When do you cut your loses when developing an indie film? There is no question that when you produce an indie film you are in it for the long haul. It takes years to write, develop, produce, shoot, edit, and distribute an independent film. The average independent film takes between 3-5 years from inception to distribution. That is a huge commitment. At what point do you cut your loses and move on?
Like most indie film producers we are developing more than one project. In truth it is a numbers game. It’s to much risk to put all your cards into one film. It would be wise to have a slate of projects to develop. The odds are against you. The chances that your film will be massive success are not in your favor. Throughout this long tedious process you need short burst of energy, momentum, and buzz to keep the project going.
Our attention span can become fickle at times and we need other projects to keep us going while the others ones are being nurtured and developed. But at some point you have to make a decision on whether or not a single project is worth the effort no matter how much you love it. How do you make that decision? Is it when others lose interest? When it no longer excites you? After the 100th rejection? Is the script no longer revealing anything fresh or insightful? Are your partnerships withering away? It is a major financial and emotional investment. Choose your scripts wisely.
Cutting your loses has nothing to do with giving a project space or getting some breathing room to gather perspective. This is a personal decision and one you have to seriously consider. Some scripts flirt with you, tease you, intoxicate you, others break your heart. Like true love, a brilliant film weathers the storm.