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Crass commercial plug--first production

Printed From: NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting
Category: GENERAL DISCUSSION
Forum Name: Screenwriting Bar & Lounge
Forum Description: Discuss NYC Midnight Screenwriting Competitions or Screenwriting in general.
URL: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=20583
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Topic: Crass commercial plug--first production
Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Subject: Crass commercial plug--first production
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 12:58pm
My first short script is being shot later this month, and I'm co-producing another short with the same director next month in what can only be described as an "it made perfect sense at the time" example of ambition. 

We have most of the funding we need. Two-thirds or so. Like, enough to do principal photography and actually pay the cast in addition to the crew. But as some of you know, that's not all a movie, even a short, needs. Post-production, production insurance/workman's comp (at least one of the shorts is SAG/AFTRA, and the other one will be too if we can swing it), and festival submissions... goodness it adds up.

Sooo if anyone wants to go look up "Past Partum" or "Clown College" on IndieGoGo, you can treat yourself to the sight of me and my director friend Wendy asking very nicely indeed for money. And all the perks involving things like your name being in the credits or preview screener links apply to BOTH. Think of it as a 2 for 1 sale. Big smile


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Replies:
Posted By: MissKeister
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2019 at 4:55pm
I will definitely check that out -- I have been very curious about "Past Partum" and am so thrilled for you!  Congrats on TWO pieces going into production -- I hope it's all an incredible experience (and an open door for more of your writing to be brought to life)  :)

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Posted By: Janetinputney
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2019 at 1:49pm
How exciting!  Good luck with it!!!!   I love the synopsis for Past Partum... sounds like a feature in the making.  





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Posted By: Zblugg
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 7:55am
This is amazing! I'll check these out... Clap

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Posted By: Joni
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 11:32am
This is awesome, congratulations! I've been looking into crowdfunding to produce one of my short scripts, and think I'm leaning towards Seed & Spark, curious if you guys checked that one out. It seems to be really arts-focused, so I thought it might be a good platform.

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Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2019 at 12:46am
Originally posted by Joni Joni wrote:

This is awesome, congratulations! I've been looking into crowdfunding to produce one of my short scripts, and think I'm leaning towards Seed & Spark, curious if you guys checked that one out. It seems to be really arts-focused, so I thought it might be a good platform.

I have good friends who have used Seed and Spark. I can ask them how they liked it. 

We went with IndieGoGo because it's the platform the director knows best, I think. 

I am now becoming acquainted with the perils of producing. The director, who thinks of herself first as an actor, wanted to go SAG/AFTRA both on principle and because she had someone in mind for the hardest role--the great-grandmother doing life w/o parole--who's a guild member.

And then she found out they changed the short film/project agreement in August to require a whooole bunch of new stuff.  Some we improvised for, but it looks as though I need to run actual payroll through a third-party company instead of doing 1099s. For a four-day shoot. 

I understand the idea of protecting actors from fly-by-night producers, but scaring away people from doing shorts with SAG members isn't exactly doing their membership a favor either.


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Posted By: Joni
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2019 at 9:47am
Originally posted by JeffreyHowe JeffreyHowe wrote:

Originally posted by Joni Joni wrote:

This is awesome, congratulations! I've been looking into crowdfunding to produce one of my short scripts, and think I'm leaning towards Seed & Spark, curious if you guys checked that one out. It seems to be really arts-focused, so I thought it might be a good platform.

I have good friends who have used Seed and Spark. I can ask them how they liked it. 

We went with IndieGoGo because it's the platform the director knows best, I think. 

I am now becoming acquainted with the perils of producing. The director, who thinks of herself first as an actor, wanted to go SAG/AFTRA both on principle and because she had someone in mind for the hardest role--the great-grandmother doing life w/o parole--who's a guild member.

And then she found out they changed the short film/project agreement in August to require a whooole bunch of new stuff.  Some we improvised for, but it looks as though I need to run actual payroll through a third-party company instead of doing 1099s. For a four-day shoot. 

I understand the idea of protecting actors from fly-by-night producers, but scaring away people from doing shorts with SAG members isn't exactly doing their membership a favor either.

Wow, I never would have guessed it would be so much red tape. That must explain why almost all the short casting calls I see in my area require non-union even if they're paid. I bet they can do 1099s in that case and make it much more simple (and more affordable, since obviously an outside payroll company has to be paid too). Looks like I've got a lot more research to do before pursuing filming mine. 


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Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2019 at 9:54am
Originally posted by Joni Joni wrote:

Originally posted by JeffreyHowe JeffreyHowe wrote:

Originally posted by Joni Joni wrote:

This is awesome, congratulations! I've been looking into crowdfunding to produce one of my short scripts, and think I'm leaning towards Seed & Spark, curious if you guys checked that one out. It seems to be really arts-focused, so I thought it might be a good platform.

I have good friends who have used Seed and Spark. I can ask them how they liked it. 

We went with IndieGoGo because it's the platform the director knows best, I think. 

I am now becoming acquainted with the perils of producing. The director, who thinks of herself first as an actor, wanted to go SAG/AFTRA both on principle and because she had someone in mind for the hardest role--the great-grandmother doing life w/o parole--who's a guild member.

And then she found out they changed the short film/project agreement in August to require a whooole bunch of new stuff.  Some we improvised for, but it looks as though I need to run actual payroll through a third-party company instead of doing 1099s. For a four-day shoot. 

I understand the idea of protecting actors from fly-by-night producers, but scaring away people from doing shorts with SAG members isn't exactly doing their membership a favor either.

Wow, I never would have guessed it would be so much red tape. That must explain why almost all the short casting calls I see in my area require non-union even if they're paid. I bet they can do 1099s in that case and make it much more simple (and more affordable, since obviously an outside payroll company has to be paid too). Looks like I've got a lot more research to do before pursuing filming mine. 

Yeah, there's a weird double-bind here. We could go deferred payment by SAG rules--and since shorts never make money that means not paying them really--but it would be easier to pay them in production if it wasn't union.


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Posted By: stephenmatlock
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2019 at 12:18pm
First, congrats, and I hope you get fully funded!

And I admire your commitment to paying your creatives and your talent. Super big win for me--both my kids are in the creative arts (animation, music) and getting paid is a big part of what keeps them from being just starving artists.

Offline or in another thread I'd be curious about your experiences and your learnings here about getting into production work that also aligns with industry standards and requirements.


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Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2019 at 12:23pm
I would be happy to share things as I learn them! Or after smelling salts are applied, in some cases.

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Posted By: NilesPerry
Date Posted: 15 Feb 2019 at 9:33pm
Originally posted by JeffreyHowe JeffreyHowe wrote:

We have most of the funding we need...
Funding? What is funding? I work in the Low Budget/No Budget realm. Make sure cast and crew are well fed and that pretty much covers everything.

Post links when the films can be seen. Congratulations!


Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Date Posted: 20 Feb 2019 at 11:36am
Survived first day of the shoot. Longer day than planned since we had a no-show grip and the gaffer had to double up. Lighting setup is already the lion's share of the time and that was like a 1.5 multiplier. 

Cutting an exterior scene Cry today to help make up time and because it's going to rain all freakin' day and night. But it's a fairly organic deletion fixed with a small description change in the previous scene.

Cast and crew all solid. Whew!





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Posted By: beckyrcollins
Date Posted: 20 Feb 2019 at 11:37am
Originally posted by JeffreyHowe JeffreyHowe wrote:

Longer day than planned



The first of many I'm sure LOL Huge congrats though. Sounds brilliant fun! 


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Posted By: Janetinputney
Date Posted: 20 Feb 2019 at 12:05pm
Thanks for keeping us updated!  Good luck with the shoot!



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Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Date Posted: 21 Feb 2019 at 3:01pm
Important lesson: do not think out loud during a set-up unless you are absolutely sure you're being asked something directly. It makes the director cranky.

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Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Date Posted: 21 Feb 2019 at 3:49pm
Also: even when you wrote it in the script, hearing a scream out of the closed set room -- and hearing it repeated -- and modulated -- takes getting used to.

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Posted By: Joni
Date Posted: 12 Mar 2019 at 8:10pm
How's it coming along on the short film? I just secured fiscal sponsorship for mine through WIFT, so I get to ask for donations that will be tax deductible. Got a director signed on and he has a preferred crew that he has contacts with, so it works out well since I have none lol. Now to raise funds and get the rest going! Any other tidbits you've learned along the way, please share! 

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Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Date Posted: 12 Mar 2019 at 8:29pm
Having any sort of sponsorship is really nice. Cry

My script is shot and in post. We're trying to nail down locations for the director's script...which is proving a challenge since she moved last year. She has all sorts of places she could shoot back in Nashville (and indeed that's one reason we ended up shooting mine there) but she really wanted to shoot where she lives now, near Jacksonville.

Raising money would be a lot easier if I knew more people who weren't starving artists. We extended our IndieGoGo campaign and got a few large contributions, enough to make it possible to hit goal. Not sure if it's likely, though. Ask me in a week. Big smile


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Posted By: Joni
Date Posted: 13 Mar 2019 at 8:57am
Yeah, locations are pretty difficult. I'm intending to film mine in the small town I live in, which really helps with that part. It's exciting that your script is in post, though! It'll be exciting to see it as a finished product.

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Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Date Posted: 13 Mar 2019 at 9:07am
Did you see the production stills? It all looks great. The DP did some incredible stuff with the location.



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Posted By: Joni
Date Posted: 13 Mar 2019 at 9:08am
Originally posted by JeffreyHowe JeffreyHowe wrote:

Did you see the production stills? It all looks great. The DP did some incredible stuff with the location.


I didn't, are they available on one of the fundraiser pages?


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Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Date Posted: 13 Mar 2019 at 9:21am
Ahh I think they're floating around on the Facebook page...here, try this --

https://www.facebook.com/pg/pastpartumthemovie/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1970661133032096" rel="nofollow - https://www.facebook.com/pg/pastpartumthemovie/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1970661133032096

some behind the scenes shots and promotional stuff there too. 


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Posted By: Joni
Date Posted: 13 Mar 2019 at 4:04pm
That looks amazing! Somehow I missed the FB page before and just liked it so I can follow along. Love the poster!!

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Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Date Posted: 17 Mar 2019 at 12:22pm
There's a little sneak-peak teaser for donors--when we crack $5000 today we will put up public links.

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Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Date Posted: 25 Mar 2019 at 11:00am
Just so everyone knows--we did in fact make our goal, which means IndieGoGo keeps it the campaign open as an ongoing concern until we tell them to stop. I guess. I've never done one before so the endgame is a little hazy. :D




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Posted By: Joni
Date Posted: 12 Jun 2019 at 10:07pm
How's it going on the shorts, Jeffrey? I'm filming in less than two weeks for mine, and I'm finding it true what they say - anything can happen to cause issues when making a film. The budget has increased more than I expected for a variety of reasons (getting a little nervous on that end-- eek), a friend's car I was going to use got wrecked (totaled by insurance, and it was a pristine early 90s Lincoln Town car ugh), a contact I had at a newspaper for printing lost his job, so now I have to pay someone for the same thing I was supposed to get for free, and a bird I was going to use for a certain shot DIED (this damn bird survived a house fire over a year ago and it up and died in the middle of the night 2 days after my friend said I could use it in the film). So, it's starting to feel a bit like... Was it Wizard of Oz that had all the bad luck? Anyway, just wanted to see how yours was going (hopefully better than mine) and vent a wee bit lol. 

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Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Date Posted: 12 Jun 2019 at 10:58pm
Yikes--that is a run of...luck.

We lost about two weeks to computer issues--thankfully everything was backed up so little needed to be re-done, the PC itself just wasn't working right.  

The second short (Clown College) was picture locked a week or so ago and sent to the sound and color people; my short (Past Partum) should be picture locked tonight or tomorrow (I let the second one finish first because it has weirder sound needs, while mine was taking longer to edit due to the skype conversation intercut).

Unfortunately the two festivals I kinda wanted to premiere at (assuming they take mine) have their drop-dead deadlines coming up very soon. I might have some leeway, but I don't know if it will be enough. 

But it is what it is, and it will be *somewhere* soon enough. Probably September.

And at least I sold the old car I bought for it, so I don't have that albatross Tongue   

There was actually a run of bad luck on Clown College that ended up working in our favor--we had five places queued up to shoot a morgue scene in, all working mortuaries with...customers under sheets and in drawers. The scene has a ten-year old actress in it, so I was already a little concerned.

And then one by one they all punked out on us, leaving us to scramble the last day of shooting. But the DP and director realized the church we were in for the funeral scene's fellowship hall had storage cabinets that looked like old-school enamel-finish under the right lighting...so we arranged to stay there.  And it turned out the girl's family had decided to take her aunt off life support that morning, so a real working mortuary might have been too much. 


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Posted By: Joni
Date Posted: 12 Jun 2019 at 11:37pm
Oh yay on them being so close!! And good luck on making the festival deadline too, I saw they're all creeping up really soon. Glad to hear your bit of bad luck turned for the better, I'm hoping mine does the same! It definitely sounds like the original plan wouldn't have been a good thing for your young actor. I can't wait to see yours when it's done!!

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