Filmtrepreneur Breakdown: On the Corner of Ego and Desire
Being a Filmtrepreneur I wanted to challenge myself with my next project and see if I could create a film that was perfect for my audience. My new film On the Corner of Ego and Desire tested me in ways I had never been tested before. Why not shoot a narrative feature film for a budget of around $3000, at the Sundance Film Festival, which had never been done before, while the festival was going on, cast young and talented actors over Skype, using a scriptment, with a crew of four people, over the course of four days in freezing cold temperatures.
If you want to watch just go to www.egoanddesirefilm.com
Because the budget was so low I had the freedom to experiment and have fun. I felt no pressure and knew I could pull off something of value for my niche audience of filmmakers and screenwriters.
On the Corner of Ego and Desire is about three hapless independent filmmakers who make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival and go through absolute hell in search of an elusive producer who is supposedly going to buy their independent feature film, all within 24 hours. Ignorance, foolishness and above all ego, drive the team to implosion as they struggle to realize their filmmaking dreams. I couldn’t have designed a film more perfect for my audience.
My producing partner Adam Bowman and I flew to Sundance with my trusty four-man crew, which included my cinematographer Austin Nordell, the location sound engineer Kile Stumbo, and all-around goto helper Straw Weisman, and me.
We met the actors there and the adventure began. The cast, crew and I first sat down and worked out the scriptment so we would have a solid foundation to jump off from. I had been to Sundance many times before so I knew the lay of the land. As I was writing the film I knew where in Park City we could shoot scenes.
We shot the film with one camera, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 1080p model on a mono-pod using a Sigma 18-35mm photo lens and a couple of vintage cinema lenses I purchased on eBay to give the movie a more 90’s Super 16mm indie film look. 90% of the film was shot outside using available light but I brought one LED light that we would bounce off the walls for interior night shots.
I would give the actors 3-4 takes per set up and then we would move on. The entire film was shot in a guerrilla-style with no permits and completely run and gun. My theory was that during the film festival there would be hundreds of camera crews running up and down Main Street so we could just blend in. I made sure to keep a small footprint so we wouldn’t draw attention to ourselves and be able to move quickly.
It wasn’t all pirate filmmaking. If we would shoot a scene in a restaurant we would ask the owner for permission. What was a pleasant surprise was that every place we would shoot, people around us were so kind and accommodating. If we jumped on a bus the bus driver would turn off the music, if we wanted to go to the second floor of a restaurant to shoot outside, no problem. The film Gods were with us for sure.
The ultimate shot in the film is a wide-angle of the iconic Egyptian movie theater on Main Street in Park City. Actress Sonja O’ Hara, the cinematographer, and I woke up around 4:00 a.m. and we went down to Main Street to grab the shots. When we got there the entire street was empty, no cars were moving, all the lights were on and there was a light snow flurry falling. It couldn’t be any more perfect. It was like having our own personal Sundance backlot.
I knew shooting at the Sundance Film Festival, while the festival was going on, would give the film an amazing amount of production value. Whenever you can shoot at a location or event that is live you benefit from its inherent production value. Shooting at a live carnival, parade, or convention are all great locations.
All in all, we figured out that we shot for a total of 36 hours, I was still doing interviews for my podcast so I was filming on the side. I flew home and began the editing process. I finished editing, color grading and mastering the entire film in Davinci Resolve, an extremely powerful piece of post-production software that any Filmtrepreneur can download for free at www.filmtrepreneur.com/bonus.
On the Corner of Ego and Desire went on to world premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in the United Kingdom and even got a screening at the world-famous Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA. I partnered with a trusted traditional distributor to release the film on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, Tubi TV, and all the other major TVOD, SVOD, and AVOD platforms. The film also lives on my streaming service Indie Film Hustle TV with over 6 hours of special features.
If you want to watch the film just go to www.egoanddesirefilm.com. If you have already read Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Film into a Moneymaking Business,I use On the Corner of Ego and Desire as a case study in the book and discuss not only the making of the film but how I’m monetizing the film as part of my Filmtrepreneurial Model.
Please share this post with every filmmaker you can. On the Corner of Ego and Desire is my love letter to the struggles and insanity that is being an indie filmmaker. Keep on hustling!
If you want to watch just go to www.egoanddesirefilm.com
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