Bonjour les cinéastes !
This is a big update. It took me a lot of time and effort to write. I hope you find it worthwhile. Reply with any thoughts you have. ~Rowan
Our last two meetings on September 4 and 7 were very productive. Rowan has developed a schedule for preproduction here.
In thinking about how to successfully accomplish shooting our five-page script, we need more of three critical resources: time, people and money.
The schedule gives us enough time: the plan is to shoot Sound Staged over the Patriots Day weekend (plus Tuesday), on the 18th, 19th, and 21st of April, 2020. Note Well: meeting this deadline is dependent on the other two resources (people and money) manifesting.
The April deadline gives us enough breathing room to attract additional people who can fill roles to cover important areas. Since Pioneer Valley Films started (originally called the Short Film Production Group by the members who started it), a small core of people have done all the heavy lifting. For this endeavor to not just survive but be fun, we simply need to attract more people to offset those who say they want to help but do little or just stop showing up. That’s the nature of a group like ours: lots of enthusiasm but not always a lot of follow through. (If you’re thinking, Hey wait, I do want to get involved I just don’t know how, then read on my friend, the journey awaits you!)
One key to attract more people is to put the word out more often and more widely about when and where we meet. Group Member Casey has not only volunteered to create this website, but to keep it updated, be the response person for email inquires, and to tell other online communities about our meetings. (Big round of applause to Casey for taking all this on! Huzzah!) Russell and Casey are creating the flyer to post on physical bulletin boards to let people know about Pioneer Valley Films. All of this is to say, not only do we have an innovative completed script, we also now have have a basic infrastructure in place to direct people to an informative website with a person to respond to the inevitable emails asking for more information (there’s even a contact page on our website itself).
On the schedule (in a separate post) you’ll see all the areas where we could use more people. If you’re reading this, you’re invited to get involved. Here are the areas that currently need people, listed in order of most important, most immediate need:
- Crowdfunding Campaign Manager: Prepare for and run a crowdfunding campaign (see Money below), This can be a small group of people but is the absolute most important project to help with currently. Do you have crowdfunding experience or want to learn how to do this, perhaps for your own film? Then this is your opportunity!
- Our Website: Currently, we have a free Word Press website that looks great but needs the following:
- Photos to replace the site’s stock photos that reflect who and where we are: filmmakers in the Pioneer Valley. This is an easy way to contribute your own photos representing our area, filmmaking, or something interesting that can be sized to 1000 pixels by 288 pixels (banner style).
- Contribution to get the site upgraded, either to personal (for $60) or premium (for $96). Either of these remove the advertising and provide additional features. If you want to make a difference without the time commitment, this would be a wonderful gift! (It may also be possible to piggyback onto an existing website that allows more domains. Contact us if you think we could share your WordPress site with Pioneer Valley Films.) The ideal solution is for someone to step with a one-time contribution. We would love for this to happen before the flyer goes public. You can pay by credit card.
- Post Paper Flyers: People are needed to post the paper flyer on bulletin boards (once Russell and Casey complete it). This is as simple as having them with you and putting one up when you see a board that people use for announcements. Anyone can do this! The flyer will point people to our website and emails will be responded to. We’ve got infrastructure, baby!
- Locations and Props/Set Pieces:. This is more long-term but necessary to shoot on time. People are needed for these areas (talk to Rowan or come to a meeting to learn more).
While creating the schedule, it dawned on me that we now have enough time raise money to pay the actors, have a make-up person, buy good food for the crafts tables, and enter film festivals, to name just a few areas that require real money. We have the time to plan and implement a crowdfunding campaign to fund Sound Staged! We don’t need a lot of money but we do need at least one key person to take on this role (and others can join too). Any crowdfunding campaign requires a lot of planning. Mike, Russell, and Casey have said they will film people in our group to use as videos to generate interest during the campaign (set to run during February and March).
All Together Now!
This is how it works: Create a schedule with enough time to allow enough people to get involved so that we can write a kickass original screenplay (already done) and generate enough money to make a film together. And have fun doing it. That’s what you wanted, right? Well, here it is!