The Wilshire Grand Tower at 900 Wilshire Blvd in Downtown LA is currently under construction. When completed it will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi River with a sail-shaped crown illuminated with LED lighting. In other words it will be magnificent. A show stopper. 2009 was the birth of this building when the owner, Yang Ho Cho of Hanjin International Corp. and Korean Air met with his friend Chris Martin of A.C. Martin Partners to discuss the options available to him for the hotel he owned at the corner of Wilshire and Figueroa. Five years later in February 2014 the concrete foundation was poured. 2017 is the projected opening date; eight years after that very first meeting.
I use this analogy to demonstrate what it takes to make a movie, independent or otherwise and the commitment needed to stay the course. The early stages of producing a low budget, independent movie or in my case a documentary are no less dramatic than the analogy used for the Wilshire Grand and the take-away is the process most definitely cannot be rushed. Just as the process was not rushed for the Wilshire Grand. It was five years in the making from the first meeting to when the concrete foundation was poured. I provide this insight for all those future filmmakers out there reading this right now who are thinking about producing their own content via a crowdfunding campaign. The point being don’t rush into your campaign. Haste makes waste. It takes a gargantuan amount of effort to get to the point of launching a successful crowdfunding campaign which, when I first started this journey 6 months ago in January I was blissfully unaware. Successful being the operative word. And the key to that success, which I have come to learn is how many followers or fans your project has. The larger the fan base the greater chance of success. It’s important to note it doesn’t matter how many followers you have at the onset or how well known you are, you cannot have too many followers unless you’re the Tom Cruise’s and Madonna’s of the world. And even they would take to promoting their project. The bottom line is you want to get as many people as possible excited about what you’re doing BEFORE you launch your campaign. And that takes time. Along with some creative ways to bring attention to your project. The reason being is your campaign will be funded via donations by the very people who are excited about your project hence the reason you really want to take your time building your audience. When we’re excited about something and believe in it we open our pocket books and give, very willingly. We want to give. We all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Here are some of the things I’ve been doing that serve to continue to build my audience and get people excited.
In April, as discussed in Part Three I introduced an online art exhibition on the Facebook movie page called the “Silver Sister Series” which raised awareness significantly. The Series just concluded earlier this month with a Grand Finale video that went live a few days ago (6/26 -posted below) and was a smashing success. I made the video with my limited knowledge of iMovie and am happy with the outcome. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and has gotten many more people excited about the project. It should be duly noted I purchased the song from iTunes and this is all original artwork.
Also I resumed the making of my videos for my YouTube channel, My Life As A Baby Boomer Actress. Not as polished as I had been doing but I realized given how time crunched I always am it was better to get them started again than to do nothing at all. It’s the real deal. Me sitting in my car as that’s where I spend a significant amount of my time, updating the progress made (posted below). Shows how UNglamorous the process can be yet at the same time how incredibly exciting because of the freedom one has to pursue their creativity. That’s happiness…along with a million dollars in the bank:)
In Part Four I talked about the soft launch of my Zazzle store. This month I had an official launch and have made a few sales already which is exciting. Plus I just started running Sponsored Facebook ads as a way of generating interest and funding the making of the movie even if it’s just a small amount and bringing more eyeballs to the movie. I continue to work with my mom daily on new designs for all the different products Zazzle offers.
I also set up an Instagram account which I work on daily little by little. Facebook is one audience and Instagram is an entirely different audience that would never see my posts on Facebook because Instagram uses hashtags. Hashtags enable people to search very specific topics. Oh the beauty of the hashtag. I don’t use many but the few I currently use seem to be connecting with the right people. #greyhair #grayhair #documentary #silverhair #grayisthenewblonde
The items left to do for next month are the website which requires one to two full days of me sitting in front of the computer and a Twitter account. The biggest obstacle has been not having enough time due to the fact that I work so many hours at my day job (50-55/week). That is the constant issue. Not enough time…it’s a balancing act.
In closing I have purposely taken my time to build my audience and gain momentum as failure is not an option. And as well I have never done this before and I want to do it right. I absolutely must ensure this will be successful. Intuitively I know if I rush through the pre-pre-production stage I will not be ready to take on the hugeness of the campaign and the actual shooting of the movie. Additionally it has become clear that this movie will not actually be ready for release until 2016. I want to feel relaxed and completely ready.
Til next time…Victoria xox