Thursday, November 05, 2009

Just Begin

At the risk of Movie Beach sliding off into the realm of self-help wacko’s, we’re in reflective mood today. So, if new age mumbo-jumbo’s not your cup of green tea then please bookmark us and come back tomorrow. But please read on . . .

You probably know the great quote from Goethe which goes: "Until there is commitment, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues forth from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."

We bumped into a friend at the AFM today and started chatting about getting movie projects moving. Of course the usual subjects like finding the money came up. I guess finding and retaining credible and consistent financing partners is just about the hottest topic in movieland. If you’ve got the money you get to make your movie, and until you do you’re doing a job that you didn’t sign up for – chasing down as many leads as you can on the trail of elusive investors/lenders/backers who’ll get your project funded. Most of us aren’t really salespeople although we all have to be, and until we get right into the mix of it we don’t consider that a whole slice of our lives will be given over to the money-hunt. But movies do get made, people want to finance them, and there are lots of successful partnerships between energetic film-makers and savvy investors. You need to find the niche that suits your project and, most importantly, your personality. You may find some old friends of friends who’d love to help out, or cold-call a swathe of dentists in the Midwest, sign up to go to venture capitalists’ conferences in San Jose or use your contacts in the Middle East to tap up some oil money. You do whatever you have to do, so get up and do it and you may surprise yourself.

We’re all in this business for our own reasons but most of us because we love movies and believe passionately in our projects, or our talent, or our partners and their talent, and it takes a special type of unflinching determination to pull it all together. This can be confounding to friends and family: sometimes we grow closer through the process and sometimes we lose the odd friend along the way, as happened to us just recently. As a film-maker you need a whole lot of sheer belief and grit to get to the finish line and in this business the finish line can be just the start of production, distribution and everything else. That’s why we were charmed to read about Andy Garcia’s newly-announced Hemingway biopic in today’s Variety, and not just because he’s corralled Anthony Hopkins and Annette Benning to star. The tale of the last 20 years of Hemingway’s life spent in Cuba has been a labour of love for Garcia, and it’s now finally taking shape after 30 years of development. For now his project is just off the ground with his main talent on board and he’s shopping for financing, beginning at the AFM. The coolest thing for us, though, is Garcia’s nugget from Francis Ford Coppola, who told him while making The Godfather that “the way you begin a movie is, you begin”. It’s a little trite, for sure, but it’s often easier to see the obstacles than the path and we’re all a little guilty of that from time to time. Today we’re reflecting on what we all got into this for in the first place, not a bad thing to do.

The Out Of Obscurity team

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