About the Boston Motion Picture Awards

7 Fluid Oz. Production LLP is the Boston-area film & video production company that Aaron and Seth Howland founded in 2001.

In 2006, Seth produced, and Aaron directed/edited, a short film entitled The Albino Code. The movie went on to be featured on CNN, MSNBC, Inside Edition, and Entertainment Tonight, and was also screened at four US festivals. The Albino Code will soon be available for purchase on DVD through Amazon.com.

Official poster of the 7 Fluid Oz. production Jack Milton, winner of two awards at the Boston International Film Festival, and official selection of the San Francisco World Film Festival and the Annapolis Film Festival.

Dennis Lemoine (2006 BMPA Judge and co-star of the award-winning 7 Fluid Oz. production Jack Milton) meets Jack Black and Laura Kightlinger at the 2003 Boston International Film Festival.

In 2003, Boston-area filmmakers Aaron and Seth Howland walked into their first film festival, the Boston International. Still relatively new to the industry, they were simply hoping for a chance to network with local filmmakers, and for a successful premiere of Jack Milton, a short comedy they produced in late 2002.

After walking through the doors and meeting other filmmakers from around the country, Aaron and Seth quickly realized that most filmmakers, no matter their experience, ask each other the same question:

"So, where did you get your funding?"

Not only is filmmaking perhaps the most expensive art form, because of the equipment, resources, and people needed to complete even a short film, it also has the sharpest learning curve. No one ever said that being an author or a musician is easy, but the truth is that a musician can write a hundred songs before recording his first album. An author can write a hundred stories before she gets published, at a cost of no more than the paper and ink it took to complete those stories. Filmmakers, on the other hand, are considered veterans by the time they've produced or directed a handful of films. This is because of both the expense and the time involved in completing just one film.

So where does this money come from?

In order to fund their first film, Aaron and Seth used what was supposed to be a year's college tuition money--a very common choice among independent filmmakers. Now they have a classic first film--never publicly screened, sitting on a shelf, collecting dust.

Was it worth it, though?

Says Aaron, "If you decide to be a filmmaker, any path you take will be risky, so it's important to weigh the pros and cons, and then make an educated guess. I know people who say they can't imagine life without their degree. Others tell me that film school was a waste of money--that they could have learned the same things from reading books, watching movies, and working as a production assistant on professional sets. My guess is that the truth is somewhere in-between. I think in the end it's about coming up with a reasonable plan, and then being willing to accept the hardships that come along with that plan. No matter what you choose to do, it's going to be a hard road."

Unless you're wealthy, though, you can only fund your own films so many times. At a certain point, you're going to have to turn to outside help. Whether you're fortunate enough to have a wealthy friend who's always wanted to be in the movie business, or you spend months applying for (and most likely being rejected for) grants, you'll have to go through the process of acquiring a production budget, and then being held accountable to the people who gave you that money.

That's why Aaron and Seth founded the BMPAs.

The Boston Motion Picture Awards, in contrast to traditional film festivals, was founded with the express purpose of giving independent filmmakers a head start in getting their next projects made. While the money and resources generated by the BMPAs may pale in comparison to those provided by movie studios, the resources provided by the BMPAs belong solely to the winners, and as a result, the filmmakers have sole control over what they do with those resources. In addition, once a project has partial funding, it becomes easier to find investors willing to sink their own money into the project.

Aside from money, there are other factors to consider, as well. As a budget-conscious independent filmmaker, you need to keep up with the latest breakthroughs in technology; you need the proper equipment and resources at your disposal, and you need a solid track record behind you in order to entice investors, quality cast-members, and a talented production crew willing to work on an indie budget. This is where the other BMPA prizes come into play. The BMPAs have worked hard to collect a prize pool filled with goods and services that will make an impact. Whether it's free screenwriting software to help in pre-production, free subscriptions to magazines so you can keep up with current indie film breakthroughs, or reviews of your work to help with publicity, the BMPAs are here to help.

Says Hari Das, a previous BMPA Place Winner, "The Boston Motion Picture Awards really help you to launch your next film. The BMPA has put together an awards package that helps both the novice and experienced filmmakers. This is because their awards focus on what filmmakers really want and need. Consequently, your win in BMPA both energizes and equips you to make new films while their friendly, supportive people make you want to have a lasting relationship with the agency."

To learn more about this year's prizes, please click here: BMPA Prizes.

7 Fluid Oz. Web Site Albino Code Web Site Jack Milton IMDb Page Dennis Lemoine's Web Site The Photo, by Hari Das
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