As has been discussed here already, the process of completing The Videoblogs has been as exhausting as it has been amazing. (Lately, it’s been mostly amazing again, but more on that in the near future).
To recap — there have been two primary difficulties I’ve faced since we wrapped, and additionally as we and I have continued with the work of finishing the film.
The first was the fallout from working so hard, for so long, to not only get a feature film shot but a super low-budget feature film that takes on the heavy subject of mental health. On a personal artistic level, I followed up production by focusing primarily on crafting a no-holds-barred superhero spec script. In retrospect, I think the idea behind that was to have a ton of fun, and to explore a story without restrictions of scope or budget. (It was a true blast to write that one).
But I actually want to talk today about the other challenge, which requires a bit more unpacking.
Something happened to me over the course of the last few years. I’m not going to go into the details yet again, but suffice it to say that I crossed over to a place where I can (need to) share work here, frequently, such that you and I can keep up our relationship.
All that is a long way of confessing that, while completely understandable and necessary, it bothers me a bit that it’s been about a year since I shared a film with everyone. And, realistically, The Videoblogs won’t be out until next year.
So, what do we do?
Well, here’s something else I’ve learned over the years…
Lesson: Smash problems together
Problem: The Videoblogs, while amazingly fulfilling, has created the need for a change of pace, a little fun, in its wake.
Solution: Make something fun.
Solution: Make something at a manageable scale, and share it immediately.
So. That catches you up as to why Rebecca and I have decided to make The Confession, a new comedic short film that we intend to fund, shoot, edit and release before the end of the year.
Lesson: Greater collaboration leads to better work
Also, we’re introducing a few other lessons into the making of The Confession.
We’ve teamed up with the talented Jaclyn Gramigna, who will be directing/producing. I have to focus my directorial duties on The Videoblogs. Also, we’re aiming with this film to create a situation where collaborators are wearing one to two hats each, versus the “usual” three or more.
I like Jaclyn’s work, and we’re excited to collaborate with her.
Lesson: (Educated) guerilla-style fits us best
When we realized that The Videoblogs would only happen if: 1) I served as director of photography for the film (saving time and money) and 2) We shot guerrilla style — I spent a ton of time testing out all the research and experience I had gained over the past several years. I also grilled Daniele Napolitano, the man responsible for the beauty of Multiverse, on how to max out my camera, over the course of a three-hour drive.
The idea behind this, despite certain limitations, was to achieve photographic results that measured up to the overwhelming majority of what you might see in a well-done indie film today. I’m happy to say that — with the help of Alex Hollock and others — that we seem to have achieved this goal. We intend to shoot The Confession the same way, with the same cameras, and with even more knowledge that we had going into The Videoblogs.
Lesson: The film is (equally) about both artist and audience
I have already sung the praises of crowdfunding. I’m singing them again, now, not only because we need your help to make The Confession, but also because — this is how I would like to ideally operate.
By now, we feel confident that we can deliver a quality film. The products of the past ten years (Over Easy, Sex and Justice, Multiverse, The Videoblogs) hopefully provide evidence of that. What I would love to do with The Confession is to do it all again — we make an entertaining but quality film, via your support — but also, in doing so, to prove a very simple point.
Where there’s a good team and a receptive audience — there can also be a squarely even exchange. With few parties in the middle complicating timelines and ballooning costs.
We seek your support in making The Confession, so that everyone can get together for a day in September, get paid a (nominal) wage to shoot something fun, and then quickly deliver that fun thing to you, who by then will hopefully have made it happen.
On that note…
Lesson: The most efficient way to get things done well is to pay a fair cost for them
We’ll raising funds to make The Confession on Seed&Spark. The campaign will run for two weeks. If we’re successful in raising the $2,000 we’re looking to raise, we will be able to focus more completely on quality — and on getting the film quickly to you, first — by paying the decent wages listed in the campaign Wish List, feed everyone for the day of shooting, hold our collaborators schedules for the few but necessary hours we’ll need to get it all done, and (if all goes well) submit to a handful of film festivals after we deliver to you.
If you decide to contribute even a small amount, you’ll be securing a first look at The Confession, and making a statement in favor of paying artists (directly) to make their work and share it (directly) with you.
All things told, it’s a modest experiment, with a (relatively) modest financial goal attached.
If you can’t contribute at this time, that’s totally cool. But we’d love your support spreading the word on social media, if you’re on board with what we’re doing. Please be on the lookout for Tweets, Facebook posts, and that sort of stuff.
This could be another step in our ongoing, (healthy and uncomplicated?) relationship. And if it works, maybe we’ll try it again next year.
What do you say? Do you have 90 seconds to watch our pitch?
Jacob just spent the night at Ellen’s for the first time. The still-new couple wanders into Brooklyn the next morning, to hang out. Jacob acts strange. Ellen wonders why. A confession is coming. And it’s not what you expect.