We shot act one of a pilot I wrote the weekend of August 23-24. This is the end product. We want to finish it and distribute it independently.
This is a breakdown of how the money will be spent:
We don't plan to pitch this to network. What we want is to produce and distribute this independently. We're doing this for many reasons, but mainly for these two: 1. Creative control. 2. The way we watch TV is changing. We now have the ability to alter TV watching to our schedule. We want to be a part of this change.
I'm using two sites to distribute the pilot episode once it's shot and edited: www.distribber.com and www.vhx.tv. Distribber is an aggregator that will help me get the pilot episode up on Hulu. I've talked to Distribber, doing research, and if you're episode is up on Hulu, you receive 100% of ad sales. The end goal is to get the pilot episode up, distribute it to the masses, make money to shoot the second episode (because it's written), repeat. (It'll be a six episode season, hopefully shooting and distributing 2 episodes a year.) VHX is free to use, but it takes 10% of each sale+50 cents. For those that do not want to use Hulu, or don't have access to Hulu, they can download or stream the pilot episode for 3.99, but it will have extras like bloopers and casting footage.
Cost: 500 (Distribber), plus 150 Closed Captioning. Total 650.
Production Insurance - I've exchanged emails with a company that insures small productions for two days, which will be what it takes to finish the pilot, 1800. Plus, I'll need a permit to shoot on a Burbank sidewalk, 200.
Cost: 2000. Total:2650.
How will people know about the pilot, other than by sharing it on social media?
I plan on taking out ads on comedy websites like gofugyourself.com. The reason I chose this website is because it is similar to my sense of humor, so the 600,000+ people who visit this site will see the a short trailer for Post, which will list where to find it: Hulu and VHX.
Cost: 3050. Total: 5700
I also plan on taking out ads on Facebook across the country. I spent a lot of time figuring out demographics for my comedy, mainly using my dating blog as an example, wallaineisdating.tumblr.com (shameless plug). I took out ads for my blog, and what I found is that both women and men enjoy my comedy, and they fall under the age demographic of 25-35. We can run ads in different cities simultaneously for two or three weeks, getting people to purchase the pilot and like the Post FB page.
Cost: 300 Total: 6000.
Let's start with Production and Post, then move onto the Actors. The total you're seeing is the amount we're paying people for 4 days of work. They're going to be paid for the 2 days it took to shoot this, and the remaining 2 days it'll take to finish the pilot. I tried to promise decent rates to the people helping with production, post and the actors. I plan to make this production a signatory under SAG, filing under New Temp Media, and had to pay SAG rates for the SAG actors. Someone told me that I could just pay the actors an indie/low budget rate of 100/day, and I decided not to go that route. I chose to pay the minimum day rate. Why? Because when I first graduated, I worked a job where I was paid 100/day, that's 500/week. After taxes, this cannot pay your rent, bills and student loan. When I first graduated, I worked 3 jobs trying to make ends meet, working nearly 80-hour work weeks. It was a horrible 2 years of my life, and there were a lot of times when I wanted to give up and quit Los Angeles. My love for writing and storytelling are the only things that kept me here. I can't, in good conscience, make anyone else live at 100/day, mainly because people in this industry do not know when their next job or gig will be. It could be months. At a decent rate, they can at least survive while they're waiting.
Here'a list of the positions involved Director, Writer, Producers, a DP, AD, Sound, Script Super, AC, PA, GFX design for the Show Open, Audio Mix (We have to mix the episode to put it up on Hulu. It's one of the requirements.), Color, Editors, Composers and Makeup.
Cost: 26150. That's 4 days of work. Total: 32150
I paid for crafty, bagels, yogurt and coffee in the morning, and for lunch and dinner I used this awesome place called Rutts. To cater for a group of 20 it was a lot cheaper than other places, but it's still costly. Even though everyone that worked on this worked for free, I chose to spend money on crafty because it keeps people happy and boosts morale. There's nothing like going to a shoot and having no crafty. When people are happy, they work better. When people work better, your shoot is efficient.
Cost: 1000. That's for 2 days. Total: 33150
I also spent a lot of money on props, and used stock sound and images. I created all the props and decorated every office used in this production.
Cost: 250. That's for 2 days. Total: 33400
The actors will get the SAG rate, and I'll have to pay into the pension plan, as well. That's 16.5% of what they're getting paid. I had to add the SAG rate, along with that 16.5% to this total. I'll also need to hire 4 extras, and 3 new actors to finish out the project.
Cost: 33,739. That's for 4 days. Total: 67139.
Kickstarter takes 5% of the total of what we receive if we reach our goal, and Amazon takes another 5%. I had to pad the total because we need every dime.
Cost: 8,000. Total: 75139
We'll have to rent equipment to finish it. We were loaned the equipment initially, but we're not going to get that opportunity again.
Cost: 4861. Total: 80,000
If it looks like we're going to make our total, I'll pay to open up an LLC, deposit the funds there, and pay people from the LLC. I'll also submit the paperwork for New Temp Media to SAG. This will take a couple weeks.
I know that by doing this independently none of us will be millionaires, and we'll all still have to keep our day jobs, but the whole point of this is that we're making a yes for ourselves, finally.
Risks and challenges
This seems like a trick question, but the actual work, production and post wasn't difficult. Yes, there were normal setbacks. The most difficult thing for me leading up to the shoot (and will be for the second half) was deflecting all the fear and doubt I received from people. A lot of people weren't confident that I could do this. I had to dig deep for self-confidence, so I could be brave and see clearly, instead of being afraid and panicking when things went wrong. If you have a leadership position, in anything, your own fear and doubt will spread to the people working with you, and that will lead to disaster. I over prepared so I could feel confident, and stayed calm during the whole shoot. My attitude set the tone for the shoot, and I'm really happy to say it was a wonderful experience.
But to answer this question, we shot act one in the office where I work as a Post Manager. Hopefully, we can do so again for free. If not, I can use some of the money I'm paying myself to pay a location fee.
Scheduling all crew and talent will be an obstacle, but I have three weekends this year in mind.
What I've learned from my job is that shit happens during production and post, and the point is to breathe and think of another angle to get to the end of your goal. I had someone who was supposed to AD this project during the shoot for act one. He also promised me sound equipment and a camera. He dropped out two weeks before my shoot. I chose not to freak out, and found everything another way: I borrowed and begged for it. Yes, there is risk with any production, but it doesn't mean there isn't a solution that will present itself.
This has to be shot this year due to tax purposes. We have to shoot late November, early December.
It takes 14 days to receive the money from Kickstarter.
I had a hand in every single process, from casting, to scheduling, to the shot list (which I made on excel), to wardrobe, to crafty, to getting everything and everyone together for this shoot, to preparing the scenes and directing them, to giving specific notes so we could get the best final product. I sit here and can't believe I did this, that initially it was just one woman and a dream. Now it's our dream. Can I do this? Can we do this? Yes. That answer is clear.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)