Jim Cummings' career is a case study in DIY Filmmaking. His short film Thunder Road redefined the path of a festival award winner. After earning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, the short took the internet by storm, bringing Jim and his crew ample exposure and a shot to turn their project into a feature.
One would think that having a viral, Grand Jury Prize-winning short would be enough to attract the attention of major studios, but despite the fact that they had a whole fifteen minutes of the film to show off right away, Jim and his producing partner Ben Weissner could not get any big bites from investors.
So they took matters into their own hands. The self-produced and largely crowd-funded feature version of Thunder Road premiered at SXSW earlier this year where it—guess what?—won the Grand Jury Award for best feature.
Now Cummings and Weissner want to share the knowledge they’ve learned over the course of their experiences with young filmmakers across the world, and to do so they’ve launched a Short to Feature lab in Malibu. We asked them to give us a rundown of what applicants can expect as well as the skills that they think every filmmaker interested in controlling the entire life of their film should know. If you're interested in applying, check out the Kickstarter here.
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This episode was edited by Jon Fusco.