Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 in Review

So, another year comes to a close for Tom and Mary Russell, those dynamic husband-and-wife filmmakers. Of course, since our last film was finished in 2008 and our next one will commence shooting in earnest in the next week or so (that is, 2010), the question is begged: what did we, as filmmakers, do with this year?
  1. We wrote the script for Olivia Forever!!, an extended process involving more hair-pulling, teeth-gnashing, and starting-overing than either of us would have liked. That is, however, one major consequence of (a) trying to eschew traditional narrative and (b) being petrified of the "shoot a whole bunch of stuff and see what sticks" school of thought. But, hey, the script is done and where it needs to be.
  2. We got on The Twitters and The Facebooks and tried our hand at this whole social networking thing. I'm not sure how well we've done at it-- more on that in number three-- but we've made a few friends, including some people who've made our next film possible. Not that, mind you, we've managed to raise money for the film or anything. We're still operating out of pocket, which brings us to our next item...
  3. We started distributing our films directly to you, oh fans of independent cinema, in nice DVD editions with a few extras. From selling our DVDs (and Tom's books) we've raked in a grand total of $41.86. Granted, getting said books published and sending said DVDs to critics has cost us $89, putting us about $47 in the hole. (Not to mention, of course, the three-digit figures that go into making the films themselves.) Not a particularly profitable year for us, but hey, it hasn't been a particularly profitable year for anybody and, as mentioned above, we pretty much suck at this social networking/marketing thing.
We will, however, get better at it. Which brings us to our plans for 2010:
  1. Make Olivia Forever!! Naturally. Maybe another feature come the fall.
  2. Re-release our two previous DVDs, this time will a full commentary track, better bonus features (which we should have the technological capacity to do in the next week or so), and more attractive packaging. Said packaging should also be coherent with our brand identity.
  3. Create a brand identity in the first place, somewhere between "we're scrappy filmmakers" and "but our stuff is actually good".
  4. Get the films online. Which should happen in the next couple of months, actually.
  5. Sell more DVDs. As in, enough to potentially break even. This will likely be helped when we can cajole those critics who got screeners to watch 'em.
  6. Blog more regularly, including more indie film reviews, for the purely selfish reason that the more hits we get and the more goodwill we can engender, the better off we're going to be.
Those are our plans for 2010. Let's see how we do...