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When you’re two weeks away from production on a film with no financing in place, you need to make a decision: either pull out and cut your losses or push forward and burn. I experienced this decisive moment last week, as I was driving through Baltimore in my ‘95 Volvo 850, listening to UGK.
Inspired by the spirit of Bun B and the late Pimp C, I decided to make a permanent gesture and tattoo the title of my new film, I Used to Be Darker, where I would see it every day. This level of commitment made sense, a kind of wish fulfillment that would serve as a reminder of the goal at hand—or in this case, forearm.
I knew immediately that the tattoo had everything to do with Kickstarter, and not just because it would make a splashy campaign video. Opening the project up to the public and asking for support felt as permanent a gesture for me as the tattoo, riskier in many ways. Declaring desires and ambitions out loud makes us vulnerable. That’s scarier than needles, scarier than forever because you feel it now. It’s also the only way I know how to make anything happen.
That’s not entirely true. I have a few other tricks for making things happen. More than a few, and they all have proper names and pulses and stories of their own. It takes a village to make a movie. I roll deep. I get by with a little help from my friends. So that day last week, I made a U-turn in the 850, collected Clayton, my student intern, and a video camera and hit the parlor where we’d tell our story.
And then we turned our story over to the place where real people gather to support each other’s projects. You’re reading this now because you’re one of those indispensable, giving, risk-taking folks. I’m really glad you’re here.
At T minus two weeks, the I Used to Be Darker crew is rolling into town or taking days off from their local jobs to work on pre-production. They’re all faith and heart and creative energy. Already no-one’s getting enough sleep. Soon our incredible cast will join us. Check out our page to learn more about them. Take a little detour to have your heart broken and mended by the music of Kim Taylor.
We’ve passed $8,000 in our campaign, another $32,000 to go. We sincerely hope you like our story and our incentives and find yourself inspired to support our project. We admit it. We’re saying it out loud. We’re offering daily specials on Facebook to sweeten the deal, to say thank you personally, creatively and often.
Meanwhile, the tattoo’s healing nicely, and we’re moving forward with everything we’ve got.