Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Nina Simone Bio Starring Zoe Saldana Will Apparently Be Released Later This Year... The Nina Simone Bio Starring Zoe Saldana Will Apparently Be Released Later This Year... Why ‘The View’ Badly Needs Raven-Symoné Why ‘The View’ Badly Needs Raven-Symoné It's Black Bike Week! Watch 2 Short Documentaries on the Popular Annual Event It's Black Bike Week! Watch 2 Short Documentaries on the Popular Annual Event Gabrielle Union Joins Jamie Foxx in a Race to Save His Kidnapped Son, in 'Sleepless Night' Gabrielle Union Joins Jamie Foxx in a Race to Save His Kidnapped Son, in 'Sleepless Night' Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

'Color Outside the Lines' - A Film That Festivals Want, But Not Really… Or Something Like That

Shadow and Act By Artemus Jenkins | Shadow and Act June 15, 2012 at 12:00PM

As a filmmaker, I’ve been at this for 5 years, 3 spent working on my debut feature Color Outside the Lines; a documentary exploring the history and lives of black tattoo artists.
11
Color Outside The Lines

As a filmmaker, I’ve been at this for 5 years, 3 spent working on my debut feature Color Outside the Lines; a documentary exploring the history and lives of black tattoo artists.

Tattooing as a valued art form amongst historians and appreciators of art has not been explored at length in film. There are a handful of documentaries out there, mostly leaning towards the Japanese and American Sailor cultures, which still leaves about 40 years of history in the culture unaccounted for. That’s where tattoo artist Miya Bailey and I come in; we made this film because if we didn’t tell the story, who would?

When it came time to figure out our distribution strategy we wanted to at least try the festival route, figuring we have a unique story, it doesn’t suck, audio is good, pictures are pretty… it doesn’t suck... shouldn’t be THAT hard.

On paper Color Outside the Lines fits the criteria festivals tell you they want; unique story, unexplored territory and for the festivals where you have to be black while making movies about black people, I think we fit that part too.

However after 3 tries, about 6 months of waiting to hear from festivals and 3 rejections, we were over the idea of festival submission, at least for this project. I know 3 isn’t a lot of times to submit, but it’s more times than anybody likes to be told NO, especially when you know you don’t suck. Honestly I would rather be told I suck upfront than, “well things are really competitive this year, best of luck!

When is life not competitive, that I needed that reminder? 

We really were made aware of the audience that wanted to see this film, when we raised $14,000 through a successful Kickstarter campaign for this project. Ever since then, we’ve been constantly asked: when is the film coming out?, when can I buy it? I wanna buy it, lemme see it... lemme see it (in my Bun B voice).

Fresh off our final rejection about a month ago, we simply decided we didn’t get to this point waiting for somebody to give us permission to be great, lets just go be great and tell people about it later.

So now the option is self-distribution, meaning we have a room full of half naked men and women bagging up product as we speak (code for we paid disc makers a bunch of money to replicate hundreds of DVDs), and we’re hitting the streets and interwebs ourselves with this film. We’re doing a big screening in our home base of Atlanta, half or more of the 40 artists in the film will be there, the local tattoo community is coming out, we’re wearing nice clothes and getting haircuts and it’s going to be awesome.

Essentially it’s what you would do at a film festival, minus the people with big checkbooks sitting in the audience… maybe.

I still believe I will make films that festivals might actually want, but I have been made aware of the fact that I should approach every project as if I might need to just put it out my damn self. Ultimately there is more to gain by taking the extra time to connect with a fan base, know who they are and go right to them. Had my film gone to a festival, it still may not have gotten picked up, and I’d still be trying to figure out how to put it out.

If it’s really as good as I think it is, and we work hard, the people I need to meet will meet me, I believe in fate that way.

Why did we quit on festivals after three tries? It’s because we are uninterested in being told nobody wants to see our film, because we know somebody does. That’s essentially what those rejections boil down to, and that’s just not something you can accept after the way we’ve seen people rally around this film getting created in the first place.

What’s the point of being independent, if you still need permission to show your film to a room full of people, listen to their opinions, and maybe even give you some money AT THE SAME DAMN… never mind.

Color Outside the Lines (Trailer) from artemus jenkins on Vimeo.


Shadow & ActNewsletter