Creating a Film in a Commerce Driven Industry | Webster University

Creating a Film in a Commerce Driven Industry

Brian JunBrian Jun graduated from Webster University in 2001. He's made critically acclaimed movies and is now working on his latest film, but instead of going through the studio system, he's taking funding into his own hands.

ST. LOUIS, March 31, 2014 - One filmmaker alone usually does not have the resources to penetrate a wide audience in a highly competitive industry.  As the market changes, it becomes harder for independent filmmakers to gain visibility and attention because of larger studio films. However, independent directors such as Brian Jun are driven to create compelling stories for feature films despite the challenges.

Jun graduated from Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production in 2001. He has always had an interest in film but during his time at Webster, he was able to build on his talents as a filmmaker, develop relationships and become more disciplined. Because of that, Jun is an advocate for film education.

“Film education is an essential tool needed that will showcase your strengths and weaknesses,” Jun said.  “Webster aided my skills and developed my focus on becoming a filmmaker and director.”

After graduation, Jun worked as a writer and director, and quickly began receiving industry accolades. He was nominated for the Grand Prize Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006 for his film “Steel City” which featured Raymond Barry and America Ferrera.  He went on to receive the Sundance Channel Emerging Director Award at the 2006 St. Louis International Film Festival for the nominated film.

Jun is currently working on his first crowd-funded feature film, “In the Buck,” a provocative story about sex, love and fertility.

“It is so difficult to get a film made that I wanted to challenge myself to create a story dealing with sensitive topics, such as sexuality,” Jun said. “The plot has been evolving for several years and grown organically based on my personal experiences, and interviews with women who have been involved in the fertility process.”

His first few films were all artistically successful and well-received at film festivals, but they were not commercial hits. This left him with a challenge when he started working on “In the Buck,” which has a lower budget than his previous projects. To help raise the funds necessary, he turned to crowd-funding and signed up with Kickstarter, a platform and resource for filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers, with a pledged goal of $75,000. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money.   

“Crowd-funding is not an exact science. It is unpredictable and fun, with an element of excitement,” Jun said. “When I realized my goal was too high on Kickstarter, I moved the campaign to Indiegogo which has flexible funding.This enables me to use any portion of funds raised with a reduced goal of $30,000."

Film festivals are an avenue for independent films to create a vehicle of references and relationships to gain awareness for Brian Jun Indiegogotheir work.  Jun shares an array of positive experiences growing as a director in St. Louis and surrounding cities. “St. Louis is a great place to start for a student out of college.  It's the right market to gain proper experience and attracts some commercial work,” Jun said.  “I have done most of my production in Alton, Ill. that has allowed me to use all my skill sets and resources to set me apart from the competition.  You have to be open-minded to different opportunities and creative avenues. Filmmaking is collaborative, so one doesn't necessarily have to become a Director."

“’In the Buck" is a bold movie that will never have the chance at being made without the support or help from St. Louis and the Alton, Ill. community.   I am a big advocate for Midwest filmmaking and we have to keep it alive!”

Jun has created a Casting Challenge for the film that is free and open to the public with paid expenses and a speaking role in the film. For more the challenge and feature film “In the Buck,” visit the Indiegogo page.