"There is not enough [re]sources for film makers in Atlanta. We got to change that." That's the random tweet that came across my TweetDeck yesterday. It's a sentiment I've heard over the years, long before I worked at the Atlanta Film Festival. And in general, it's a legitimate wish. Making films is hard work and for filmmakers just starting out, support, like for any other business or art, is key.
My issue with it though is what resources are folks really talking about?
The obvious and central one has been money. How to get funded is a primary concern with filmmakers. However, why should someone fund your film if you a) have no track record, b) have no business plan and c) (coming off b) there's no interest in what you create?
Not being harsh, I'm just being real, because there are 30,000 to 40,000 films produced around the world every year. With a majority of them coming from first time or beginning filmmakers, even when they have b, like little gremlins, a and c are still rearing their ugly little heads.
Before we get to the money part, I think we need to really think about what resources would assist local filmmakers in not simply getting started, but would help them develop, grow and evolve.
The two things that bother me more than funding are the lack of awareness of what local filmmakers are here and the lack of institutional support to help talented and promising filmmakers find their voice.
Of the many challenges for folks like me the questions are: How do we build the infrastructure to achieve these goals? How do we make that infrastructure impactful? How do we make it self-sustaining, both financially and culturally?
Yes, Atlanta can use more resources for filmmakers. However, if we want to create a vibrant Indie Film Scene, we have to think more broadly than "get more funding" or "help our films get seen". We have to start thinking about what specific things can we do invest in our film culture here. If we create the right climate, people will want to see what we create and with a track record, people will have a better idea what they are funding.
I've got a few ideas and approaches on that and I'm aiming to post those thoughts here over the next few days.