Last week I had the opportunity to submit In Mind We Trust as a pilot for a TV or Web series. As some of you know, In Mind We Trust is the sequel to Justice Is Mind. When I wrote the sequel a couple of years ago, I think the idea for a series was always in the back of my mind.
The question I had before I submitted was that the pilot might not make sense unless someone watches Justice Is Mind. The response back was pretty straight forward. “…to have a lot of unanswered questions at the end of a pilot script — it opens up the world any mysteries for the series.” Well if there’s questions they want, they’ll get it with this story!
It’s stories this industry wants and needs. Sure we read how the major studios are just focused on tentpoles (I loved Wonder Woman by the way), but the terrestrial networks and OTT services just continue to expand and need programming to fill their schedules. With Apple, Facebook, Vice and others actively moving to original series orders, the quest for stories continues.
The one piece of advice I was given when living in Los Angeles was to always have more than one project ready to present. I didn’t fully grasp it at the time, but it makes total sense. Some may love sci-fi but have no interest in political thrillers. Others may not want something sports related, but are looking for a drama. Well, the latter fit the bill with In Mind We Trust.
Personally, if I had my druthers, who wouldn’t want to see their concept set up at a Netflix or Amazon. When I see the production values of The Crown and The Man in the High Castle (two of my favorite shows), it’s just amazing where the industry has gone over the last several years. But like anything in this business, it’s about time and in the case of a series—staffing.
Unlike a movie that can be staffed pretty quickly, a series requires an unprecedented amount of personnel. Just take a look at the end credits of a show or their listings on IMDB. These aren’t just one off projects like a movie, these are, if the show succeeds, long-term commitments. But before any of this is even remotely considered, it comes down to the story itself.
When I think of the number of mind-reading, privacy and intelligence agency articles being published on a regular basis, I certainly think In Mind We Trust has as good a chance as any of getting a review. Thankfully, the concept has already gone through some market testing with Justice Is Mind. From a theatrical release to media coverage and VOD, anyone looking at this project can already see it’s more than just words on a page.
While I was completing delivery of Justice Is Mind to a new VOD platform this week, the approval came in for our press release announcing the international premiere of the film. In addition to what I think will be a wonderful opportunity for Justice, this is one deal that I’m particularly proud of simply owing to its uniqueness.
Since our world premiere last August my goals with Justice Is Mind have been simple and to the point—get the movie in front of audiences and plot a return on investment for my backers. When one considers the sheer number of films being made that are looking for an audience, I think being unique and innovative is key because if I’m not going to do it, someone else is.
In the next few days I’ll be announcing the international premiere of Justice Is Mind with a brand older than the Hollywood itself. That really is what it comes down to with a film, building a brand. It’s what I have endeavored to accomplish with Justice Is Mind domestically and what I hope to do as we sail into the international marketplace.
Fortunately, what has enabled filmmakers to accomplish so much with finite resources is social media and a host of new digital tools. But that too requires constant navigation as this relatively new form of marketing continues to evolve. This past week I read an excellent “white paper” titled An Analysis of Internet Trends in 2014 for Independent Films. My takeaway from this was pretty straight forward, the old ways of doing business (particularly internationally) with “gatekeepers” is collapsing (rightly so) and audiences are the curators of content they want (the way it should be).
When it comes to brand building, developing SOS United States is no different than what I’ve been doing with Justice Is Mind. With Justice we have themes revolving around the loss of privacy, government intervention and new sciences in the courtroom. With SOS United States we have government conspiracies, intelligence agencies and military conflicts. Yes, like First World, my screenplays tend to revolve around existing and what I call forward projection trends. I guess that’s my brand of writing!
With our new heading towards Europe along with the release to our first VOD platform, needless to say we will be navigating new waters as we set sail on this new adventure. But the one thing a captain needs above all us is a great crew and passengers. Suffice to say we have that with Justice Is Mind.
Clear all moorings.