In the wake of the massive amount of hype surrounding the rise of crowd funding for independent films, it’s easy to forget that for every major Hollywood project that gets gobs of press because Zach Braff, Bret Easton Ellis or Spike Lee is affiliated with it, there are thousands of minor players grinding it out in the trenches of Facebook and other social media trying to make a dent in the collective conscience. While swamped in the minutiae of production, rehearsals, rewrites, scheduling and fundraising, today’s independent filmmaker must also contend with constantly getting the word out to the news media, potential financiers and the voting, liking and sharing pubic upon whose backs the success of said film rides.
In the case of the film Charlie Gorman’s Wake, we’ve moved beyond the first phase of the process with a moderate amount of success. With only two days of shooting under our belts, we have the following to show for it:
• A ten-minute long promotional video/documentary about the project and nine interview videos with the cast and crew as well as a promotional website, blog, photo gallery and an official logo.
• The New Haven Register and the Wallingford Record Journal covered our film. The Record Journal sent a photographer to our first tech rehearsal and a reporter to one of our dinner-production meetings.
• We have our first financial backers including contributions of hundreds of glasses, t-shirts and print costs for merchandise sales.
But we’re still far from the homestretch. We begin primary filming in September and will be fundraising as we go. Our writer/director Paul Pender is flying out to Ireland to meet with the Irish Film Board and lay groundwork for the filming we’ll be doing outside of Dublin. We’re currently competing in the Arthur Guinness Projects competition for funding for “the next chapter of Irish talent and creativity.” We’ll begin leveraging two of our biggest assets, music and The Old Dublin pub, to raise funds for the production, and we’ll be pushing promo videos and images in a variety of styles through social media to appeal to the wider public including the Irish-American and emigrant communities for whom the film should have special meaning.