Okay, so my second crowdfunding attempt didn’t go as expected.
Admittedly, I did spend a little time feeling bitter. The preliminary numbers indicated that I should have been successful had everyone who had promised their support come through. But they didn’t. Not by a long shot.
But such is life.
I still have a lot of faith in the project. If it weren’t a viable one, it’s unlikely that it would have received the awards it has. But this script is going on the shelf. For now, that is.
From the very beginning, my advisors at Seed & Spark (still the premier crowdfunding platform for independent film, in my opinion) stressed that I would have an uphill battle because, as a first-time filmmaker, I had nothing to show. It didn’t seem to matter that I’d put together an experienced production team, a seasoned lead actress and original music, or even that I have a host of screenwriting awards under my belt. People still need to see what I have done before they open their wallets.
Thus, as promised, I have come up with Plan B.
I have written a short script that I plan to shoot and edit myself. It is tentatively titled “Dongmei.”
Settings are simple. If necessary, I will sell my car to purchase or rent lighting, sound equipment and other gear. Shooting will be done on a first-generation Canon Rebel EOS, and editing will be done on Adobe Premiere Pro.
Principal photography will be in one location. Eight easily obtained locations will be used for super-quick, intercut flashbacks. Shooting will be done in and around Parsippany, NJ.
Running time will be about 20 minutes, and I plan to shoot in early summer. The whole shoot should take about five days (not necessarily consecutive).
The cast consists of two actors with speaking roles and a handful of actors with non-speaking roles for the quick flashbacks.
Volunteers are wanted for this no-budget film.
The female lead should be a Chinese woman, around 45, with no Chinese accent, but the ability to speak a few Chinese words (Cantonese or Mandarin).
The male lead should be around 35 (only his hands and arms will be seen).
Non-speaking cameo roles include:
• Two young thugs being beat up by a woman on a street corner.
• A young woman in her 20s witnessing the skirmish.
• A woman on a cell phone being attacked while sitting in a salon chair (any age).
• A Chinese girl around 7.
• A Chinese girl around 10.
• A Chinese girl around 16.
• A Chinese girl around 13.
• A gruff-looking Chinese nanny, around 45.
• A 35-year-old drunk father (lead male can double if necessary, as his face is never seen in lead role).
• A 35-year-old mother).
• 30-year-old skinny man (an uncle).
• A middle-aged overweight man (a john).
• A 46-year-old Chinese woman (an adult version of the 10 and 16-year-old.
The non-speaking cameos are very small, easily acted parts. All will get film credit.
Other volunteers are needed in virtually any capacity (sound, lighting, editing, sound editing, gofers, etc.). To volunteer, contact me at F1Promo@aol.com.
In the meantime, I have been approached by writer/director Caytha Jentis (“And Then Came Love” with Vanessa Williams and Eartha Kitt, “Bad Parents” with Janeane Garofolo and Cheri Oteri) to work with her as an associate producer on a new episodic comedy-drama pilot called “Now What?” We’re holding a kickoff fundraising event this Thursday evening, March 26, at The Slipper Room on New York’s lower east side. Feel free to join us! Admission is $20, and there will be a cash bar and some raucous entertainment. I will be posting more about the event on Facebook today. The project is an exciting one, and it will help me build professional credits that should benefit me on future projects.
So there you have it! Plan B, as promised. With Plan A only temporarily shelved!
As always, comments and suggestions are welcome!