Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Indie Film Release: It's Not You, It's Me, Directed by Nathan Ives

What is It's Not You, It's Me about?

It's an edgy relationship comedy about a thirty-something guy contemplating a break-up and the crazy, conflicted voices that surface in his head.

Tell Us About Yourself. Did You Always Want to Be a Director?

I'm not sure I ever knew what I wanted to be, but rock star has always been somewhere in the mix, although, if I'm honest, that train has probably left the station. My path has been an interesting one. I graduated college with an economics degree, got a job in financial sales and completely burned out after eight years. I took a year off and traveled, spending a good bit of time in Central America, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand, one of the best years of my life. When I returned to reality, the only thing I was sure of is that I didn't want to be in financial services, I always had a love of the water and powerboats, so I bought a small powerboat repair shop. This was around the height of the economic boom in 2006 and as I suffered through the learning curve of being a business owner, I watched the boat business die with the economy over the next few years. Although I pretty much ruined myself financially, I held on and still have a scaled down version of it today.

During all this, I was writing scripts with a writing partner. We had a couple of small sales and a handful of options. We saw two films get made, and I didn't feel that either one captured the story we'd written. With the help of a producer and a really wonderful writers group, I completed the script for 'It's Not You, It's Me' and since it was a fairly personal story, I wanted to see it made to my vision. With this in mind, I read a lot of books on directing, talked to a lot of people, and began the arduous process of raising the money. The following year was without question the hardest, but also the most rewarding I've had.

Why Were You Compelled to Make This Story?

The story is pretty personal to me. It explores the struggle of balancing the desire to live a sort of Jack Kerouac existence along with that depicted in a Norman Rockwell painting.

Why Should People See It?

I think it's a very honest (sometimes too honest, perhaps) depiction of what goes on in a guy’s head when a break up is on the horizon. It's very funny at times, very heartfelt at others, and beautifully acted.

What Do You Like About Making an Independent Film?

A band of talented people coming together with a common goal of making a film is an AMAZING thing to be part of. Is there anything better than meeting a bunch of new people who are passionate about what they do? I gained a few lifelong friends, and a whole bunch of others who I love to meet up with for a beer. I guess my favorite part of indy filmmaking, is the people.

I guess second to that would be selecting music for the film and working with the composer. I got such a heightened appreciation for the power of music in a scene. 

Casting is also a true joy, watching people make the words you wrote exponentially better is pretty great.

What Don't You Like About Making an Independent Film?

The whole 'who gets what credit and where their name is placed in the credits.' It's a pain in the ass and really brings out the egos in people.

I hate paperwork and there is a LOT of it.

There's also a lot of 'hurry up and wait' at every stage of the process, that's tough.

How Did You Finance Your Film?

Once the script was done, I hired a casting director who got Vivica Fox on board. From there, I worked with my producer on crafting a business plan. Once done, I contacted pretty much everyone I knew, I probably sent out 100 business plans. Whether it was people with money, or people I thought might know someone with money, I talked to everyone. I got a lot of expected rejection, but was able to cobble together the money from a handful of believers. 

One of those was my new dentist. Just before we shot the film, I was short on the shooting budget. I went in for a cleaning and pitched my new dentist while his hands were in my mouth. The next day he gave me a check to round out my shooting budget. Pitch everyone, really.

What's the Future for Your Film?

After exploring the sales agent/distributor model and realizing pretty quickly that I'd probably have better chances with a lottery ticket to make my investor's money back, I decided to embark on an independent release. I'm basically stealing the model rock bands have been using for years.

We're having an L.A. Premiere on September 18th and then I'll hit the road on 'tour.' I have about 30 screenings lined up at independent theaters in NC, SC, TN, GA, and FL between October 1st and December 15th. 

I'll attend each screening and do a Q&A after. I've hired a publicist to help promote the screenings, and will be hitting the streets with my iPad a couple of days before each screening, showing people the trailer and encouraging them to attend. I'm also speaking at the film schools of local colleges to inspire aspiring filmmakers and build support for the film.

If the model works through December, I'll continue on the road, hitting the entire country. Short term the goal is to drive traffic to the VOD platforms (iTunes and Amazon mainly). Long term is to build a following for my films, building a sustainable model for me to continue this path until I drop dead at some point hopefully much later.

What's Next for You?

I have two more projects in the works, one of which I intend to shoot in the fall of '14.

Here's the trailer:

THEATRICAL TRAILER from Mule Films on Vimeo.

Good luck to the folks of It's Not You, It's Me!

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