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Confessions Of A Working Director - 01/01/2008

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Last year independent genre film studio Wicked Pixel Cinema?s owner/writer/director/producer/actor Eric Stanze gave us some insight on the life of a working director. And in his first journal entry of 2008, Stanze lets us in on some upcoming Wicked Pixel Cinema projects like Butcher?s Moon! If you haven?t caught up on Stanze?s journal entries, take some time to see what the director was doing during 2007!

Happy New Year!!! ?or IS it???? Since we started shooting our last feature, DEADWOOD PARK, in 2004, I?ve been going into each new year with great optimism:

?2005 is gonna be an amazing year for us!?

?2006 is gonna be great!?

?2007 is gonna be awesome!?

Each year has been mostly filled with disappointment, if you evaluate things strictly on a financial level. The difference this year is that, instead of them sneaking up on us, we can actually see the struggles ahead of us. The stage is set for some tough times.

?2008 is gonna be a real bitch!?

We are developing a new movie called BUTCHER?S MOON. Our first big step was to move to bigger offices. The space we?re in now is just too cramped, especially if we?re to efficiently navigate another large and complicated production. But our move to a bigger place, in a better neighborhood, never happened. Short version: Not enough money to make the move. Okay, we can handle this. It won?t be comfortable, but we can stay put here through one more major production. Not a big deal. (However, all of us were looking forward to hearing fewer gunshots at night.)

To make BUTCHER?S MOON, we need to progress to a new level of financial backing. This movie is too big to make on the same sized budget we milked for DEADWOOD PARK. I?m finishing the second draft of the BUTCHER?S MOON screenplay right now and we?re in the initial stages of exploring where the budget will come from. At this point, I believe we have a fifty-fifty chance of getting a proper budget to make BUTCHER?S MOON.

If we are not well on our way to making BUTCHER?S MOON in two or three months, we will have to shift gears. We absolutely MUST make a new feature this year. We simply cannot afford to NOT generate new product in 2008.

We just released two movies in 2007, SAVAGE HARVEST 2: OCTOBER BLOOD last summer, and DEADWOOD PARK last fall. Not only is the DVD market terrible right now, but we have been less than satisfied with our distribution situation.

The distributor for SAVAGE HARVEST 2 seems to be trying very hard, but the sub-distributor they?re chained to seems reluctant to make good on certain promises or part with any money (shocking, I know, that a distributor would be hesitant to pay what they owe or do what they say they?ll do).

The distributor who released DEADWOOD PARK seems to be doing nothing at all. We?ve been killing ourselves promoting DEADWOOD PARK, spending thousands of dollars on promotions (which is really the distributor?s job, not ours). The movie has gathered amazing critical acclaim, won film festival awards, and made critics? top-ten lists. Still, our distributor seems unwilling or unable to ignite this wealth of fuel we?ve given them. DEADWOOD PARK is getting the same impotent marketing push as other movies in their catalog that have won no awards, have received mostly bad reviews, and have not been promoted by the filmmakers as much as we?ve pushed DEADWOOD PARK. Not that I think we should be getting preferential treatment. . . Instead, I would like to see the distributor do their job properly for ALL the titles in their catalog. Furthering our disappointment with the movie?s presence on the marketplace, DEADWOOD PARK is tied to the same sub-distributor that SAVAGE HARVEST 2 is.

Two movies, released last year, that collectively represent about six years of our intense efforts (and thousands of our own dollars). . . and the writing on the wall is that we?re gonna barely see any income from them.

So, we must make something new in 2008, whether it is BUTCHER?S MOON or a ?Plan B? movie. Without creating new product, and making better decisions about its distribution, we?re dead in the water.

Thanks for reading.
Eric Stanze

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