Asking people for money is never easy. It doesn't get any easier the second time, and a third? Downright terrifying.
When my short film (the second time I asked for money) "The Evolution of a Gen-X Music Purchaser" reached its crowdfunding goal in April of 2014, I figured that'd be the last time I'd ever crowdfund.
I'd make a really cool film, get into a major festival, network, meet people, and my next project would get financed with grants or investors.
I was right on most of that.
It got into Tribeca.
I met a lot of people.
I met a lot of people interested in working with me on my next project.
The investors and grants didn't happen though.
I'm still just a guy who made a short film. Granted, it did incredibly well, almost better than I could've ever imagined, but again, sitll just a guy with a screenplay I want to direct with no money or name-talent attached.
I've met with investors. They like the script. I think they like me. But alas, it's a hard script to "sell". It's a romantic com/drama about technology. It's about a Facebook engineer who creates an algorithm that accurately predicts romantic compatibility among Facebook users. It was a 2015 Academy Nicholl Fellowship Quarterfinalist. That's a big deal. That's the most prestigious screenwriting contest in the world. That means I placed in the top 300 out of close to 8000 scripts.
And while I think it's a film a lot of people would want to see, it's not a thriller or a horror movie which re much easier to sell and produce since they don't require name talent to get off the ground. The genre alone is the star.
One thing investors did mention was the idea of creating a proof of concept, or a sizzle reel, or a short film to "show" them what the movie would look like. I actually floated this idea around years ago for a thriller I wrote called Dead Peasants (formerly 4 of a Kind - the first time I asked for money)
And that's where we are today.
This is my third time crowdfunding on Kickstarter. I failed the first time, succeeded the second time.
So why the hell am I making another short?
The purpose of the short is to not only show investors what the movie looks like, feels like and sounds like but to also get into another major film festival and attract investment. And frankly, it's also to prove that I can direct actors and tell the story.
This approach has worked before and is exactly how Whiplash got made. (I don't think they crowdfunded that though)
I have no idea how this will end.
It could be met with an utter "meh" or people could rally around it and be part of something bigger, right at the ground floor. I think it'd be cool to have been a supporter of Whiplash in its infancy considering how utterly fucking amazing that feature turned out.
I'll find out in about 18 days. Why such a short time? Well...
As they used to say in The Wire, you only do two days in prison: the day you go in and the day you get out. In crowdfunding, the two days which really matter are the day you launch and the day you finish.
It sorta either happens or it doesn't.
I'm hoping it does and I hope you come along for the ride.
Wish me luck.