connecting our local production community
This message went out to all my L.A. film school alums and all the contacts I've met through them, and now to my fellow Fresno filmmakers.
My alum friend Craig Wilson runs MindFill Entertainment in San Diego and Mental Eclectic in L.A., and runs many film and media events, such as festivals, etc. He's offering his inventory of equipment and sound stages for me to use. He recently proposed that we should all join superpowers and get something off the ground, be it in L.A. or Fresno or elsewhere. I agree, and submit that it should be narrative fiction (I'll leave documentaries to those that excel at it).
However, unless funding is secured and paychecks are involved in a project, I am essentially grounded here in Fresno. I cannot afford to take low- or no-pay gigs out of town. So I'm left to make my own film for the time being. I did it years ago, before I moved to L.A., and here I am doing it again.
I have many scripts to choose from. Several have been considered by studios and producers. All are low-budget. To shoot one myself, I will need to raise some money. Not much, but more than what I have now (which is zero).
My current strategy is the similar to the one that James Wan used to make "Saw": shoot the first scene of my current script, as best as I can, then use it to help raise "finishing funds," which is basically the entire budget.
Once the scene is shot, edited, scored, etc. I plan on creating a webpage to gather donations from basically everyone I've ever met. Anyone that knows me knows that I've been trying to make a film or otherwise get a break in film since the mid-90's, so I'm counting on their help plus their confidence in my skills (based on the scene) to throw in some money.
I'm choosing to go with donations, as opposed to investments, at first, because it's easier for non-film-investor people to wrap their heads around. The webpage will feature the scene (video), photos, my bio and resume, bios and pics of cast and key crew, and lastly a big fat DONATE button.
Once I raise all the money I can from family and friends, I will then use the web page to gather donations from non-friends and non-family, using social media. My strategy is based on the fact that people are more willing to donate (or invest, etc.) when there is already money in place. One thing I've learned during my countless L.A. investor pitch meetings is that no one wants to be the *first* (or even among the first) to toss cash in the pot. If many others have already contributed, it's less difficult to convince others to do the same. My pitch meetings often ended with "It sounds great.. If you can raise a quarter of the budget, I'll give you the rest."
So right now, the opening scene is written, and I believe it will do well in selling the entire project. If done right, the scene will show how the film will look and feel, and leave viewers curious for more. It will also show what can be done with a modest budget and a Fresno cast and crew.
A few of my alum pals will travel to Fresno, as a favor to me, to help me shoot it since I cannot pay anyone. To round out the project, I'm designing it around local talent and crew. We all know that pickens are slim in Fresno, but there *is* talent here if you look. I'm looking to find a few dedicated, experienced folks here to help me pull it off. I'm hoping that the Fresno Filmmakers Alliance will help round out my crew.
If you're interested in helping to make this happen, let me know and I will tell you more about the story, locations, equipment, etc. If we pull together, there's no reason why we couldn't get this bird in the air.
Please forward this anyone else that may be interested. Also, feel free to contact me directly.
Filmmaker In Progress
Best of Luck to you on this Film Project! There is a lot of Talent to pull from in Fresno!
Thanks for the offer. I'll definitely keep you guys in mind for when I gear up for the shoot.
Thanks for this. When I post a casting call, I'll send you an email personally, to make sure you can make it on the date/time. If you of any other actors, let me know.
Thanks Scotty. I'm always looking for local talent, including composers. Do you have a website with music samples? Perhaps a reel of projects you've scored? If so, send me a link. Thanks!
I'd like to audition when call for casting call my bio and head shot is in Fresno filmmakers Alliance along with my resume. e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Dolores. I'll be sure to contact you when that time comes.