Colin Bemis grew frustrated trying to break into the film industry. As such, he decided to go at it on his own. His feature-length film, Strawberry Flavored Plastic, garnered solid critical response. However, that does not mean the filmmaker did not encounter obstacles along the way. Having emerged from the other side, Bemis wishes to impart his knowledge to other filmmakers and has set up a new studio, New Animal Motion Pictures, to facilitate just that. The writer/director/producer/actor sits down with Bobby LePire to discuss the road leading the the new studio and the path forward.
New Animal Motion Pictures was born from a need you encountered when trying to get your foot in the door in the filmmaking industry, so to speak. Can you elaborate upon some of the obstacles you faced before producing your first feature independently?
Well, New Animal Motion Pictures (NAMP) is a direct answer to one of the largest obstacles I faced, which is very simply getting answers. Period. Film school can be absolutely wonderful, as can plenty of various outlets, but I’ve always wondered where we, as filmmakers, directors, writers, actors, etc., are supposed to turn when we have so many questions we’re inevitably going to face along the way to making a film or building a career.
How do you actually write a budget for a feature? How do you choose a sales rep? Where do you post for casting? How does distribution work? The list is endless. New Animal is a place that I wish I had, and I hope many people are looking for and can now find: a place to ask any and all questions.
Mind you, this isn’t to imply that I’ve cracked every code and have every answer. But I’ve done everything completely independently, so I’ve been down pretty much any road you travel so far, from raising money to doing press to scheduling. As such, I’ve learned a lot that I’m beyond thrilled to share. This is also what a lot of the New Animal Podcast will cover, week in and week out.
“…a direct answer to one of the largest obstacles I faced, which is very simply getting answers.”
What was it about the response to Strawberry Flavored Plastic that made you empowered to undertake this venture?
The most magical part of the entire journey of Strawberry Flavored Plastic was that our team made literally everything happen. Everything! From conception to shooting to post to garnering reviews to sale. When you have a Film Family like I have (I would be nowhere without them), a group of people so dedicated to their craft and art, all united on a vision, true magic happens. So when we set out to make Strawberry Flavored Plastic, we knew some and learned a lot, but we did it together, and we came out the other side more knowledgeable.
Also, there is no failure. We hit roadblock after roadblock on that film (especially after we finished it), and we just kept soldiering on. Every review I got for that film came from hustling on my laptop and reaching out to people. I reached out to thousands of people just to see if they wanted to watch a screener. It was those relationships that suddenly got eyes on it, and it was that which led to companies reaching out to us, from sales reps to distribution companies. So when the dust settled, I realized that not only could we do all of it, but we could help others get there as well.