Independent filmmaker taps social media to nurture local industry

By Carolyn Roy – bio|email|Twitter

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –  Local independent film maker Jeffrey Goodman is tapping into the power of social media to help drive the success of his next film, "Just to bring people in the process as early as I possibly can and really let them see how it all works."

Through live chats on Ustream to blogs, Facebook fan pages and "tweets," he's opened a virtual door to a behind-the-scenes look at the process. "I'm building a fan base and I think these are the people that are gonna feel like it's their film."

"Peril" will be Goodman's second full-length feature film.  Described as a new installment in the "young boy in peril" genre, it revolves around an eleven-year-old boy in his search for safety and a place to call home.  It's tentatively set for release in early 2011.  It was written by Peter Began, who co-wrote an adaptation of a short story for Goodman's first full length feature, "Lullaby," starring Tom Sizemore and Sasha Alexander.  Released in 2009, "Lullaby" was shot entirely in Louisiana and went on to enjoy critical success at several major film festivals. He won't say how much it cost to make, only that it was between one and five million.

Now, he's looking to do it again with Peril, personally pitching his business plan to potential investors. "Most of my fundraising efforts on done one-on-one with people," Goodman says.  "I usually give them a pitch and answer questions and come up with some way to follow up with em and hope at some point all the money will be there."

Unlike the major studio productions here, independents don't have big budgets for major marketing and distribution, which is why Goodman is counting on creating a community that will become a part of the process that will not only help carry his project to success, but help strengthen the independent film industry here as a whole.  "I think a lot of this process right now is just educating people, and I kind of look at myself as an educator as much as a film maker particularly doing it in this community the way that I'm doing it."

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