The Final Stretch: It Takes a Village

We’re at the final stretch of our campaign to crowdfund Episodes 4 – 6 of “They Live Among Us.” We have 5 days to go, and a little over $8,000 to meet goal.

Several people have asked me about crowdfunding. They want to know “What’s in it for me?”

“Well,” I tell them, “a lot!”

By crowdfunding a project like “They Live Among Us,” you are providing employment for cast and crew – around 30 people. You’re also investing into the local economy, for we must rent locations and equipment, as well as purchase props and wardrobe.

But beyond that, what you are also investing in are the artists themselves. You are investing in their dreams.

Filmmaking is an art form; the ultimate expression of this art is the indie film, for it is created from the heart and the soul, as opposed to being driven by commerce and profit.

Can you imagine a world without art? I cannot. What if there were no music, no dance. What would our world be like without expression? Dismal does not begin to describe it…

Art is an integral part of society. Film brings us together; it connects us through the shared human experience. It teaches us empathy. It reminds us that we are not alone.

Herman Melville once said: “We cannot live for ourselves alone.  Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.”

This quote beautifully illustrates the nature – and the impact – of crowdfunding. Strangers, coming together, connected by a common goal – to support the vision of artists. Making the world a better place, one project at a time.

“They Live Among Us” is more than a gothic film noir, a tale of fallen angels and the mortals they love, for it addresses social issues. It speaks about addiction, poverty, isolation and corporate greed, set against the backdrop of Los Angeles. The supernaturals who populate it struggle with very human issues.

Filmmaking is the most collaborative art form around. It takes a village to make a film – and members of the tribe to fund it. Our pledges start as low as $15. One  week’s worth of lattes.

So please, take a look at the episode on our IndieGoGo page, and consider making a donation to TLAU.

 

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Film Courage

I’ve written a great deal about the experience of “They Live Among Us” from a writer’s perspective; I’ve written in-depth about the characters, the world, the conflicts and dilemmas.

Today, you can read about the production. My article “Going Indie Takes Courage” just went live on the Film Courage site.

I detailed our Martini Shot day, from start to finish. It began, as any other day, filled with hope and promise…

 

Click here.

Enjoy!

The Journey Begins

“It’s a place where they’ve taken the desert and turned it into their dreams. I’ve seen a lot of L.A. and I think it’s also a place of secrets: secret houses, secret lives, secret pleasures…”  L.A. Story

And, I might add, secret fears.

A few weeks ago, I was approached by a a firm seeking short animated scripts. They wanted to know if I had anything available. I dusted off a little piece that was lying around and, on inspection, thought that it might serve their needs.

Of course, it did not – their projects are more politically-driven, and my short revolved around a young man who encounters a crazed beauty in a park.

At the same time, I was in the middle of production training, surrounded by an amazing group of women. We supported each other, we cheered one another on. It was most delicious. Writing is a very solitary craft; I was feeling very isolated.

You don’t get into the creative arts with a brain that is perfectly wired; we’re all a little out there… and with the outsider mentality can come abject loneliness. Add in a spoonful of insecurity, for they say you are only as good as your last project, and we find ourselves running marathons through this town, our hearts laden with the fear that someone will find us out.

What we don’t always realize, is that we all feel this way.

At the same time, I was struggling with my creative identity. I felt castrated as an artist. And then, I had a dream… I saw a fallen angel, and I realized he was in love with a prostitute.

I sought out my angel… and ended up in DTLA, walking through Skid Row.

I came home. I mulled this over. On my left, was Shakespeare. On my right were two scripts of mine, a short titled BOY MEETS GIRL, and a feature, titled LET’S DO LUNCH.

I thought. A lot. I wanted to tell snapshot stories of the lives of outsiders… and realized that the ultimate outsider is a supernatural being. And so, I typed FADE IN. Three days later, I had episodes 1-3 of THEY LIVE AMONG US.

This morning, I began my Kickstarter campaign, in order to raise funds for my project, which I hope to have completed by the end of the year. I’ll blog about the campaign, about the individual episodes (there are three this far, with a couple hanging out there if the first three go well), and, of course, about the micro-budget production process from concept to completion.

It’s an exciting time to be a filmmaker; we’re so much more empowered than in years past. I’m looking forward to sharing my adventure with you!