Lately, I've received a number of requests for updates on the progress of Blumenthal. I must confess that I've abstained from blog posts for the past several weeks largely because I've assumed this period to be a boring one for this site's audience. With all of the questions I've been fielding, I'm reminded that even the less "exciting" parts of this process are of interest to other filmmakers and people who are simply interested in how independent movies are made.
The film is pretty much there. While a few sound and color tweaks remain to be done before our final layback, the movie is essentially finished. We finally have a polished product to start submitting to festivals and are pressing DVDs for that purpose. Once we have a premier date, we will finalize the mix and picture and output to HDCAM.
The festival strategy for Blumenthal is a simple and conservative one. We are aiming for upper-tier festivals whose programming tastes and industry marketplace might suit a film of this size and tone. The plan is to push Blumenthal into a premiere and distribution, but not spend too much time squeezing it into every regional festival that might screen it. Don't get me wrong, there are a wealth of benefits in garnering as many festival laurels as possible for a film. The trouble is that with few resources, that process can be extremely time-consuming and expensive. My producers and I feel strongly that as we go into the festival circuit, one of the best things we can do for Blumenthal is to keep making movies. Many of us are already onto other projects, some of which were made possible by our work on Blumenthal. That said, we still have a load of work and responsibility to see Blumenthal to its fullest potential.
Now is a relatively quiet time for the circuit, but fests will begin notifying by mid-summer and into the fall. In addition to the submission process of sending off DVDs, my producers and I are pushing left and right to cultivate contacts in the indie-sphere to keep the film on people's radar and even establish personal contacts with as many programmers as possible.
There is little science to this part of the indie film business. There is a surplus of product out there and a tremendous amount of noise that we need to rise above if we want our movie to be seen. I do believe (I have to believe) that any good movie will find a way to be seen. It might not be at a multiplex near you, but at a minimum will be reviewed and consumable in other formats such as VOD and Netflix. As in any other industry, the formula for success is a fairly simple one: hard work, persistence, and luck.
I'm thrilled with the apparent anticipation of so many of you to see the movie. Friends, internet strangers, and programmers have been eager to screen Blumenthal and I suppose that bodes well. However, until we premiere the film, we are trying to keep the full-viewings to a minimum. In the interim, we are working on cutting a trailer together that we can share with the world to promote the film. I had taken a pass at editing a trailer several months back, but after a few days of work, I realized that was a terrible idea. Fresh eyes from a real trailer editor make all the difference in the world. Things are progressing well on that front, and I hope to have something up on the blog and site in the coming weeks.
In this relative quiet of creativity in the process, I've been immersing myself once again in screenwriting. I'm swimming in a few different projects at present with a TV pilot and two feature screenplays. My hope is that by the time Blumenthal reaches you all on-screen, we will be at work shooting the next film.