Hollywood and New York originally cornered the market on making movies and television shows because it took a lot of special equipment to produce and distribute content. But these days anyone with an iPhone can technically produce a film with high enough production values to get wide release and earn a profit. Tangerine was shot on iPhone 5s.
Today it is cheap and easy to guarantee distribution for a film on Amazon, iTunes, and even to get release on Hulu, Netflix, and Cable Pay Per View if your ultra low budget film or web series is interesting and well made. In fact, it has never been easier to distribute media.
And that means that small town filmmakers have a serious advantage over those working in what we think of as the big filmmaking cities of LA, New York, Albuquerque, New Orleans, and Atlanta.
If you’ve ever wanted to make movies or web series and you’ve figured it was impossible due to where you live, I hope you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d like to help you get rolling.
Here are some of the very significant advantages you have.
Lower Costs: Filming in any city is expensive. Costs are just naturally higher for people, locations, equipment, etc. There are more rules and regulations that govern what you do and where you do it. If you live in a small town an you want to set up a green screen in a big barn, no one is going to complain.
People are More Cooperative: When you live in a big media city, getting permission to shoot in a store or a restaurant, event at midnight, requires some fast talking with the business owner, his neighbors, and a bunch of permits that take time and money to acquire. Most small towns figure that 10 people inside a store or restaurant at midnight aren’t bothering anybody.
Locations are More Exotic and Easier to Find: Every small town across the nation has it’s own character, it’s own unique establishments, its own natural wonders, and these elements make for a movie people worldwide haven’t seen before. We haven’t seen your cemeteries, churches, grave yards, ravines, lakes, rivers, beaches, woods, cottages, and houses.
Actors are Easier to Hire: There’s no doubt that famous people make films easier to sell, but good indie films thrive when they have unique characters that don’t look like they came out of central casting. Good scripts, great rehearsals, a committed crew translate into great performances.
Good Promotion is Easier to Get: When a filmmaker in LA produces a new film, everyone yawns. But small towns are communities that frequently notice when one of their own has done something new. Its easier for your film to get mentioned in the local newspaper, easier for you to fill a theater with people who will post something nice about you on IMDB, and easier for you to get good reviews for a film on Amazon. Those things are very hard to do when you are one of two million filmmakers in a big city.
You Have Unique Stories to Tell: Small towns handle murders differently than big towns. Small towns have secrets. Small towns have legends and memories we haven’t already shared. There are a million stories you can tell the world that we haven’t already heard.
I currently support 25K independent filmmakers, screenwriters, writers and actors here in Los Angeles, but I come from a small town. I can teach you what you need to know about creating, protecting, and selling your work and I can help you create content shown around the world.
I think small town filmmakers are going to be the next big wave of profitable media for all the reasons listed previously. You have every advantage when it comes to making profitable films and web series and I’d like to see you take advantage of them.
Once again, if you’re a small town filmmaker, I hope you email me at email@example.com. Let me know where you live and what kind of films you want to make. I’d want to help you get rolling.
Most of my materials are $0-$20 learning how to make and distribute films isn’t going to break the bank. It’s just going to give you a new reason to be glad you don’t live in the big city.
Here’s are a few to get you started . . .
Remember to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS: Over the years, a lot of ultra low budget projects have gone on to make big profits. This is, in fact, the most common way for an indie filmmaker to become famous.