Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ellie Lumme

I’m making a movie. Right now, I’m calling it Ellie Lumme. I like this title; it’s got musicality and a good letter-shape. The title will probably change, though; what fits a script doesn’t necessarily fit a film.

Ellie Lumme—or whatever it’s going to be called—is a medium-length movie, meaning that it’s not a feature but that it’s much longer than the average short. The most recent draft of the script is 42 pages.

This script is a drama with supernatural undertones—not realistic, but about emotionally real stuff. It’s sort of my take on M.R. James or Sheridan Le Fanu. When we began work on this project, I described it to the cast as “a ghost story without a ghost,” and I stand by that description.

I’m not going to tell you much about the plot besides that; I like unpredictable movies and this will (hopefully) be an unpredictable movie. What I can tell you, however, is that it's going to be a plotty, talky picture and that it features some great actors, including Allison Torem, Stephen Cone, and Mallory Nees. A lot of it takes place at night. There are some funny parts. There will be many shots of hands.

There are two ways to make a movie on very low budget. The first is to "cram"—go too fast, be under-prepared and under-rehearsed, try to fit too many camera set-ups into too little time, and ultimately half-ass the whole thing.

The second is to focus—to take your time and try to foster a creative environment that emphasizes method and deliberation and allows you to wring the most out of limited means. That's the way we're making this movie.

I'm paying the production costs out of my own pocket. The cast and crew are donating their time because they have faith in this project.

I'm asking for your help in ensuring that this project has the sort of stable creative environment it needs. On a small production like this, every dollar counts. Even if you donate just $1, it’ll help pay for materials for a prop or buy a crew member a much-needed cup of coffee. It might go toward paying for an extra memory card or an extra battery, or help pay for the rental of an extra microphone.

If you donate $10, you’ll get a password-protected link to stream the movie once it’s completed. If you donate $20, you’ll also get an HD download. If you choose to pitch in $50, I’ll also mail you an annotated screenplay.

If you donate $100, you'll receive a Blu-Ray of the film and rights to organize a screening. If you want to, you can even charge admission.

Every one who donates will receive a "Financial Assistance Provided by" credit. Any money that doesn't get spent during production will go toward post-production costs.

We begin shooting later this month.

You can donate through GoFundMe.


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