Despair sets in

March 10, 2002 – The entire movie goes online.

That did it, I’m giving this sucker away.

All my friends have been going, “why do you want to do that? You should WAIT for someone/something to magically appear from the woodwork and make your life wonderful. Wouldn’t you be ruining your chances of getting a distributor?”

Screw it. I’m done with waiting for my big break. Any real chances that I had of getting a distributor for the film are long gone. This happened when me and 1,950 other people didn't get into Sundance this year. (Along with the same amount at Slamdance.) No one has stepped forward to help me out till now. The best deal I could hope for is a small distributor offer me NOTHING for the privalege of having THEM manufacture and release it on a very low level. (Which at that point, they would have something to say about having it shown on the Internet for free.) At this point in my career, I'd rather have an audience than some chump change.

The next argument has been, “shouldn’t you be charging for the download?”

I want people to know about the indie film. I can't generate good word of mouth if no one has SEEN it, and vice-versa...no one will bother to pay for the download if they haven't heard anything about it. It'll do me no good if the indie film sits on a shelf for the next decade and no one sees it. (Note: a few million dollars in marketing usually solves this problem, I seem to be short a few bucks.)

If I never make a penny from this indie film, I could live with the fact that thousands of people had seen it and that would make it all worth it. (Note: It’s HAS been worth it up till now, I’ve met the coolest people and made a bunch of friends. But let me rant.) I’ve got nothing to lose, so fuck it. Here we go.

March 12, 2002 – I get my iTool whacked.

We HAD the movie online in a streamable form for a few days. I had BOUGHT some extra webspace at Mac.com under the iTool account of altsexmovie. Andy Ihnatko suggested them to me, 200 megs for 200 smackers. I had uploaded a 150 meg version of the movie and put up a link. Fuckers canceled the account and never bothered to notify me. When I finally tracked down the iTools admins, this is what they sent me:

Your account had over 12 GB of data downloaded from your account in 6 hours. This is considered excessive bandwidth for a single account.

Cripes, someone had only mentioned the movie at xlr8yourmac.com. and I get shut down. They reactivated the account and basicially said, “don’t do it again.” I need more bandwidth.

March 14, 2002 - Movie is back online!

David Giessel had seen the movie on xlr8yourmac.com and had posted it on his server at his school. He said he had no problem keeping the file online until May 1st, which is when he leaves the school he’s located at. Apparently they have a 10 megabit server so he can offer a ton of bandwidth. (For free no less!) I’ve already started getting some very postive feedback from people who’ve downloaded it. Woo hoo! Off we go.

March 16, 2002 – This ndie film gets posted on alt.binaries.movies.divx

An old high school buddy of mine, Gary St. Lawrence, had posted this indie film on alt.binaries.movies.divx and few others. He totally enjoyed this indie film and has been actively promoting it where ever he can. The only stipulation is that I have to work him in somehow in my next one. Deal.

April 2, 2002 - No it's not.
Guess what? We just kicked David Giessel's ass. :-) The movie won't be on his FTP server until next Sunday (April 7th - He needs his server to "cool down" for the rest of this week, then it'll be back online.) Just this past month he's had 80-90 GB downloaded with about 750-800 successfull downloads (trailer and such) and about 1200 logins. Ouch. Still need to find more people who can mirror the file.

This website has done over 300 unique URLs in a single day a few times recenlty. (Hasn’t done that ever.) Let’s see how far I can push this sucker.
April 5, 2002 - We got sumthin' up.

Michael McDonough graciously put the 150 meg file on his personal webserver runnin' off his DSL connection. He found the movie through a usenet posting and loved it. David Giessels FTP site went back online on schedule, so we seem to be cool for now. I have an offer for an entire dedicated webserver someplace that will have 100 GIGs of bandwidth a month. It will also cost me $140 a month. I might have to bite the bullet on this one if I don’t want to sink into obscurity.

April 10, 2002 – An indie filmmaker analogy

Michael Dean of DIY/kittyfeet.com received my CD-R of this indie film about a week ago and really enjoyed it. (He couldn’t download it, he had a slow connection.) He had shot an entire documentary about independent artists and the life they lead. I guess he’s writing a book called “The 99 cent film school” and wanted to make a reference to me:

If you do what you do well, the universe will eventually part her legs on your behalf. This is true, but it is sort misinterpreted into a lie by people who usually write these books. I know a filmmaker who half-jokingly said he wanted to sue Robert Rodriguez for making it sound too easy. This cat Eric Bickernicks spent his lifesavings and ruined his credit trying to make his own 'El Mariachi"(he followed the exact same formulae. His movie, alt.sex (altsexmovie.com) was actually better than 'El Mariachi.

I replied with this...

Hold on, what I MEANT to say was this:

I would love to beat Robert Rodrigues with his own book if I ever met him. He DOES make it look easy. Grab a few friends, make an indie film for a few bucks, get an ICM agent and then watch the bidding war start over you.

You hear all the folklore around Clerks and how Kevin Smith shot it for 22 grand, this fella Bob Hawk plucks his indie film out of obscurity and now he's whining on his latest DVD that he's truly independent and how he had to beg for an additional $250,000 to finish his indie film with Matt Daemon and Ben Affleck.

Guess what? I literarly tried to follow these guys in their footsteps. I admired them, but ICM gave me the finger (Along with every other agency in L.A.) and Bob Hawk watched my indie film and then punched me in the face after I gave him my last $500.

Thanks guys.

But it's not their fault. It's like reading a book about Thomas Edison on how he took a few wires, stuck it in a glass bulb, ran some electricity through it and made millions. That's all it takes to produce light? Whoops. Nobody cares who made the second light bulb.

At least I knew enough NOT to spend my my life's savings so I could fight on another day.

How'z this for an anology: 100 indie filmmakers decide to make an indie film about jumping out of airplanes without parachutes and landing in a haystack.

They all get into a plane and reach altitude.
The green light goes on, they start their cameras, pile out and film all the way down.

A quarter mile from the hay stack you start to see their bodies hitting the ground. Thwack, thwack, thwack. 49 bodies hit the ground before the haystack. One lands in the middle, 49 others splat on the other side. Crushed bodies, egos, cameras and credits cards are strewn everywhere.

The media comes rushing onto the field. What do they report? That 99 filmmakers DIED trying to make an indie film about jumping out of an airplane without a parachute and landing in a haystack? No.

They run up to the haystack. Out pops that one filmmaker and goes, (Jeff Spicoli voice) "DUDE! That was awesome!" He gets sent to Sundance.

The rest of use have to pull ourselves up and crawl out of that field.

There. THAT's what I meant to say. :-)


April 20, 2002 – Albany Public library, ten dollars and a porno store

About a week ago, I got this message from Amy Scheele. She works at the Albany Public Library in New York state. I’m pretty sure she was turned onto the movie by the duo at GuyFlick-Girlflick.com. She had watched it online and was very enthuesiastic about the film and wanted (4) copies to have on loan at her library! Apparently they have a thriving indie section there and “toss around” tapes to anyone who will be into it.

A library. Sounds cool to me. Therese (Shelly the mechanic) works at a library and she says her video/DVD section is more active than Blockbuster Video. Amy said that she’ll forward any comments that she receives. Cool. I whipped up a vhs box label and pounded out a few copies for her. Off that goes and let’s see what happens.

I recently crossed paths with an old friend of mine from my local access cable days, Larry “Knobs” Nobile. We had done a bunch of weird TV shows along with John Horrigan back in the early 90’s. I had initially wanted Larry to play the part of Mr. Disgusting, the role that Sparky ended up exceling in. Larry now runs a dive of a porno store in Hadley, Massachusetts. He liked our indie film and figured that HIS patrons would also be interested in seeing this film. I whip up another tape for him.

Now I’m excited. I wanted to start at the bottom of the ladder and I did. My foot is firmly planted on the rung labeled “cheap porno store” and I am now hoisting myself up to greater success. You watch, if I ever drive through Albany, New York I’m gonna be considered a big shot.

Even more developments: I get this e-mail from a Copil Yanez. He basically finds the movie online, reads this entire journal, is touched by the effort I put into making this film and sends me $10 to keep going. I was fucking blown away by his generosity. Can you believe it? Not only am I amazed that somebody has bothered to read this “blog”, but gives me an unsolicited ten dollars to boot. Now I got a problem, I think Phil gets 10 cents, Juliet will get 5 cents and Johnny will get a buck. I’ll have to do the math later.

SLANG ALERT: You just witnessed me use the term “blog” in a sentence for the very first time. Lemme give you the definition I recently found at Marketingterms.com: “A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.” Ok there. We take you back to the regularily scheduled blog now in progress.

I noticed that I was starting to get some hits from a site in Holland called Sikkema.net. They have a small review of the movie (in Dutch) with a link back to this site. Then I get this e-mail from a Blackjack21. Still waiting to hear back on WHO is doing all this buzzing, but if I ever drive through Holland and get out of the car, I guess I’ll be a big shot there TOO.

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