When I’m not busy putting together the Movie News Cheat Sheet, writing reviews or tracking down other movie-related content for Shockya.com, I’m busy trying to make movies of my own. Back in the fall of 2011 I enrolled in Columbia University’s Film MFA Program for Producing.
At the time, the only movie I’d ever made was some silly little short film in conjunction with a certificate program while I was pursuing my BA in journalism at NYU. Now that I know a thing or two about proper storytelling and technical prowess, I can confirm that “The Sushi Challenge” is absolutely devoid of both, but still, folks seemed to have some fun with it.
While I’m proud to say the films I’ve produced since entering the program are above and beyond my first production, I’ve made a point of never losing sight of what drove me to make “The Sushi Challenge” and to return to school for film – my desire to entertain.
Officially in the tail end of my stretch at Columbia, it’s just about time for my thesis film, “The Professor,” a short film about radicalizing the media starring Dexter’s Rick Peters and Paranormal Activity 3’s Dustin Ingram, to go into production. I always knew filmmaking was a costly endeavor, but I never experienced it firsthand until entering the program. I’ve made films for varying amounts – $3,000, $5,000, etc. – but “The Professor” comes in at a number much higher than that.
While both myself and the co-directors, William Gerrard and Anya Meksin, are putting in some of our own resources and recruiting some help from other sources, we’re also in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise a portion of the funds. It’s never fun asking family and friends for money, but the one thing that truly makes fundraising via Kickstarter a special experience is that it makes your project a community venture. Whether you donate $10, $100, $1,000 or even just spread the word via social media, you’re part of the production. And let me tell you, being part of a short film is a special process, and I can officially say I know from experience.
If you’d like to give Kickstarter a go, you can check out my film’s profile right here. But even if The Professor isn’t for you, Kickstarter is a tool worth checking out and something that is absolutely vital to the independent film community. Big budget studio films are a blast, but we’re in a day and age where you can actually insure the influx of those little independent gems.