How a Decade Makes a Difference

17 Jan 2014 | Categories: Producer's Blog | Posted by: Kevin Youkhana

Part 1: Why It Took 10 Years To Get Back Into the Ring

Part one of a Journal by Carmelo Giardina – Producer of the upcoming Stephen King adaptation “Suffer the Little Children”

The most common question I’ve been asked since announcing my intent to produce again is why has it been so long? The answer, a lot simpler

Photo courtesy of Carmelo Giardina Productions

Carmelo Giardina on the set of “Illumination Rounds” in 2001.

than the explanation, is that the timing is right. But I’ll explain anyway.

Let me take you back a bit…

Fifteen years ago (1999) – less than a year after my college graduation – I was 21 years old and had successfully launched a film magazine which I co-managed and owned with a good friend of mine. It had a youthful spin on it, mixing classic and contemporary topics to produce a refreshing and interesting quarterly read. It was a great entrepreneurial experience, and really allowed me to express my creative mind and engage with others about the world of filmmaking. Through that film magazine, I was able to get accredited into various film festivals which allowed me to see hundreds of films and meet filmmakers, actors, and network in a way that had me pinching myself on a regular basis. It was an experience and an opportunity that simply wouldn’t have existed without the magazine.

It was later that same year that my business partner and I decided to make a short film – which I would produce and he direct (he was a film student and needed to make a thesis film). I was very interested and fascinated by the process. And once completed it was a film that I showed off with pride. I knew after having been through that journey, simply writing about film wasn’t going to cut it anymore. I needed to make films.

It didn’t take long to realize that the career plan wasn’t going to quite pan out the way I expected it to. For the next four to five years, I worked on trying to develop several projects – some were very close to getting produced, others not making it past the script development stage. It was a tough gig. Financing was always the achilles heel. And without the right amount of experience, it was always going to be an uphill battle to convince the powers that be to invest.

I worked on several promotional videos, produced some commercials, worked on some television pitches and continued to try and develop scripts – all to try and make ends meet. It just wasn’t fulfilling.

Reality soon kicked in, mainly in the form of bills and other expenses. I needed to make money. I couldn’t wait around any longer. The dream of producing would have to be shelved for a while – right along-side those dream projects of mine. I had to get a job with a steady income.

Fast-forward to 2013 and 10 years removed from my filmmaking ambition. Social and digital media is dominating our lives. Digital filmmaking is no longer experimental – rather it’s more accessible and more cost effective than ever before. Crowdfunding has become a serious option for young filmmakers to acquire financing and establish a following. And distribution opportunities are readily available, making it easier to find an audience.

Images of CGX Magazine - which Carmelo Giardina co-managed.

Images of CGX Magazine – which Carmelo Giardina co-managed.

These are all fantastic resources any filmmaker can use, none of which existed at the time I needed to make things happen. They say a lot can happen in a decade. Ya think?

It’s obvious that through all of the above mentioned tools, things have gotten easier in terms of being able to make a film at a decent cost and then find an audience to watch it. The timing is right. And there’s no better time than now to get back at it if you’ve been away from it. I’ve always made it my goal to get back in the ring, to experience the thrill again. I just needed to practice patience.

In my next entry, I’ll speak about the exact (full circle) moment that triggered my rise from my decade-long hiatus and finally take the bull by the horns again to make something happen.

Thanks for reading,

Carmelo

Follow Carmelo Giardina on Twitter @carmgiardina and stay up to date on his current project by following @sufferthefilm and facebook.com/sufferthefilm