I don’t know if a whole lot of folks know what movie making is like at this stage – development. Partly it means developing a strong foundation: commissioning a business plan that will actually reflect the cost/benefit to your potential investors, getting your legal ducks in a row including a very detailed set of papers that go to the lawyers of your investors, finding your CPA who can handle a movie not just your personal business, making sure there IS enough crew in the town you want to film in, and beginning the casting process. All of that and more has to be done before we even call an investor and say, Yes this project is magic, Yes we will do our very best with your faith in us, Yes this story has legs.
But when people tell you how long it takes to raise money for a movie, what they are really saying is how long it takes to make visible the invisible – and make that happen for people who have never met you before. “Making visible” for JANE means letting people know how far we have come (so many folks tell us we are already ahead of the pack). What we are doing now is creating meetings and exact language and relationship to help someone who doesn’t know us “see JANE.” Every day of the week our core team (Deb, Mike, Brittney, Ike, Carole) meet and do the practical steps it takes to create a hard work miracle. Every week, we meet and commit to each other to speak from the heart and promise to repair if we have difficulties or get frightened by how big the task. And then we pick up the phone and get on the email and get in our cars and go to meetings. We tell people what we are doing. We ask for support and pitch our good potential investment. We listen. After every Yes, we celebrate. After every NO, we re-calibrate. Day after day until we get the job done.
I am proud of us for this part. And I know, looking back, we will all feel how hard we worked and how scary it could be, and how fierce our understanding that this movie’s time is NOW and we are actually more ready than 99% of indies – we have built a foundation, we are ready to shoot, we have a path for distribution, and we know we can change a life. It is that last little set of words that personally keeps me going. I know what I needed after I was raped, and this film would have made a difference.
I am writing to all the indie filmmakers out there working their butts off, and to all of our friends and supporters who really want this to happen. It is a hard work miracle. We are building really strong leg muscles. Filmmakers, we know what you are talking about when you tell us what you went through before you even began to shoot. Friends and colleagues, I know how important it is when someone’s dream actually comes true. It makes it true for all of us. And I know that sometimes the journey is the destination. I just would really like them to meet up.