This was originally written for our Seed&Spark supporters, but it applies to all our followers & supporters.
Happy New Year! It's been a while since our last update because, in addition to the holidays (which we hope were wonderful for you), we've been completing the festival run of Summit, which included winning some awards & getting some reviews (read more about that here!) and experiencing some changes at IndieWorks, our monthly screening series (read more about that here). However, we're back to thinking about the shorts and wanted to send you an update! We have a couple more local screenings of both films coming up this year, and then we have plans to put them publicly on Vimeo & YouTube in the late Spring. Summit is premiering online for rent on January 18th and we want to give that some time to attract views before we release the shorts. But no fear, they will be available to share with the public soon enough.
We've been talking a lot recently about our motives to make the shorts. Initially, they sprung from a personal place for Kelsey, as we've discussed; and our decision to crowdfund them came out of a desire to make films the right way, where all our crew & cast (especially those who volunteered their time & skills in the past) would be paid. And we're really proud that we got a chance to do that. (Thanks to you!) However, here we are again, a year & a half later, itching to tell stories that we not only feel we're creatively equipped to tell but also feel an audience wants to watch. Yet, we don't have the funds to move forward. We shot two no-budget projects last year, my short titled "Hello" and our pilot, "Two Gays & a Girl." We're really excited about and proud of both, but we did it again asking people to volunteer (ourselves including, which not too many people think about) and we want 2016 to be different. This update isn't a pre-crowdfunding campaign launch appeal, don't worry. It's really just something we want to share; where we are and how we're feeling. We have 2 shorts and 2 web series we want to shoot this year. We also want to get our feature off the ground. We have an audience, including you and the people we gained through Summit & 'Kelsey,' but no profits from our work to put towards new projects. So, that's what we're working on this year, sustainability. The first step is definitely releasing Summit on VOD and working towards getting slow but steady rentals (we know you'll help spread the word). We're hoping that can go towards funding the shorts we want to do this year, at least. Some filmmakers think shorts are just a means to getting to features. We don't see them that way. At the end of the day, it's about storytelling. And if we have a story we want to tell that makes the most sense as a short, then that's how we're going to tell it. We also know that shorter content, especially new media serialized content, is how we initially gained an online following; so we want to be able to roll out short-form content regularly to keep that audience paying attention and wanting more from us (sustainability). There is, though, as mentioned, a feature we do want to make, as well. It's an exciting venture. But we want it to be more polished than our previous work, while still having the fresh creativity & innovation that we believe we bring to all our work. We want to have the production value that general audiences expect without sacrificing creative integrity to have that. I suppose we're looking to combine our no-budget skills & approach with an actual budget, if that makes sense. But we know that where we currently are, sustainability isn't around the corner to that degree. We need to hustle and find funding in uncharted territory (and possibly some crowdfunding mixed in there, but much later on). So we've been using the festival run of these 2 shorts (and Summit & 'Kelsey') to try to meet people who have skills and connections that we don't, who can get us to the next level we want to be on. Kelsey & I feel that we need a producer (or production company) who likes our work and understands our vision but brings more of an industry mind to the table and has access to funding sources and opportunities that we don't. So I'd say that's a big part of our 2016 journey, looking for that person to collaborate with. However, regardless, we plan to keep creating and being creative, and sharing our work with you. We're so grateful for you all and the fact that you've helped us get where we are; and we hope you're proud to be part of our journey and our team, and that you'll stay with us on this ride.
-Christina & Kelsey