M2R Films’ mission
A documentary is, obviously, an informative piece. However, it is also an adventure that one is not fully in control of. It involves discoveries and unexpected turns which make the story richer.
Among the many surprises, there’s one that stands out. It is the human part of the investigation, made out of all the strangers one meets along the way.
Information, adventure, meetings… M2R Films would like to share all of these things with the audience. Through DVD extras and Members Area content, we want to offer to our subscribers the materials that never really “fit” in the documentary format
Subscriptions: our guarantee
This is what we specifically offer when we open a subscription:
- The DVD: This is a special edition, exclusively for subscribers, different from the one that will be commercially sold. For € 30 (incl. VAT and shipping), the DVD you’ve pre-ordered will be sent to the name and address stated in the registration form;
- Members Area: after registering, you will have access to the documentary’s blog, which will be updated with articles and videos as production advances. With a simple password, you will be able to follow the making of the film! People subscribing by postal mail or paying by check will be notified when their account is activated;
- Minimum number of subscribers: a minimum of 500 subscriptions is needed for a project to be feasible. In the event that this requirement is not met, your payment will be refunded. Subscriptions have an upper limit of 4.500 and are processed in chronological order;
- Time frame: special edition DVDs will be distributed exclusively among subscribers after the first airing of the film. The Members Area will be updated up until that point.
I personally commit to fully refund subscribers if, for whatever reason, a film failed to be completed.
Where does the money go?
It doesn’t cover all production expenses
An ambitious documentary requires hundreds of thousands of euros; relying solely on subscriptions is out of the question! Major TV networks – some more commercially-oriented than others – remain the unavoidable intermediaries between films and the general public. The producer contacts the program directors hoping to hear the magic formula: “Yes, I want the audience to see this report”. The CNC (short for Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée, France’s national center for cinema) and several other public and professional institutions also play a leading role in financing films through mutualized funds. A positive response on their part, possible only after submission of big application files, attests in a way to the quality of the project: “Yes, this production is worthy of our intervention”. Shouldn’t there be a seat at the table for audiences that want more than just mere entertainment?
Their support would help put the focus on the social issues that are addressed in the film, taking them beyond the screen: “Yes, we would like to know more about this subject, we want a feature that helps us put it on the agenda and shape the debate”.
Pre-orders, not donations
There are causes far more deserving of your generosity than ours. Consequently, we don’t ask for donations, but rather take pre-orders for the DVD, that will be sent a few months later.
In exchange for your precious help, you will receive an expanded edition with additional material, like the most significant footage that ended up in the cutting room floor, as well as an eight to twelve-page illustrated booklet.
An advance to help the investigation advance
Even if they don’t cover the bulk of the production costs, the funds brought in by the public and by associations are a decisive contribution to more ambitious projects. The complicated structures that underpin the media economy considerably lengthen the time before funding becomes available. Around 25% of the funds will be credited to the producer only after the film is completed.
As for banks, they tend to favor safer and juicier investments. However, a film’s quality is decided at the start of the production process, through the number of connections made, of books read, of references crossed, long before the camera starts rolling. In short, it’s the investigation that makes or breaks a report. And as subscriptions fund the investigation, they directly contribute to the quality of the end product, which is the subscribers’ main concern.
By regularly participating in public screenings of my films organized by activist networks, professionals, or local authorities, I realized that my productions were reaching a certain audience, that shared its ideas and feelings. Being supported is a powerful motivation, especially amidst controversy. Equally so is finding yourself in the role of the mediator between the people interviewed, who are often isolated or underestimated, and a quality audience that will take hold of what they say.
In this way, subscriptions bring together audiences and first-hand witnesses. They further amplify these ties and multiply the power they carry by allowing the public to follow the making of the report, and by allowing the richness of the interviews to be shared in its entirety.