Financing / Crowdfunding : Open to any and ALL suggestions on how to get the $$ to make my film: "Hope Saves Manhattan". by Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Open to any and ALL suggestions on how to get the $$ to make my film: "Hope Saves Manhattan".

I have the script. I have tried Indiegogo (7) times. No success. I at least know by now if I do that again I have to post a video. I have read the book "Bankroll" by Tom Malloy--"How to finance your independent film". I realize this will be the most challenging part of getting my screenplay produced and distributed.. I have cast & crew standing by. I know ALL the locations. Have the music I want to use. I will direct. Just like all other independent film makers getting the funding is the hardest challenge we face.. I even have a template on how to lay out a budget, Which I am planniing to keep as tight as possible. In the $100,000 to $250,000 range. Yes Micro. So anyone out there have any suggestions I am all ears. One more thing. At 63 years old and third generation of a New York Show Business family I will never give up and never surrender till "Hope Saves Manhattan" is made. Period.

Ron Dawson

Hi Steven, First off, good for you on never giving up. Love the chutzpah! I've been interviewing filmmakers for years, and with everyone who's ever produced a successful Kickstarter, the #1 thing they all say is that IT'S A FULL-TIME JOB. During the 30 days or so your campaign is live, you need to be working it. Networking online, connecting with influencers, etc. I know with IndieGoGo you get to keep whatever you raise, so I'm not sure what you mean by "you've tried 7 times and failed." Over 7 attempts, the combined $$$ you rose wasn't enough? And YES, you ABSOLUTELY need a video. Especially for a film. It should go without saying the video should be compelling. I strongly suggest you check out the crowdfunding campaign my friend and colleague Brett Culp created a couple of years ago. He produced and directed a doc called "Legends of the Knight". It's about the stories of people dealing with life-threatening illnesses who've been inspired by the story of Batman. His story was wildly inspirational. He wrote a gues post for my blog. Worth a read: http://daredreamer.fm/pursuing-and-achieving-your-dream/ After a terrible PR snafu when he first started, he ended up being recognized by the "Fatman" himself, Kevin Smith, and got featured on his show. Lots of other great connections were made. The film is now on Netflix and he's working on his next doc, "Look to the Sky" (this one's about Superman as an inspiration). Also, and I can't stress this enough, the video needs to be about "what's in it for the viewer." Unless you're a celebrity or have some content that is already wildly popular, making a video that is just "Help me make my movie" will not cut it. That video needs to clearly communicate "what's in it for me." Either the story is extremely compelling (like Brett's film) and/or the rewards are off the hook. Just begging people to help you make your movie won't be enough. Have friends and colleagues review it before you post it. Get feedback. Heck, share it here so the Stage 32 community can give feedback. Naturally, your rewards need to be compelling too. And make sure you're right for the audience. Sometimes I see filmmakers offer rewards that only filmmakers would love (e.g. BTS or making of videos, etc.) That's fine, but keep in mind your audience may NOT be filmmakers. If I were you, I'd do all I can to connect with high profile New Yorkers or New York organizations. People/places who have large followings in NY. Hope this helps. And best of luck! Keep us updated on how it goes. ~ Ron

Vanessa Bailey

Hey Steven - this may help. Also, could you not make an enticing trailer for your film with the money you raised via your 7 crowdfunds? http://vanessabailey.jimdo.com/2016/04/04/crowdfunding-101-your-pitch-is...

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Vanessa- Perhaps I was not clear. Although I did 7 crowd funding campaigns on Indiegogo I never raised a cent So No I can't make a trailer.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Ron- Much help thank you.

Vanessa Bailey

Ah, I see. I thought maybe you had raised just a small amount each time but not enough for the full project. Maybe my blog article will help. I have other articles on my blog which are inspired by all the mistakes I made!

Heidi Moore

You can absolutely make a trailer that pretty much costs nothing. $100,000 is not micro budget. I just finished a feature with $10,000. And how I did it? I got a day job and payed for it myself. If you want people to back your projects you need to have something to show. Maybe start out with something smaller.

Vanessa Bailey

Heidi is on point with her advice. Making a short film for example is a great calling card, there are lots of features which started life as short films. Crowdfunding anything over £3k with no track record is pretty hard.

Ron Dawson

Hi Steven, That fact that you didn't raise one cent over 7 tries is very telling. Something is not connecting at all. First and foremost, it means that not even friends for family contributed. That's not a good sign either. I agre with Heidi. Particularly when it comes to making a film, backers want to see that you've made progress. Or you need to show something that proves you can get this done. $100k to $250k is pretty high. Sure, not by Hollywood standards, but definitely by crowdfunding standards. I would take Heidi's advice. It costs very little to buy equipment nowadays. You can get a used T2i for under $500 (a T2i is the camera Brett used, by the way, to shoot most of Legends of the Knight and make a trailer. A film that is now on Netflix.) If buying is not in your cards, even at that low rate, then rent. But get yourself a T2i or a GH4, a Zoom or Tascam digital recorder, a RODE video Pro mic, and start shooting your film. Put together a teaser or concept video, then show people what your film will be like.

Kevin John Parsons

Hi Steven, I trust you are well. Let's chat via Skype. Best regards, Kevin J. Parsons Skype email: parsons.kevinj@ymail.com Skype Profile name: kevinjparsons2

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Ron- Very realistic and logical suggestions. Heidi- Good point to lower the bar and cost out a film for $10,000 is more realistic. A short film (which I have in my script inventory). As a natter of fact I think that's what I'll do my short script which is only 19 pages can all be shot in one interior location. I will just need (4) different sets. Y eah, I put that on You Tube and Indiegogo they will see that at the very least I CAN make a film. I will run it past my Director of Photography and my Production Designer. I am glad I never quit my day gig at Carnegie Hall. I guess I will have to save some money from my paycheck and social security and foot the bill myself. So It will take a little longer, Big deal. I am 63 years old whats a few more months. Yeah, short film!!. I'll dust off that short script and show it to Giovanni and Rupert. HSN is a monster and we just don't have the resources to pull it off now. The other good thing is my DP not only has all his own cameras but post production equipment too. I think now that I have decided to go this route I have to focus on the (4) different interior set designs. And that is a job for Rupert he is a great PD. I mean I can still go ahead with the Table read for the cast of HSM at the Producers club on west 44th street in a month or so that will not be much$$ A few hundred or so in rental of the space and expense money for the 22-25 actors and crew that will come. It will also give me a first opportunity to finally hear my lines spoken and I can make some final editing if they don't ring true. Yep Moses is up first for the camera. Steve, Julianna and the rest of the gang on East 79th street will just have to wait. See, this is what I mean about Stage 32. You make a thread and you get a solution to the problem thank you all. I have some work to do. Oh crap look at the time I got to get to Carnegie Hall. I know some of you are saying: HOW DO YOU GET TO CARNEGIE HALL? Ans: PRACTICE, PRACTICE,PRACTICE . Yes I know have been working there since 1998 full time. Only went back to part time when I started getting social security which as luck would have it I started writing "Hope Saves Manhattan 2 months before that. Oh one more thing-- Kevin-- Don't have a web cam yet so can't SKYPE. If I ever get one and figure out how to use it I will give you a ring-a-ding-ding-ding-dong!!

Erik A. Jacobson

Steven, since you 've had no response at all from your crowdfunding efforts, I would recommend backing up your project to the very beginning to discover what's not clicking. It may be your basic concept or script. Have you gotten professional coverage on it? No, I'm not talking about your friends, or barber, or Uncle Louie, but detailed feedback from people who makes a living doing this. After your script, start next on your synopsis, then your logline and title. Discover what's not clicking with these important windows into your story. If you don't do this, then making a short film will NOT solve your basic problem, which is hooking people on your story!

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Erik-- Several fellow "Happy Writers" have given me coverage and actually helped me get it down to the 96 pages it is now. I have been told by several Stage 32 creatives that a big reason I had NO success in raising one THIN DIME. was because I had no video. That is now being fixed with my Director of Photography, and my Production designer and the (5) actors in the poker scene. Once I have a short video I can upload to you tube or Vimeo and from there to Indiegogo film. By the way not ONE member of my Show Business family have read the script or have the time. You see I am the black sheep of my clan, I only started writing screenplays 2 years ago at 62. And not one of my cousins takes me seriously. But that said I am determined to get this made. I did not spend 30 years writing advertising copy and being in sales to take NO for an answer. I have a few cards in my deck that I have yet to play. And I will play them when the time is right.

Erik A. Jacobson

No offense, Steven, but our fellow writers here on Stage 32 are NOT the same as professional script consultants. Spend the bucks to get legitimate feedback, my friend. A trailer or video can only enhance a concept that's already a winner, not replace it.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

That's what I was afraid of Joeys basic is $199. I will have to pony up that amount. It's worth it. When I think of the thousands of hours I spent on HSM it pays to get it KILLER not just GOOD!! Thanks for the reality check

Al Hibbert

Steven- Do you have your script copyrighted or registered with the writer's guild?

Edwin Adrian Nieves

A lot of great advice here! As for the video...essential to a crowdfunding campaign as it is the most intimate way to make the filmmaker/supporter connection. How much does it cost? Why not first focus on how you can be creative with the resources at hand. This video was made for free, being a freelance videographer/editor might have helped but it most certainly is simple, straight forward, revealing, and hopefully engaging. All in all, make it work, for you and your audience! http://youtu.be/PsbpgLYxmTA

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

AL- US copy righted have not been down to WGA East yet for the $25 registration fee yet. But do plan on it soon.

Al Hibbert

Have you ever asked Woody Allen if he would help you?

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Al- I am saving it . It's my get into movies last resort I have tried everything else my Uncle Hy Anzell(IMDB)was great with you can you give me a letter of introduction card. P.S. Yes I have met him and yes He knows who I am and yes I want to wait till Moskowitz & Lupowitz is ready(my 5th script) and then and only then might I try. But it is a very tricky subject. I got my cousin Gary Craig to contend with who might put up some road blocks. "Don't ask" Family oi vay Show Business family Oi Oi Vay. Well that's the story. I think I might go with my Moses short script before HSM , It is very Mel Brooks funny and it is a short with only (4) interior scenes and half the actors. Because let me tell you something: As killer a script HSM is its going toibe a monster, NYC exterior shots, Period picture, extras a whole big deal. Who knows maybe I will win PAGE or Nicholl and let someone else produce it. Because let me tell you something. When it comes to ideas for movies I have endless ideas .Endless. There are stacks of paper I throw on memo pads and scrap paper. I only started writing HSM in August 2014, I now have (12) scripts on my celtx program in the genres of Comedy, Sports Comedy, Action/Adventure, Sci Fi, Documentary Animation and (1) TV sit com(Yeech! Boob Tube) and one TV drama pilot. I wish my father the musician/composer was still alive. All the time he was alive I only did advertising copy writing and than went into telemarketing for Carnegie Hall.(started in 1998. Always was the black sheep of my family around the Thanksgiving table. Surrounded by my Uncles, Aunts, cousins all actors, Musicians and Composers.They would call me Mr. Madison Avenue. Even as a teenager my Father and my Uncle tried to get me into show business but I refused. Make a buck make a buck. Who knew at the ripe young age of 62 I would finally find my voice , my passion. It is the most fun I have with my clothes on. I love telling stories making up stories. The joy I get when someone laughs at what I write you cannot put a price on then again if it is in Macy's window you got to hey lets face it we want to sell some tickets here. Sometimes when I sit down at the keyboard and start pounding away I never know where it is going to lead. I however do have enough sense to make sure the (2) screenplays I have posted on my Profile page have US copyrights. You know C.Y.A. Oh well I guess I went off on the deep end with Woody Allen. I guess he was probably the final element that got me to screenwriting. Did I ever tell you the story of that chance meeting I had with him? No well maybe some other time. Oh well what the heck So I am walking along East 81 street one day towards Central Park when I see him up ahead with his wife (this was July 2014). So I don't want to be a paparazzi and I was still quite happy working at Carnegie Hall at my telemarketing job. So than I thought you know I could walk up along side him and just thank him for all the great roles he gave my Uncle Hy Anzell(IMDB) over the years. So that's what I did. It started a short 2 minute conversation which ended with: "Well if you ever get into the business let me know" . A month later on August 16th to be exact at 3 AM in the morning no less I am sitting in the Hot N' Crusty Bagel Shop over on Lexington Avenue and 85th street just practicing my Spanish and hanging out with my Mexican friends when I hear a Madonna song on the Radio. It triggers a memory of a news event I was part of back in 1985. And then I thought of my encounter with Woody. The next thing I know I am in the CVS buying a $1.19 memo pad of 80 pages and a couple of pens. (10) memo pads ,847 pages later(they were small memo pads) I had a script called "HOPE SAVES MANHATTAN" I wrote every solitary word in that Bagel shop in the wee hours of the morning over the next several weeks. The guys started a nickname for me "Senor Hollywood". Anyway that is how I started this Journey. And you're right Al sooner or later there will be another conversation with the Woodman. But it has got to be timed just right and I am only going to get one shot. I think when M&L is done. Because when My Uncle Hy Anzell(IMDB) was alive he always wanted Woody to make a film about Moskowitz & Lupowitz our families legendary Show Business restaurant. But Woody would always say sure but show me a script Hy. Hy never did. But I can and I have about 40 more pages to go. And I am not taking any chances with my cousin Gary. It is copyrighted. Let him try He never was an Anzelowitz and never will be. You see My father and my two Uncles Hy and Bob never let my Aunt Bunny (Gary's Mom) to be involved in the restaurant and I remember all the fights that Gary, Phillip, Andre and my sister Lois all heard. I think that is why Gary has such a resentment towards me entering the family Business. Because since Uncle Hy died he is now the family show business success. He does not want another Anzelowitz to come in and ruin his glory. Thanks for reading AL. sorry I rambled on.

Lucifer Divinitas

For one thing when you're asking for money never give a range. Know exactly what you can make it for and stick with that budget. It makes it look like you don't know what you're doing when you don't have an exact budget. Investors are thinking, "Well which is it $100,000 or $250,000."

Al Hibbert

Steven- thanks for sharing your story. It's actually nice to know that someone besides me rambles on once in a while! ha ha. I totally agree with your strategy of keeping powder dry till you're ready.

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