Friday, February 19, 2010

Lessons In CREEP

First off I'd like to say how very flattered and still greatly overwhelmed I am by the response I'm still getting from my Indy Mogul Audition. Over a thousand comments on YouTube and the majority of them very positive. I've also gotten alot of messages from people with their support for me being the new host of BFX. Thank you all for that. It means alot. It's huge boost to my confidence in my own abilities.

My wife asked me if I was nervous about this whole Indy Mogul business. Honestly, I'm not. I think I've gotten pretty good at not expecting much anytime I submit to any kind of contest, or job interview for that matter. I'd love to be the new host, but in the end, they will pick who ever they're going to pick and I'll be fine with it. It's not the only thing I've got going on right now anyhow. Although I'd love to be the new host of BFX and I know I could do a great job, the only thing I can do is be proactive in my own goals. If it happens it happens. If not, hey, I'm still alive and I'm still on a mission.

That mission in question is.... Ok, well if by mission I actually mean project in which case I should say mission(s) as their are a few projects. The main thing on my mind right now is CREEP. I do need to work on REDD, but I had to push the Werewolf Costume fitting to next week, so right now I'm all about CREEP. Yes of course I need to work on Monster Cops so I can make that May deadline, but right now my head is on this feature film, specifically crowd-funding, more specifically producer rewards.

What are these words you use Patrick? Crowd-funding? Producer Rewards? Lemme splain.

I need to raise 12 grand to make CREEP. In order to do so I'm going to use every method in the book. I'm saving up much of my own money. I will be working extra hard and extra hours to earn the extra cash I need. I'm going to sell almost everything I have, including all my DVD's, my entire poster and banner collection, I'm even considering selling my car. I'm also going to make a big sign that says "TRYING TO MAKE A MOVIE, PLEASE HELP" and wear it around town while holding out a coffee can. No seriously. But one of the main ways I will raise this money is through a little something called CROWD FUNDING.

It's exactly what it sounds like. Instead of the usual approaching of a few investors to contribute large amounts of money, I will approach a large amount of people (everyone I know, and do not know) and get them to contribute small amounts of money. This method is called Crowd Funding and is being used by several different filmmakers to make their movies. I feel that this is possible if you can do the following:

1) Be clear about what you need the money for. Transparency is key. I will post the budget, how much we need, and what we need to spend it on.
2) Keep the budget low. Alot of moviemakers have been successful in raising 50,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. I only need $12,000.
3) Properly communicate the vision. Really let people know what it is you're trying to make. I'll post the plot, script pages, art work, vlogs, we will even shoot some scenes to communicate what kind of movie this is.
4) Create an experience. Get people excited about this movie. Get them to WANT to help you make this movie happen. Don't just sell the movie, sell the experience of making a movie, and the experience of the movie itself.
5) Producer Rewards.

AHA! There it is. There's that other phrase. What indeed IS Producer Rewards?

That's what I'm working out right now. If I'm going to ask you for $20 I want to be able to give you something for it. A copy of the movie on DVD? Of course. How about a Special Thanks credit in the movie? Why not? Producer Rewards is providing unique incentives to people that contribute money to your movie. Anybody will be able to buy this DVD or download it digitally when we distribute it. But if you contribute to the Crowd Fund, you'll get something no ordinary customer will get. Perhaps it's an autographed poster along with your DVD.

Right now I'm working out a list of different incentives matched with specific dollar amounts. The higher the contribution, the bigger the incentives. And I've been busting my ass on it for a few days now. I'm running out of unique incentives. Right now if you gave me 12 grand I think I would straight up just be your personal man whore.

I'm in the middle of working on the script for CREEP, and I'm so very excited about this. It's just one outrageous scene after another and really CANNOT WAIT for you to see this.

Already we're hitting some stumbling blocks. The make up artist I wanted to use has moved away (but is considering coming back for the shoot, so Yay!) My lead actress maybe moving as well. This might all work out if I can raise the shooting budget before summer. If not I'll be holding a casting call. Cest la vie.

I hope to have a script done in the next few weeks, along with the budget, the crowd funding plan, and full list of producer rewards.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Believe In Indy Mogul

Indy Mogul is an online company that specializes in bringing you web videos and content dedicated to all things movies, especially moviemaking. Their flagship show is called BACK YARD FX. It's a weekly series where they show you how to create movie fx on an extremely low budget.

I've always loved the show and the very spirit of it. They did alot of tutorials on props and fx, much of which I myself had attempted before, and much of which I had never even thought of. It was nice to see someone put it all together in a 5 to 6 minute web series, where everything was explained properly and entertainingly so others may try to accomplish great fx on their own no budget movies. Shows like Backyard FX gave alot of wannabe, trying-to-be, and trying-to-be-better movie makers a chance to really make something great.

Erik Beck is both the founder of Indy Mogul and host of Back Yard FX. About a month and a half ago he had announced that he would be stepping down as host, in order to concentrate on improving the now very popular Indy Mogul. And thus a campaign would be set forth to find a new host for Back Yard FX. This person would need to submit a video that would show that they could do what Erik Beck had done every week for 3 years. Make a video explaining how to create a special effect or prop and then show how that effect or prop could be used in a test film.

As some of you know, I've been doing this for a while. I've always tried to create vlogs to detail exactly what it is I'm working on for different projects. Working on Monster Cops has been all about creating things for little to no money. The MKX300 Weapon which I made out of orange juice bottles, the Werewolf I'm currently building out of cardboard, and many, many others.  I decided to take my Necronomicon tutorial and cut it into an Back Yard FX video complete with a test film which I shot with the help of Ron Rice and Sterling Bollinger. I submitted it a few weeks ago.

I got an email from Erik Beck today telling me they're going to start showing some of the best video submissions, and they're starting WITH MINE!!!!! Also he thought my video was awesome and thought the test film was funny. How cool is that!?

They aired it on Indy Mogul and they put it on their YouTube Channel. And I gotta say, I am totally overwhelmed by such an amazing response from people. I was a little sick while I was working on the video, so I had cut some corners. Didn't use the external mics, didn't use ALL the lights, plus I was a bit pressed for time what with the day job and all. So I did the best in the condition I was in, but I knew I could've done SOOO much better. But I've been getting amazing messages and comments from alot of people. All of them impressed with the video and with me and I am totally humbled by this.

It's been a long day, and definitely it's been a long first month and a half of the year, so it was nice to get some positive feedback. Everyone's been so amazing. Even with my terrible little camera, and the mediocre compression on the upload. I was thinking the whole time I really need to upload in a higher quality, really wasn't expecting they would re-upload it to YouTube. But hey, it's watchable.

So here's the episode which they've decided to air on Indy Mogul and on YouTube:

Special thanks to Ron Rice and Sterling Bollinger for helping me out with the test film, excellent job guys! Even if I don't get picked for the job, it's always a blast to work on any video project, and definitely more so for Indy Mogul. Thank you to the great Erik Beck for the opportunity.

Now, I spend this week working on that giant Werewolf, which you can see my progress on at The REDD page.

I inch towards finishing up Monster Cops stuff, including the series proposal, so hopefully the money men will bless us with an actual budget to make more of this ...

Then there's the all important feature film that we will shoot this summer.

Much more on that later.