The story so far
We thought we would tell you about our journey in this update. As you can imagine our tiny outfit Trufflepig Films is on a roller-coaster ride right now.
It all began six years ago when we made the decision to self fund our films and do it all ourselves. Now we sit with bated breath gripping the edge of our seats as Kickstarter deadline approaches.
The current excitement all began with Sundance Film Festival, or rather, it began the day before Sundance. “The Moo Man” was picked from obscurity to play in competition at Sundance in January. Our film is set on the remote Pevensey Levels of Sussex. Yet the day before Sundance ‘the Levels’ were choked with newspaper, radio and telly, all descending on the farm to hear the story of Steve, a dairy farmer and his dad Phil, about to jet off to Sundance. Steve couldn’t even milk his cows for all the attention. Turns out though, taking Steve and Phil to Sundance was one of the best things we could do.
When we arrived in Park City, Utah, we couldn’t leave our house on the first day because of a back-log of radio and press interviews down-the-line with the UK. Odd thing was, we’d sent out a press release a month earlier, but no-one wanted to know until we were literally about to step on a plane to Utah. So we arrive, there we are, a bunch of unknowns in Park City. What do you think happens? Well, everyone just loved Steve and Phil. After each of our screenings it would take longer and longer to walk down Main Street. In the end we had to give up walking, it took too long.
Way back when we initially tried to pitch our project about a farmer and his cows, the reaction was “who on earth will want to watch that?” But bottom line is, we think that if it’s an emotional film with a good story, it will find its audience. And so Berlin and True/False film festivals followed Sundance, and all had packed screenings.
We went through all the film festival hoo-ha earlier this year. Then we looked at the offers for film distribution, and we thought; you know what, we are so passionate about our story that we want to distribute it ourselves. That is why we are doing a DIY release with November Films. Why? It’s not because we have to, but because we know nobody else will put as much energy as us into working our film around the country. “The Moo Man” is a very touching film but it’s also a touch-paper for a bunch of issues to do with our disconnection from the countryside, from where our food comes, to how we farm animals and to what happens if all the family farms close down. We can really push those messages.
But to distribute a film without a marketing budget is suicide. However if you’ve sunk everything you have into making your film, what else do you do? Fortune shined, because Kickstarter’s launch here in the UK was perfect timing. It’s a great tool for the DIY filmmaker’s like us. Kickstarter is genius. We’re not just finding a way to get the film into cinemas, we are discovering you too. We cannot tell you how heartwarming it is to have you all on our side, supporting the film and getting the message out.
The Kickstarter theory is great. But the reality? At time of writing we have 48 hours left to go and £1264 or 6.3% still to find. So close but it is looking very good.
We know we can make it! If we do, anything above £20k will go into a promotion overdrive fund, including taking Steve our farmer further around the country for Q&As and tackling bigger cinemas.
The clock is ticking and I feel like Sidney Greenstreet in a sauna. There is somekind of twisted pleasure in all this angst but we will all be so glad when the deadline had passed.
Many, many thanks everybody and if we succeed we’ll see you in cinemas from July 12th.
This is Steve, Phil, Heike and Andy on the last night at Sundance.