Tag Archives: independent movies

Jenni Spiro’s empowering rock song ‘Hey You’ to close ‘Over the Line’

The moment I heard ‘Hey You,’ I knew this was the song that had to accompany the dramatic closing scene of our film! Its riveting message and driven performance combine with the final shot for the movie’s perfect ending.

Jenni Spiro has made quite the reputation for herself as a performer here in New Jersey as well as up and down the east coast. Her writing is powerful, and her guttural delivery is reminiscent of artists like Pat Benatar and Melissa Etheridge.

Regionally, Jenni has rocked out regularly with the popular Jersey band The Benjamins. She also performs solo and duo acoustic gigs along the east coast.

A native of Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jenni was born into a musical family. Her father is the keyboard player/vocalist for The Nerds, and her mother is bassist and lead vocalist for several Jersey-based bands. Jenni’s talent was first chronicled at the age of three by a reporter who saw her singing pitch-perfect covers atop a milk crate. By the age of seven, she was writing songs. And by 15, she had already mastered the bass and acoustic guitar.

Jenni Spiro joins a talented New Jersey/New York cast and crew that includes director/producer Mathieu Abric, score composer Landon Knoblock, and actors Stacey Van Gorder,  Cronin Cullen and Saba.

A co-production with Cloudy Sky Films, “Over the Line” is a dark comedy about a woman facing a self-imposed judgment day with wit and irreverence.

The script for “Over the Line” has won numerous screenplay competitions. Currently in the final stages of post-production, the film will be seen at film festivals during the second half of 2018 and throughout 2019 as a prelude to distribution.

Listen now to Jenni Spiro’s “Hey You” at Reverb Nation.

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Image caption:
Jenni Spiro’s song “Hey You” has been tapped to close the film “Over the Line,” currently in post-production.

Closing in on the completion of our second film!

We’re about a month away from a final cut of “Over the Line,” our second short film!

So much was learned during the making of these two movies…not only about the process, but also about what it’s like working with different partners, collaborators, actors and crew. It’s become so obvious that no two film projects will ever be alike, for better or worse! But that’s an entirely different blog entry to follow in a couple of weeks. Right now, I just want to catch everyone up on the status of film #2:

Since shooting was completed in March, “Over the Line” has been in a constant state of post production! As you may recall, we shot the film entirely on green screen. To date, here’s what’s been accomplished:

• A preliminary rough cut was assembled. This was quite a task, as we never had the entire cast on set at one time! Yet, under our director’s supervision, everything flows so smoothly!

• The green screen was then removed.

• The background was then shot separately.

• Another rough cut was then assembled with backgrounds in place.

• And a final rough cut was edited just last week.

Here’s what happens next:

• Landon Knoblock has signed on to compose the original score. He will sit down next week with me and co-producer Shari Spiro to “spot” the rough cut for music.

• Saba, our director and editor, will perform color correction, sound editing, ADR and sound mixing while Landon composes and records the score.

• Once these steps are completed, the score will be edited in, as will the credits and the closing song, written and performed by popular New Jersey rocker Jenni Spiro.

A more detailed post as described above will be published soon. In the meantime, please visit the film’s website at www.overtheline-movie.com for cast and crew info as well as a full gallery of shooting images.

P.S.–It’s come to my attention that I have not been receiving all of the emails sent through this site. I am in the process of troubleshooting the problem. In the meantime, if you have written and have not received a reply from me, contact me directly at RMMessinger@gmail.com with “WORD PRESS” in the message bar. Sorry for any inconvenience!

How Plan B turned into Plan A+

My bad! I haven’t posted here in way too long. But I have a really good reason…I’VE BEEN MAKING A MOVIE!

We are actually in the final stages of post production right now, and it’s turning out so much better than I ever could have imagined.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Plan B had its real start when I met Cedric Hill through Mandy.com. Cedric is a 15-year film veteran and an instructor at both the New York Film Academy and Rutgers University Newark. When Cedric first replied to my Mandy posting, I replied to him that I thought his background might be too extensive for my little project, but he asked to see the script anyway. A day later, he got back to me and asked if we could meet. Not next week or in a few months, as so many other respondents had suggested. The next day.

We met on a Saturday over lunch in Montclair, NJ. I explained my no-budget plan to him, and he didn’t seem to flinch. We discussed not only the script and how it came to be, but also film in general. He kind of dug deep into my soul, which was a little unnerving, but somehow I didn’t feel uncomfortable revealing so much about myself (I’ve come to understand that Cedric has a true gift when it comes to getting people to open up and to trust him, which is probably one of the qualities that makes him such a talented director).

As the meeting progressed, he said something to the effect of, “Okay, now let’s talk about what kind of money it will take to make this film.”

I was a bit taken aback, because I’d made it clear that this was to be a no-budget film.

“Well, I have about $800 left from a screenwriting prize,” I replied.

By this time, I was so excited about the progress we’d made over lunch, that my mind started racing, thinking about how to raise more money. Could I even think about asking people to contribute again after two failed crowdfunding attempts (I hadn’t received a cent of what had been raised because I hadn’t reached my lofty goals).

“Well,” I continued, “I was able to raise close to $5000 the last two times. With some work, I could probably convince my supporters to believe in me one more time.”

“That’s a good start,” he said. “And once we have something to show people, we can probably raise some more for post production. When were you planning to shoot?”

“Six weeks,” I said.

“Make it eight,” he responded. “Let’s hold auditions Tuesday. We start rehearsals Thursday.”

I became silent. He knew what I was thinking.

“Place the ad on Mandy. We’ll have plenty of responses.”

“So we’re going to make a movie,” I said as we walked out of the restaurant.

“Yes. We’re going to make a movie.”

(To be continued in future blog entries, and soon…I promise! In the meantime, take a look at this link of Cedric telling a story to The Secret Society Of Twisted Storytellers. It will give you insight as to who he is, why he works with such intensity and passion, and why it it’s so easy to open up to him and love him).

We’ve launched on Seed&Spark!

by BOB MESSINGER
@bobmessinger01

A few months back, I posted my intentions of switching to the crowdfunding platform Seed&Spark to re-launch my film project. To recap the reasons for my decision:

1. Seed&Spark is a crowdfunding platform strictly for independent film projects.
2. They provide an in-depth Social Media Handbook and other helpful materials.
3. As a selective platform, Seed&Spark does not allow filmmakers to launch an inferior or minimally prepared project.
4. Unlike Kickstarter’s “all-or-nothing” platform, Seed&Spark works on “80%-or-nothing,” noting that “Every indie filmmaker knows how to make that scene work with a little less money…”
5. Seed&Spark has a streaming video distribution platform as well as a partnership with Amex NOW for selected licensed distribution.
6. Seed&Spark lets filmmakers request non-monetary contributions such as camera, wardrobe and lighting rentals.
7. 70% of films that crowdfund on Seed&Spark get funded, compared to only 40% on Kickstarter.
8. Seed&Spark’s fee is lower than any other crowdfunding site.

Since my initial post, I have spent hours poring over Seed&Spark’s “Awesome Downloads,” which include documents on crowdfunding to build independence, prep and campaign schedule templates, and, of course, their detailed social media handbook.

Well, I did re-launch on Seed&Spark a few days ago, and the experience so far has been even better that I’d anticipated!

After my initial submission, I received an in-depth campaign critique from Seed&Spark Director of Crowdfunding and Community Erica Anderson. I’m not talking about a few lines of suggestions. I’m talking about paragraphs of well-written, to-the-point, knowledgeable and convincing feedback. With Erica’s ongoing help, I performed three edits to my pitch video, taking it from an unruly six minutes to a manageable three minutes (to be honest, she would have preferred that I’d have edited out another minute).

Erica responded to my correspondence within hours, each time providing more and more guidance.

The only recommendation I didn’t take was to postpone my launch until after the holidays. I do agree with prevailing research that there is too much social media competition to sustain a holiday campaign. That’s why I’ve selected a 45-day rather than a 30-day campaign. I’ve decided to use the first 15 days to tie into my regular hard-copy holiday mailings to friends and family, and then focus on social media after the holidays (as a marketer who has worked both tech and pre-tech campaigns, I still find value in breaking through the clutter with old-fashioned, personal mailings).

Seed&Spark is truly a selective platform. It’s become so obvious to me that their prime purpose for being isn’t to cash in on the crowdfunding craze. They are independent filmmakers who are dedicated to their craft and who want to see good films get made and distributed.

I recommend that all filmmakers considering the crowdfunding route check out Seed&Spark.

And while you’re at it, please check out my campaign at www.seedandspark.com/studio/it-aint-no-sin. Your support through a contribution and recommending the project to friends and colleagues would be greatly appreciated!