What new idea or innovation is having the most significant impact on the filmmaking world?
Newer digital cameras have such high image quality and they're affordable. They're so small. You can carry them in a backpack and be unobtrusive when you are out shooting footage. With today's airline bag fees, it helps that cameras are so small. We're using DSLR cameras.
What's something that most people just don't understand about your area of expertise?
People really like the film and think that it will soon be broadcast on television, screened at theaters in their towns, and streamed online. But when everyone involved in the film has a full-time job and no real filmmaking experience, things move a little slowly.
What's an emerging trend that you think will shake up the filmmaking world?
Self-distribution. I think more and more filmmakers will sell their films on their own websites instead of hoping to ink a deal with a distributor and then share the profits with that company. We're selling Stitched DVDs on our website and at screenings across the country. If you are going to go this route, you have to be aggressive and hard working.
In April, we drove a DVD-stuffed car from Houston to quilt shows in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Paducah, Kentucky. Museums and quilt shops are hungry for content to provide to their customers and I'm amazed how easy it is to book screenings. All you have to do is produce an entertaining, quality film, contact venues, and get publicity. We've had to think of venues such as libraries, quilt stores, and empty shops since we can't afford to rent a theater. To help spread the word out about the film, I email press releases to quilt guilds and journalists. Many quilting websites and magazines ask me to write essays about the film and the filmmaking process because they need content.
What's a filmmaking trend that you wish would go away?
I wish that film festivals, indie theaters, and film organizations could provide a little more support to truly independent films. Many festivals want to have the world premiere of your film, but a filmmaker is faced with the decision of sitting on a film for a year or two or see if they get into film festival or start selling it. Since we knew there was a market of 21 million quilters, we chose to start selling Stitched DVDs instead of waiting. Theaters tend to charge you to screen the film and I wish more would agree to screen the film at no charge but take some of the ticket sales.
What's an idea you became fascinated with but that ended up taking you off track?
We shot too much footage of things that didn't really fit into the storyline. We had more than 250 hours of footage and I should have done a better job telling people that certain interviews or scenes didn't fit. But when you are making your first documentary, you doubt your news judgment and think others know the subject better.