Welcome to the crowd funding campaign to help fund ANNALIESE! ANNALIESE!, a quirky romantic comedy feature film about a millennial, man-hating woman who, in a bid to live a life without men, recruits the gay guy next door to help her become a nun, even though she's not religious.
ANNALIESE! ANNALIESE! a fun-loving story that's really about how what men and women think they want -- may not be what will make them happy. A synopsis of the feature film and completed back-story webisodes are at http://www.annaliesethemovie.com.
To promote this Kickstarter campaign and help tell Annaliese's backstory (that leads into the feature film this campaign hopes to fund), we've produced seven webisodes (or 12 scenes...this gets muddled at times). (THE KITCHEN PITCH video above is Webisode 3.) All of the webisodes were edited together to create a 45-min. featurette. We premiered the featurette January 28, 2018 at the Farmington Civic Theater, in Farmington Hills, Michigan. The premiere was also the launch event for this crowd funding campaign. Here's a trailer for the featurette.
As this campaign progresses we will post all the 7 webisodes (12 scenes), in 4 collections (see the muddle mounts, just like Annaliese's dilemma) that will appear below. Now, here's a message from our producer, Stan Williams. (He demanded equal time.)
The Webisode Cast
You can meet the professional webisode cast and read their bios at http://www.Annaliesethemovie.com. We were very blessed that after a long casting effort led by casting director Dayna Polehanki C.S.A. (Detroit Casting Company) our first choices all said yes. We love you, Sydney, Jillian, Maryann, Phil, Kelly and Devin. This would not have been any fun without each of you. You were all terrific.
The webisodes should prove that ANNALIESE! ANNALIESE! will likely be rated PG13. It is a light-hearted and entertaining motion picture, that promises to respect women and men, be a good date movie, unusually free of vulgar and raunchy humor (with only a few well-placed innuendoes). At the same time it will provide humorous insight on the human condition and the relationship between men and women.
We're planning to produce ANNALIESE! ANNALIESE! at a cost known in Hollywood as "Ultra Low Budget." That means that although the shooting budget will be equal to or under $250,000 we can still employ professional union talent and crew...as long as we volunteer a great deal of our time. Some of that professional talent we've already attached and they appear in the webisodes accompanying this pitch, e.g. our wonderful cast.
We are also relying on our decades of experience working in both the documentary and feature film business and having producing hundreds of projects on schedule and on budget.
On top of the $250,000, however, is the cost of fulfilling our generous awards (or perks) to our generous contributors. For that we've calculated $75,000 for perk production, administration, packaging, shipping and postage. Most of that goes to postage and shipping. So our total goal for this campaign is the $250,000 + $75,000 or $325,000.
If we reach that milestone, then we've established a few stretch goals that will allow us to raise the quality of the project. More about that later when the time is appropriate.
Putting aside the cost of the award perks and their fulfillment, here is a pie chart for the $250,000 Production Budget.
Now, I don't know about you, but as pretty as that pie chart is, it's still "pretty" useless. So, here's a bar chart that might make more sense.
What?! You still can't read it? Okay. Try this.
Finally. I hope you can read that. But if you do, and study it for very long, you're going to have some questions. Thus, the next section.
In looking over our budget, there should be a few things you may wonder about. I can almost hear your questions, so let me answer them.
1. How come the script is only $500? Did you find it in a dumpster?
ANSWER: No. Actually, we found it in the discarded gondola from SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. Remember that scene? Part of the answer can be found in No. 2, below. Otherwise, the $500 is for renting a copy machine, and buying paper and toner for copies and revisions of copies throughout production. Stan Williams, the writer, is not being paid for the script, unless you consider the $1 he earned when he sold the rights to Annaliese Pictures, LLC.
2. How come the director is only being paid $100?
ANSWER: He'd rather see the money spent on making a better movie. If the film is successful he might get paid something in a few years, unless he's swamped by deferrals (See No. 8.). Right now, he has other income to pay bills. He just wants to do something productive and have fun?
3. Is it really necessary to spend so much money on TALENT (actors)? I have friends that would love to act in your movie for nothing, lots of people do that just for the experience.
ANSWER: Sorry, but we're not running a training camp. Yes, lots of people do that (get their friends to act for free). Have you noticed that lots of independent movies are hard to watch? We like watching movies, even if they're our own. So, YES, it is necessary that the largest chunk of money is for TALENT....professional talent. But to be honest, we're not paying our actors much above the minimum wage. It's clearly not a living wage. Although we have two plans to correct that if such circumstances allow, (see No. 7 and 8 below). We're planning to pay actors under the SAG/AFTRA Ultra Low Budget rules, which means, by the time taxes are taken out of their paychecks, they're making just above the minimum wage. Also, the money budgeted for talent also includes the production company's contribution to (1) Federal and State Taxes, (b) payments to SAG/AFTRA health and retirement fund, and then (c) there are agency and (d) casting fees.
4. The amount budgeted for editing also seems pretty low. Shouldn't it be a lot higher? In most places that number wouldn't even buy you a week's worth of editing. What gives?
ANSWER: See the answer to No. 2. The director is editing the film on a high-end Apple Macintosh with large displays, running Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro X, Motion and other software. He also subscribes to Adobe Creative Cloud. The system is paid for except for the massive external hard drives that are budgeted. He wants to put the money into other departments that will make the movie better. Final Cut does have some drawbacks in terms of post finishing, but we have that budget under Digital Delivery.
5. And why is the contingency 10% of the over all budget?
ANSWER: It's our self-insurance. That 10% contingency is the reason, over the decades of our work, we so often have come in on budget. It's not possible to think of everything ahead of time. The 10% contingency allows us to be flexible when it rains, or when PETA comes by and demands we dress the squirrels in body armor instead of cooking them (as Annaliese supposedly does for one of her dates). Clearly, we're squirreling around. Suffice it to say, the contingency takes the place of a Completion Bond which would cost a pile of money we could never use. The contingency could go for unforeseen props, wardrobe, equipment repair, re-shoots, a bigger hard drive, or a better camera and lens kit.
6. If you exceed your Kickstarter goal what will you spend the extra money on?
ANSWER: If we raise just a little bit beyond our goal the money will be spent for marketing the movie after it's finished. We will not add a modest overage to the film budget. The reason is this: If we spend more than $250,000 but less than $700,000 on the production, we will automatically be placed in SAG/AFTRA's Modified Low Budget Category and our talent and ancillary costs related to talent would more than double...which, of course, would be much fairer to the talent. (See No. 3.) Thus, If we raise significantly more than $325,000 (after we subtract out the added cost of award fulfillment), our "Stretch Goal" is to move the production into SAG/AFTRA's Modified Low Budget rules and pay the actors and crew something closer to a living wage. (Also, see No. 8, below).
8. Will you be deferring payments to talent and crew to push beyond SAG/AFTRA's $250,000 Ultra-Low Budget rules?
ANSWER. This question understands that often a production company may negotiate with crew or talent to work for minimum pay so SAG/AFTRA's Ultra-Low Budget rules can be met, but negotiate a deferral payment agreement so that if the movie should be good enough to make money during release, the talent and crew would make bonus money on the backend. In that case SAG/AFTRA says we cannot spent more than $625,000 INCLUDING the deferral amounts. This is likely what we will do for ANNALIESE! ANNALIESE!. Under such agreements the producing entity (ANNALIESE Pictures, LLC) would share it's release revenue with deferral agreement holders until maximums are met.
There are two kinds of award perks: Cascading and Stand Alone. In the right column of this page they are listed in order of amount. Below they are similarly listed but grouped by kind. First Cascading, and then Stand Alone. Sorry if this is confusing, but we're all a bit muddled like our protagonist, Annaliese. Muddled IS her last name.
Risks and challenges
There will be many challenges in producing ANNALIESE, but nothing we have not met dozens of time before. We have a nearly 40 year history of completing projects, many more complicated that ANNALIESE! Although granted, most of them have come to us with funding in place. Nonetheless, there are the obvious issues:
A. What if we can't raise the money through this crowd funding campaign? ANSWER: Then we either don't do the project, or we look for a capital investors. In the past we have been funded by sponsors, investors and crowd funding contributors. But that doesn't mean ANNALIESE will get funded. If it does, great. If it doesn't...nothing happens.
B. What if you have expenses that cut into your budget and threaten the project's completion? This is a daily issue. The solution is to monitor all expenses and potential expenses in great detail. We always work with signed contracts that spell out obligations and responsibilities and payment schedules in detail. If it rains one day, we will be prepared to quickly shift our plan that day to shoot indoors. We are very detailed minded, and are extremely cautious of contingencies. But we will never think of everything, so we have the 10% contingency category in the budget.
C. What if you can't find a distributor? ANSWER: We own a distribution company. So, while our distribution company does not have a lot of resources, it is not our first choice for ANNALIESES' distribution. But in the end, we can self distribute as we have in the past.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter