In a recent podcast posted by Network ISA, Chris Von Hoffman talks Drifter–a horror film he directed–and how he started off in the film world.
He started filming early on, making short films with his friends–practically shooting everything. This experience led him to pursue theater and acting, which bled into the film aspect as well.
It is amazing for Hoffman to reveal he submitted many short films to festivals that he could afford, and how they never generated a lot of buzz, as well as how Drifter was written a decade ago before actually being shot. It shows that time and patience is truly everything in the film industry, as well as persistence.
He was not shy to also speak of the main struggle most independent screenwriters and directors run into–budget. He seemed to keep budget in the back of his mind, and it led many of his decisions within the script. One of the main actors helped him write the script, he cut down on how many acts the film pertained, as well as the direction of the climax. Like how most films have a spectacular climax to showcase, Hoffman had to choose another route to stay within the budget.
One thing I have never heard a filmmaker admit to or say is that the process of gathering money was “sloppy.” Could the sloppiness be a reason he struggled so much? When asked for his Twitter account, he could not even share it, because he did not know. That is one thing that I have learned about the film industry–reaching out is everything and being able to connect.