Sisyphus had it easy!
Sisyphus was a king punished by the Greek god Zeus, forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down—condemned to repeat this action eternally. The word "Sisyphean" is defined as "endless and unavailing, as labor or a task.”
The mythology of King Sisyphus can be seen as a metaphor for the indie filmmaking process, we are discovering. The chores of writing and re-writing the script, preparing and re-doing the budget, and tackling the daunting task of writing a business plan to attract investors have presented us with truly Sisyphean challenges in 2012.
This update comes over a month after our last one, and we’ve decided that monthly updates are probably more engaging (and the commitment easier to keep) than weekly ones. Without further ado, here’s what’s been going on with us since we last wrote.
In early May, Tara and the Portland Women’s Film Festival hosted Academy Award-winning documentarian Barbara Kopple and White House news correspondent and philanthropist, Ellen Ratner, the subject of Kopple’s latest doc, A Force of Nature. An engaging, inspiring film about Ratner’s humanitarian efforts, the evening was a coup for the festival and a testament to Tara’s ability to attract highly-respected women directors to Portland. As the festival grows, so does Tara’s profile in the Portland film community—which means she ends up talking about our film project a lot!
Tara is also consulting on several Kickstarter campaigns as a result of our success with our Kickstarter. She is currently working with Grammy-nominated director Beth Harrington on a fundraiser for The Winding Stream, a documentary about the Cash-Carter family (to learn more: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thewindingstream/the-winding-stream-phase-2-post-production-carter?ref=live)
For the past month, Brandon has been taking a class at the Attic Institute, a local writer’s institute, on Young Adult novel writing. His intention is to adapt the MSAAG screenplay to a YA novel. He plans to pitch the project to publishers and producers at the Willamette Writers Conference in early August. He has developed the outline for a five book series following main character Joey and her zany Goth friends through the end of high school and into college, with the hope that the combination of a fun YA novel series and amusing first film script proves irresistible to someone who can help us realize our dream. Brandon has also submitted four treatments for other film/TV ideas he has been developing to the 2nd Annual Fresh Voices Pitch Contest, a contest which allows writers to pitch ideas directly to producers.
We were also recently invited to apply for the week-long Emerging Narrative filmmakers’ lab by the Independent Filmaker Project in New York. We hope to find out in the next month or so whether or not MSAAG has been accepted (only 25 projects are chosen for inclusion). The Emerging Narrative lab is a “small, specialized section of IFP’s Independent Film Week Project Forum focused on exposing emerging writers and writer/directors to producers, executives, and agents who can help take their projects – and careers – to the next level.”
The Filmmaker Conference takes place September 16-20, 2012—WISH US LUCK! For more information, go to: http://www.ifp.org/programs/independent-film-week
We’ve decided not to film the Ashland 4th of July parade (which figures prominently in the film) for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is cost. We are resigned to needing another year to put together our business plan and attract investors to our project. Tara has been talking with other successful indie filmmakers about what they have included in their business plans and what attracted investors to their projects; our main goal for the summer is to get the Goth business plan finished once and for all. We know we’ve been saying this for 6 months, but with a project like ours that is a work in progress it hasn’t been the right time to start until now. If/when we do get into IFP, we will need to have the business plan to take to NYC with us to be able to talk to investors—meaning by Sept 1st, it has to be done.
Some housekeeping stuff: we’ve had some reward packages returned (unfortunately some where empty) and we’ve yet to hear from some of our supporters who have been directly contacted for their mailing address or t-shirt sizes. Please let us know if you haven’t received your prizes yet! Anyone who doesn’t give us their mailing address before June 1st, we will assume has decided to forego their donor prizes. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, we’ve set up a PayPal to be able to take additional donations. We are honoring all our Goth reward prizes packages for donors who come in now—if you or anyone you know wants to donate to My Summer as a Goth, we’d greatly appreciate it!
...and as always, thank you for your support of our film. We look forward to updating you with some good news in June!
Tara and Brandon
pledged of $20,000 goal
seconds to go
Sep 14, 2011 - Oct 31, 2011
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Shout out on My Summer As A Goth Facebook Page, Twitter, Tumblr and BlogEstimated delivery: Oct 2011
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"Oh My Goth" Postcard and "I Heart Goth" Button (and above)Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
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"I Heart Goth" Sticker (and above)Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
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9 backers All gone!
Invite to the My Summer As A Goth Halloween party at the Hollywood Theatre on Monday 10/31/11 (and above) (travel & accommodations not included)Estimated delivery: Oct 2011
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Invite to the My Summer As A Goth Halloween Party on Friday October 28th, 700-900pm at the "haunted" Hollywood Theatre . PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE! + a surprise GOTH item to be presented at the screening! (and above) (travel and accommodations not included)Estimated delivery: Oct 2011
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"I Heart Goth" T-shirt (and above)Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
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Signed copy of Jillian Venters' book, Gothic Charm School (and above)Estimated delivery: Jan 2012
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Thank you in the credits of the film and a Goth makeover kit (and above)Estimated delivery: Jan 2012
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Extra/Walk-on Role in the film My Summer As A Goth (and above)Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
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Signed poster of the film My Summer As A Goth (and above)Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
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VIP tickets to the black carpet Portland premiere of My Summer As A Goth (and above) (travel and accommodations not included)Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
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Your name on a tombstone that will be featured in the the film (and above)Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
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Goth get-away package! One night stay for two at local "haunted" inn; guided tour of haunted Portland sites; limo service to and from Portland black carpet premiere, VIP reception & after-party of My Summer As A Goth (and above)Estimated delivery: Apr 2013