Learning to take a break before breaking down

2014-11-21 20.05.37At the start of the year its a good time to make a plan of attack for the year to come. Of course it helps if your plan is realistic. Making films can be an exhausting process, particularly when you are doing it on top of paid employment. One thing I have learnt the hard way a couple of times is that burning the candle at both ends does actually lead to burn out. Recovering from burn out is always tough but I have learnt a few things that help me to balance things a little better.

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My lowdown on low-budget features

20131024-035704.jpgI’ve recently been involved in a number of discussions about low-budget filmmaking and whether or not it has a place in the NZ film scene. There are people who believe that it is an amazing idea and the only way to create a sustainable industry and others who think that low-budget filmmaking needs to stopped and should not be officially supported. Having made two low-budget features and knowing so many other people who have, I personally believe that there is a place for low-budget filmmaking as long as long as you are doing it for the right reasons and are smart about how you go about it.

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Going LALA again… Learnings from the AFM

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I have just returned from my fourth trip to the American Film Market, and boy did the time go fast! As the winners of Tropfest NZ Andrew and I got to attend an LA Immersion course run by the LATC (Latin American Training Centre) – so thank you MPAA for supplying that prize. This trip we were also lucky enough to have an American Producer attached to our project – Sex With an Alien – which certainly helped in terms of generating leads at the market. So what are my gems of wisdom after the trip…

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Contracting Collaboration

Deciding to become a film maker always means you need to prepare for disappointment. There are always the good moments, but the general understanding we all operate under is that our films will not get into every festival, that we will not always get the funding we want and that there will always be feedback on our scripts that we don’t want to hear. That being said for me there is no greater disappointment than when a frequent collaborator lets you down.

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AFF – First night parties, Day 2 and the Premiere

20131024_225833So the parties were crazy. Met so many cool filmmakers and had so much fun handing out flyers and consuming much free alcohol. We put up more posters and handed out more flyers in between the parties (one filmmaker in the morning commented that you couldn’t go into any store around the festival venues without seeing Crackheads so I think we achieved postering the town). The second party ended up with a massive cue right around the block and was pretty amazing also (as was the pedicab ride there ‘transpertainment’ great word).

While out that night India beer and tequila infused haze we decided to take on a crazy mission for the morning…

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Arriving in Austin and Day 1 AFF

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The trip to Austin was obviously long. I was lucky that my flight to LA was mostly empty so I had a row to myself and the stopover in LA felt really short. By the time I arrived in Austin though I was still exhausted. Waking up in Austin to beautiful weather was amazing. Austin, like Auckland, is incredibly spread out so you can’t walk everywhere. Have yet to try the public transport but the taxis are cheaper than Auckland.

It was the day before the festival started so Tim (director of Crackheads) and I knew that we had to start getting out and marketing our film and making a plan for the festival – all while also sorting out the NZ premiere of the film.

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