Tag Archives: Kickstarter

Where Josh Explains Why You Should Fund His Movie

There are five days left for my movie’s Kickstarter. So that means it’s time for me to go on a spiel about why you should fund The Conduits. ‘cuz I’m really proud of this story and want you to be able to see it when it’s done without all that festival hoopla (and just for $9!).

So what is this whole production? The Conduits is fundamentally a student film, given that it’s being worked on primarily by students and being produced through NYU. Thing is, I’m not a film major, I’m in NYU Gallatin studying what I’ve termed Narrative (Re)Construction. I wanna tell stories — good stories — and I felt that learning about the why and how of storytelling was as important as the craft (hence posts Cervantes and subtext). But this also meant that I was in no way guaranteed the chance to make a thesis film. Through incessant emailing, this year I became the first non-Film Major to compete for the chance to make an advanced-level film and get the allotment of film equipment. In all honesty, I was pretty excited just to have gotten to this point. And then it came time to follow through and actually make a movie.

I knew going in what sort of story I wanted to tell: It was movies like Star Wars that made me wanna tell stories and make movies in the first place. If I was going to make a film that was the culmination of college, it was going to have to be an action-adventure. Something with stunts and lasers. Something unlike a typical student film. Best part is: we pulled it off. One day on set we had a foam brick rigged up with fishing wire so we could get that shot that closes the teaser. Another day we had an actor rigged up with wires to be yanked backwards on to mats. We got to takeover a park in Brooklyn and film a showdown. It’s the sort of production I could only dream about when I started making movies twelve-odd years ago.

There’s more that I’m proud of. I talk a lot on this blog about diversity, almost to the point of self-parody. But if diversity is as easy as I say it is, I better well follow through with it. When Kerry, my Casting Director, and I started casting, we made an effort to put aside the notion of white-as-default. And here we are, with a science-fiction student film starring people-of-color. A cast which, for the record, knocked it out of the park. As a writer, I’m usually terrified that what I put down on paper won’t translate onto the screen, but on set I got to watch the script I’d fretted over come to life. They brought the meaning to the story and I couldn’t help but grin like an idiot.

Which, of course, brings me to my crew. Man, my crew. Film is, in so many ways, a collaborative medium. Anyone who says otherwise is conceited git. Alex Hass, my Director of Photography, is the one responsible for the entire look of The Conduits and for making sure that our action scenes played out on camera. It’s incredibly valuable to work with someone who excels where you’re weak. Not only that, but the crew as a whole showed a great deal of humility and a willingness to learn. Kerry came by to visit one day and became our sound mixer; everyone went above and beyond their prescribed roles and helped wherever help was needed.

We’ve wrapped on filming and are now in post-production. Which, in this case, means visual effects for lasers and glowing gems in addition to the usual like color correction and music. Production itself cam in under budget (woo!) but we’re still looking at a hefty price tag. As I’m writing this, we’re $600 away from our goal, and that much closer to finishing this movie. I’m really excited about this movie and so I’m asking you to come and be a part of it.

Oh, and here’s the teaser again (like I said, super proud, super excited):

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Let’s Talk About My Movie

In case you haven’t heard, I’m making a movie. Not just that, but I need your help to make it happen. Here’s why.

Ghosts That We Knew” is a story about not being alright. Becca, the protagonist, isn’t where she thought she’d be in her life Things haven’t been going the way she’d hoped they would and she’s stuck. With all that comes the nagging doubts in the back of her head, voices that remind her of how life’s not working out.

I wanted to make a movie about that, about that insecurity and fear. With that, I wanted to keep it emotionally honest. There’s more to say about it, but I’d rather not give away plot points. Suffice to say, it’s not a story where life gets better overnight, but it’s also one about the beginning of a way out.

I can say more about production. My crew was amazing. I simply can’t stress this enough. Everyone did their jobs and did them very well. I owe the film to them. I could tell my Director of Photography, McKenzie Zuleger, what I wanted and she’d set it up and go. I’d worked with Richard Kim before on a few shoots and this time as my Assistant Director he took care of my crew and as Gaffer he got some incredible light setups. Meanwhile, my Producer, Natalia Rivas, was wonderfully helpful during preproduction and was indispensable on set, ensuring that everything behindbehind the scenes went smoothly. I could go on and on about them and everyone else too (wait till you see the costuming and dressings the art department did), but there’s more to write about and only so much essay space.

The cast made my script come to life. There’s this persistent fear I have as a writer that what I’m writing won’t quite work out. But hearing it said by these actors, wow, they nailed it. They dove right in and really took on the roles in a way I could only dream of. I owe an incredible wealth of gratitude to them, in no small part because four of them spent shooting in masks under hot lights and the other two had to carry some intensely emotional scenes. The results are stunning and I can’t wait to share it with you.

So why am I asking you for money? Like I said in the Kickstarter, movies cost money; I’ve got to pay for food, costumes, transport, and the like. Things as obvious as a meal for Becca to eat or as tiny as fashion tape all costs money. NYU gives me a small budget to start off with, but I needed more to cover it all.

An obvious point here is that I’ve already finished shooting; the movie’s in the can, why then do I still need money? I’ve put my own money to support the deficit, but I’m not in a financial position to pay for all of it myself. Furthermore, any additional funding will go to getting some professional post-production work, such as color correction and some visual effects touch ups. As a crew we’ve gone to lengths to keep the production’s budget as low as possible, making sure every dollar you give to us helps.

Ghosts That We Know is a project I believe in. Not only that, but I intend to shop the finished project around to short film festivals. Since some of these festivals rule that you can’t submit a movie that’s been screened online, the only way to see the finished film before (which could be almost a year down the line) is to give $5 to my campaign. There’s also some other cool things in there, like a credit and even a copy of the script signed by me (with or without notes, your choice) as well as a mini-poster a friend of mine’s working on. I’m $90 away from my goal and funding ends in a few days; if I don’t reach $222 by then I don’t get any of it.

Help me fund this project.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Financial Teamwork

One of my favorite things about the internet is the democratization of media. Anyone can do anything and put it out there for a wide audience. Where once upon a time either no one would see it, now you can put it on YouTube and spread it around. There’s not just an audience, there’s a mean to one.

Recently, it’s also meant the ability to do bigger projects. This is crowdfunding, where a project is funding by a, er, crowd. Because hey, if there are a thousand people who want to see something happen and they all give $5, that’s $5,000 with which to do something awesome.

So bands have taken to sites like Kickstater and PledgeMusic to raise money for the recording and distribution of new music; forgoing labels and all that entirely. It also gives fans a personal stake, they want the project to happen so they get involved. Then there’s the fact that it allows the band to not only have greater creative control but are also to make more daring creative choices.

Similarly, moviemakers are able to make films outside of the studio system and all the hangups therein. Blue Like Jazz was finished despite initially not having enough money; Veronica Mars came back as a feature film years after the show ended. By rights, this shouldn’t be possible. There’s a way things are done. But that’s what makes crowdfunding cool; it puts the power in creators, be they for games, events, or movies. They become passion projects rather than carefully calculated business maneuvers.

All this to say, I’m using Kickstarter to fund my new movie, Ghosts That We Knew. I love making movies and Ghosts is going to be my biggest one yet. I’ve got a great crew with me who are all eager to make this movie happen. I’m really proud of my script and the cast is shaping up to be something incredible. The story is one I’m passionate about and I really want to get this made.

Help fund Ghosts That We Knew

Yes, it’s a super-short post. But that’s cause I’m doing a lot of preproduction work.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized