You're Making A Movie? Who Cares?

You're Making A Movie? Who Cares?
Who is going to dress up as characters from your movie for Halloween? That is your audience.

No really: Who cares?

Who is going to care enough to come and see it?

This is a question that a lot of emerging filmmakers assume will answer itself once the movie is made: that their story will be good for everyone and it will become a hit on the merits of its storytelling and craft. And this does happen sometimes. Lightning also strikes sometimes. People win the lottery sometimes.

More often, however, wonderful films go un-distributed and un-seen because they don't have a clear enough audience from the get-go to build momentum. Movies are like snowballs rolling down a snowy mountain: the more momentum they have the farther they will go and the bigger they will get.

This isn't something that they teach you in school. If you go to school for filmmaking you are there to learn the craft, not the business.  Your audience is your peers and instructors and you never need to reach beyond that until you get out into the real world. If it sounds like I am being critical of other emerging filmmakers it might be true: but I am also being critical of myself. I am only now beginning to catch on as to how important the audience is to a film and that it is perfectly acceptable- nay, preferable to be specific about who you are trying to reach.

As we prepare to develop our next film we are preparing to start with the audience. As a matter of fact, we are starting to figure out who we want to have in the audience even before we have a script. Does this seem backwards? Perhaps, but there is nothing wrong with making a movie because it is something that people already want to see. You can either make an audience like your movie or make a movie that your audience will like.

So our next movie will take place at a Renaissance Faire.

Who cares?

Rennies, geeks, gamers, nerds, theatre folk, comedians, members of the SCA, cosplayers, and anyone who has ever enjoyed a turkey leg while watching knights trying to knock each other off their horses. Does this sound like you? If so, then what would you like to see in a movie?

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