Words by Naomi Jeffreys
The Blogosphere has become an integral part of filmmaking and an key part of how filmmakers get their films recognised to a wider audience. And, thanks to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, Marketing a film has completely changed.
Thanks to the Blogosphere, the Rabbit Film Section was contacted by a Film Maker who was keen to use the internet to get the word out about his new film, ‘Requiem for the Night’, which is the first Israeli Vampire Film.
Check out your Editor, Naomi Jeffrey’s interterview will Will Blesch below;
Naomi Jeffreys: Can you tell the University of Essex students a little bit about your involvement in the Film Industry?
Will Blesch: Sure! My involvement in the film industry actually goes back to childhood. Well, my interest in it does, anyway. I started off writing plays and getting my friends and sisters and cousins to perform in them. That transitioned into doing stuff in high school, and then I went and studied film at the university.
WB: Eventually, I started my own company and got involved in working in commercials, music videos, and industrials. However, I found that very unsatisfying and began working very hard to get into the feature film world.
WB: Throughout all of the years, I’ve always been either the writer or director on the projects I’ve worked on, although I’ve also occasionally worked as a 1st assistant director as well. (Which…I was not entirely fond of doing. Not because it’s a lesser role on the set or something, but because I genuinely don’t enjoy cracking a whip or tracking progress on the production schedule. )
WB: Right now, I am working on a feature documentary regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and then I have this vampire movie I began writing, and that is now heavy in development.
NJ: You are keen to use the Blogosphere to get the word out about your latest film, an Israeli Vampire Film – how important are Blogs to get the word out about the film?
WB: Blogs can be very important in any media blitz. That’s because everyone is always looking for fresh content…not only from a marketing perspective (you know blogs can get some really good SEO rankings with the search engines etc.),
WB: But because bloggers usually have an established base of core fans. When a blogger talks about something…his/her fans actually listen.
WB: Our theory is that if we can convert the bloggers/writers into fans and supporters, and get them writing and talking and Facebooking and Tweeting about us…their fans will listen to them and in turn will begin talking and Facebooking and Tweeting about our Vampire movie. We want a buzz…and blogs are a very important element in generating that online noise.
NJ: Can you divulge anything about this momentous film, ‘Requiem for the Night’?
WB: ‘Requiem for the Night’ is a project we hope will become one of the top vampire movies in the genre. I can say that it is designed to be something different from the mainstream. It’s designed to be the type of movie that will allow die-hard vampire fans as well as a broader, more fantasy/sci-fi oriented fan base to enjoy it.
WB: Although it’s based on myths and stories that predate Christianity, the story is very modern and takes place in a world that is on the edge of an apocalypse where religious, and geopolitical realities in today’s world are taken to a hypothetical extreme…to a point of no return. And, in the middle of this we find our vampires coasting along.
WB: Their stories are caught up in the realities of this world I just talked about…but their existence down through the ages…and questions about their future … are some of the questions this vampire movie will address.
NJ: Who is it funded by?
WB: Right now, this film is in development. That means, we have a very specific plan and order that we are following in getting it ready to go into pre-production. At the moment we are exploring various funding avenues. That means we are in talks regarding potential co-productions with other production companies, also with international production companies with a view toward an international co-production.
WB: We’re looking at maybe doing something with Germany at the moment. We’re also looking at potential private investors and we’re open to entrepreneurs or other business people that might want to talk about partnerships at this point. We even set up a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.com, although I personally want to stress that crowdfunding is not where it’s at for us. I mean, I want it to be successful. Sure. But, that’s just one avenue and even if it fails this project is moving forward.
NJ: Who is it directed by?
WB: Well, I’m the driving force behind this concept and vampire movie project. I’m writing, and I’m also directing.
NJ: Is it in its infancy?
WB: Since the project is in development, yes. You could say that the project is in its infancy. Although, we’ve really moved forward rapidly in just one month. We’ve gotten signed letters of interest from a number of high profile actors such as:
- Ami Weinberg (Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” which was nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Picture) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0918099/
- Alon Dahan (“A Matter of Size”, and “The Syrian Bride” which won the Grand Prix des Amériques as well as the Peoples’ Choice Awards at the Montréal World Film Festival.) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0196848/
- Oded Menaster (“The Golden Pomegranate”, “Like a Fish Out of Water”)
- Shlomit Mandel (German director, Maria Schrader’s “Liebesleben”)
- Yinon Sapir (Adam Sandler’s “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” )
NJ: How important is Independent Film?
WB: Independent Film is extremely important. I’d say that it is the life and blood of film. The studios these days spend tons of money and many times wait a very long time to break even. From a money point of view, the studios are on dangerous ground I think.
WB: So, it’s up to individual artists, creators, and financial backers who believe in them to generate quality content. To be sure…these artists and creators need to get it into their heads that filmmaking is a business. That’s why it’s called “the industry”…and not “the artistry” you know. Any independent filmmaker who wants to make a movie…and then keep on making movies…needs to view the art from a perspective of… “how is this movie going to resonate with an audience enough to make money for me…and for my investors.”
WB: But, with that said…I think Independent Film can also help keep the industry slightly more honest. I mean most films coming from the studios are super formulaic and I think audiences can tell, and I think that at least a portion of them want to see something that’s not always based on a formula and that isn’t always, you know…the cowboy riding off into the sunset with a magical happy ending. I think it’s important for Independent Film to provide an innovative, counter-balance to studio blockbusters.
NJ: How important do you believe Film Festivals are for Independent Films?
WB: Film Festivals are great for Independent Film. I think they’re mainly for publicity and public relations. They help with buzz and building up awards that the individual filmmakers can put on their CV’s. Sometimes they can help get distribution.
NJ: With Halloween today, how important is it to get the word out?
WB: Halloween seems to me to be a primarily American holiday, you know? But, you know, this movie is associated with some of the very same things that Halloween is associated with. Horror, creepy crawly things that go bump in the night, with ghouls and zombies and creatures of darkness, etc.
NJ: Finally, what can viewers expect to see in this film?
WB: Viewers can expect to see a vision of vampires and of a world that they haven’t been exposed to before. That can expect a story that includes elements of romance, action and adventure, politics, religion, and of course…dark fantasy and horror!