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The Budget Knot

The Budget Knot

This afternoon I swung by the Whitewater Films industry roundtable to listen to Nancy Collet (Cinema Collet), Liesl Copland (William Morris Endeavor), Nadine De Barros (Voltage Pictures), Jay Fernandez (The Hollywood Reporter) and Lynette Howell (Silverwood Films) discuss the shifting landscape of independent film. Amongst the talk of VOD numbers, new distributors, distribution models, and festival strategy, the panelists hit on one of the biggest knots in the independent film world – the budget. Independent filmmakers need to lower their budgets to make their films economically feasible for financiers without making them economically unfeasible for cast and crew to work on. Howell, for example, mentioned that she is forced to pass on films that she knows she can get financed because in doing so she will have to forfeit her fee and essentially pay (in costs out of pocket) to work on the project. This budget problem is one that does not get highlighted enough in the distribution obsessed conversations that pepper festivals, conferences, and markets, and its a problem, not insurmountable, that deserves to be examined more.

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