Trendsetter Director Jeffrey Goodman By Jamie O’Quinn
Though his face does not grace the silver screen of his award winning film “The Last Lullaby”, Director Jeffrey Goodman does appear on the forefront of the independent film industry for his innovative ideas on funding, marketing and distribution.
Having wound a path through Europe and Hollywood, this Shreveport, Louisiana native eventually followed his heart back home for his seventh film “The Last Lullaby”. It is due for theatre release in May 2009 with the first showing sold out weeks in advance.
While the traditional film festival circuit gleaned “The Last Lullaby” an Audience Award for Best Feature and Best Actress Award at the San Diego Film Festival, it is Goodman’s non-traditional methods that have fans and colleagues across the nation watching. In fact, the world’s best selling independent movie magazine “Movie Maker" magazine approached him to produce a weekly blog for them about his innovative ideas.
I was fortunate enough to see the Mississippi premiere of “The Last Lullaby” at the Oxford Film Festival in February. Goodman’s warm demeanor and stark openness about his ongoing trials and errs with his latest film have fans and colleagues across the nation intrigued and waiting for the final outcome.
Q: Though you have produced six short films, “The Last Lullaby” is your first full length feature. Can you tell me a little bit about it?
A: “The Last Lullaby” is a crime drama about a hit man and librarian who form an unlikely bond with one another. It stars Tom Sizemore from “Saving Private Ryan” and “Black Hawk Down” and Sasha Alexander from "NCIS", “Dawson’s Creek”, “Yes Man” and “He's Just Not That Into You.”
The film is co-written by Max Allan Collins who created the graphic novel “The Road to Perdition” and Peter Biegen.
Q: This film is a true independent in every aspect. Can you explain what that means?
A: Independent simply means it is independent of studio financing. When you make the film, you have to raise money from elsewhere and 99.9% of the time, it also means there is no distribution in place.
I was fortunate enough to raise all the money for the film so I had total creative control. When I look at the film I know there’s not a second in there either visually or sonically that I didn’t want. It’s really fulfilling to be able to say “This is exactly the way I want it.”
Q: Tell me about your creative approach to raising the money for this movie.
A: I found 48 investors. Forty-seven investors were from north Louisiana and one from Texas. The film was also shot entirely within a 30 mile radius of Shreveport.
I gave each of my investors 100% of the tax credits that Louisiana gave my film which was an unprecedented way of raising money.
Q: You also have some unique ideas about distribution and marketing. How can somebody learn more about it?
A: By no means do I know everything, but I will be glad to share what I do know. If someone has questions about the film making process or about my film, they can dialogue directly with me. If someone wants to receive our monthly Lullaby Family updates, they can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “register me” in the subject line.
The weekly blog I do for Movie Maker Magazine comes out every Friday. I describe the ups and downs of taking a movie out myself and being the distributor. You can go to www.moviemaker.com and see it on the home page under “Adventures in Self-Releasing”.
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