How Dare I Do This

It’s been an exciting few weeks since my last update about our fundraising push. We have over 35 investors on board who have pledged more than $80,000 towards making our movie. We still need over $50,000 to reach our budget, but if we can cut the difference in half then we will launch a crowd sourcing campaign for the rest.

Despite having a long way to go in a short time, it is amazing and a bit terrifying that we have raised as much as we have. That’s over 80,000 examples of faith in that I can deliver this movie. Looking at it another way, it’s like more than 80,000 George Washingtons judging me if I fail. That’s like a filled stadium! Too overwhelming. Let’s just say 800 Ben Franklins.

images.jpeg

“Either write something worth reading, or do something worth… wait, HOW much does your movie cost? And what’s a movie?”

Of course there is doubt. I wouldn’t be human if there wasn’t, right? As a freelance writer and director I deal with doubt on a regular basis. Successes are fleeting, and rejections sometimes stick a long time. If you have two minutes, Ben Folds and Nick Hornby do an EXCELLENT (and slightly NSFW) job in the song “A Working Day” to describe what it’s like to be a writer. For example: “Some guy on the net thinks I suck, and he should know; he’s got his own blog.”

In fact, the pledges from investors are very encouraging. I feel empowered by their faith and desire to go on the journey with us. Sure, there have been a lot of rejections from potential investors, but that is to be expected and is not daunting.

However, a few rejections gave me pause. The gist of their comments are simple: “I would rather spend my money helping our country right now, as we are in a bad place.” Another potential investor delayed the investor conversation because of planning a benefit to support child refugees.

Yes. Absolutely. There is nothing more important than overcoming the obstacles to human rights in our country in the coming months and years. I have been calling, writing, and marching. I am nervous for the future for us all, especially my two year old son. We are at a dangerous crossroad right now…

…so how dare I think about taking money from the greater good for a selfish cause like making a movie?

Taking this even further, some of the people who have already pledged to invest are going through hard times right now, and I’m talking EXTREME hard times: sudden loss of loved ones, dying pets, career changes. Surely I should let them off the hook with their investment and let them focus on their grief and troubles.

Furthermore:

  • This movie won’t save the world.
  • This movie isn’t important. (I just watched 13th. THAT is definitely an important movie and if you haven’t seen it already, see it tonight.)
  • This movie won’t solve any of our nation’s problems.
  • This movie will cost money that could otherwise go to help people out.

So with all that’s going on out there, why make this movie?

And here’s where I’m drawing a blank. I’ve spent the last two days staring at this screen, willing the words to come. And I can’t. This is where I’m supposed to turn this post around and talk about the importance of art. The importance of going to work every day no matter what. How we should all just keep going with our lives.

Keep Calm.png

But I can’t say that.

Because this movie is definitely NOT more important than protecting women’s reproductive rights. This movie is definitely NOT more important than making sure people of all color, gender, and sexual orientation are free to live as themselves without fear of the government or hate groups persecuting them. Same goes with religious freedom for those practicing ANY religion, or those who don’t practice any religion. This movie is NOT more important than saving our earth from corporate greed, and protecting the environment from humanity, as if we weren’t the most important creatures on this planet. This movie is NOT more important than helping refugees who are giving up everything they have just to escape danger. This movie is not more important than caring for dying loved ones, burying pets, healing from horrible injuries and illnesses, and putting food on our table while helping others put food on their table.

This movie is so unimportant. And I can’t pretend otherwise.

But I’m still going to make this movie.

Advertisements

The Big Push!

Our investor campaign 2.0 is in full swing. We sent out emails, made phone calls, and would be willing to tap dance for dollars if it makes a difference.

giphy.gif

And investors have responded. As of this morning we have received over half our goal amount. Even better, we are over 75% towards our goal of having enough money to crowd source the rest. And as you read this, over a dozen investors and producers are mulling over their participation, and at what level.

Keep on dancing, keep on dancing.

It has been an interesting and exciting challenge to fund raise. Sure, I have a mailing list for my writing career (nearly 800 people!) and there are all of you who read this blog (nearly 8 people!), but I had to stretch my circle of contacts further.

Facebook!

source.gif

I scrolled through all of my Facebook friends to see if there was anyone who might be a match for this project. Who did I find?

  • Out of work actor
  • Unemployed writer
  • Underemployed actor
  • High school teacher
  • Improv instructor
  • Financial planner
  • Waiter (a.k.a. unemployed actor)
  • Dog trainer
  • Doctor
  • Blogger

Wait. Back up. That’s it!

Nope, the improv instructor doesn’t have any extra funds right now. And that dog walker started a GoFundMe for rent. But wait, hold on… financial planner? Doctor?

Should I reach out to these people? One is someone I haven’t spoken to SINCE HIGH SCHOOL. And for those of you who don’t know me personally, that was OVER EIGHT YEARS ago. And the doctor? Wait, a relative is doing very well. I kept scrolling, and found others who were doing well financially, or at least appeared to be doing well on Facebook.

But why would they want to hear from me about money? Won’t they be offended? Am I good enough to ask for money? Is this project worth it? Aren’t there bigger issues in the world today? Who do I think I am?

And then a voice spoke to me:

“Just ask them, dummy.”

9caa32d58fd8949716d30e97353a2499.jpg.gif

“Who you callin’ dummy?”

There’s no harm in asking! People can say no. People can be offended.

But I’m not getting anywhere unless I ask. And so I did.

And do you know what happened?

I got a lot of rejections.

But I reconnected with a lot of people and caught up with them. One friend and his wife are gearing up to adopt. Another friend was in a serious accident and is on the long slow road to recovery, but is recovering. Another friend is making a movie of his own and can’t fund anyone else’s movie. It felt very good to reconnect with people I haven’t seen or spoken to in a while. And human contact, albeit electronically, is vital and important.

But it won’t pay for my movie.

But there are a few people who pledged money! And a few others who are considering it. So it was worth it.

If we get greenlit (WHEN we get greenlit!) there will be a lot of uncomfortable moments in the coming months. I have to embrace them. And embrace pushing myself to new and scary places.

This was a good step.

Oh, and if I didn’t connect with you and you want to find out about investing, reach out to me! At the very least, I would LOVE the opportunity to strike up a conversation with you and see how you are doing.