Monthly Archives: May 2014

Another Top Ten Reasons to Support Bob’s Kickstarter Campaign

A few weeks back, I posted a humorous “Top Ten Reasons” list on my Kickstarter site for supporting my movie “Gymful Remembrances.” It received great positive response and sparked some truly generous pledges (thank you very much for that).

Now, as we come to the final three days of the campaign, I’d like to change the tone a bit with a different kind of Top Ten list. I hope you find it compelling and that you consider becoming a part of my project.  

Corporate pledges are also welcome. Businesses who contribute will have their logos displayed in the closing credits; product placement is also available for pledges (contact me to discuss pledge levels for each). Please pass the information along to anyone who might feel as you do that this project is important.

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10. My movie may not change the world, but it will speak volumes to audiences who face seemingly insurmountable odds and decidedly unfair obstacles in their daily lives and relationships.

9. By supporting my movie, you become a part of the creative process…not just as part of my film, but as part of the global creative process, and you receive credit for your support.

8. Don’t underestimate the warm feeling you get when you support someone’s dream…a feeling that gets even more intense when you see the results with your name attached to it!

7. You’ll definitely have a positive impact on so many other lives: audiences who relate to the story, actors who just might find that this is their big break, cinematographers who need this to get to the next step in their careers, and, of course, a 64-year-old screenwriter who feels he just may die if he doesn’t make this film! (My apologies to Kevin Smith…see my blog entry of May 7, 2014).

6. Your support will spark creativity and innovation among other filmmakers who, by seeing this movie made, will have the courage to follow their own dreams (take it from me, I never would have attempted this project had I not been encouraged by the creativity and tenacity of those before me).

5. By supporting my project, you will be supporting the arts, which is vital because art helps us unite lifestyles and promote understanding, and my script certainly attempts to do both.

4. By supporting my project, you will take an active role in soothing the human condition. That may seem like a rather lofty statement, but it’s true.  To quote a recent article on blog.artsusa.org, “When times are tough, art is salve for the ache.” After all, just think of how many times you’ve gone to the movies just to escape!

3. For those who may be skeptical of Kickstarter: While crowdfunding may be new to most people, it’s actually a rather ancient concept.  According to an article in “The Atlantic,” Alexander Pope, Mozart and the builders of the Statue of Liberty all used crowdfunding to support their artistic projects!

2. There are currently around 500,000 spec scripts currently floating around Tinseltown. Of those, only 50 or fewer will get made by Hollywood. The only way my story will be told is if I tell it myself.

1. There is absolutely no way this film will ever be made without your help!

Click here to help: http://kck.st/1hhCvJ0

Thanks!

Los Angeles film and TV actress Ana Harrison signs on for leading role in “Gymful Remembrances”

Ana Harrison is heading to New Jersey.

Ana HarrisonNo, she’s not abandoning Hollywood for the Garden State (although she just might consider relocating once she sees all that Jersey has to offer), but she is coming to north Jersey to star in a movie for Bob Messinger’s new film company, Where’s the Lake Productions.

She has agreed to take the female lead in Messinger’s film “Gymful Remembrances,” currently in pre-production.

Ms. Harrison has had co-starring and principal roles in television programs such as Warner Brothers’ “Felicity,” NBC’s “Love’s Deadly Triangle,” USA’s “Face in the Mirror” and Jerry Peterson’s “Gamers” among others.

Her feature film career includes principal and leading roles in classic independent movies including “Wassup Rockers,” Sundance favorite “EMR,” 2008′s “Reflections,” “My Roommate Larry,” and the soon-to-be-released comedy/horror feature “Get Dead.”

Ms. Harrison holds a BA in Theater Arts from Texas Tech University and has studied dance with Diana Moore. She has also studied under Second City, Toni Cobb, Larry Moss Studios and others.

“Ana is perfect for this role,” says Messinger, and with good reason.

“I actually wrote the role with her in mind, but I never dreamed in a million years that she would come to New Jersey to take it…not with her busy schedule,” he explains.

Messinger and Ms. Harrison met at a trade show in San Francisco in 2003. The company he was working for at the time hired the actress to work with them at the show.

“I was taken aback by her talent, honesty, dedication to her work and zest for life,” says Messinger.

“At that time, I had written several screenplays,” continues Messinger, “but I’d stopped because I’d become discouraged at the impossibility of getting anything read. But Ana’s dedication to her art was contagious, and she convinced me to get back in the game. And I did…the moment I got back to Jersey.”

The two talked a few times again after San Francisco, they’ve exchanged holiday greetings, and they’ve maintained contact via social media. But Messinger never forgot why he’d started writing again, and he never forgot that she had said to him, “One day you’ll write a leading role for me.”

“We’re coming full circle,” says the actress. And both say they couldn’t be more excited.
“Gymful Remembrances” will be a co-production between Messinger’s new production company and Nightstand Studios in Fairfield, NJ. Emmy winner Randy Rossilli is attached to direct.

The production is being funded on Kickstarter at http://kck.st/1hhCvJ0. The funding campaign ends on May 31 at 1:00 PM.

At 64, New Jersey resident tries his hand at filmmaking

Former small gym owner launches Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for movie

Bob Messinger wasn’t always interested in making movies, but he was always interested in writing them. In fact, he has five completed feature-length screenplays under his belt, three of which have won international script competitions.

So why, at 64, has Messinger made the switch from writing to filmmaking?

“It doesn’t matter how good your writing may be or how many awards you may have won,” he explains. “The sad fact is that spec scripts just don’t get made by Hollywood anymore. If you want to get your movie made these days, you have to do it yourself.”

And that’s just what Messinger hopes to do. He has recently launched a campaign on the popular crowd-funding site Kickstarter to film his award-winning script “Gymful Remembrances,” which is loosely based on his brief stint as the owner of a 24-hour gym in Parsippany, NJ. If the project is funded, he plans to shoot the movie in and around Parsippany.

According to his Kickstarter campaign page, ” ‘Gymful Remembrances’ is an award-winning screenplay featuring a somewhat quirky cast of characters, including a beleaguered small gym owner, a vengeful crow hell-bent on making him and his dog miserable, a disgraced sex therapist and a Jamaican mystic.”

Messinger describes the project as a “dramedy.”

While the story is set in a gym similar to the one he owned and deals somewhat with the ups and downs of that venture, it’s really a much more far reaching story of “baggage verses happiness,” he says.

“The characters I’ve created are a mixture of people I’ve known over the years as I’ve struggled to break my own destructive patterns and create rewarding relationships.”

Messinger, who spent most of his career as an advertising creative director, opened his 24-hour gym in Parsippany in 2007.

“Just in time for the economic downturn,” he laughs. “Timing has never been my strong point. And it’s certainly not the main character’s strength, either.”

It’s a topic Messinger says he had to approach with humor and a lot of self-deprecation.

Messinger is hoping to raise $70,000 through his Kickstarter campaign, which ends at 1:08 PM on May 31. If he doesn’t raise the full amount by that time, he gets absolutely nothing.

“We opted for Kickstarter’s all-or-nothing approach over other crowd-funding sites because to try to make this movie for anything less would result in a film of lesser quality,” he explains. “That just wouldn’t be fair to our supporters.”

Messinger’s goal of $70,000 is a mere pittance, considering that most Hollywood film budgets are in the millions, but he is confident that he can make a quality film for that amount. Aside from the fact that the digital age has made filmmaking easier and less costly, Messinger has also assembled a team of professionals to help him. He has partnered with Nightstand Studios in Fairfield and has enlisted the studio’s owner and Emmy winner Randy Rossilli to direct the film.

Rossilli, who also owns Nightstand Music Group, will also assist in the music and distribute the soundtrack. And singer/songwriter Shari Spiro of Netcong has already written and recorded the film’s closing song.

Cost will also be held down because most of the people working on the production, including most of the actors, will be donating their time and talents in return for film credit.

“This truly is going to be a north Jersey production,” exclaims Messinger.

A casting call will be going out as Messinger’s campaign gets close to reaching its goal.

“We’re not just taking people’s money and not giving them anything in return,” Messinger says of the Kickstarter project. “We have put together rewards at various levels in return for their support. Plus everyone who contributes gets a thank-you listing in the film’s closing credits.”

Anyone interested in supporting the film may do so by going to Kickstarter.com and searching for Gymful Remembrances, or they may just use the project’s short URL: http://kck.st/1hhCvJ0

Why else at 64 is Messinger determined to make his film?

“Let me explain it like this,” he answers. “I went to see Kevin Smith speak this weekend at the Montclair Film Festival. He explained why he maxed out his credit cards to make his first film, ‘Clerks.’ He said his compelling motivation was, ‘If I don’t get to do this, I think I’m gonna die.’ I fully understand.”

What is Kevin Smith thinking, and what does it have to do with my Kickstarter campaign?

I attended a session entitled “What Is Kevin Smith Thinking?” at this past weekend’s Montclair Film Festival. He explained why he maxed out his credit cards to make “Clerks” 20 years ago while he was making five dollars an hour in a convenience store. He said his compelling motivation was, “If I don’t get to do this, I’m gonna die.”

I actually gasped at his words. Those are exactly the same words I’ve been saying to friends and family for a couple of years now when I talk about making at least one of my scripts into a film. They tell me not to be so overly dramatic.

Okay, so maybe I won’t die…but I think something inside of me definitely will.

Many of you know me from school or our having worked together at one time or another, whether it was in journalism, marketing, advertising or during my brief stint as a small gym owner. But as devoted as I’ve been to my professional work, not one of the projects that defines my 40 years of corporate life has ever made me say, “If I don’t get to do this, I’m gonna die.”

So I have to make this movie. And I need your help. Hopefully, you’ve seen my LinkedIn and Facebook updates about my Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to film my script “Gymful Remembrances.” I’m taking the crowd-funding route because, unlike Kevin Smith of 20 years ago, my credit cards are already maxed out (having a mortgage and a daughter who’s a college freshman will kind of do that to you).

It’s a good script. My wife and brothers think so. But more importantly, so does the Indie Gathering International Film Festival Screenwriting Competition (first place, drama/comedy category, 2012) and the Garden State Film Festival Screenwriting Competition (top-five finalist, 2011).

Those of you who know me also know how hard is for me to ask for help…especially monetarily, so you know this has to mean a lot to me. But here goes…

Please consider being a part of this project by visiting my Kickstarter project page (http://kck.st/1hhCvJ0), seeing what it’s all about, and becoming a patron of the film. I’ve put together a professional team, and we’re giving away all sorts of goodies at the various contribution levels. Of course, every patron gets a participation acknowledgement during the film’s closing credits. And if I can be just a little bolder here…please also pass the word along to your friends and colleagues, especially those who enjoy supporting the arts, asking them, too, to become a part of “Gymful Remembrances.”

Whew! That actually was really hard! I’ve always been much better at creating sales materials to put in other people’s hands so they could ask for the money!

That link again is http://kck.st/1hhCvJ0, or just go to Kickstarter.com and search for “Gymful Remembrances.”

Kevin Smith at the 2014 Montclair Film Festival.

Kevin Smith at the 2014 Montclair Film Festival.