EDITOR'S NOTE: This entry begins a new "filmmaker diary" series which will follow Mr Pete Chatmon's crowdfunding efforts to finance his currently in-production feature documentary, the intriguing Click Here: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Making Movies. Those who know Pete (and I'm sure a lot of you who read this site do) are fully aware of his talent, experience, determination, optimism and professionalism; and I believe there'll be something in this series for everyone (whether you're a creative, lover of cinema, or just a passerby) to be edutained by. So, without further ado, here's Pete... starting with a pitch video, and the rest of the entry underneath it:
"Click Here: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Making Movies". It's a long title. I know that. But, for me, the best titles reflect the themes of a film and you stick with it. Plus, paying homage to Kubrick is never a bad thing. So, that's the title of our doc and what will be my third feature film.
Everything nowadays comes down to the power of the click, whether it's a click to read this blog post, contribute to a campaign, watch a film on netflix, "like" a video on Vimeo, launch a Tugg theatrical screening event, and on and on. The age old process of going from script to screen has been distilled into a series of clickable moments. Something that we do hundreds of times a day has the potential to make or break a career or a project. Respect the power of that index finger, people!
For starters, crowdfunding is a full time job. It's also kinda scary. My team and I raised $500K for my first feature "Premium" (starring Dorian Missick, Zoe Saldana, and Hill Harper), so I'm pretty much not scared of the aspects of asking for money, but on that journey I was not confronted with a needle marking how much money's been raised, how many days remain, and all the other metrics that scream, "do more, do more!". The fact that we're raising 1/10th of that budget should give me solace (right?), but it really is a different world right now and the film game is played on a whole new level. It doesn't matter what you've done before or what you think you know because if it's been 3-6 months since you've done that thing -- it's outdated.
We can all thank the internet for the short term shelf life of new ideas. New technology can be a gift and a curse. You can run your VISA at the B&H Photo Video Superstore, come home and edit something you shot on your new camera, release / distribute via Vimeo, YouTube, VHX or the like, create your own website, etc, all without anyone else having a hand in the pot. It's completely liberating in that the opportunity to express yourself is available at a lower threshold than ever before BUT the amount of areas where you need to excel has multiplied exponentially.
Not everyone can be a writer/producer/director/DP/
If you've been wondering about all of this craziness and where YOU fall into the spectrum, then "Click Here" is the documentary you've been waiting for. I know I was waiting for it, so Candice McFarlane and I just decided to make it.
The only reason we've chosen to crowdfund this film is because we know how many folks will benefit from its completion. Not just smarter filmmakers making the best use of their time and resources, but audiences that are craving new and original content will be able to find the various avenues available to them to connect with those new voices. We're exposing just what's happening in the (r)evolution striking the entertainment industry while following several emerging filmmakers (myself included) and talking to the folks that hold the keys to your success in both traditional and new media models. It's all in the pitch video. We'll also be chatting with the filmmakers that are doing it right -- those folks we all aspire to emulate in some fashion, from Ava DuVernay, to Spike Lee, to Zach Braff, to Morgan Spurlock, and more. Some of these folks don't yet know they're on the list, but we'll get them (maybe even with your help!), just like we locked in Gen. Colin Powell for my documentary, "761st", about the first black tank battalion in WWII.
These "Crowdfunding Chronicles" are going to take you on our journey to $50,000 to make this film. Candice and I are not paying ourselves and we've already spent $15K on gear and capturing over 30 interviews in NYC. It all ends on November 15th and at the conclusion of a successful campaign (with your help), we'll be headed to LA, SF and the SXSW Film Festival to capture another 80-100 hours of content to complete our investigation into just what's going on out there for storytellers and audiences alike.
I'll answer your questions in the comments, should you have any. I hope that you'll engage.
I'll also be very open about what we're doing and why. I'll share my fears, our strategy, and the nuts and bolts that folks often leave out in the interest of protecting their "space". If everyone reading this were able to make their films as a result of this column, and ultimately this film, we'd be as happy as can be, and I bet so would a lot of folks in the audience.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with the 4 WAYS YOU CAN HELP "CLICK HERE" and again invite you to start the conversation in the comments below.
#clickhere #letsdothis #50K
4 WAYS YOU CAN HELP:
(1) Contribute what you can to help us reach our $50,000 goal.
(2) Spread the word to your network and community! If you can think of 10 people that you can ask directly to contribute in the next 2 days that would provide tremendous momentum.
(3) Refer us to any people in the industry that would be a great interview for the film. You'll see what we're talking about after you watch the video!
(4) Help us get press on what we're doing with this campaign! Blogs, newspapers, online magazines, etc.
We've created some quick grab links and text to make your life easier as you spread the word to your network.
Shortened Link to the Campaign Page (good for Twitter, or if you just prefer shorter links!)
Click To Tweet Link (with one click you can tweet out a nice message about the film!)
Facebook Status Updates, Etc
I'm supporting this film on the (r)evolution happening within the entertainment industry. If you want to learn more about how things are changing for storytellers and audiences alike, then you should "Click Here"! http://bit.ly/1eZkJwR
Stay tuned for Issue II of our Crowdfunding Chronicles!
And as a reward for sticking it out for this entire post, here's a link to a series of drops we captured from several of our interviewees. Consider it a teaser to the information that awaits you once we hit $50K and can bring this thing on home!
LINK TO VIDEO FOR SERIES OF DROPS