Doug Plummer Photography - SeaDoc

First Workshop

docforest on porch

Last week I was honored to be invited to co-facilitate with Eliaichi Kimaro (Eli) of A Lot Like You in a session titled “Colleges, Conferences, & Lectures, Oh My!”  This was offered at Docforest, hosted by Seattle Documentary Association. Their sleep-away style camp is an inspiring weekend of “high tech talk in a low-tech setting.” We were surrounded by a sense of kinship among doc filmmakers and delicious food all weekend. The retreat featured a keynote of Adnaan Wasey, the Director of POV Digital and POV Hackathon.

Our session had over a dozen attendees, many who already had colleges asking for screenings and others just getting started with festivals. The takeaways we suggested: start by making a list of three target academic fields/college departments who would be interested in your film and five cities where you would like to bring your film.

Docforest put on by Seadoc

Docforest put on by Seadoc

We also dug into the complexities of how to set price-points, timing for rolling out your film (educational vs. festivals,) and how to find an educational distributor. Eli and I coincidentally both went to Peter Broderick for distribution consultation services and ended up with Collective Eye Films for educational distribution. Neither of us found it a priority to create curriculum to pair with our films.

Filmmaker takeaway:

My own takeway is that I want to follow-up with Samara Lectures. This is the company that secures all of Eli’s gigs and does a lot of the legwork for her. I am very interested to see which parts of the process I am missing, where I might be reinventing the wheel, and how I can help spread this model to other filmmakers who would like to get paid to travel and show their films on the college market.

yoga guiness book of world records

Embracing Failure

yoga guiness book of world records

breaking a Guiness Book of World Records by doing yoga!

I posted recently about goals for WDS. My score? Failed with 56%. Feels great! One of the things I ❤ about this community, (and millennials) is that  “failure” is a worthwhile method towards success. You have to try things and put yourself out there and keep moving ahead in order to get anywhere. I learned this one the hard way with my own documentary – don’t take too much time polishing! Although I am truly happy with the way my film turned out, seven years is too long. Here’s my WDS report card:

*create branding for pilot project. – 27%

As for the branding. I got a nice big FAIL on this. I still like “cherries” best of all. I got more out of the connections at WDS this year than the soul-searching. 

*WFH – get freelance gigs. – 52%

The career shift is going better, thanks! I met Mac from Mac’s List. Just from 15 minutes of conversation I came away with action items which I am chipping away at. Thanks to him, here is my refreshed LinkedIn profile. Isn’t it great meeting professionals who love what they do? 

*refine price points for pilot project. – 89%

  • I would like to offer a workshop for $50-$100/person – putting this together is taking some time.
  • Until then, I am offering $125 for a two-part series which you will complete in 4 weeks. For $125, you will have access to me for two sessions by Skype or phone. We will work offline to create a customized outreach plan. I will provide templates and forms to tailor for your own campaign. 
  • I am also available to offer 1:1 support, in a quarterly plan for $100/month. This includes monthly sessions creating a sales kit, generating lists of top prospects to court and creating a campaign to launch and get you out there gigging!

Ready to make a Paypal payment? Please be in touch! If you aren’t ready to commit, just say hello and tell me about your project! I am using this experience from doing yoga at WDS in the Great Namaste to set a new goal. That day I helped break a Guiness Book of World Records with 808 other people at Pioneer Square. Before the next WDS I will have helped 808 filmmakers and I will have an ebook with all the condensed info. I may want it to be perfect but hopefully it wont be!