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Friday, March 29, 2013

Filmmaking Projects

I love being a truly independent filmmaker.

Underground filmmaking. There's nothing like it.

If you're a real filmmaker, you have projects. You have film projects you want to get done, you need to get done, and that only you get done.

Only you can get your projects done. Sure, you can get other people to help you. But they won't get done if you don't do them.

Over the last 7 years, I've made 14 films, about 30 commercials, and 6 web series.

And they're all independent. All underground. All low to no budget filmmaking.

Here, 7 years later, a global audience watches these films worldwide. A cult following. Waiting for the next one.

There's nothing like it.

What filmmaking projects do you have? One? Ten? Fifty?

John Steinbeck said it right: "Ideas are like rabbits. You get one or two, and learn how to handle them. Then pretty soon, you have a dozen".

It was so much easier when I was making my first film. That was all I had to think about. Making that one film and sharing it with the world. Now, 50 films later, 300 film festivals later, a global cult film following, it's much harder. Now, the projects to make are much harder on my end. Because now, I've got a lot to make on my plate.

Here's in a nutshell, what's going on with my end:

A new documentary short film premiering next week in London
A film screening in 2 weeks in Arizona
Invites of my films to over 30 film festivals this month
3 web series weekly on the internet
Shooting a commercial in April
Production/shooting a new short film
Pre-production of a feature film that begins shooting in 2 months

Filmmaking projects. There's nothing like it.

The world of insanity in a filmmaker's mind is heaven. The creative juices flow nonstop.

Learn by example.

Make your filmmaking projects.

By Jack Truman

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Film Festival Acceptance/Getting the World Premiere for Your Film

Director/Filmmaker Jack Truman and Actress Opal Dockery
World Premiere of THE OUTHOUSE
Slamdance Film Festival

One day, when you least expect it, you will be checking the inbox of your email account, and you'll have an email with a subject heading similar to 'X Film Festival Official Acceptance - Your Film Title'. You open that email.

Congratulations! You've just been accepted to your first film festival! You're about to have your World Premiere! An audience is set to see your film on the big screen!

Now the work REALLY begins.

This is the time you really have to kick into overdrive as a Self-Marketing machine.

Self promote. You have to Self promote.

Your World Premiere will be here before you know it. And you've got a lot of work to do.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Film Festival Rejection Letter

Director Jack Truman and Writer/Actress Opal Dockery
2013 Sundance Film Festival

Let's talk about when your film gets rejected by a film festival.

You've worked your ass off to make your no budget movie. Sent it off to 20 film festivals to start out with. You finally start hearing from the festivals. And you start getting nothing but rejection letters.

It happens. Get used to it. I'll be honest. As an independent filmmaker, you will get rejected from a lot more film festivals than accepted. That's just the nature of the beast. Even if you have a great film that plays a ton of festivals on the film festival circuit. There's a lot more festivals your film will get rejected from before it has the ton of fest screenings under your belt.

That being said, as a filmmaker, you have to have this mentality of being thick skinned, positive, arrogant and sure of yourself. You have to have the attitude and mentality that it's their loss. If they're not going to screen your film, it's that film festival's loss. Their audiences are going to suffer from that festival not giving them the chance to see your film.

That's the attitude I had when I was an actor and didn't get cast. But I got the lead in a lot more shows than ones I didn't get cast in.

The same goes true for moviemaking. Take my films, for example. They've screened at over 300 film festivals. But they've also been rejected from over 300 film festivals. That's just the way it goes.

You can't take it personally. If you do, don't submit your film to festivals. Because that's a part you have to accept.

I look at it as a reflection of the sales jobs I've had in the past. When you're in sales, more people you're trying to sell to are going to say no verses the people that say yes. If you're a good salesperson, you have the mentality and drive that each no is that much closer to the person that's going to say yes.

The same goes true with a filmmaker getting his or her film accepted to a film festival. Each festival rejection is that much closer to the one that's going to say yes.

The positive outweighs the negative. The festival acceptances, screenings and buzz of your film where it does screen far outweighs the many film festivals your movie gets rejected from.

Just accept it.

Make your movie. Submit it to festivals. When a festival rejects your film, look at it as their loss, and you're that much closer to a festival acceptance.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

This Month's Film Screenings - From Austin to England

Director Jack Truman and Writer/Actress Opal Dockery
2012 Nevada Film Festival

I love being a filmmaker.

Not just any filmmaker. An underground filmmaker. A no budget filmmaker. A truly independent filmmaker.

Filmmaking doesn't get much more independent than that.

Independent film rocks. And when you have the balls to make your own movie and tell your own story your way. it's very rewarding and satisfying.

And there's an audience out there waiting to see your movie.

Case in point, look at this next month coming up for my underground no budget movies:

This last weekend, our films rocked the film festival circuit from Texas to England:

PHONE SEX GRANDMA played last Saturday night in the U.K. at the St. Albans Film Festival, and won the Special Mention Jury Award for Best Film

6 of our award winning shorts played Sunday night in Austin at the RXSM Film Festival:


It was the Texas premiere for WOODY, 60 YEAR OLD, and PAYDAY LOAN.

In April, our award winning mockumentary short film WOODY THE REDNECK will be having its Arizona debut at a major film festival in Tucson.

Also, that month, the World Premiere of our brand new documentary short about Women's Rights, TITS, will screen in London at the Let's All Be Free Film Festival.

And this weekend, we'll know the news for 11 more film festival screenings for our films.

There's an audience out there around the world waiting to see your movie.

You just have to make your movie.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March Madness for a Filmmaker

It's March. And if you're into sports of any kind, you know what that means.

It's March Madness.

I love this time of year for the NCAA tournament. But you know what? It's funny how some of the things you like reflect your life.

Take March Madness.

This month of March is madness for me too. As an underground filmmaker.

Here's just an example of how this month is going. This last weekend, on Saturday, we had our hit short film PHONE SEX GRANDMA play at the St. Albans Film Festival in England. Sunday night, 6 of our award winning short films played as a collection in Austin at the RXSM Film Festival. We have a brand new documentary short film about Women's Rights that is premiering next month in London, and last week, we started a fundraising campaign on Go Fund Me to help with the Film Festival and 2014 Academy Award qualifying for the film. What else? My new No Budget Filmmaking book is lining up book signings nationwide. A signing in California in April, one in Nevada in May, one in California in June, one in Nevada in July, and more lining up as well. Our award winning short film WOODY THE REDNECK got accepted last week to a major film festival in Arizona to screen in April. 2 web series are working for us on the internet. And these are just some of the current projects. I could write a book just on what's going on for the month of March.

March Madness for an underground, independent no-budget filmmaker.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Morning Paper

I love the routine of reading the morning paper.

And I'm not talking about reading it on the computer. I'm talking about actually physically reading a newspaper. In your hand. Old school.

There's not much better to get your creative juices flowing and exercising your brain first thing in the morning when reading the morning newspaper while drinking the morning coffee.

I love it. It's a great way to start the day, no matter what you've got planned. It really helps jump start the creativity right off the bat.

The morning paper has a world of stories waiting to be told.

For example, this morning, when I was reading the morning paper, just in the first section alone, there were endless headlines and cool stories to tell. The count got up to 7 when I stopped counting. Any of these standout stories just in the first section of the morning paper would make for a great film story idea.

Anyone, any filmmaker, can get inspiration for a great film story idea just from reading the morning paper.

By reading the morning paper, your eyes and mind are exposed to stories you would otherwise never know about. And when you're reading these stories, especially first thing in the morning, if you've got a creative mind, it's a great tool to work and exercise your mind. A great morning workout for exercising the brain.

All these stories to tell....

There's just not enough time in the day to tell all these stories.

There's not enough time in the day to make all these stories.

There's not enough time in the day to share all these stories.

You can be anywhere. Live anywhere. Wake up anywhere in the morning. Even live in the middle of nowhere. Everyplace has a local newspaper in the morning at the local gas station, store of coffee shop. Just pick up a newspaper; start reading; and get a great idea for a story.

That's a pretty creative tool.

The morning paper.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Today, I'll talk a little bit about crowdfunding.

To this date, it's never worked for me. But it does work for a lot of people out there.

A lot of filmmakers get their movies and film projects made with crowdfunding. It's a great resource for raising money to make your project.

If you good the words Crowdfunding, there's a ton of crowdfunding websites out there around the world to help you raise money to make your project.

The biggest and most well known websites for crowdfunding are Kickstarter and Indiegogo. But there's a lot more out there than that.

In fact, when I did some research, I was suprised to find out that Kickstarter and Indiegogo do not get the best online reviews for crowdfunding sites. Smaller, lesser known crowdfunding sites get the best reviews.

Here's a short list, in order, of the most successful ones:

I'll be honest. I've tried crowdfunding for projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the years. And have never been able to raise money.

This time around, for our new film project, I'll try the top rated one, Go Fund Me, and see what happens. We've made a new documentary film, and next month it premieres on the film festival circuit. So let's see if we can raise some money for a short festival run and a 7 day Academy Award qualifying run in Los Angeles.

Worse case, you don't raise your money, and you're back where you started.

Doesn't hurt to give it a shot. All it takes is your time.

And I've got more time than money.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Distributing Your Movie

Have you made your movie?

If you have, now it's time to share your film with the world. So you have to get an audience.

In my opinion, this is the hardest job of a filmmaker.

A lot of people think that after they make their movie, their job is done. That couldn't be further from the truth. I can see why people would think this. You've got through the concept phase. You shot a movie. You edited it. You made a movie that you're holding in your hands. That's a lot of work! You should be proud of what you've done.

But if you don't distribute your movie, no one will eve see your film.

You've done all of this hard work. Do you want to stop now and risk the chance of no one ever seeing your movie?

You have to distribute your No Budget movie. You have to get an audience. You have to get a buzz starting about your film.

There's a lot of ways to do this.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mother/Son Underground Short Film Collection To Screen In Austin



Award-Winning Short Film Collection Heads South to Austin

Burbank, California – Nothing is closer than family. A boy's best friend is his Mother. What happens when a 25 year film and stage veteran teams with his 60-something creative writing Mother who was a burlesque dancer for over 20 years?

They make an award-winning hit cult collection of films that explode and screen around the world.

6 SHORT FILMS BY JACK TRUMAN AND OPAL DOCKERY, a collection of award-winning short films, is heading to Austin for it's Texas premiere at the RXSM Film Festival.

A collection of shocking, experimental, alternative underground independent films, short films from this collection have screened at over 300 film festivals around the world, winning rave reviews, and earning top awards honors at film festivals globally. Ranging from comedy, mockumentary and documentaries, from adult humor, to global warming, reality, women's rights and much more, these 6 short films are shocking, jaw-dropping and eye-opening. Over a 6 year period, Truman and Dockery filmed many short films that have had a huge following on the film festival circuit. This screening is a collection of their most successful films over the years.

“You have to make films that are important to you”, Truman stated in press materials. “My Mother is my best friend. When I went back home to Missouri years ago to shoot my first film as a filmmaker, she gave me a short film script she had written to read. Once reading it, I knew I had to make that movie. That first film exploded, and here we are years later, a successful filmmaking team, with a following around the world. It doesn't get much better than that”.

Dockery was a burlesque dancer for over 20 years in the 1970's and 1980's. Author of many books, she has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Criminal Justice. Truman is a 25 year veteran of stage and film. An award-winning actor, writer and director, he is also a former college professor at Texas A&M University. Truman has a Master's degree in Communications and a Bachelor's degree in business.

Truman states, “You just have to make your movie. Don't listen to what anyone else says. There is an audience for your film. Everyone has a story to tell. If you have the courage to make your film your own way, and it's an original, creative idea that only you can tell, people will want to see your movie”.

The RXSM Film Festival is scheduled for March 8-14 in Austin, Texas.