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In an effort to be as transparent as possible, I wanted to do a blog post about where the money will be going.
This is something I touched upon in the video, but I wanted to give you some hard figures. I pulled these from IndieRentals, since they seem to be cheapest overall.
Camera rental: $1230/wk.
Lighting Rental: $300/wk (you usually need more than one light kit, so it’s 2x $150/wk)
Grip Rentals: $450/wk
Then you have to include location costs–and permit fees. I’ve heard that these can be pretty crazy… About $500 for a permit just to film in Los Angeles. Then you have to pay for your locations.
Then you add in feeding about 25-30 people for a week straight.
Then you add in a budget for the production designer to dress the locations.
Then you add in the 4500 dollars that I’m charging just to make my own script.
That last part’s a joke.
But everything else is serious. Can you see how expensive this endeavor becomes once you start to gather facts and figures?
And I guarantee you that all the money that you donate will go towards one of these myriad things because we’re going to be operating on a tiny budget for a project this large so every penny counts in a situation like this.
That’s why I’m asking you guys to give what you can give–every dollar closer to our goal helps us out quite a bit. I understand the trepidation and I understand the fear but this is something serious for me in my life. This is something that I’ve been wanting to do since I was 8 years old. And now I have the opportunity to do it.
I just need your help to get us there. Head over to our IndieGoGo page, read through the materials, and check the updates section. Then, if you still have questions, contact me! I don’t bite and I respond in a very timely manner.
Everything helps. And I will be grateful for anything.
Let’s start at the very beginning.
I was still at Humboldt State University at the time. It was my last semester. I had easy classes and nothing to do. So I was wandering through the library, looking at back issues of Sight & Sound, a film magazine from the UK. I like it because their reviews include how long the movie is in feet and inches. What can I say, I was a projectionist, too.
I came across an interview with director Paul Thomas Anderson about Magnolia in a late ’99/early ’00 issue. He made some offhand remark about how we never see people who are late for a funeral because they can’t find their keys.
For some reason, that idea held onto me a lot stronger than anything else I was working on at the time.
So I wrote it down. It is now the beginning of the film.
But, so, then…. Now what? I realized that this idea stuck with me because there were so many questions about it and so many directions that I could take it in.
I’ve got a present for you. It’s the first draft of this script.
There were way too many questions left unanswered. And I knew this.
But I let the script sit dormant for several months. I finished it in April.
I went to NYU in late June.I had never been to New York and I knew zero people out there. So I had a lot of time to think since my class was only 3 hours a day, four days a week. Thinking and drinking. Thinking and drinking.
And all those questions about “running late” came up. What happens with Susan and Nolan? I began to plan their night–and that’s when I knew something bigger was getting written.
The assignment for my class at NYU fit perfectly with what was going on at the time. Write a 20-page script. About anything. There were six students in total in class so each of our scripts got close attention and thoughtful consideration.
This script got nurtured in ways that I never expected. After those three weeks, the script was done. It only took a few tweaks to get it locked down for production.
I then spent the next three weeks writing a feature. Maybe you’ll see that someday too.
This still doesn’t answer a major question: why the fuck is it called graceland?
Let me tell you, sister.
As all of this was unfolding, I was going through a pretty tough breakup. And if writing was my release and my letting go, then this song was my catharsis. It was on repeat for six weeks. Graceland as covered by the Tallest Man on Earth. I would sit at Highline park, smoke cigarettes, listen to this song and his album The Wild Hunt, and stare at the Hudson. Then ideate.
I really like his music–and the fact that he’s about my height yet uses that moniker. He’s Swedish. He learned colloquial English from reruns of Fresh Prince of Bel Air. He has a punk rock air of emotion over tone in his voice.
And I wanted to pay tribute to those feelings with the title of my short. And the more I think about it, the more I realize how apt the title is…