Inspiring, especially in the fine print – the Approaching the Unknown story

This story is making the rounds this week. And it is awesome. Mark Rosenberg sold his first film even before it was completed. That is so cool!

But, and I hate to play the cynic because really I applaud Rosenberg and I really really want to see this film, be aware that:

  1. The budget was in excess of $1.3 million. So he wasn’t shooting in his backyard.
  2. He has an amazing actor as his star. Mark Strong, while maybe not a huge box office pull, is a star.
  3. Rosenberg is the ‘artistic director’ and founder of Rooftop Films, the New York film nonprofit who’s films include ‘Frances Ha’ from Noam Baumbach. He founded Rooftop 20 years ago(!). To be honest, Rooftop is an exciting organisation that deserves more coverage.

So yes, this film is Rosenberg’s directorial debut, but the press wants to intimate that he is new to the business. He is not. And that is the lesson to learn: overnight success can take years. Rosenberg did it the smart way: he started out, built his network and his chops and then knocked it out of the park. I find this – a real story of perseverance and determination – the most inspiring.

Get writing, get learning, get making films.

How a First-Time Filmmaker Sold His Sci-Fi Movie to Paramount Before It Was Finished

Here’s how writer-director Mark Elijah Rosenberg made an outer space film for a fraction of the cost of “Gravity” and “The Martian.” Striking a distribution deal with Paramount Pictures for your low-budget sci-fi movie as a first-time filmmaker is close to impossible, but that’s exactly what writer-director Mark Elijah Rosenberg did with ” Approaching the Unknown.”


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Phil Smy

I am currently a student in the Raindance Film Degree Masters program. This site comes from the research I am doing as I learn more about film production and distribution.

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