We've made a great movie, gotten into festivals and won awards (best comedy, best musical), now we need people to see it! #community <3
Ok, here's the deal--
After managing to round up a little under $250,000, we were ready and able to shoot the full feature film, Welcome to Harlem, over the course of six weeks in March and April of 2011 (quite intense), almost entirely on the block and in our neighborhood on 151st st between Broadway and Amsterdam in Harlem, NYC. We had our first screening of the not-quite-finished film at the World Famous Apollo Theater on November 19th, 2011...750 people showed, many right from the neighborhood. It was absolutely incredible.
Since then we've been fixing up the film, attending film festivals--nine so far--and receiving plenty of recognition--"Best Musical" at the Manhattan Film Festival, "Best Comedy" an "Best Supporting Actress" (way to go Angela!) at the World Music and Independent Film Festival in Washington, DC, and "Best Musical" and "Best Comedy" at the Toronto Independent Film Festival. There is still plenty of work to do to earn the type of theatrical distribution we're looking for, though we have been building us quite a resume ;).
After almost a year of screening the movie to audiences at festivals in cities across the country (and in Toronto), we're ready to really use that resume to present the completed film to as many potential distribution partners as we can, in the hopes that someone will believe in the project and work with us to distribute the film into theaters. The movie was created for the big screen, and we somehow can't give up until it makes it there.
Specifically we need some more money for two things...1) Simply to keep up our very basic marketing campaign...flyers, facebook, website, PR, and to update our basic marketing materials (posters, trailers, etc.) to present something as current as possible as we continue to reach out to potential distribution partners. 2) To attend the American Film Market in LA, from November 1st - 8th, 2012. www.americanfilmmarket.com. This is one of the largest film markets of the year, where anyone serious about buying films is in attendance. It's a tricky event, and still very "Hollywood", but if there's anything we've learned from attending festivals over the past year, it's that when we get face to face with people, we can convince them to help us. We just need access to the people that really can. We already have a few meetings scheduled (assuming we can make it) over the course of the week in Nov, and can likely schedule several more over the next month to ensure that our time there isn't wasted. Unfortunately, it will cost several thousand dollars to a) fly a few of us out from NY to LA and b) pay to attend the market so that we can really make the best of our time there. If YOU HELP US, we really believe that this trip could be the missing link between where we are now and getting "Welcome to Harlem" into theaters across the country (and world ;).
Ooh also--once we reach our Kickstarter goal, PLEASE do continue to support us! We still have a long road ahead of us, and will without a doubt continue to need more funds to reach our goal, even after the Film Market, so please keep contributing!
Here's a quick synopsis of the film:
Marty Blackstein, a young man of the new 20-something generation, after realizing that most of Manhattan today seems to be less about art and culture and more about money and corruption (and realizing that he can no longer afford this realization) decides to take a chance and move uptown to Harlem, NYC. Once there, he finds a sea of friendship, love and adventure enveloped in music, dance, grit and one of the most unique neighborhoods (and even more unique blocks) on the planet, and quickly learns that Harlem is not quite what he expected…
Though just as his expectations are being reshaped into those of a community much more engaging than he expected, things take an unexpected turn for the worse! 555, the wonderful, new, friendly, happy, exciting (or soon to be exciting) building he moved into is about to be repossessed!! Oh s#@t!!! Will Marty and his new friends be able to outlast eviction and keep their home? It may take more than a giant dance riot in the middle of broadway, a sex education field trip to the zoo and a crazy-ridiculous roof party to solve this one…
Or perhaps love is the answer? Ahh, love. What is love, if not all you need? Just ask Donny and Maye as they struggle to remain friends after a difficult breakup. Or Rock and June, bitterly torn between their hearts and minds at the prospect of being an interracial couple on the block. Or Marty, who may not mind losing his new building if he can just spend some more time with his new free spirited neighbor April…
More than anything else though, Welcome to Harlem in an EXPERIENCE, a unique adventure in which only incredible music can take you…
And here's a quick rundown of all of the songs (it is, after all, a musical...):
“Moving to Harlem” – Marty
“Welcome to Harlem” – Felix, the Block
“Friends” – Maye, Donny
“Fuck! Shit!” – Ensemble Cast
“On Love” – Marty, April
“On the Block” – Rock, June
“It’s Okay to Fuck” – Maye, June, Classroom of Children
“Drug Deal Beat” – Instrumental
“Theater Major” – Troy
“Tripping” – Instrumental
“April, My April” – Marty, Donny, Rock
“Sleep with Me Tonight” – April, Billy
“Hood Meeting” – Felix
A screenshot from "Hood Meeting"
“Party Tune” – Instrumental
“I’m Confused” – Billy
“Song for the People” – Troy
“Will I Ever Find Love?” – April, Maye, June
“What the Fuck is Normal?” – Ms. Beverly, Marty, Donny
“It Will Be Okay” – Marty, April
“Finale” – Instrumental
Thoughts? Questions? Want more info? Vistit our website! Watch our trailer and/or a few clips. Read about our adventures along the way. Follow us on Facebook! Be our friend! Be our fan! Shoot us an email! Questions are ready to be answered! Thanks SO much for your support :) :) :).
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
As mentioned above, even with the funding we need to continue our efforts, theatrical distribution is ABSOLUTELY NO GUARANTEE. It will still take a tremendous amount of effort on our part to sell ourselves and sell our film... that being said, if we can find a way to get potential distribution partners to hear about the movie and SEE the movie, we've come to believe pretty strongly at this point that the movie speaks volumes for itself... though it's still a big risk.
Attending the American Film Market is a big challenge, and though it provides a great opportunity for us to connect with financiers and distributors, there is still plenty of risk. There is no guarantee that we'll be able to set up as many meetings as we're looking for over the next couple of weeks, which would make our trip far less rewarding. And even if we can reach out to everyone we would like to and schedule a number of meetings at the conference, there is still no guarantee that any of them will lead to a distribution deal. It's a particularly tough road for a Comedy in the Independent film world--very few have truly been successful--and as of yet we really don't know if anyone will want to offer the kind of deal we're looking for, no matter how persuasive we can be.
One thing that distributors are always heavily looking for is marketability--while this is something we do feel we have an advantage in being a unique musical from a well-known neighborhood, we do not have any big name celebrities in our film. This is definitely a challenge and a risk when attempting to achieve distribution for an independent film, as big name celebrities is one of the #1 things any distributor looks for when thinking about how well they'll be able to market a movie.
And, even if we can achieve some sort of theatrical distribution deal, it will still be a great challenge from our end to continue to market and promote the film for it to really be successful. Just because we can make it to theaters (though it would be a HUGE step in the right direction), there is no guarantee that we can get people to go see it. The risks and challenges associated with marketing and promotions will continue, particularly if we continue to be a low budget project, and the only thing we will really have to continue to combat these challenges are hard work and dedication.
We have a number of challenges left to face, though after working hard for several years we've come an incredibly long way, and we have every bit of confidence that we can find a way to finish the job :).
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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