“trying to make a film in Hollywood is like trying to grill a steak by having a succession of people coming into the room and breathing on it."
-The great Douglas Adams
Though unfortunate, it’s almost entirely true. Hollywood is a seemingly endless series of locked doors and “Catch 22” scenarios purposefully set in place to make entrance by filmmakers on the outside virtually impossible. It is a place where few executives are creative nor willing to take a chance on films outside of their box. As evident by the reboots, string of terrible films by A-list directors, formulaic, predictable plots and film after film starring the same couple of dozen actors; Hollywood is no place for a filmmaker who wasn’t born into the club and culture. However, Hollywood controls virtually all real distribution channels in the United States and embracing an “anywhere but Hollywood” philosophy is suicide for an independent film and independent filmmaker.
Independent film has become inaccurately synonymous with the almighty film festival. Simply saying the word “Sundance” is enough to make many aspiring filmmakers swoon, swear to make the pilgrimage to Utah and pray on the altar of The Redford. Or at least have a cappuccino while freezing their asses off and telling lies about their numerous projects in various stages of development.
As romantic a vision as this conjures up for the USC/NYU student, most average people have no desire to set foot anywhere near a film festival. Most people want to watch great “go-home-happy” films that do not preach to them and do not fall out of the studio blockbuster cookie cutter. Festivals have largely become the “artsy” mouth peaces for the Studios and are as much of a closed club as Hollywood itself. The vast majority of the festivals circulate the same preordained films deemed worthy that actually come from within studio system. “Independent” really means “inexpensive” but though more accurate, calling something an International Inexpensive Film Festival does not quite have the same ring to it. Films about saving the world and political propaganda (Affectionately known as the “Gay-Baby-Whale films to TD&S) most certainly have their place within the art form but realistically, there are a lot more people out there who simply want to escape and be entertained for a couple of hours as opposed to seeing ten films in a week about how bad the world is and why we are all doomed. TD&S calls that genre the 24 hour news channels. And no matter what anyone tells you, there isn’t any money for filmmakers to be found at a film festivals.
So, what is the solution to this dilemma for the talented independent filmmaker without an infinite budget, family legacy in Hollywood, nor the fortitude, clout and desire to force admittance to the club who desires to make a living making movies? Respect and embrace the tradition and infrastructure but make films outside of Hollywood. It’s a great big world full of opportunities out there so why not take advantage of them instead of beating your head against a wall that doesn't want you year after year? The key to this is being able to secure support and funding also from outside of Hollywood.
This was the genesis of Time, Distance & Shielding Media (#TDSFIlms). A company founded with a mission to foster and cultivate independent films that people outside of studio system are anxious to produce and international audiences actually want to go watch in the magic of a theatrical setting.
#TDSFilms collaborates with filmmakers, distributors, financiers, VOD aggregators, theater owners, etc., around the United States to facilitate theatrical releases of truly independent films. TD&S also serves as an intermediary for Home Video and VOD releases both domestically and to foreign markets. TD&S accomplishes this by working with its extensive network of Venture Capitalists, Angle Investors and Institutional investment firms who view films as an interesting, small portion of their investment portfolios as opposed to their entire financial world. These funds are secured for Production, Post and Distribution of Independent films. Each project is unique and TD&S works with the filmmaker to find a solution and partnerships most appropriate for their projects. The result is yielding an ever growing stable of wonderfully entertaining independent films a wide demographic of people will certainly enjoy.