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I Can’t Believe it’s on YouTube! Mark Duplass SXSW Live 2015 - Short Script Gods
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I Can’t Believe it’s on YouTube! Mark Duplass SXSW Live 2015

By February 8, 2016Reviews

I Can’t Believe it’s on YouTube! Mark Duplass SXSW Live 2015

Story: The cavalry isn’t coming.


Why You Should See It: The Puffy Chair. Baghead. Do-Decca Pentathlon. The Duplass bros are known for their cottage industry-style of micro-budget film-making. They’ve enjoyed tremendous success – on their terms. Got 25 minutes? It’s worth your while to check out this speech; it’s applicable to writers, actors, editors, producers, and directors alike.

Mark Duplass’s message? There are no reinforcements that are going to swoop in and rescue you, the beleaguered filmmaker. Counting on taking your film to Sundance and selling your feature for millions of bucks? Highly unlikely. This isn’t even a feasible backup plan. What you need is an ACTUAL plan, and Mark Duplass delivers solid advice in this off-the-cuff speech given last March at SXSW.

Mark Duplass’s Tips on Building your Film-making Army (and making a living in this shit-business)

  1. Make a $3 movie. Every weekend. Film fests have more wiggle room to schedule short films (less than five minutes). One-location, one scene. Comedies are best.
  2. Make a movie you can shoot for $1K. Buy your equipment. Shoot the film. Return the equipment before the 30-day return policy expires.
  3. Tour the fests with your $1K flick. Meet actors. Narrow in on those actors, such as Randy Hercules, who have some exposure, but crave something more. Create a role just for Randy Hercules so he can star in for your next $1K movie.
  4. Make your second $1K feature. People love Randy Hercules, and chances are you’re micro-budget movie will find VOD distribution.
  5. Make a couple of shows with Randy Hercules and his friends and pitch to TV.
  6. Hopefully by now you have a few awesome samples, plus Hercules is in your corner, and you’re finally making a living in this film game.
  7. The friends that stood by you – your army – have movie ideas they want to make. You now have a little cash to invest so they can make their $1K movies.
  8. You’ve made it. Or have you? Mark Duplass doesn’t sugar coat this. He doesn’t even aspartame-coat this. Realize that even though you’ve sold some pitches to TV, maybe have a series and have some traction – the cavalry isn’t coming. There is no cavalry. It’s just you – and your friends… And that’s enough, because you’re making a living and you get to do what you love.

Inspiring of all – anyone can take action on these tips. We’re in the United States – even our pets get credit card offers. So charge that $3 movie if you need to… and build your army.

Written by: Mich Medvedoff

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