Film Biz

Documentary Doctoring

Do you need help with story structure? Or want to cut a trailer but not sure how to reduce your film to its essential three minutes? Fernanda Rossi, the Documentary Doctor, is where we start. Her taste is phenomenonal and her advice clear and intelligent. Don’t miss her Trailer Mechanics workshop. She’s also a lively and generous person, whose first instinct is to bring people together so that they can meet and help each other out.

Distribution Advice

Peter Broderick, our personal guru. He’s advised hundreds, maybe thousands of filmmakers, emerging and established. Consider getting his newsletter, at the very least. For starters, here’s an excellent article written by Peter that can give you a taste of the best course to take in your distribution efforts.

Social Media Management

For managing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and probably Google+ soon, we recommend Hootsuite. It’s an invaluable tool for monitoring and updating quickly and efficiently, and judicious automating.

Entertainment Lawyer

Just sayin’, don’t sign that distribution contract or any other license without running it by a reliable lawyer. We can suggest Karen Shatzin. Based in New York, Karen is fantastic to work with. She’s easy going, witty, knowledgeable and sharp. For just a partial list of the doc films that she’s represented, visit the IMDb site.

Funding for Films

Fledgling Fund: leading the way when it comes to creative funding for community engagement. If your film illuminates a social issue, consider approaching them for funding. A twice-yearly application process.

The MacArthur Foundation: again giving money to documentaries. For years they supported independent filmmakers, then took a hiatus to re-evaluate their giving. Open for business again, so check them out.

Film Festivals

There are plenty of websites listing these, but we can’t resist mentioning just a few of our favorites.

Tallgrass Film Festival, Wichita, KS: they roll out the red carpet for filmmakers and understand the value of outreach. Great audiences, excellent films & super parties. And, who knew: Wichita is awesome!

Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival, Colorado Springs, CO: Community engagement is the name of the game for them. A film we represent, Striking a Chord, screened there in 2010, and they set up a special screening on a nearby military base, in addition to the festival screening. That’s how you do it!