Here's the latest in our ongoing filmmaker diary series featuring writer/director Matthew Cherry, as he continues with post-production work on his feature film debut, the sports The Last Fall, with an ensemble cast that includes Lance Gross (above in character), Nicole Beharie, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Keith David and Harry Lenix. I'm sure you've all seen the teaser trailer by now; if not, check it out at the bottom of this post.
Otherwise, read on below to find out what's transpired since the last entry, and where Matthew is currently with the film (though given the title – "Currently Seeking Distribution" – I'm sure you can take a guess as to what this diary entry's focus is):
Hey guys, it's been a while since last I wrote but here we go. A lot has happened in the past month since last I posted. The main thing being that we finished the film! Well we're about 95% done. We still have to re-record some of the audio in some of the scenes and some of the music may switch out but the current cut we have is a pretty final representation of what the finished product it going to be. It's really exciting. It's screening ready!
We did a couple really small and private previewing screenings in LA and in ATL with some close friends and family and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. I am my own worst critic and I made sure to invite people that would keep it real with me and not sugar coat their feedback. The things that people really seem to rave over were Lance and Nicole's chemistry, how good a love story there was in the film, and the acting. I know that Lance is going to surprise a lot of people with his performance in this film. To me he has solidified himself as a true leading man with this film. I hope that it does everything for his career that I know it can. And Nicole is simply put a beast. She is everything that I knew she could be and her presence takes over every scene that she is in. She is going to be nominated for an oscar one day soon and I am glad to have worked with her before her blows up like I know she will. Both of my leads have film projects that they are working or have moved on and started shooting, Lance with The Marriage Counselor and Nicole Beharie with Shame. Lance also recently did his own photo shoot with a theme based on the movie and I think the shots came out great. It all helps. I ain't never been mad at a little bit of residual buzz.
Been really trying to figure out our distribution strategy lately. Do we submit our film to some sales agents and let them work the film for us? Do we self distribute? Do we go direct to the different distribution companies? Do we do screenings for distributors? Do we wait until our film festival run begins and see what happens? Do try to seek representation from a major agency for the film (WME, ICM or CAA?) At this point I honestly have no idea but I think we may try them all and see what is best. I know we have a product that can be sold and make a profit, especially because of what our budget was and who our cast is. With that said we are still trying to figure out the best approach. Everyone I speak to has something different to say. One thing I know for certain is that I want to do something that will help future filmmakers that will come after me. I don't want to just sell my film off, get some nice cushy deal and be just another filmmaker in the system. I want to change the game. It's important to me. Whatever that model is I'm not sure but I know we have a great film on our hands and I want to make sure that whoever we decide to go with gives it the proper push and exposure. We have already started to take meetings about the film and screen it and they all have been encouraging and psoitive to say the least. It's just going to come down to what is the best situation for us to go with. In time I believe everything will be worked out.
So far we have submitted "The Last Fall" to four different film festivals. Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca and Los Angeles Film Festival. Trying to decide now what African American festivals we want to submit to as well. Would love to hear you guys suggestions as to what other festivals we should try to be apart of black or mainstream. I feel good about our chances in all the festival's we've submitted to so far. I guess in time we will see what happens. Sundance I believe notifies the filmmakers by the last week of November to first week of December. Fingers crossed for that one.
Been doing a lot of interviews lately talking about the film. It's been nice. It's interesting how much people are blown away by the information that I provide about the film and life in the NFL. I think our film will educate a lot of people as well as entertain them as well. Been thinking about the number 100,000 a lot lately too. At $10 a ticket that's how many people would have to come out and support a film for it to gross one million dollars. Been thinking about my own marketing abilities and everyone who is involved with the film and if we collectively could hit that number. I feel confident that with the proper marketing that we could. Been thinking about my mom a lot lately too. Her birthday was November 5th and she would have turned 58. I really hope that through this film I am able to honor her memory on as big of a platform as possible. It's important to me.
Well that's enough of the random thoughts and rants. Like I said we are currently seeking distribution so if you know of anyone who may be interested in seeing our movie or want to try to set up a screening with us please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. Thanks for reading my blog and I hope to have some festival news for you and a first official poster for you in the next blog. Peace.