Sunday, December 20, 2009

Climbing the Tree

As we have moved forward with production of this film, we've written two grant proposals, but really relied on people who have known about the film and close family friends for funding. The budget isn't high-cost. I was hoping to get $8500 from 3 investors. And with each request we have heard great supportive words:
- Sounds wonderful
- Can't wait to see it
- Great work
- Impressive
- What an amazing script

While I wish each of these words came with a dollar value, they don't. My DP is very concerned that we won't be able to have the equipment and crew that we need to make this film look decent. And I agree with him. We are concerned. Times are tough. And it doesn't help that our production schedule was pushed up three weeks, which means we're doing heavy fundraising around Christmas. Not an easy time for anyone.

But I think we've developed a fantastic Investor Prospectus. After reading this, who wouldn't want to be a part of this amazing film project?

The script is great. The cast is amazing. And we have a talented and skilled production and post-production crew. But ultimately, it's all about the story, which is inspiring, funny and bittersweet. The little film has the potential to go ALL THE WAY. We just need one person, or 3 people, with enough faith in that. $20,000 worth of faith. Better yet, can 100 of our film followers donate just $50 each to get us going?

Our first (and so far, only) investment has come from a single parent with 3 kids, who's working PT as a teacher at CSU Sacramento. That is true giving. And when I'm rolling quarters to buy bread for my daughter's lunch, I wonder about those NO's that I have gotten. It's disheartening. At the same time, I know that it's all relative and I can't begrudge those who have their own lives, their own families, and their own travels they're involved in. What is their motivation to invest in this dream?

I have done my fair share of fundraising, and film has always been the most difficult. People will give to charities, to cure diseases, even to performance groups and art museums, but film is its own beast. At some level it's perceived as a luxury. People love movies, going to movies, fantasizing about movies. But even experienced investors know it's a huge gamble, and for many potential investors, they just see a big black hole. But film itself is bigger than that. It's the place where dreams are made. Everyone loves a good movie. It's like good music. It touches something deep inside our humanity, going back to drawings on cave walls.

So I am climbing the tree, and moving forward with faith that someone, somewhere, will believe in this film and help bring it to life. I do truly believe that it will be good enough to recoup everyone's investment, including my own, which is substantial already, not counting the soul points I'm paying out. It's wicked funny, which in the end I think life should be... full of laughter.

May everyone be blessed this holiday season,
Maria Collette Sundeen

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