Making a Movie With a DSLR and (crowd) Funding It

The first thing I will say is – I did it!  I successfully created a movie

State Theater, Traverse City, MI

– from soup to nuts – with the smallest of micro-budgets, a tiny crew and a lot of hard work.  We’ve had some nice awards at film festivals along with a slew of rejections, and it has been one of the richest experiences of my life.

I’ve written about the journey and the technical aspects of the making of this film, on this blog and the Opening Our Eyes blog.  One of the most popular posts on this blog (it continues to get dozens of hits each day) is the post I wrote about gearing up for this movie. I’ve written so much about this project that I decided to collate a lot of my material and produce a couple of ePubs.  One is available now and hopefully, the 2nd one will be online soon.

A good idea, hard work and a lot of determination are essential in pulling off something like this – and to be crazy enough and confident in yourself to think you can do it.  I can tell you one thing – the confidence factor had its ebbs and tides.  I found that many times my level of confidence changed with my “hits” and my “misses”.  That certainly came into play during both my crowd funding campaigns on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.  I’ve been thinking a lot about crowd funding lately because it seems like just about everybody is doing it these days. It certainly has exploded since I reached my Kickstarter goal, a year and a half ago. Seth Godin announced today that he is launching a Kickstarter campaign to publish his ePubs – sounds like his traditional publisher doesn’t want to take the risk and finance it until he sees if “the people” are interested.

I have to tell you that I was somewhat bothered when I read Godin’s blog. Kickstarter doesn’t accept every project that gets pitched to them.  When I did it the acceptance rate was about 40-45%.  I don’t know what it is now, but it’s got to have dropped significantly.  And that’s the thing – when “publishers” won’t take the risk, and high profile writers turn to their readers to back them, it’s going to be harder for the true “indie” to get noticed.  The same thing has happened with a lot of film festivals.  Film festivals started out, as a place for indie’s to screen their movies.  Now, at many of the festivals, the “indies” are competing with the big indie studios.

Things are constantly changing.  It becomes harder for the “indie” to get funded and noticed but it’s also easier because of social media. If  you are thinking of embarking on a project – a film or a book – and you aren’t sure if you should do it or can afford it – you can either talk yourself into it – or out of it.  It’s kind of like looking at the glass, half full or half empty.  I can choose to muse on my losses and put myself in a funk, or I can reflect on my wins and the rewards that have come into my life with the making of this film, and feel good about myself.  Each day, I ask myself which way do I want to tip? it’s up to me to determine my value – not anyone else. And today, I think I will feel pretty good about what I was able to achieve.

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3 Responses to “Making a Movie With a DSLR and (crowd) Funding It”

  1. edmcdonald Says:

    Good post Gail, getting Noticed seems like it’s always the highest hurdle.

  2. Gail Mooney Says:

    Hi Ed,
    I have found that you can’t really “push” to get noticed. But, if you do the work and it’s good – it will come to you.

  3. Mark Wexler Says:

    That’s the key, Gail, isn’t it? Deciding which way you want to tip that day…. well put!

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