Going into day 7 for the fundraising of $28K. It sits at $50. 53 days left. Challenges indeed… I sit there looking at those numbers like, ‘dammit, man, really?!’ Been learning some things:
1. This is truly the worst time of year for fundraising because everyone is still shaking off Xmas and all that. (I hear it gets back into the swing by late February.
So, I have been sending the link and script out to some movers and shakers in the film festival industry, folks that could make a few calls and accelerate things – easily. This movie is happening.
See how I did that? I responded with a plan to handle it instead of turtling up and hiding in 9 to 5 desperation. I used to do that a lot – masking hurt and a sudden second guessing of myself with cursing folks out or just having a Kanye moment and roaring over everything being unfair. I realize that the artist in me was still in effect when the business aspect of things came into the picture. Not this time. Well, let’s just say I’m getting better at learning what hat to wear at the right time, because both are needed. I’m telling you, this journey into filmmaking is making me a better person. And, while doing so, I discovered that I could run another campaign with indiegogo if necessary! (I will totally do so if necessary.) Derek Dodd, a friend from college, has been working with me on strategizing the campaign. I think he has a lot to do with how I’m responding to these challenges, too. He brings up great ideas like my getting the http://www.northofthegrove.com domain for the fundraising to make it easier to find. He’s coaching me on sending out correspondence to major hitters (yes, Oprah and the like) with no intimidation to get more insight on how to develop myself leadership-wise. He’s given me great tips on how to generate publicity. He has to go into business doing this as resourceful as he is. I told him I would be the former fat guy before/after testimony to show everybody what he can do.
And one of the projects I contributed to has allowed me to meet producers like Stephen Dixon, who has given me the 411 in timing these fundraising campaigns https://www.facebook.com/groups/258310057649521/ . There’s the product placement expo coming to Miami at the end of the month that I’m hyped about. The idea is to get in and pitch to corporations to have your movie get funding for featuring their products. It costs $500 to get in. The money is beyond reach at this moment, but I will be a damn bellhop with a laptop strapped to my back to catch these guys on the way out if necessary. This movie is happening.
I sent word out to Magic Johnson and his Aspire TV Network. I noticed he had a submission page for new ideas for shows. I thought about Off 7th and Garvey, the TV series I wrote in college. Just as I started printing up the form, Off 7th and Garvey producer Brod Boyd calls to say he’s in town and wants to stop by. Of course he’s talking about seeing my progress with North of the Grove and sharing it with Off 7th and Garvey director Irwin Moon. Boyd starts talking that “the team needs to assemble” shit like we’re in a Ron Burgundy movie. I ain’t gonna lie, I like the thought. So many of the actors we had in the production have taken their game to the professional level (LaCora Stephens, Tene Carter, Kevin Fleming, Candice Lenoir, Art Wallace). Brod got me in the heart when he said how much they all cherished the time we all had shooting and rehearsing for Off 7th and Garvey. That was all it took for me. I just finished the treatment and synopsis. This is going to happen. The movie. The TV show. Too many doors are opening up for it not be. I’m proud of the way I’m responding. I’m excited about this expansion in the range of vision concerning possibilities. This movie is happening.