In TVWriter™’s tradition of tirelessly educating and offending whomever it can, wherever and whenever it can, today we’re presenting the first in what we hope will be a series of blog entries about the most tasteless new Kickstarter project we’ve seen in a long time. We mean, learning the ins and out of crowdfunding is pretty damn important these days, right?
by Kenneth Yoder
Hello there. My name is Kenneth Yoder and I am getting set to direct a new comedy web series called “Rodrigo Quintez: Quality Children’s Entertainer”. This blog is about the process of creating a show from the seed of an idea all the way through fundraising, casting, production, post-production and the release of the final product.
Currently, I’m mid-way through the “fundraising” stage. Specifically, I’m about a week away from ending my Kickstarter.com crowd funding campaign. For those of you that don’t know, Kickstarter is a website that you can use to raise money for your creative project. It is a super cool and very powerful tool for the independent filmmaker.
Now, if you’re thinking of doing a Kickstarter for your project, here is a bit of priceless advice that I got before I started. It’s simple and goes something like this:
Try not to make a stupid and boring and terrible Kickstarter project.
That’s the little nugget of wisdom that I have for you today. Even if your best effort ends up being the absolute worst, at least you’ll know that you tried – and, most likely, failed.
Take a look at our best try:
Stay tuned for our next blog entry. We’re casting a fat kid. Should be fun.
With a professional resume that, in any other business, would put me at the top of virtually every list, I should be relaxed and comfortable. But, like most of us over 50 (which is probably more like over 26 these days), getting “it” up on the screen in a “real” way is also virtually impossible.
So, I, Bruce Reisman, became an “indie” producer (another way of saying “no experience” or “way too much experience). I hooked up with a kid named Kris Black, (who would be the love-child of Brad Pitt and Colin Farrell if men could mate), and produced his movie, BLOOD EFFECTS.
Turned out pretty damn good. Renegade film-making. Tiny budget. Less than 2 weeks to shoot 88 pages, and a skeleton crew (some literally skeletons so I had to feed them well).
Now we’re close to the finish line, which means for BLOOD EFFECTS, it’s edited and ready for release… well, not really, unless we want to throw it on YouTube and suck it up for vanity. But there’s no money in vanity, and the film turned out too good. It’s slick and scary and inventive. So, we need $35,000.00 to get it into “deliverable” shape for “real” distribution worldwide.
That’s where Kickstarter comes in. It’s a crowd-funding site (in association with Amazon) that allows friends, lovers, cousins, wives, ex-wives who don’t hate us, et al, the opportunity to help us finish the movie. By pledging any amount from $25.00 and up, BLOOD EFFECTS gets a real shot at a real release. Take a look at the link:
It can be very effective. But we only have 30 days (our deadline is April 8) to raise all the money of our goal. Amazon will not release a nickel less. Thus, “reaching out” is putting it mildly. Some of us involved in BLOOD EFFECTS are going to “beg”. I won’t do that. I’m a seasoned pro, right?
However, my forever young mentor Larry Brody (my first staff job was under him on “The Fall Guy”), asked me to write something “funny” that he would share with his cronies, hoping to get them to kick in a few bucks for BLOOD EFFECTS.
Now, let me tell you a great Larry Brody memory from the early 80;s. He was producing an episode of “The Fall Guy”. I was in on the casting of the “guest girl” for that week. Larry had seen a young actress named Catherine Hearne in a play that I had happened to write and direct. He thought she was terrific, and “had her in” to read for the “guest girl” part, usually a big-titted hottie that Lee Majors would want to bang. Catherine came in, read for the roomful of Glen Larson “league of mavens”, and blew everyone away. Catherine was the girl that Larry had written. She was the real thing, trained, “another Sissy Spacek” is how Larry described her.
Then, decision time. Larry had the final word, but had the saddest look on his face after Catherine left the room. I remember it like it was yesterday… Larry shaking his head in frustration. I asked him what was wrong and he said, “She’s way too good. How the fuck am I going to put her in a two-shot with Lee Majors?”. He was right, of course.
Larry felt terrible about not hiring Catherine for “The Fall Guy”. But this is what really got me: He personally called the actress, and told her she didn’t get the part, despite being so talented. Then, a few weeks later, he wrote a part especially for her in a pilot he was writing for Larson. The pilot didn’t get shot, for whatever reason, but he sent Catherine the script and said… “If we’d have done this show, you’d have been in it.”
A mench. Beyond menchy. What producer would do that today?
So, after all these years, Larry found me on Linked In after I did a mass mailing for BLOOD EFFECTS. And true to form, after not speaking for a thousand years, Larry contacted me and told me he’d like to help me with finding a bunch of fellow menches, who might pledge the money to finish my movie.
Leopards don’t change their spots. Sometimes, that’s a good thing!
So go the link below and take a look. Pitch in, mates!
EDITED BY LB TO ADD: Bruce’s praise would embarrass the hell out of me, except that I have no memory whatsoever of the incident and the actress in question. Therefore, I accept what he’s written here as a good story, well worth hearing…just as I think we all should accept, you know, BLOOD EFFECTS.
God, I love the smell of blood spatter in the morning! (Has anyone mentioned that this movie is a mockumentary?)