This Movie Angel has a Heavenly Effect on Indie Filmmakers – Part 1
So many times independent filmmakers talk about audience building or finding donors to help finance their projects, but I haven’t read much from the point of view of those supporters. Because of this, Filmmakers Notebook decided to ask Marcella Selbach, who is also known as @movieangel, to participate in a Q&A and shed some light on this subject. Part 1 is posted below and I think you’ll find her answers interesting.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life in Germany.
Actually, I live quite a normal life, unspectacular & not very glamorous. I’m currently living near Cologne in the West of Germany and besides my work in the Independent film community, I’ve a day job at an elementary school, working with kids between 6 and 10 years and in my leisure time I love to read, travel, ski and of course go to the movies.
How did your love for independent film begin?
I think my love for film is based on my family background. My parents have been actors on stage before they decided to have a family, but theater and film stayed a part of their life after they quit. I remember the first time my dad took me to a movie was when I was 4 or 5 years old and it was a German film in black and white. I was deeply impressed by the big screen and the movie theater became my “paradise”, sort of a second home.
But let me think about my first Independent film, I think it was “EL Mariachi” and one of my brothers took me there. I couldn’t believe that a low budget film could be that great. Other films, like for example “Run Lola Run”, “The Blair Witch Project” or “Sideways”, had the same effect. They impressed and inspired me!
What made you decide to support filmmakers?
It was last year when I heard about those crowdfunding platforms like ‘Kickstarter’ and ‘IndieGoGo’ which attracted my attention. At that time I learned from my friend actor/producer/writer Gregor Collins that he & the director of the film, in which he had the leading role, were trying to raise the money for their post production. I was so fascinated of this idea and the possibility to be a tiny part of an Independent film project that I didn’t hesitate a minute and decided to support them. And it shouldn’t be the LAST campaign I backed.
How do you choose which projects you want to donate to?
Ever since then I’ve been addicted to these campaigns and the outstanding ideas behind some projects and it’s not easy to choose from these huge amount of good campaigns.
Sometimes it’s coincidence that I stumble across one, but very often people/filmmaker send me the links to projects and trailers which sometimes fascinate me that much that I back the campaign. But mostly there are filmmakers I already know from earlier films that I support again, like for example, John Paul Rice. But every once in a while I go to Kickstarter and IndieGoGo looking for interesting projects which inspire me and motivate me to donate. I think it’s the best to choose between the recommendations I get from friends and those I ‘discover’ myself.
As a lover of independent film, who spends a lot of time on Twitter, you have built relationships with a number of filmmakers. What advice would you give to other filmmakers who want to connect using social media with other indie film lovers and supporters like yourself?
Good question…be nice to your fans, let them be a part of your life, share some privacy with them even if it’s a mail or private message, respond! Be honest and let them know that they are needed. Social media like Twitter and Facebook are perfect for this. They give you the opportunity to communicate with people around the globe, you can attract their attention by posting trailers, photos and blogs about your work. But try to stay in close touch, remind them of you and your projects. Once you inspire them for your first film you have them forever. And they will spread the word and you know how precious this is, word of mouth is incredibly powerful.
Do you have any desire to become involved in making a film yourself?
That’s an interesting question Patty. Actually I’ve thought about that a couple of times, but I don’t know whether I would be good enough to make a film myself. I think the best to figure it out would be to work on a film set maybe as a “p a”. I’ve no experience behind the camera, only played theater at school and university, so this would be quite a new “territory” for me. I have a lot of ideas for making a film in different genres, so let’s see how this develops and where it’s gonna lead me.
We’ll have more with Marcella in Part 2 of our Filmmakers Notebook Q&A later this week, but in the meantime you can follow her on Twitter @movieangel.