Begging for money for your film is both a humiliating and humbling experience. But necessary.
Growing up in my Chicago neighborhood, you didn't ask for handouts. You earned your money. You landed a job at 15 years old, and you worked for your money.
I think that is why I am having a difficult time fundraising for my short film.
Raising money for your film through crowdfunding means asking, pleading, begging people to take the time out of their day, put their hand in their pockets, and give you their hard-earned money.
And it all comes down to the question: Why should they do it?
Filmmaking is an emotional experience, where you are forced to sometimes tear apart your script to get down to the root of WHY you want to write it. You create a piece of art and put it out for the world to judge.
Being a director means being vulnerable, being open, putting your heart out for the world to see, and forcing yourself to ask the hard questions about WHY we do things, and WHY we want to tell stories.
So this saturday, after an emotional day of having someone tear apart my script, I arrived home, looked at my Indiegogo campaign, and my heart sank.
I realized what lies ahead of me is 30 days of asking -- no, begging -- people for money, and it goes against everything in me and my soul to do so.
It then occurred to me, that this is the industry I have chosen. I am a filmmaker. And this is what it takes to make it in this industry. If only 6% of women in Hollywood are directors, If I need to ask every person I know to help me fund my film, well I need to step up my game, and do the work.
Only a select, privileged few make the films of our time. Films that will tell our story, influence our culture, and define our generation, and I will be one of those voices.
It is not just filmmaking, it's storytelling.
It is the way we remember the Greek and Roman legends.
It is the way we remember the stories our grandfather and grandmothers told us sitting around camp fires.
Is they way our children will remember us.
Having a voice is not easy. You have to dig inside of yourself and ask yourself what do I believe? What do I want to say? Why is it important to humanity?
With all of the noise in the world, in order to stand out as a director... you have something to say. You have to be rooted in the fact that what you say in your film will matter -- and will change the course of how we remember our world.
That is not easy work.
You need to be resilient. Resilient enough to be vulnerable. The military taught me to be tough, but not vulnerable. And you have to be both to make it in Hollywood.
Because people will do and say ANYTHING to discourage you. They will tell you no; they will ignore your phone calls; they will stand you up for meetings; they will talk about you behind your back; they will try to pull you down if you rise too fast; they will ignore you; make you feel like you are not worthy, insignificant. They will force you to ask yourself: Why in the hell am I doing this?
Filmmaking can be both humiliating and humbling. But it is necessary to go through that experience.
Because if you can't fight for your story, if you can't fight for your voice to be heard, well... maybe it wasn't that important to begin with.
So I am putting myself out there. Please, donate to my film, and help me tell my story: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/american-girl-a-short-film/x/272608