New York University adjunct associate professor Reed Martin wanted to clarify the aim and the scope of his new book, “The Reel Truth,” which FBLA wrote about last week. To be honest, we gave an honest interpretation. As marketing books are extremely difficult to market and having contributed to several marketing texts in the past, we simply told him Good Luck. That wasn’t enough.
To wit, we’ll let Mr. Martin have it his way:
“NYU adjunct associate professor Reed Martin has written a new book he hopes will help first- and second-time indie filmmakers navigate the current economic downturn. ‘The Reel Truth,’ (Faber & Faber, Jan. 2009) draws from more than 100 interviews with leading names in the independent film world, which has seen its share of hard times of late. This past year alone saw the closings of New Line Cinema, Picturehouse, Paramount Vantage, and Warner Independent Pictures, as older audiences stayed home with Netflix rentals and TiVo while younger moviegoers found it hard to pull away from Facebook updates and Xbox LIVE.”
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“While getting any demographic to show up to the local art house on opening weekend has become increasingly difficult, Martin suggests that there may still be opportunities for aspiring filmmakers with access to the latest digital equipment. ‘In many ways it’s the worst of times because raising money in the current economy is tough but it’s also increasingly the best of times since the newest HD cameras can copy video files straight from the camera to external hard drives, as easily as copying a Word file or PowerPoint presentation,’ he said. “Many aspects of post-production can increasingly be done at home on a fast laptop and filmmakers can even export their HD projects to Blu-ray with new $400 external Blu-ray drives.”
“Reviews so far for ‘The Reel Truth’ have been encouraging. So many potential filmmakers have found themselves stymied by simple, basic things: how to make a living off of filmmaking, how to approach the process, how to protect themselves legally and artistically,’ wrote Drew McWeeny who goes by the pen name Moriarty, for Web site Ainâ€™t It Cool News. ”The Reel Truth’ not only offers current and crucial information, it does so in a way that suggests a realistic approach to the idea of a life in filmmaking while still managing to encourage.”
Among the sources Martin interviewed for his book are indie film icons such as Kim Peirce, Terry Zwigoff, Werner Herzog, Doug Liman, Harmony Korine, Atom Egoyan, documentary flimmakers Barbara Kopple, Ken Burns, Ric Burns, as well as ‘Pulp Fiction’ producer Lawrence Bender, ‘Juno’ producer Lianne Halfon, and ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ producer Anthony Bregman, among others.
“There are a lot of books out there that tell you the best way to make your independently-financed film but very few tell you what not to do and how to avoid the landmines on the road to Sundance,” said Martin. “I think ‘The Reel Truth’ is going to be a terrific road map for the aspiring Christopher Nolan, Spike Lee, or Miranda July in everyone’s family.”