FilmSnobbery was started in 2009 with an idea. That idea blossomed over the next year into a full-blown website that garnered attention from filmmakers, media outlets, sponsors, film festivals, and film enthusiasts. I consider myself incredibly lucky and fortunate to have come onto the scene when I did. FilmSnobbery changed my life. Since then I’ve tried my best to provide the best coverage for independent film that I could. I’ve flown and driven all over the country to cover film festivals, talk with filmmakers about their experiences, listen to their stories, and give advice when asked. I’ve consulted and worked on several films to get more experience behind the scenes to better understand the hardships that go into making movies. I even uprooted my life and moved to the center of the American film world, Los Angeles, to put myself in a better position to help filmmakers screen and sell their movies. I’ve always adapted to each situation that has presented itself, and over the last ten years we (the royal “we”, as I couldn’t have done any of this without the help of our writers over the years, podcast co-hosts like Jerry Cavallaro, Devin Watson, Jay King, and Christina) have presented fair and honest reviews/coverage for a variety of films and filmmakers all over the world. We have interviewed hundreds of people in the industry over the last ten years on our podcasts, at festivals, and even at my home.
With any venture there are challenges. We’ve always had problems bringing in enough money to pay our writers for the fantastic job they do, money for travel to film festivals to provide additional coverage. Hell, even money to pay the rent on time. As a business, especially with the changing landscape of the independent film industry and film criticism in general, we were always behind the eight ball. A lot has changed from 2009 until 2018. It’s partially my fault. I made the conscious decision to cover independent film exclusively. I chose to not cover superhero movies that would have netted better advertisers, trips around the world to be on the sets of the latest popcorn blockbusters and junkets with A-list celebrities that would have garnered more hits on the website. But I chose to stick with what I believed helped my audience rather than my own wallet. I didn’t play the game, or compromise, even when I should have, for my own good.
Even with the effort I’ve put in over the last ten years, I’ve always believed that I could, and should, be doing more. But there was always something just out of reach. But the opportunity to help independent filmmakers the way I’ve always dreamed of is within my grasp. I just need your attention and help to get there.
My business partner and I have found a location for a movie theater. It is currently closed down and requires somewhere around $500,000 in repairs before we can even put a screen or projector into it. Oddly enough, that’s not even the hard part. We can get the money to rehabilitate this theater into a workable building. But we’re currently on the hunt for investors to capture the $3 million dollars we’ll need to get to opening day. Now obviously I’m not asking our audience to cough up that kind of money. That goes beyond trying to get blood from a stone. But what I am asking you to do is consider becoming a Patron of our theater. We have set up a Patreon over at http://patreon.com/LaRueTheaters to help cover expenses, pay our writers, and generally keep us afloat long enough for us to secure the rest of the funding we need to bring this theater to life.
Why am I so passionate about this? It’s a no-brainer for me really. I love movies. I love watching the filmmakers we interact with succeed, and I see the potential for this theater to be more than just a collection of screens and popcorn. Film is and has always been a communal thing. You don’t make films alone, and you don’t usually watch them alone. Filmmakers need places to show their movies and don’t always have the opportunity to get their film in a movie theater. I’m trying to provide a place to show movies, review them, talk to filmmakers, and help them meet their audience in a real-world, offline venue. But more than that, I’m trying to provide a place that our immediate community can gather. I’m hoping to provide a safe environment where everyone is welcome. Running a movie theater to me is more than just selling popcorn. It’s a place where underprivileged kids can come after school to do homework while they wait for their parents to come home. It’s a place to host screenings for the elderly who don’t have opportunities to get out into the world as much as they used to, and a place where couples and families can come for nights out that don’t break the bank. We have a chance to affect our community in a real and tangible way.
There are other aspects to this particular location that are appealing as well. Having so many screens available to us allows for a multitude of uses. We are setting up six of the eight screens for general movie theater use while keeping two under lock and key as post-production rental units. This means that not only will filmmakers be able to screen their films at our theater, but they can finish their films there too. A recent report stated that Georgia was able to pull in around $9 billion dollars in film industry funds to the state for all the production work that happens there. We are taking a cue from them and trying to capture some of that magic for the state of Tennessee, with the long-term goal of influencing state tax incentives for filmmaking in the state to better benefit independent filmmakers looking for additional funds and perks to film here. My business partner and I also recently started Academy DCP, a part of our business plan to provide DCP creation services to filmmakers that could be tested theatrically to provide the best version of their films to film festivals, the Academy for Oscar runs, and theatrical releases.
We also have plans to use our theater for non-film related events. We want to host regular comedy nights, concerts, dinners, seminars, and other fun things. I will also have a great location to continue running FilmSnobbery from. I’ll have the resources to create more dynamic content, hire writers for better pay, and generally have more stability. Having a physical location also looks good to potential sponsors and gives a sense of confidence that we’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
I realize this post is lengthy, and I appreciate you taking the time to read this, as it is something I’m very passionate about. You can get something out of helping us too. We have some excellent rewards available over on our Patreon. Depending on your patronage level, you can get your name on a seat, help us program films, get your name up on our wall-of-fame, or receive a cool package in the mail with some date night film-related goodies. If you aren’t financially able to support us, I understand. Times are tough for a lot of people, and it never seems to be a good time lately to ask for money with all the trouble going on in the world. But opportunities like this don’t come around all the time, and even if you share this post out to your network of friends and family, we might have a shot to pull this off. If we get enough people talking about this, we could attract investors on the strength of the word-of-mouth alone.
My goal is to open doors in June of 2019. I need your help to get there. Thank you for your time, and that you for your continued support over the last ten years and beyond.
For more information, you can check out our website at: http://www.larueentgroup.com
If you are a potential investor and would like to see the business plan for this venture, feel free to contact me directly at [email protected]