‘The Battery’ Filmmakers Need Your Help With ‘Tex Montana Will Survive!’

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A few years ago, a post-apocalyptic zombie film called The Battery became the indie darling of the year, winning over audiences across the world and receiving praise from the festival circuit. Now the same filmmakers are back with a new film and a very interesting distribution model that could see a change in how movies are absorbed.

Presenting Tex Montana Will Survive!, a found-footage comedy that tells the tale of a celebrity survivalist whose skills are cast in doubt, leaving him in a position where he feels that he must make the ultimate survival experience: Going into the wilderness for 30 days with no camera crew to show that he’s got what it takes.

Now, I know that this isn’t a horror movie but these guys brought one of the best zombie movies in recent history and we want to see them make it with this film. Plus, get ready to hear about their fascinating distribution model, which should show how passionate they are about their craft!

Firstly, the movie is already done. The money being raised for the film is so that they can released it to the entire world at the exact same time. Oh, and it will be completely free for everyone to watch with no time limit. In fact, they support the idea that the movie will be shared. They even write on the Kickstarter page, “Burn it onto DVDs and BluRays (we’ll even supply printable artwork!) and give them to people who don’t know how to play videos on the interwebs!

Their mission is to get their movie seen, not funded. The Kickstarter is simply so that they can recoup their investments while making the movie, which I think is a very fair and very transparent. Also, their tiered goals are pretty damn funny. My personal favorite is at the “Pledge $25 or more” tier, which says, “I DON’T NEED ANOTHER T-SHIRT. You believe the movie is the reward enough, and would rather us keep making fun, informative content than spend time and resources becoming a gift shop and fulfillment center. Thank you so much.” I mean, c’mon! That shit is funny! It’s a total stab at Kickstarter goals while at the same time acknowledging the higher tiers that DO offer those kinds of rewards.

If you want to support these guys, Head on over to their Kickstarter page.

texmontanawillsurvive

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  • DJV1985

    I dont support films that star multi millionaires or are made by directors who have money. I know it might seem selfish but it’s a rule I came up with back when Zack Braff did the same thing and being a Fan I put some money in and then saw the film and it turned out terrible. I’ve only seen the actor in bit parts and most recently Fargo and while he seems like a good actor I have to stick to my rule.

    • Christian Stella

      Umm… The actor in this is my co-director on the movie. He’s living on an air mattress in my extra bedroom. You have him TOTALLY mistaken.

      We released a movie called The Battery. It made $50,000 in the last 3 years. That was split amongst 15 people over those 36 months.

      The movie was pirated over 400,000 times, hence the reason for this release. We’d rather give the movie away to everyone for all time, whether they can afford to contribute to our campaign or not.

      With traditional distribution we will make more money slowly over the next decade. Most of the money people pay for the movie will funnel through stores, then distributors, then sales agents, then lawyers… Each taking a large cut. Far fewer people can contribute to this campaign now and then it is free forever for anyone else after that.

      We make less money but make it faster, allowing us to immediately put it toward another movie. Consumers spend FAR less money overall than what was spent to trickle this amount of money down to us.

      This is simply a preorder campaign, where, IF enough people preorder, we give Creative Commons rights to the entire internet to have at it.

      Film distribution, especially indie horror distribution, is broken. I know a lot of filmmakers with movies you’ve surely read about on this site. None of them are making a living off of their films. Not anywhere close to a living. We have an audience and we love our audience, but their loyal purchases get eaten up in the system.

      • Christian Stella

        Forgot to mention… He wasn’t in Fargo. Just our own movies and a few indies that basically pay in plane tickets and beer.

        • DJV1985

          I’m thinking of a different actor. He kinda looks like Nick Offerman in that poster. But I still stand by my words. It wasn’t a slight on your particular film but when I get burned it puts me off reaching into my pocket unless I truly believe in something. I get your points but after helping out Zack Braff with his recent film and then seeing A) that it was terrible and B) I kinda felt cheated because I got nothing, not even a copy of the film (Even though that was part of why I paid) I felt like I’d be bitch slapped and screwed over and I’m sure you can understand it left a bad taste in my mouth.

          I wish you and your team all the luck in the world but sadly I really cant do it. I hope you reach the goal and get what you need to get your work done.

          • Christian Stella

            Absolutely, we totally get it. Our campaign was/is kind of an answer to these ridiculous campaigns asking for budgets. Those guys get the budget, take forever making the film, but then don’t want to immediately give the movie to backers because it will get pirated and ruin their film festival tour and paid release. We truly need Kickstarter at our level, but we refused to use it that way. If you paid for the movie, you should own it ASAP. The Internet will be buying our movie off of us, so we are handing the rights over to them. No stigma. Even putting disc ISOs on torrents with printable artwork. If someone wants to press 1,000 copies and sell em on the street… Cool. It’s the only thing that seemed fair.

            We also hate the Zach Braff crap. Most of those big Kickstarters raise 3X more money after the campaign. So at that point, they are fully operating in the best interest of their industry investors, not their loyal backers.

            If we hit our goal, you can always give our movie a watch. It will be free at that point, which is the great thing. You don’t have to believe in what we’re doing now to reap the rewards. We just need enough people that do believe in it.

            But again… I totally get it and hate the big projects and giftshop t-shirt sales going on with crowdfunding. It should only be about the art itself.

      • Free gratis

        I loved The Battery. Bought digital copies on both Amazon and Vudu so I can watch it on my Rokus and Apple TV. Will this new movie be available on those platforms?

        Do you make more money from these platforms than from physical discs? I’m a big supporter of independent horror and am interested in what platform I can support to get the most money back to you. Thanks.

        • Christian Stella

          Easiest way to watch it on AppleTV / Roku will be to stream it using the YouTube or Vimeo apps. Both apps are on both devices. We don’t want to release via iTunes because we would HAVE to charge money for it due to iTunes rules. We’d definitely be open to Netflix / Amazon Prime / etc taking the movie, but they won’t be that interested in anything that is free elsewhere. We’ll look into that though.

          • Free gratis

            Thanks for the reply and keep up the good work!

        • Christian Stella

          Digital is likely the best route depending on how the filmmakers made their deals. iTunes, etc take 30%, which is pretty fair when you consider that they also bring in new viewers. So their fees are offset by free advertising basically. But then there is likely a distributor who got that movie ONTO that platform. Ours is a real distributor (not a service which you can just hire) and took $6,000 off the top in fees, then 20% of profits. Then there are the costs to get the movie onto the platforms. Contract lawyers, tapes, hard drives. iTunes, for instance, requires their movies be delivered ON TAPE! HDCAM tape which is 1080p and costs $700 to get made. Then you gotta pay back your budget and investors.

          So, say you make $15,000 on digital platforms in the first 3 months (after that rentals drop off immensely). That’s something like what we got. $4500 goes to the 30% for iTunes and other platforms. Then distributor takes 20% of 10,500 and you’re down to 8,400. Then distributor takes their $6,000 fees and you’ve got $2,400. Then you pay $1,000 to the lawyer that negotiated the contract and you’ve got $1,400. Then you pay the $700 for HDCAM tape and say $300 in hard drives to send to the other platforms like VuDu/Amazon.

          That’s how $15,000 becomes $400 that you then have to split amongst 12 or more investors… My cut? $20. As I gave all but 5% of my ownership away to people who worked for free.

          Other forms of distribution work similarly, only they pay one large advance, then all those same fees get tacked on.

          It took us over a year to pay back the expenses and fees. By then, sales had slowed to a few hundred dollars a month anyway.

  • Bloody Fingers

    I liked The Battery and I did buy the DVD to support you guys but I hate found footage. Don’t really get why you guys went that route.

  • Christian Stella

    I hate found footage too. This movie is as much “found footage” as The Battery is a “zombie” movie. It’s in the guise of a Discovery channel documentary, so the shots are beautiful. No shaky cam bullcrap. I’d never make anything like that.

    As the cinematographer of both movies, Tex Montana is the far better shot movie. We’re not interested in playing by the rules of these sub-genres.

    • Bloody Fingers

      Awesome, thanks for the reply! You’ve converted me. Yeah, I really hate the shaky cam crap aesthetic of so many found footage and how they’re always trying to justify why the camera is still going, etc. Since you guys made The Battery, I bet this will be good. Best of luck!

      • Christian Stella

        Yeah, I am right there with you. This is more of a mockumentary like Best in Show, than found footage horror garbage. It’s funny how much I hate found footage but love mockumentaries. I mean, What We Do In the Shadows is absolutely hilarious. If you haven’t seen that, you should definitely watch!