Shakespeare once wrote that “all the world’s a stage”. Filmmaking is one such stage and it has never been so crowded! Currently, there are roughly 500,000 filmmakers worldwide, 10,000 films made annually and only 200 or so obtain a strong US theatrical release permitting return of investment and profits. In 2013, the Sundance Film Festival received 12, 613 submissions and only 130 were chosen for festival and out of that, only 10 received significant distribution commitments.
We don’t need MORE films, we need BETTER films – films with a WOW! So how can you clearly define and articulate what your competitive edge is in an overcrowded market? First, start with the big WOW! This means finding the dream, passion and personal relationship to your project. Research and articulate “Why YOUR project, why YOU. ” Whoever your audience is, the bottom line is that you must exceed their current expectations. Given the competitive climate of our industry, the question is: HOW?
The “how” is found in the power of specificity. You need clarity for defining your niche. Some questions to ask yourself and answer are:
1) Why do I want to make this project?
2) What is my motivating and driving force?
Issue (i.e. bullying or teen rape)
Entertainment = musicals, new action hero
Hero’s journey / new mythology
What are your values that are being addressed
3) How do I want the audience to feel?
4) What are the audiences’ specific expectations they bring to this project? Stand in their shoes.
Being able to answer these questions will bring you one step closer to being able to set yourself apart from the fray. What is your story? It is your personal story – career and life – that will establish your credibility and passionate connection to your project.