Saturday, January 29, 2011

Another weekly update: This week's theme - the rollercoaster

1. The Times Colonist article came out on Tuesday, and I didn't even know we were on the front cover until I received a few tweets of congratulations. Crazy! And I looked crazy in the photo, but that's cool. It was a really fun photo shoot.

2. We received a tonne of emails from folks we don't know to say congrats on the movie. FUN! One stood out in particular. It was from a woman who always wanted to act in movies, but her parents wanted to keep her safe from the possible rejections. She's proud of us for taking the leap forward and sent us a cheque in the mail. Woohoo!

3. Our kickstarter campaign leaped from 7% to 10% in a day - mostly because of the Times article. Score!

4. Received an email from local garage band, Handsome Distraction - they want to help us fundraise, with a view to being in the movie somehow. Met with Devin over a drink and discussed the movie, his ideas & how we can collaborate. I love people that just get on with things, pitch their ideas & take charge. AWESOME.

So, we agreed that they will organize a local garage band gig here in Victoria & we'll spread the word about them, give them credit in the movie & do as many shout outs as we can. Good times.

The other idea that's brewing is a massive garage band contest where indie bands submit their music on facebook or our website and their fans vote. Our promise would be to watch each & every submission and choose the best ones for the movie. Any ideas on that one?

5. I pitched to Awesome Shit Club - a local group that has people give $50 into a collective pot and invite people like me to pitch their awesome ideas. There were 10 pitches, kind of like Dragon's Den, but very local. Great ideas! The winner was the "Doc-Bus" - a couple of women who want to buy a bus & travel the country showing documentaries. At least I lost to a fellow filmmaking enthusiast.

6. Speaking of Dragon's Den - it's a dream of mine to one day have dinner with the dragons. I just know we'll really get along over wine & good food. So, when I saw the tweet that CBC Vancouver was holding a contest on their facebook page for Brett Wilson, I had to enter. We had to submit a 60 second pitch video on their page in the hopes of being 1 of 3 selected to pitch to Brett in person at a mall in Vancouver today. We lost (theme of the week? ugh...) - but I loved doing the pitch. You can see it on the bottom of their facebook page.
We also posted a funny outtake video on our facebook page, where Jen's one year old daughter ends the video with a "Woooo!"

7. I went to two of Philip Bisset-Caveneiro's talks where he also plugged our movie. What a kick-ass business man/entrepreneur/philanthropist/friend.

8. Jamie Gale & I met in person, after tweeting for a couple of months. Local mortgage broker for high-end properties (Go Jamie!), and movie lover. Love that!

9. Experienced the total emotional roller coaster of crowd-funding for indie movies. From "FRACK YES! We can do this! AND IT'S SO FRIKKIN' FUN!" to "Oh gawd, am I really asking people for money AGAIN?"

My shoulders hurt, my neck is killing me, I haven't worked out in ages, I'm afraid I'm being a bad friend - it's like I have a new boyfriend and all I want to do is talk about him (blah blah blah - movie this, movie that - blah blah blah)...but then I hung out with a great friend this week, laughed about this very neurosis & since she does have a new boyfriend she completely understood. I love her enthusiasm for her guy and I'm happy to listen to her talk about him non-stop, so we're okay. I can talk movie and she can talk boy. Phew!

10. Hired Andy Dooley as my life coach. Yup - I know... I need one. Andy's a really fun, super-positive, silly guy and I know I need to get all the help I can get in these next few months. No idea how I'll pay him, but hey - that's what he's for right? To help me see clearly, find more $, laugh more, make it all he's a good friend and I feel really comfortable being honest about my ups & downs these days so I think we're a good match. Stoked!

11. Had great chats with Adam Daniel Mezei, a PMD and reporter with Film Courage who is at Sundance this week. He does a live video every morning at 9am from Sundance and I've managed to catch at least half of them. Great guy!

12. Speaking of Film Courage - they asked me to write an article for their website/blog and man oh man, have I ever got to get on that! It's been weeks since they asked, and I really want to do it - but for some reason, I'm totally blocked. Help!

13. Bought my gold & industry pass for the Victoria Film Festival, where I plan to meet Dan McKellar & Bruce McDonald. Set up a meeting with Mongrel Media, Canadian indie distributors.

14. Jen whipped up some promo postcards for me to hand out at the Vic Film Festival and when I have meetings with folks. Had them printed at Staples - 1000 postcards cost $333 - and they're not even cut straight! ARGH. Fingers crossed that they bring in the funds to make it worthwhile.

15. Met with our designers via skype. I love these guys! I'm struggling with the purpose of our website in pre-production, as the site will launch March 4th (the date I set which depended on when I get paid so I can pay them), and we start shooting April 4th. We only have a few cast members and will be doing more auditions in a few weeks, so the garage band isn't really all there yet.

Their concepts are awesome - the problem is me. Their idea is to have the website tell more of the back story behind the band, which I love - but I wonder: why aren't other indie's doing this? Or are they? I need to see some quality indie film websites that launched in pre-production. Today's task: web searches. If you know of any sites I should see, please let me know. Although I doubt you've even read this far into the blog post as I am saying way, way, way too much today. Just so much to say!

16. AHHHHHHH!!! I'm overwhelmed. Can you tell?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Film as a family affair - First Article in the Times Colonist about Locked in a Garage Band

Film as a family affair

Check it out! Jen & I were interviewed by Michael Reid, of the Times Colonist (Vancouver Island newspaper that goes to 72 000 homes) and photographed in my garage.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Holy shnikey - a lot has happened this week!

Here's the list of schtuff we got to do this week:

1. Jen whipped up an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) in a couple of days, using photographs from our amazing photographer, David Bukach. She included quotes from fellow screenwriters, the synoposis, our bios and our production & distribution plan. I wanted to find a publicist to do the job, but in the end, the indie-DIY approach seems to work best for us anyway. Jen even quoted Donald Trump ("Think Big & Kick Ass") which just makes me giggle. How many indie's quote The Donald I wonder?

2. I sent off the EPK with a short little email about us as sisters making a film set in Victoria to a few media folks. Michael Reid from the Times Colonist (a Vancouver Island newspaper that goes out to 72 000 subscribers) interviewed us the same night, and sent over a photographer the next morning. Once again, Jen & I were in my garage getting photographed. My neighbours are starting to think I'm nuts. Or maybe they already did? Our feature will come out on Tuesday.

3. I had 3 meetings this week with local businessmen that I wanted to get feedback from, advice & maybe even pledges from. One was particularly awesome. He loves movies and immediately got excited about our journey & being involved. Score! A wicked pledge later (on our kickstarter campaign - we're now at 7%!), and plans for further involvement and I ended the week on a super positive note. Thanks Philip!

4. I did my first ever skype podcast interview with Nick in London, England - from the Clapper Bored. Fun! See this post.

5. Jen came up with a brilliant idea for fundraising - go through the Canadian Who's Who, look for people with an arts interest & ask them via email, including our EPK and the website. So, off I went to the local library (the book costs $200!), to start the hunt. There are 13 000 biographies, in alphabetical order, and...what was I thinking?! It's a daunting task.

2 hours later, and I was only at W. I started at Z.

I decided to include everyone with an email address, rather than focus just on "arts" folks - since my own bio wouldn't show arts, but I would love to receive such a request from a filmmaker. Still, it seemed like an awful lot of time to go through the whole book. Surely, this thing is online?!

We did some more research, this time with wine in hand at home, and found out that yes - the book is online at the U.Vic library (and likely many others!), and with a student or faculty login I can see the whole thing. Only problem is that UVic's latest edition is 2006. The best part is that I can do searches, which highlight the keywords - so I can search for "filmmaker" - go through all 13 000 skim find the folks I will write about the art of filmmaking with.

Seriously, I just might be crazy to do this.

And I question - is this spam?

I'm thinking no, because each email will be personal to the reader, and each person listed in the Who's Who wants to be in there, recognized as a Canadian with klout. So, surely they want to be contacted?

Anyway, lots to be said there. BTW, the book exists in America and England - go nuts!

6. Twitter fun! I always meet such interesting folks on twitter. One mortgage broker tweeted on Friday that his schedule was quite light the next few weeks, so if any tweeps want to meet up let him know. We've never met in person, so I threw my name in the hat. We're meeting on Monday to discuss Locked in a Garage Band. Stoked! Can't wait to hear what he thinks, what advice he has, and hey, maybe he'll make a pledge? That would rock.

7. Design fun! Met with our designers via skype and I must say - these two seriously rock. It's refreshing to speak with web designers who know movies. Every time I make a reference to another flick, they know it! Again, score! Check out their "Prostrate Czech" website - so funny.

8. Received an email from a fellow Victoria filmmaker that pretty much said, "Call me. I have input for you." - Oh. God. My heart skipped a beat. I worried that we were doing everything back-ass-wards and this guy with 25 years experience (that I don't know btw) was going to tell me as much. I even called Jen to ask what I should do. She, being the wise sister, told me man up & make the call. This guy was awesome! He loves what we're doing & had loads of great feedback for me. Woohoo!

9. Just found out - mercury is retrograde from March 26-April 23rd. So. We're shooting while Mercury is retrograde. Shit. We have to be really clear, really prepared, and patient with delays & miscommunications. Did I mention we're shooting over 10 days?

10. My nephew turned 5. Took a break from focusing on the movie & got to play soccer in the park with a bunch of little kids. Perspective is everything.

11. We managed to watch the entire season 1 of United States of Tara. I call it "research." I love this job!

Wonder what's going to happen this week?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Funny Podcast Interview with Nick from The Clapper Bored

I just completed my very first podcast interview. I love listening to podcasts and have always thought that I should start my own, but must admit that I find the task of learning just how to do it daunting. And let's face it - I'm swamped with making a movie as it is!

So I was pretty excited to be on a podcast at all. I absolutely loved chatting with Nick in London from He's a great guy with a funny concept - we chatted about Locked in a Garage Band and movie making in general and then jumped into the "Famous scene of the week" which I got to choose. And then we discussed the "movie of the week" - also my choice. I won't give it away here, but will tell you that I got my Molly Ringwald on. *swoon*

I'll post the link to the podcast here when it's up. Happy days!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Don McKellar & Bruce McDonald at the Victoria Film Festival 2011

When I was in high school in 1992, I watched Highway 61 and Roadkill over & over again. And now, flash forward to 2011 and I'm making my first movie (Locked in a) Garage Band and dream of meeting the guys that inspired me way back in the day.

So guess who's coming to town in a little under 2 weeks? Yes, that's right - my high school filmmaking heroes: Don McKellar & Bruce McDonald.

O. M. G.

I'm going to meet them. They don't know it yet, but it's going to happen. Just you watch.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kickstarter Campaign for Locked In a Garage Band

How excited am I?! We already have 19 backers for our $20 000 kickstarter campaign, and almost $1000 in pledges. Awesome!

We can't do it with your help, so please keep on spreading that word. It's been really cool to see people pledging that we don't personally know, and I suspect they heard about the movie from people like you - reading this blog, or following my tweets, or maybe your friend posted the video on your facebook. However you came across our lil' project, please help us turn our dreams into reality.

Exciting news for Victoria BC residents - Jen & I will be on Chek news this coming Monday night at 7:00pm and again at 10:30pm. We did an interview with Gordie Tupper in my garage, the same place we shot the teaser. It was pretty funny. Jen loathes being in front of the camera, but I suspect you won't be able to tell that from the video. Hope not anyway! And I'm just a big goof, so...well we'll see how it turns out.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

On Patience & How I Need Some

When I was at the Austin Film Festival this past October, I kept hearing fellow filmmakers tell us newbies that we needed to learn patience.  Our first scripts probably wouldn't be the ones to sell, and it takes 6-10 years to make it in the industry.  "Just be patient," we were told.  I probably heard those statements in various forms about 20 times over the 9 day festival.

As a former primary school teacher, I like to think I can be patient.  Key word: can.  It doesn't mean I like to be. In fact, I think that's why I enjoyed teaching in primary schools - those kids move fast!  I had to move faster than the kids, keeping one step ahead of them at all times, particularly in inner city schools in London, England - or else fights would break out, kids would be hurt and I'd ultimately feel like a really rubbish teacher (like my use of "rubbish" there? Oh, the British! I love them so).

But now, I'm making movies.  And let me tell ya - it takes a whole lot of time to go from point A to point B in the movie world. And we're moving ridiculously fast according to our film-making friends who have already made their first features.  Apparently, it takes at least a year to go from script to final movie.  We're doing it in 6 months. 

Jen, the writer/director in our sister-filmmaking team is much more patient than I am.  She's already written 12 scripts, had a bunch of options and a Praxis contest win, and she manages to write while her 3 kids are running around the house around her.  I'm not even kidding.  I call it the circus over there. 

Our website's not done yet, so we're holding off on the kickstarter launch until it is.  Any day now folks!  At least the teaser is out there and getting loads of great reviews & retweets on twitter.  Now, my patience is being tested as I click "refresh" a gazillion times a day to see how many people have seen it.  I hope to reach a level where I stop refreshing.  If you haven't seen it yet, here it is.

Please share it!

Also, if you have any tips or tricks for learning to be more patient - send them my way.   I need all the advice I can get!