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A Great Way to Save Time and Energy!

27 Jan

As you go about your art, your venture, your enterprise, it’s best to assess people in one of two ways:

Believers or Boosters

Believers see your vision early and have faith in you. Boosters contribute to your success as it builds.

Neither is better than the other. In fact, both will contribute greatly to your work! 

What’s crucial is your ability to identify one from the other early in your process.

A booster will not help you before you have some form of success. And if you continually reach out to boosters, before you have something meaty for them, you will be wasting your time and energy. Believers, on the other hand, will jump on board before you even start cooking, or very soon thereafter.

This principle has proven true as I develop Heart of Indiana, my next feature film. Once I have some awesome actors attached and financing in place, I’ll reach out to boosters. But, before then, I’m going to spend my time and energy on believers.

More importantly, making this distinction and reaching out accordingly saves you from excess emotional fatigue. Waiting around, hoping boosters will return your email, your phone call, is immensely difficult and taxing on one’s heart. It zaps our passion and creativity.

Be wise: determine whether one is a believer or a booster early in your journey. Don’t be asking boosters to boost you when there isn’t much to boost!

Blessings and Godspeed!!!!

Economy of Asking

23 May

As I continue to produce my feature film, I’ve been asking for advice, help, and insight from many people, mostly via email and Facebook.

It’s generally easy to ask for help on the internet – it’s impersonal and unobtrusive. This makes me wonder: has the “economy of asking” changed due to the internet? In other words, because it’s easier to ask online, are more people asking? And if more people are asking, are more people living audaciously?

On the flip side, during the telephone days and face-to-face days before that, was there less audacity? More audacity? Because it takes more courage to make an ask over the phone or in person, were fewer people boldly going forth?

Not sure if the devalued economy of asking is a good thing or not. Maybe the higher need for courage to ask over the phone or in person weeded out hacks and wannabes.

What do you think?

A Hidden Blessing Not so Hidden Anymore!

1 May

The most excruciating part of low-budget, independent filmmaking is asking for help.

It takes a lot more people to make a film than almost any other art form. I often fantasize about being a lone poet or painter because of this harsh reality.

However, as I embark on my current feature film project, I am beginning to discover a hidden blessing within the taxing need for help. I have come to realize that asking for help often leads to receiving help, and receiving help comes with the blessing of knowing people care about you and your art.

Even if I don’t “make it” as a filmmaker, I will know one thing for certain: there are a lot of people out there who care about me, something I may never have known as a lone artist…

Ang Lee Cooking and Cleaning

4 Apr

My good friend, Jeffrey Travis, recently shared an article with me with the belief that I would find it encouraging: I did…very much!

Let me preface the article by saying that this year’s Academy Award winning director, Ang Lee, was in a long, long funk and seriously put in his dues.

From age 30 to 36, he’s living in an apartment in White Plains, NY trying to get something — anything — going, while his wife Jane supports the family of four (they also had two young children) on her modest salary as a microbiologist. He spends every day at home, working on scripts, raising the kids, doing the cooking. That’s a six-year span — six years! — filled with dashed hopes and

Enjoy the article, “Ang Lee and the Uncertainty of Success,” by Jeff J. Lin.

Veronica Mars Kickstarter Campaign Raises $2 Million!

14 Mar

Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 8.06.49 AM

Yesterday was a monumental day for independent film.  Over $2 million was raised in just ONE DAY on a Kickstarter campaign to fund The Veronica Mars Movie Project.

The movie will be based on the original Veronica Mars television show, starring Kristen Bell.  Apparently the show’s creator, Rob Thomas and Bell herself, have tried to produce the feature film spin-off for years; however, Warner Bros., who owns the Veronica Mars brand, was not keen on the idea.  So Thomas and Bell took matters into their own hands and with WB’s blessing, they launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $2 million to produce their feature.  (No independent film had ever attempted to raise so much.)

Why is this HUGE for independent film?  Because it legitimizes crowdfunding as a viable and professional form of financing a film project.  Sure, crowdfunding has been around a while now, but no film has ever raised this much money and not with a celebrity like Bell.  Hollywood and news agencies are abuzz today with this incredible feat…

Independent filmmakers can now approach major Hollywood players with crowdfunding as part of the “deal.”  Having an IndieGoGo or Kickstarter campaign to raise funds won’t sound so amateurish anymore.  Remember, I’m talking about Hollywood folks here: agents, casting directors, A-list actors, etc..  They operate within an old investor/studio-based protocol.  But now, with $2 million raised in one day with a celebrity like Bell, they’ll be taking crowdfunding much more seriously.

Even more important, Kristen Bell comes across as downright cool and kind in her fundraising video.  Participating in the campaign not only helped her raise money, but it skyrockets public opinion of her.  Taking her lead, other celebrities will come to realize that it’s not desperate nor “below them” to participate in a crowdfunding campaign, in fact, it’s public relations done right!

Unfortunately, the Mars success does not change much for a no-name crowdfunding campaign, which is primarily dependent on support from friends and family.  It does, however, legitimize crowdfunding as an integral part of one’s strategy when approaching and negotiating with reputable talent and/or a popular brand.  As an independent filmmaker, you better believe I will be citing The Veronica Mars Kickstarter success as an example of what is possible when crowdfunding with a celebrity and/or a popular brand.

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