Everything the Independent Filmmaker Needs to Know
+ Film Scheduling: Or, How Long Will it Take to Shoot Your Movie?
+ Film and Video Budgets
+ Filmmakers and Financing, 5th Edition: Business Plans for Independents
+ The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers
+ Independent Feature Film Production: A Complete Guide from Concept Through Distribution
Key websites
+ IndieWIRE
+ Greencine
+ Spout
+ Workbook Project
+ cinematech.blogspot.com
Major Film Festivals
January
+ Sundance Film Festival
+ Slamdance Film Festival
+ Intl. Film Fest Rotterdam
February
+ Berlin Intl. Film Festival
+ Miami Intl. Film Festival
+ True/False Film Festival
March
+ SXSW
+ AFI Dallas Intl.
April
+ The Gen Art Film Festival
+ Full Frame Doc Festival
+ Hot Docs
+ Tribeca Film Festival
May
+ Cannes Intl. Film Festival
+ Seattle Intl. Film Festival
June
+ Los Angeles Film Festival
+ Silverdocs
September
+ Telluride Film Festival
+ Toronto Intl. Film Festival
October
+ Sidewalk Moving Pic Fest
+ New York Film Festival
+ Woodstock Film Festival
+ Hamptons Intl. FF
November
+ Amsterdam Intl. Doc Fest
+ AFI Fest
+ Denver Intl. Film Festival

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