The Road to Completing a Short Film

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I thought a lot about which platform I should share this information on. But this story feels relevant to anyone with a dream, so bear with me for a moment. Those who follow me because I am a soon-to-be-published Young Adult author (Hi! And thank you!), might not know that two and a half years ago I gathered a rag-tag group of aspiring filmmakers together to fund and shoot a short film I’d written years before.

Ideas are funny creatures. The metaphor that they begin as seeds and must be cultivated, watered and nurtured, harvested at the right time, while a little flowery for my taste is also somehow perfectly suitable. Ideas take time, and more often than not, it is the abandoning of the idea before the maturity of the idea that results in failure. Failure, here, means letting the idea die. Not success in the chosen market. Not money or glory. Sometimes, you fail there too, later after you’ve planted and nurtured. But I find failure comes from abandonment first, the failure that you can control anyway. And you can only kick yourself for what you give up on, not what is given up on by others.

I gathered the team to shoot this film, Cassie’s Cause. It was bumpy, a ride we all look back on now and remember with anxiety and fondness, laughter and annoyance. We lost people along the way, and we hit walls we didn’t foresee. We were forced to stop for huge gaps of time, staring at the unfinished idea, at the not abandoned but not matured thing, and wonder if it would ever become.

Today, we submitted the “little idea that could” to Austin Film Festival. The finished movie, all grown up.

Jonathan Dickson– my co-director and lifelong friend– and I hit the submit button. We watched the screen blink, confirmation brightening, and we looked at eachother with mile wide smiles. He raised his hand.

“It is finished.”

I hit his palm in a high five.

It is finished. Three words that mean so much. They represent an end, but also a beginning. To us, no matter what happens with the submission, we completed the task. The idea has taken root, been given sunlight, grown enough to exist on its own.

And finally a blurb, for anyone interested, about our little movie:

Cassie Duncan, a scrappy animal activist grieving the loss of her older brother, Gregory, wishes she could get him back. He returns, changed. Now she is the proud owner of a gnarly faced Zombie-boy, and together they embark on a trippy adventure.

 

What’s Up Wednesday

whats up wednesdayWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime’s.

What I’m Reading

I just finished Crown of Midnight, and OH MY HOLY GEEZ! If you fell in love with Throne of Glass, you will want to propose to Crown of Midnight. I caress this book, stroking the pages with effusive affection. There was a point where I set it down, filled with grief, and considered not picking it back up. For pages and pages I was so distressed I actually considered writing a very strongly worded open letter eviscerating Sarah J. Mass for ripping my heart so thoroughly to shreds. But I persevered and was rewarded. This series in YA High Fantasy at its best.

What I’m Writing

I actually got quite a lot of my own writing done this week. Not only did I knock out a little over 3000 words on my WiP, but I spent a good chunk of time plotting and researching as well. I decided, after getting about 30 pages in, that I needed to understand a bit more about the history of this fictional world and by extension the MC’s family line. I spent a few hours Saturday morning putting together a fictional family tree, which was very fruitful. Haha…anyway, then I decided I might have to rewrite the whole thing in third person. I haven’t written in third person for a few years, which means I’m now very intimidated by my own ambitions.

What Inspires Me

The book Ancient Hawaii. Yes, my WiP is inspired by Hawaii. No, it is not set in the real Hawaii. Yes, I will have to go back for “research” in order to properly tell this story. No, I am not sure how I will afford that.

Twitter writing parties are still happening, and I for one an grateful. Last Friday, when I was considering shittin’ around on the internet Googling images of Kit Harington, Tracey Neithercott suggested a writing party check-in. This accountability, and my first hour word count failure and subsequent shame, helped me get almost 1000 words in two hours. I am not begging, but please, pretty please with a cherry on top can we continue these forever?

What Else I’m Up To

Our Kickstarter for the short film Cassie’s Cause funded on Monday, Labor Day! Not just funded, but exceeded our goal by over $2000 clams. You can still pledge your support! The campaign will run until September 25th. With Kickstarter, you must reach your goal in order to fund, which is why ours was so low, but exceeding your goal isn’t limited in any way. So, if you still want to be a part of the project, you can. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook, we’d love to share the experience with you that way!

Along the same lines, pre-production for the film is in full-swing. We had a meeting last week to discuss where we stand, what we need, and how we plan to make it happen. Making a film, even a short film, requires a lot of diligence and attention to detail. The things you think you can skimp on are what will likely make the difference in the end.

My son had his first week in the 4-year-old class at his Montessori school. He is LOVING it. Witnessing his progress, even after one week, makes my heart glad. He’s jumped right in to learning, and brings that energy and excitement home with him. We spent an hour yesterday evening writing his letters. He kept saying, “More! More! I want to write more!” (I’m totally beaming.)

Happy Wednesday to all! What’s up with you?

Let’s Make a Movie!

In case you missed it on my Facebook and Twitter…I am now officially in pre-production for a short film that will begin shooting in October.

A bit about the film:

Cassie’s Cause tells the story of Cassie Duncan, a young, scrappy animal activist whose older brother Gregory has recently passed away. On the night of his burial, Cassie wishes he could return and things could go back to the way they were. Her wish is granted. But there’s a catch. Cassie is now the proud owner of a Zombie.

Together they embark on an unexpected adventure.

Cassie’s Cause examines the ways we cope with loss, the choices we make to do so, and the power we possess to overcome. Told in sweeping black and white, Cassie’s Cause utilizes the visual and emotional, rather than vocal expression of the actors to beautifully illustrate a young girl’s journey toward letting go.

Sound fun? It will be.

Saturday we submitted all our information to Kickstarter for review. I’m happy to report we received approval yesterday! Please follow the link below to view our Kickstarter video and consider making a pledge in support of the film.

We understand that asking for money in this current economic climate is bold, so please know that any contribution to this film will be used honestly and in earnest to make the best movie possible. We have some fun incentives, but those who support this film will get more than shout-outs and buttons and t-shirts. They get to be part of making a dream come true.

If you’re curious, or just want to show your support but can’t pledge:

Follow on Facebook

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Follow the blog

To view our masterfully shot and gorgeously rendered (or to see me dancing) Kickstarter click HERE!

If you have comments or concerns, questions or compliments, you can leave them at any one of those locations. I’ll do my utmost to answer! Have a terrific Tuesday.