This morning at 10:04 AM, the Year After Infection broke 600,000 views.
It’s a proud moment for us as film makers.
When we were submitting the film to festivals, and distributors, we heard over again… “too weird”, “too different”, “too complicated”, “too slow”, “too depressing”.
Here we are 600,000 views later, and TYAI did find it’s audience. It’s still being watched and spread to others. We still get subscribers and comments. I confess I don’t read them.
I’m still proud of it. I got to make the film I set out to make, with no compromises. Some people love it. Some people hate it. And that’s exactly the kind of film we set out to make. No playing it safe. No middle ground. You either get it, or you don’t.
In retrospect, it’s weird to look back and realize that we were halfway into principal photography when they announced “The Walking Dead” on AMC. (No, I’m not a fan… SURPRISE!). Mike and I were standing on the bridge where we shot the climax of Summer, and when discussing it I told him “This is either very good, or very bad for us.” I’m still not sure which it is. We were making a niche film. Walking Dead made zombies mainstream.
So at the end of the day, it was a successful failure as a film. I don’t quite know how to feel about that.
Not too bad for a film that was rejected from over 22 festivals. Each one costing $25-100. Each rejection was a soul crushing experience. The problem is you start to believe them.
When it was all said and done, we never got our theater premiere. We never got to put an “Official Selection Smitty’s Backyard Old Time Film Festival” on the poster. We never bothered to press the DVDs, or print the sleeves, even though all the artwork was done, and the DVDs mastered.
When we finally decided to post it on YouTube, just to get it out there, I would have been happy if 5,000 people watched it. And when we posted it, I wasn’t sure it would reach 5,000. So to reach 600,000 is a great feeling.
Being an actor and getting rejected is tough, but being the guy who wrote, directed, and edited a film and getting rejected is a gut punch. So work on your core fellow film makers. A gut punch is what killed Houdini.
And if you plan on getting rich on YouTube with a feature… well you can set that thought aside. Our ad revenues have only left us about 96.5% in the hole.
I should have bought the Lotus.
I’m sure part of the reason we haven’t dove into another feature film is because I’m still a bit raw over the experience of the last one. We will make another film. I just don’t know if it’s going to be the labor of love that TYAI was. It’s like dating after your first real relationship. You want to love again, but this time you’re far more cautious, far less trusting, and far more critical.
I had planned a long time ago to do a series of posts about in jokes that were peppered throughout the film, but, when you don’t think anyone is going to see the film to appreciate the joke, it just seems like a waste of time. Well, you proved me wrong. I may just do that series of posts when we hit a million. That seems like an appropriate landmark. (We still have all the props and wardrobe)
So do me, the cast, the crew, and everyone involved in the film a favor. If you watched the film, and you liked it, pass it on to a friend. Word of mouth has been what got us this far, and I don’t see any reason that it shouldn’t continue that way:
Much love to the fans. Thanks for making it all better.
And to the folks that kept telling us “no”, we still have the film in HD if you’re with Netflix, Amazon or a distributor that is interested.