Take A Closer Look at Filmmaking Stuff
Hollywood based independent film producer, Jason Brubaker is perhaps best known to many for his successful website Filmmaking Stuff, which was named last January as one of the Top 50 Blogs for MovieMakers by MovieMaker Magazine. An expert on Video On Demand Distribution, Jason has been offering a number resources to independent filmmakers from his site and is also available for speaking engagements. In this two part Q&A interview you can find out more about how Brubaker’s journey and his fascination with filmmaking stuff!
What made you decide to launch a website and start offering materials to help other filmmakers make movies?
When I was starting out, I did not have a lot of resources or information on how to make movies. Plus I grew up in a small town, so the idea of making movies seemed like such a far away dream, that I doubted I would ever make a feature film. I can remember driving around in my car back then, talking to out loud “I’m going to make a movie! I’m going to make a movie.” In retrospect, it sounds so silly, but I was really afraid I would never actually make a movie.
Then I found work at some small market production company. Those guys let me hang out on set. But because they were having some financial trouble, the only way they could hire me, was to fire the janitorial service. That basically meant I ended up scrubbing toilets and mopping floors – the result of which opened doors to all my subsequent success.
First, I used the money I earned to buy an old Arri BL 16mm camera and some spools of film, which allowed me to start shooting my own shorts. This was followed by the owner of the company sending me to the Maine Media workshops, where I met other, working filmmakers. And finally, a former intern of the production company was working in New York as a producer. And he hired me for my first video work. I think was only 22 at time, but when I got off that train at Penn Station, I felt like I arrived. And I spent the next 8 months working on every project I could find, mostly fetching coffee. Then grip work. Then I found work as an assistant to an indie producer.
Years later, after moving from New York to Los Angeles and finally making my first movie, I realized that I could have cut the time it took in half. So I started the website, mostly to help other filmmakers avoid my mistakes. That was about three years ago. Since that time, video on demand distribution has forever changed the ways in which filmmakers make movies. With these changes, the site has evolved to become an updated source for modern moviemakers who want to stop asking permission to make their movies.
Since your website has become so successful, do you have any plans for expanding into any new directions with it?
Yes. Since moving to LA and producing several indie movies, I realize the major ineptitude most filmmakers suffer from is a lack of general business acumen. I mean, most filmmakers know about the movie business. And these filmmakers usually fall into one of two categories. Either they understand the studio business or they understand traditional independent filmmaking. But in my opinion, those skills will do nothing for the modern moviemaking movement.
And to clarify, because of internet based marketplaces like iTunes and Amazon, Modern Moviemaking describes a movement whereby filmmakers are able to finally write, finance, produce, market and sell movies without the middle man. So Filmmaking Stuff is going to evolve into a repository, full of information for modern moviemakers who want to make their movies without any sort of middle-man.
How has social media played a part in promoting the website and your programs?
I’d say social media is a great tool, in that, it allows any moviemaker or marketer to accelerate word of mouth and measure it. The social media tools like Twitter and FaceBook have been great for quickly spreading ideas and getting feedback. And when we make movies, those tools are like one giant focus group, allowing modern moviemakers to test trailers on YouTube or see what people are saying about their movies all over the web. As iTunes becomes a much more prevalent way to deliver movies to people, I can only imagine that social media will become even more essential to the success of one’s movies.
What marketing advice would you give others who are interested in launching a website, developing products and becoming an expert as you have done?
Well in terms of having a website and creating products, I focus on my own experience and start there. When I started Filmmaking Stuff, I asked myself – what do I know now about making movies that I wish I knew a decade ago? That served as a great starting point.
Since then, the site and the products have evolved to stay ahead of the modern moviemaking movement. For example, I totally updated my product on “How To Sell Your Movie” to include some awesome video on demand distribution sales strategies that I’ve applied in my own moviemaking. So in terms of advice, and in the context of products, share what you know. And always deliver value beyond whatever you charge. As far as becoming an expert – there probably isn’t much I could teach Spielberg about making movies. But there is a ton I could teach someone who never made a movie.
Find out more about Jason and Filmmaking Stuff at http://www.filmmakingstuff.com/.