April 28, 2016 at 10:57AM
Michael Polish – How to Make Money Selling a No Budget DSLR Indie Film
I'm always looking for indie filmmaking models to study. I like to analyze how other filmmakers make successful indie films while doing through a new DIY method, self distributing their film or achieving critical and fan respect for their work.
Well I found a film that checks all the boxes, For Lovers Only create by the Polish Brothers, Michael and Mark Polish (more on that film later). These filmmakers have been making films, on their terms, for over a decade now.
Since premiering at Sundance with their debut feature, 1999's Twin Falls Idaho, the brothers have remained steadfast in their commitment to creating personal, character-driven films.
How does one make money shooting a feature film on a DSLR? The film in question came from a screenplay that Mark Polish wrote more than a decade ago called For Lovers Only, about an American photographer who runs into an old flame while on assignment in Paris. The film follows the rekindled lovers around Paris, France in a series of quiet vignettes that gradually reveal more about the complications in the couples' lives.
Related: DSLR Video Tips: How to Make Your DSLR Film or Video Look More Cinematic
Inspired by the guerilla style of the French New Wave filmmakers of yesteryear, Mark and Michael Polish came up with a simple plan: they'd fly over to France with only a Canon 5D Mark II camera (which they already owned) and one actress (Castle star Stana Katic) in tow and just go out and shoot feature film. Oh did I mention it was in black and white?
Michael Polish sat down with me for an amazing interview about his filmmaking life, Hollywood and what it means to be an artist.