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Our short film, Lost Boy, is in the final stages of being a completed project.
We’re excited to get it out to the festivals as our sample spoon for our feature. As that continues to develop, we will stay in touch. Until then, accept this brief update as our efforts continue.
As always, if you have any questions, click the info tab above and ask us anything.
Jeff Van Bockern, our editor, has just passed along the first rough cut of Lost Boy: A Prologue to Alexander Masterson. It’s exciting to see the first assembly of what will become the sample spoon of sorts to our feature. But where does that leave us now?
It is important to get the composer involved as early as possible. So now we will give this nascent version to our composer, Ben Morgan, right away. He will begin developing the aural texture of the piece, and build his music in conjunction with our ongoing edits.
Then, as our cuts become more solid and the soundtrack more permanent, we will prepare for the festival circuit. The deadlines for most of the “majors” have passed, but we will hit them next year, and push or project into as many smaller festivals with good exposure as we can.
All of our backers on Kickstarter are expecting their rewards for contributing around December 1st, and that’s a deadline we will be doing everything we can to adhere to. Stay tuned for more in-depth, and exciting news about our progress.
As always, don’t hesitate to ask us any questions about our project, or the filmmaking process in general by clicking the information (“i”) tab above.
We leave you with a production still courtesy of our production photographer Paul Banks.
Some of the crew to our short film Lost Boy, between takes. The short, which will be a prologue to our feature, is shot and in the editing room. Stay tuned for more.
As always, feel free to ask us anything.
The Kickstarter campaign forLost Boy is off to a great start. It’s still the first day, and we’re already 25% of the way there! We’ve gained several extras, and an Associate Producer so far, and we’re excited to see who else will want to get involved. Please take a look at our page (and the great rewards we have for contributing), and help spread the word. At the very least, we hope it’ll be worth a nice chuckle.
And as always, any questions about our project, or the filmmaking process in general can be sent directly to us under the info tab at the top and clicking the “ask me anything” link.
In an effort to exercise our creative freedom, and make at least one baby step forward in the process of making our feature film, we are launching a Kickstarter campaign. We intend to make a short film in the same canon as Alexander Masterson. It will be a stand-alone short film, as well as a prologue for its full-length sibling. Introducing Lost Boy:
Make sure to check back for updates on our progress, as well as information on how YOU can contribute. With any luck, the Kickstarter will be up in a few days and we will shoot in mid-October. Until then, we hope the anticipation is as exciting for you as it is for us.
As always, any questions on our projects, or just talks about the filmmaking process in general, can be directed to the “ask me anything” link under the information tab at the top.
Happy Labor Day,
The glory of artistic expression is in the translation of a vision onto a permanent medium. Musicians compose scores and movements and permanentize them with a recording. Painters measuredly spread pigments and oils onto a surface. Filmmakers unfortunately face a roadblock few other arts face. A masterpiece of film takes a magnificent amount of time, personnel and worst of all, money.
That is not to say that some other arts don’t require substantial sums to finance, or that great film cannot be done very inexpensively. This is just a generality that is pretty well accepted as normal.
So where do films get money?
The big blockbusters get money from one of the five big studios. These big five studios have always been the big five studios since they were formed. Their positions relative to one another have moved up and down, but for over a century, they’ve been on top. They don’t particularly like smaller films like ours*. It’s a simple cost/benefit analysis. Although it is relatively inexpensive by comparison, our small picture will almost certainly not generate the the revenue of a Batman film or a Pirates of the Caribbean epic. So for that we can’t blame them.
Other films go to smaller studios for financing. They still have the backing of a studio that can likely take a total loss of one small feature, but aren’t marred by the expectations of breaking box office records. Maybe the studio isn’t even looking to distribute to theaters.
Even still, other films are self financed or financed by a group of people. This is how our film, ALEXANDER MASTERSON will be made.
The Limited Partnership Agreement.
Our film will rely on a small group of investors (likely around 30, but perhaps fewer), who purchase production units. This team of investors represents the limited partners of our limited partnership agreement, with the producer representing the general partner.
Whatever profits the film generates is split equally between the general and limited partners (in the case of our partnership, the payments are split 80/20 in favor of the limited partner until 110% of the investment is recovered in order to accelerate the limited partner’s gains and make the prospect more favorable).
In this way the cost is covered in smaller bites, and can help partially finance a film to at least get the ball rolling. This model still requires the supervision of a lawyer, especially if dealing with interstate financing, as the laws on this type of partnership can vary state to state (you don’t want the SEC to have to get involved).
Before you can get a single investor, there must be at least a pretty good idea of what the budget of the film looks like. We will discuss this next time…
As always, if you have any questions about the our limited partnership, or just the filmmaking process in general, feel free to ask us by clicking the information icon above**.
*in recent years, the big studios have started smaller arms (Sony Pictures Classics, Fox Searchlight, etc.) to ferret out smaller, “artsier” films, but their bread and butter is still the huge marquee films.
**None of the above information should be construed as legal or financial advice. It is also not a solicitation for investment. Any inquiries about investment in our film will NOT be considered. This is just our experience on our film. It is meant for entertainment purposes only.
Just as every script has a protagonist, it must also have n antagonist. Ours is the media titan Alexander encounters, H. P. Ross.
Ross is a larger than life businessman. He is quite the physical presence, as well as a savvy strategist. After hastily signing the contract, eager to receive his wages, Alexander finds out just how vicious Ross can be. He has a hair-trigger temper, coupled with a ruthless business ethic.
The battle over Alexander’s book becomes personal. Alexander wishes to keep his material for obvious reasons, while Ross has reasons all his own. First, Ross has his uses for the material that while Alexander’s name is emblazoned on the cover will not work. Secondly, Ross considers himself a business predator. Alexander has entered into his den and threatened his dominance, something for which Ross will not stand.
As things escalate, it becomes evident that Ross may not be willing to put down his weapons. At any cost.
As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments about our project, or just the filmmaking process in general.
MEET OUR EDITOR
This is Jeff Van Bockern. A skilled editor, and all around good guy. Currently working as an editor for Wide Awake Films, Jeff’s editing has played a big part in the success of all of our writer/director Tyler Doehring’s short films.
Beyond all other artistic abilities is Jeff’s patience and work ethic. An absolute joy to collaborate with throughout all areas of production, a great listener and an owner of great diligence. Couple this with a clear, creative mind, and we have the man who will take the mess of production, and distill it into a cogent, and deliberate work of art.
Screenwriting is a solitary and often thankless endeavor. A writer is piloted only by the abstract sense of story-telling that lives within, bumbling and staggering along until hopefully the path to coherence is illuminated.
The journey of our script was not unlike others. It was actually quite typical. It took about two years of writing, third party reviewing, rewriting, and re-rewriting. The title page reads “third draft,” but there’s no way to really measure the hundreds of passes that were made. Although ALEXANDER MASTERSON is considered a completed screenplay, it has not seen the final iteration before the cameras roll.
If writing for the screen is something YOU are serious about, immerse yourself in the screenwriter’s culture. Read blogs like this one. Read trade magazines. Join workshops. Do everything you can to become a writer, instead of just dreaming.
There are two podcasts in particular I urge you to follow. The first is John August and Craig Mazin’s “Srcriptnotes,” a podcast about screenwriting, and things that are interesting to screenwriters. Both August and Mazin are professionals with impressive track records in film. Experienced to no end on the business and craft of screenwriting, the two have very different perspectives and make for a delightful listen.
The other is the “Nerdist Writer’s Panel,” a podcast always featuring different writers discussing their unique experiences in the world of screenwriting. This podcast is a little more widespread than the other, but at least as entertaining and informative.
We hope you enjoy the process of writing as much as we do. As always, if you have any questions about our film, or the process in general, we would love to hear from you.
Every story has at least one protagonist. Ours is the titular character, ALEXANDER MASTERSON.
Alexander (played by Tosin Morohunfola) was once a promising young writer. Like many people, Alexander has found himself disillusioned with his own dream, and pulled into the undertow of corporate America. The branch manager of a bank in his home town, Alexander is watching the sand trickle through the hour glass of his life.
Alexander’s life changes course, however, when an old friend runs into him. The friend offers, no insists, on passing some information onto a powerful acquaintance in an effort to reignite Alexander’s dream. Under the auspices of financial security from the sale of his book, Alexander takes a meeting.
The meeting is a success. Alexander has found a financier, and hope, not only for his fiscal horizons, but also for his dream.
Unfortunately things are not entirely as they seemed. In his haste, Alexander has overlooked a critical section of his contract. His name will not adorn the cover. He has been reduced to a nameless ghost writer.
Now Alexander is at a crossroads. Take the money, a substantial sum, and abandon his dream, this time for good, or stand against a media magnate who outmatches him legally, financially and physically.
Whatever choice he makes, we know one thing: since he made his decision three years ago, he has been missing, ruled death in absentia. Has our protagonist taken his own life as presumed? Was fowl play involved? Was it something else entirely?
We hope our script grabs your attention. If it does, great! We would love to hear from you, or better yet, we would love for you to tell others about it! Please feel free to discuss our project with us or anything about the filmmaking process in general.