Resource and Donation Based Filmmaking

9 May

Making movies demands a lot of money, resources and influence, which is why independent filmmakers have traditionally turned to financial investors for help.  However, this often leads to legal and logistical obstacles few are able to overcome.

That is why I have adopted a way to make movies without the legal and logistical obstacles associated with investment financing.

First, I find inspiration in resources I have access to.  My ideas and scripts primarily utilize people, places, and things within my reach.  I don’t know anyone in Miami, Florida, so why write a script that takes place there?  But I do have a solid network of family and friends in Indiana, which is why my next film is set on an Indiana farm.  

Even with family and friends helping out, there is no escaping the need for cash when making a film.  But instead of dealing with investors, I my wife and I will be raising money through donations instead.  My next film is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts organization.  This means that financial and tangible contributions made in support of my film will be eligible for a full tax-deduction.  A donation-based approach is clean and simple, devoid of lengthy and expensive legal contracts and procedures.  Better yet, instead of partnering with investors who primarily seek to profit from my film, I now have a network of donors who genuinely want to support me and my film.

So there you go.  By basing my film on available resources and donations, there is a much greater chance of getting my film made.  I admit that this method heavily limits what a filmmaker can create, i.e., it limits her vision; however, filmmaking is a creative venture, one that depends on imagination, which has no bounds, no matter how limited one’s money and resources!


9 Responses to “Resource and Donation Based Filmmaking”

  1. virtuos and beautiful May 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    When is GF 19 going to exposed in a festival?

    • Christopher May 12, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      So far, Girlfriend 19 has not been accepted to any festivals, mainly because we have submitted only to the tip-top festivals in the USA (and one internationally). However, I am now submitting the film to more regional festivals for this coming Fall season, so please keep your fingers crossed XXX!

      Unfortunately, the festival submission/acceptance process is a very long one. It takes months to find out when you are accepted or not.

      Thank you for your patience and for asking!!!


      • virtuos and beautiful May 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

        Wow…that is quite a process! I have no doubt your film will be exposed by this fall ^_^

  2. Sajib May 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    I’m still learning a bit of video editing just so I can get a basic film made. :) So far I’ve tried Sony Vegas Pro (and Adobe After Effects for some visual elements). While Adobe Premiere Pro is the leader in the industry, my computer is unable to run it. It requires 64-bit architecture PC. My CPU supports 64-bit Windows but some other software I use conflict with 64-bit operating systems. So, I’m having to stick to Sony Vegas Pro.

    If you have any suggestions regarding software to use for post-production/processing, I will appreciate it very much.

    • Christopher May 15, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      Hey, Sajib! I really admire your determination to learn! Personally, I have only edited on a Mac with Final Cut Pro, which I love; however, there are people who swear by Avid, which is the original editing software. Plus, as you may know, Final Cut Pro has undergone major changes, which some people really dislike.

      I’m going to keep using my system with Final Cut Pro for as long as I can. Honestly, I really don’t have any experience with a Windows-based editing system. Sorry I can’t help you out more…

      But definitely let me know when have something to share! I’m excited for you…

      • Sajib May 15, 2012 at 9:23 am #

        Thanks for replying, Christopher. I thought you’d be too busy to reply. :)

        I went through Avid’s website and I’m kinda doomed. That is one hell of a suite of software. They have a lot of software for each category, even 3 different software for home video editing! That’s at least not my piece of cake. :|

        I’ve heard of Final Cut Pro. Some of my friends use it. I still don’t have a Mac but I want to get one as soon as I can afford. Maybe then I’ll try it. Thanks for letting me know. And you can give Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects a try. It works on Mac and a lot of professionals use it along with other editing interfaces.

      • Christopher May 15, 2012 at 9:38 am #

        Never too busy to reply!

        Yeah, Avid is pretty serious stuff.

        I’m a HUGE Mac fan, so I’m pretty committed to it for the time being, but who knows what will happen in the future. I bet some other Mac-based editing software pops up.

        I’ll definitely check out Premiere Pro – thanks!

  3. Juli Jackson May 9, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    I have read a lot about Fractured Atlas lately. I wondered how gaining sponsorship would go. How long did the application process take?

    • Christopher May 9, 2012 at 11:16 am #

      It’s fantastic, Juli! Do go for it. The process does not take long and is all online. The turnaround time after submission is about a month. I believe they consider applications at the 15th of every month, then get back with a decision within a few weeks. So if you miss the 15th deadline, you have to wait a bit longer. But it’s every month.

      The great thing about FA is that they don’t subjectively discriminate a project. In other words, they don’t sit there and judge a project as cool enough for them. They simply want to be sure it is an artistic venture rather than a commercial venture. And the truth is that a truly indie film is an artistic venture to begin with.

      Check it out!

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