Blitching!

I admit I have been more than remiss about keeping the blog updated as of late. Not that there isn’t or hasn’t been anything to write about. I have been more focused in on the fundraiser for the documentary I am making, and on the old day job and all its stress, and on myself. As for the fundraising, we didn’t hit the goal, alas, but we did get some good donations in, and as we used Indiegogo we still get the funds regardless.  A HUGE thank you to my incredible fiancee, the lovely and amazing Diana, the Part Time Monster, and to her bro Gene’O, the Sourcerer, for getting the word out and supporting me in this crazy endeavor! On the day job front, well, it’s the day job. I’m not in the mood to write about it for now but I will say that I’m working on improving that particular subdivision in the neighborhood of my life. 

As for working on myself, I mentioned in a previous post (look, I won’t even link to it, just scroll down for god’s sake) my ongoing love hate hate/loathing relationship with my depression. I’ve begun a new line of medication and therapy that has been showing good results. If you’re wondering why I would be so open with that info it’s quite simply because there is NOTHING to be ashamed of if you are dealing with depression, or any mental/emotional issue. At. All. I don’t feel like wearing the issues I deal with on my sleeve, I feel like wearing them like a cape flowing in the wind, akin to my own type of superhero. Emo-Man! Or something like that.

Okay, perhaps a cape is a bit much, but you get the point. Thing is, I needed a moment to adjust as it were. And I got it, and I have, and I am still a work in progress, but we all are. Constantly.

So, onto the mountain ahead. A mountain I will be bitching on this blog, or “blitching”, about for some time to come. We are getting into turning about 400 to 500 hours of footage and turning it into roughly 90 minutes (give or take) of a film people can actually follow. And enjoy I hope. Maybe just maybe even inspire someone or sometwo or somethree to make their worlds a better place. So as of now here is the current thing we are doing that is in no way, shape, or form actually everything that needs to be done. I write this with certainty because literally every time I have learned about doing something that needs to be done on a film I have also learned about the 357 or so other things that have to be done as well (there’s a reason the crew credits take so long at the end of movies, because there’s a shit ton to do to make them). Ah, indie film.

I, along with the awesome editor and worthy constituent and cool ass friend Gospo, are transcribing the interviews we got on film. What is that, and why? Transcribing the interviews is essentially typing them out word for word, noting who said what, with occasional time codes thrown in on the transcript. We do this to help us find the exact right moments and words from our subjects to use in the context of whatever moment is happening in the film. We have well over a dozen full interviews, and quite a few on the fly interviews, which are spots where I asked subjects quicker questions at events or parties, rather than the more formal sit downs.  I might ask each and every person about say, their scooter or their favorite throw, so upon grabbing the transcriptions I will highlight those particular answers for each subject, make a note of it, and then cut and paste those answers together along with notes for what footage to use with that Q and those A’s. We will do this following an overall outline or story arc of sorts, to put together what can best be called a script for the film, and from there get into the rough cut, then from there add music, effects, graphics, etc. By the gods, this is enough to make one go batty.

Matter of fact, the image above is sort of how I get sometimes thinking about how to get this film turned into something that people will love. But I know we can do it. More people than just me want this film to be made now. More people than just me want it to be great, and to succeed. Honestly, it’s everyone else who wants this to happen that keeps me going if I ever have moments of doubt. I used to think I was doing this for me, but I’m doing it for them, I’m doing it for everyone who has supported this project, I’m doing it for everyone who has ever doubted me, I’m doing it for the love of my city, I’m doing it for the sake of my own sanity, I’m doing it because I think the world needs to know this story.  And until it is done, well, hey, I’ll have plenty to be blitching about.

 

 

The little documentary that will.

There are 15 days left on the fundraising campaign for the documentary I am working on.  This one:

Rolling With Kings, The Story of the Krewe of the Rolling Elvi

About these cats:

          Image

   At this rate we’ll fall well short of the fundrasing goal. It happens. Happened last time too, even though we got just what we needed the last go around.  It’s disheartening I have to admit. I’ve been given advice on how to make a crowdsourcing campaign work better, and while it was always sound enough advice, it was the kind not well applicable to filmmakers in my position.

The advice was usually as follows –

1. Spend hours a day pushing it!  Which would be fine, if I didn’t have a 9-5 that has an insane busy pace, and a family to take care of and all the things that go with that, and actual work on the film to do (transcribing interviews, getting releases and legal docs signed, hell creating said docs in and of itself, putting the puzzle pieces together so the film can actually make sense, this is going on a whole different post there’s so much). There also comes a point when I simply am sick of looking at a screen, be it TV, computer, phone, I don’t care. It brings on a down swing emotionally for me.  Bad enough how many people live more of their lives looking at some glowing screen rather than actual life. But I understand the need to escape actual life and call that living instead. 

2. If you don’t have time, then hire someone to put it out there for you, buy sponsored ads on FB, Twitter, and the like. Which sounds neat, now if only that elusive “money” thing were to be found to hire someone, much less someone who’s commission (let’s just call it what it is) makes the fees taken by whatever funding platform seem miniscule.

3.  Tap into your “fanbase” and “core audience”!  The fanbase thing only works if you have actual fans.  It works great for celebs like Spike Lee and Zach Braff of course. Not to mentions popular musicians who now think they want to make movies. Once one has tapped into the celebrity vein of this culture you can practically film yourself shitting in a bucket and there would still be a few thousand folks willing to throw some bread in to see it.  As far as core audience goes, it’s a bit of a different thing to look at metrics for a documentary than say some horror or comedy film. The core audience is everyone.  It isn’t an advocacy documentary nor is it a tear jerker telling the tragic, yet inspiring tale of some village of crippled children or some such shit, so drumming up a more impassioned line of support is tricky. I went to a networking event not long ago, and when talking about my documentary to someone there I described it as light hearted, funny, and an unusual slice of New Orleans culture.  His response: “Did anyone die, go to jail, or did anything controversial/sexy/tension raising happen?  Not really? Then I don’t care. People who watch docs to feel better about life need self help books, not films.”  This from a film executive. Sigh. I know, one person’s opinion and all that, but stil.   

4. Offer great perks/gifts for donating! Well, I am, and have. I’ve even put out there an even less expensive perk of a digital download of the film for just an $11 donation. 

Truth is, just as I am learning about filmmaking as I go, it’s the same for crowdfunding.  I haven’t done this all too well or perfectly I readily admit.  Matter of fact I’ve never met anyone who has done it successfully, at least for a film project.  If I ever do such a thing as crowdfunding again, I like to think I’ll go about it smarter next time around. 

That said, there is simply no giving up on this film. I just can’t.  I know it will make the world a better place for being made and seen. Now, how exactly we’ll get it finished and out there, well, still figuring that out. 

Rolling With Kings, The Story of the Krewe of the Rolling Elvi

Rolling With Kings, The Story of the Krewe of the Rolling Elvi

This is the big project I have been and am still working on at present. It is a feature length documentary about The Krewe of the Rolling Elvi. Here’s some background info:

Back in 2003, a small group of friends were watching a Mardi Gras parade together and they saw a bunch of Shriners in dune buggies pass by in the procession. They thought to themselves “Why don’t WE do that too?” thus was born a new krewe, but not just any krewe. Together they were inspired by the image of the king of rock ‘n’ roll, Elvis Presley, to don the attire of said king, and ride forth onto New Orleans and the world on little scooters, as members of a new kind of Mardi Gras royalty.

Elvi9

In the 10 years since then, The Krewe of the Rolling Elvi have grown to hundreds of members, and have become one of the most popular attractions to Mardi Gras visitors, and the people of New Orleans. As the krewe has grown, so has its positive influence on the world, with countless appearances for charity fundraising and great causes not just in New Orleans, but internationally as well. Their very presence creates laughter and smiles wherever they go. This is their story, the story of men and women who become kings and queens, and make the world a better place.

Elvi at LASPCS

I feel that this is an amazing story which should be told to the world, and hope that in doing so other people will be inspired to make their world a better place too. I want to give the world a slice of what it is like to be a Rolling Elvi, to be in a Mardi Gras parade, and to showcase this part of New Orleans culture.

Making of RWK                 Making RWK 2

This link is to our fundraising campaign on Indiegogo and it has a clip to show you how the film is looking.  ANY little bit really helps me and my crew (krewe?) get that much closer to getting this film made and shown to the world. I hope you enjoy the glimpse of what I’ve been working on for the past year and a half.  If you’d like to throw in awesome! If not, then maybe just help spread the word out there about a New Orleans film about some amazing people.