Where are you going to shoot Coming Together To Fight Cancer?

Locations will, in part, be based on the final selection of doctors, hospitals, and other candidates to be interviewed.  The projected locations include: New York, Washington D.C., Minnesota, Texas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

Is anyone else from your show Filmnut or TheStream.tv involved in the project?

I have spoken with a past guest of Filmnut, Udy Epstein, about being the distributor for the project.  Udy is the Co-Founder of 7th Art Releasing, a company that specializes in distributing documentaries.  A project they distributed about the Holocaust, The Long Way Home, won an Oscar.  He has given me a letter of interest to distribute the project.  Of course, he will want to see the finished piece, but to have him review the material and provide this letter is great news!

Brian Gramo, the founder of TheStream.tv and the director/ shooter for over 1,000 hours of live content is involved.  He shot me doing the videos on this site, and, if available, he will be the Cinematographer for the project.  We have a great working relationship.

Peter Paul Basler, who was an early producer on Filmnut and has gone on to producing, writing, and directing indie films, will be directing the celebrity PSA spot we are doing.

How long is it going to be?

That depends on:

  1. The total budget raised.
  2. The depth of the interviews.
  3. The avenue of eventual distribution.

CTTFC is intended to be a feature documentary in the range of 70 to 90 minutes or a two to four episode televised mini-series. DVD and streaming options will be pursued as well.

What is the budget?

CTTFC is seeking to raise $500,000.  This budget will: afford us the opportunity to shoot in all desired locations.  And as important if not more so, it will enable us to market and promote the work.  For those new to Hollywood, most successful films spend as much or more $$ on marketing than they do on making their project.

My experience with indie filmmaking, and Filmnut, has taught me that too many filmmakers, out of desperation, seek to raise the minimum amount possible just to get a project “in the can”.

After that, they struggle to raise money for post-production to fix a lot of the things that went wrong during production, because they didn’t raise enough money to shoot it right in the first place!  Or they didn’t hire a good enough crew, have the right equipment, not enough production days, and so on.

Next, they struggle getting the best distribution deal or any deal.  Why? Because there is no money left for publicity and marketing and/ or the quality of the work is less than what it could have been for the above reasons.

While marketing is always important, it is especially so when dealing with topic such as cancer.  CTTFC will factor this into all phases of production and aim to shoot a piece that is not only a meaningful, but uplifting as well.

In part, the marketing will highlight the need to get the message out, and tell people that we can make changes.  It will do so in a way that engages, entertains, and draws people in.

The budget will also enable us get a top-notch crew to shoot, edit, and score the project.

What is the marketing plan?

In the 20th century, film makers typically didn’t think about marketing until after post-production.  Sure, you’d get your Hollywood Reporter and Variety press release, but the 300 pound gorilla would not be unleashed until closer to the film’s release.  Social media has changed that.  Marketing now begins on or before day one of production.  Some advocate elevating the person in charge of marketing to a producer.

On CTTFC we will:

  1. Utilize Social media.  In addition to forming a Facebook and Twitter presence, early projects include a music video and a celebrity PSA.
  2. Seek to engage like-minded organizations (such as LiveStrong.org and Stand- Up To Cancer) that are fighting cancer and attempt to form strategic alliances.
  3. We will enlist a publicist to aid in press coverage and celebrity involvement.
  4. Upon completion of the work, we will submit CTTFC into the top festivals.  (Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, etc.)
  5. In addition to private screenings for distributors, if need be we will “four wall” it.  Four walling involves renting a movie theater and, in essence, self-distributing it.  Four walling makes a project Oscar-eligible and helps to garner more press and international distribution.
  6. Put together a soundtrack.
  7. Created a brand that includes merchandise to help spread awareness about cancer and the documentary.

How long will it take to shoot?

Upon successful completion of raising funds, shooting can take 4 to 8 weeks, maybe less.  It depends on the availability of interview subjects.