I might argue that Friday was my favorite day of the semester. The ACU student body had the amazing opportunity to get chapel credit for watching a movie in Cullen… but that was not at all what made Friday awesome.
The movie that premiered in Cullen was “Believe Me”, produced by Riot Studios. The movie was not the only thing that came to campus. The makers of the film came to campus to talk some of the filmmakers in the student body. Will Bakke (Director and Co-writer), Michael B. Allen (Co-writer), and Alex Carroll (Producer) make up the Riot Studios core team and getting to hear them talk about their personal filmmaking experience on their first feature film was truly fascinating!
In their talk session Friday afternoon, I had the amazing chance to ask some very specific questions about their process of producing and filming “Believe Me”. They offered amazingly valuable insight to the behind the scenes of producing a feature film.
Here are a few things I took away from the discussion.
1) Film is a business
Producer, Alex Carroll, spoke about the business of Film. This was really great for me to hear. He stated, “a lot of filmmakers are the artsy director type, they see all the visuals or they write the amazing story, but it requires money to make those thoughts become reality. And in order to get money to make films, you have to know the business of it.” They spoke about the process of going to investors to gain money for producing their film, then they spoke about acquiring top of the line actors, then they went briefly into the process of location scouting and getting releases. It was truly eye-opening to hear the details of the business side of pre-production.
2) The production process is all time-management
One of the most fascinating things that they shared with the students was the time period that they shot the film. They shot the entire film in 19 days. That is absolutely insane! From start to finish (writing the script to release date) it took over 2 years, but they only shot for 19 days. Some of the reasons behind that, film equipment, location leases, and especially actors, are very expensive, so the importance of managing time effectively is essential.
3) “No one cares about you”
Ryan Fanning, Riot Studios Director of Operations, was also with the team this weekend. During the talk back he said, “You guys need to understand something, ‘No one cares about you’, it sucks, but it’s true”. What he was saying here was not to bash us as students and call us worthless, that’s not at all what he was saying. He was speaking to the truth about the film industry. If you want to get somebody’s attention, you have to be bold and be willing to, in the most polite way possible, get in somebody’s face and prove to them you are worth their time. Because once again, Film is a business and time is everything.
If you haven’t seen or heard about the film, please check out the trailer at the top of this post! These guys are amazing men and talented filmmakers and I highly encourage you to watch this film.