Historically, the films that I’ve made off my own back have not been money-spinners. The Beacon clawed back only a few hundred of its £3,000 budget, Soul Searcher made money for the distributors but not the investors, and The Dark Side of the Earth‘s hellishly expensive pilot has so far failed to raise any production funding.
But at last one of my films has made a profit. Gasp! Swoon!
Which one? Ironically, the easiest and cheapest to make: The Picnic. Shot in a single day last June for £100 and running to only 140 seconds, The Picnic is about a man who turns up to a romantic picnic only to find his beloved in the arms of another man. You can watch it here.
Although it failed to win any prizes in Virgin Media Shorts, the competition for which it was made, The Picnic found another, completely unexpected source of revenue.
At a networking event late last year, I got talking to a local composer who I’d worked with indirectly several times. He told me that he was involved in writing an exam paper for music students, and that he was on the look-out for a three minute film with little or no dialogue which could be given to said students for them to compose a score to. Naturally I showed him The Picnic, and after a few months of back and forth the exam board purchased the rights to use the film.
Okay, it worked out at only £50 for each of the actors and crew, but since we weren’t expecting anything, it was a nice surprise.