Come Share Director/Writer/Actor John W. Bosley’s Awakening – Part 3

Published On March 5, 2011 | By admin | Director, Film Festival, Filmmaker, Independent Film, Q&A, Screenwriting

Hope while you’ve been reading Parts 1 & 2 of this Filmmakers Notebook Q&A you’ve had the chance to check out the new micro-pilot film “Awakening” from independent filmmaker John W. Bosley, who is otherwise known as @JBMovies.  The final segment, Part 3 is posted below.

Do you think the demand for micro-pilots is going to increase and lead to more deals for indie filmmakers or wind up fizzling out and why?

Awakening

First off, there’s no “real” demand so far for the micro-pilot idea because up until I coined the phrase no one had defined it.  I think when people see how it works out for me, that others will be doing it too.  Then I believe the demand will be permanent.  Hollywood and the independent film world are both concerned about hedging their bets.  This is the reason people bank their films on name talent or famous directors, etc.  They don’t want to sink money into something that won’t make the money back.  The micro-pilot proves and creates demand for a project.  And replaces the automatic need for name talent.

How has being well known in social media circles helped you become recognized as a filmmaker and build an audience that is looking to see projects made by you?

Being well known in social media circles has given me more exposure because people started seeing more value in my projects.  The high light was when yahoo news ran a story on Rebfest, which discussed “Amnesia” in ¾ of the article.  But at the same time just having a bunch of followers doesn’t mean success.  It’s inspiring them to tweet about your work and making real connections that matter.

What suggestions would you give to inexperienced filmmakers, who are just becoming acquainted with social media, crowdfunding and self-distribution?

My greatest recommendation I would give every filmmaker, especially inexperienced filmmakers, is to pause on their feature film idea and study how to make a micro-pilot.   Spend some serious time making one of those.   Think social the whole time.  Get it out there and build a following for the film.  If you create the demand then you have a reason to make the supply.  

Crowdfunding is just like trying to find investors.  People get involved in something they value.  That’s why the micro-pilot is so important.  It shows the value while entertaining.

How did you get the idea for Rebfest and what do you have planned for it in the future?

Rebfest came out of my frustration with the traditional festival route.  Many people submit and few are excepted.  The other issue is the selection committee is naturally subjective when they look at the work.  I’ve had so many people who’ve been on these selection committees that complained that they couldn’t figure out why certain films get the thumbs up while others that should have been selected get rejected. 

I was rejected by SXSW and instead of giving up, I decided that I would just make my own festival.  I contacted a couple other filmmakers and we were going to have our own online festival celebrating each other’s work.  I had been on twitter for a few months by then  Within the first week I had pitched out on twitter for advice on how to promote a feature film.  The response came from @AlohaArleen who said I needed to make it into an event.  That radically change my perception of social media.  

What made Rebfest unique is that we would allow people to watch the films for free and then post comments, links about it on twitter and create conversations about the films. 

What I gained from Rebfest was understanding how the online movie audience responds to visual entertainment.  The amount of time it took a person to watch a feature film, a person could have watched a short film, tweeted it out, another person watch, and continue.  You could have had a dozen people tweet and watch and tweet in the length it would take for one person to watch the feature.  We call this viral video.  Short, contagious and easy to spread.  

Right now Rebfest is just a social media site.  We have not had another “festival”.  I don’t have the time.  It was created out of necessity.  But I’m a filmmaker, not a festival programmer.  I am actually thinking about selling the site to the highest bidder.  With the right person they could take the concept to a level I couldn’t.

Is there any news you’d like to share regarding “Amnesia” and “The House”?

“Amnesia” right now is shelved.  After Rebfest we just couldn’t pick up enough traction.  I had to come to terms with that reality.  The best thing at this point is to hold onto it and let other projects build my brand awareness.  I’m also looking into finally making the “Utopiland” micro-pilot.  It was the original micro-pilot concept we were going to make, but it involved a lot of CG artists and we weren’t able to move that forward yet.  “Utopiland” has the feel and size of something like “Avatar”.  I think after “Awakening” gains some attention I’ll be able to leverage that to make “Utopiland” happen.

Continue finding out more about what John is doing by following him on Twitter @JBMovies and receive updates about all of his projects by visiting his website at www.thehousefilmproject.com.

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