BEER TRAIN – the movie
If you are like me, when you were a kid you dreamed of making your own movies. I used to envision films in my head… actually disjointed pieces of film mostly… centered around a particular image I found powerful… these ideas were wrapped around some very basic premise and that was as far as it would go.
As an adult the dream never really died, and I eventually decided to write my own script. My logic was that the main difference between screenwriters and everybody else is that screenwriters write their ideas down and produce a finished script.
So I wrote my own movie script.
But here I am now about to be 40 years old, with a wife and two small children, and a day job, and zero connections to the film industry. What is a guy to do?
Well, for the new guy starting out there are lots of different options – none of them very promising – toward breaking into the industry and making your movie.
I’ve decided to try and sneak in via a contest. I was surfing my way through a forum in a screenwriter’s peer-review website I belong to and I came across a link to this Netflix Find Your Voice contest. Basically you fill out an application to enter where you lay out your plans in as much detail as possible. The contest is geared toward actual filmmakers with some movie experience, of which I have none whatsoever, but I tried to pad my application with some of my brother’s TV and film work as an all around camera, sound, and editing guy.
The field of entries will be judged down to 10 semi-finalists. Those people will then have to submit a short film (under three minutes) and those movies will then be posted online for open voting. The top 5 of those will then go to the official judges who will choose the final winner. The prize package is a film budget and a year to finish your movie. 150K in cash, plus another 250K worth of other supplies and services… A slot at the LA Film Festival… And Netflix will distribute it. All and all a pretty sweet deal for a guy with no other prospects.
I don’t expect to win. I don’t even expect to get to the semi-finals. But my friends and I are planning on making the short film in advance anyway just on the off chance. That way we won’t have to scramble to come up with it at the last minute if we somehow do make it that far.
And if we don’t make it to the semifinals, we will still have our short movie and we’ll be able to use it as part of any pitch we decide to make to raise our own finances.
Here is the poster mock-up I did:
BEER TRAIN is a comedy about three friends in a rural Texas town who wake up one morning to discover that they have stolen a huge quantity of beer from a local business. Their only hope is that the local Sheriff catches them before the government agents can get to the first.
Anybody want to invest millions of dollars in my movie?