It's been awhile since I've sent an update because I added you all to our monthly newsletter. However, I thought I'd check back in here because there's some exciting stuff going on and I know not everyone receives every newsletter. It's been four and a half years since we ran this campaign for Summit! I don't know about you, but it feels like forever ago. I often feel like my life is divided between before Summit and after Summit because making it was such an intense experience. I have a real love/hate relationship with the film, to be honest with you. I wouldn't be the filmmaker I am now if not for mistakes made and lessons learned through that film. It's very flawed. But I love it because of the fact that it made me that filmmaker -- that I learned so much from it. And there is a lot in it to be proud of -- aspects of the film that did work out, largely thanks to the talented people I was lucky enough to be surrounded by. Thank you for becoming part of the film and allowing us to make it. I'll never stop being grateful to you for that.
Since its festival run and VOD release, and since it started getting reviews and audience feedback, I've learned a lot, as well -- particularly in terms of how different people will view your work based on their life experiences and existing biases. Some people totally get the stuff I was trying to say about gender, race and tropes, while with other people it just goes right over their heads. Some reviews hate the pacing, others appreciate it. Some consider it a horror film, some do not. It's interesting taking in the opinions that come out, especially knowing when they come from a deeply personal place. It's been nice seeing people objectively engage with the work, even when their objective opinions aren't fully positive. It's given me further perspective on how intentions don't always translate, and that you can't meet everyone's expectations. I learned where I could have balanced the commentary more and done better to serve the story while still making the film I set out to make. But I also learned to just embrace the film for what it is and accept the way some people may feel about it. That said, there are people that really like it and get what I was going for, which has been lovely. In any case, I hope you enjoyed being part of the experience of making it. I hope you're proud to have contributed to it. But also please know that I know it's a flawed first feature. I've definitely grown as a filmmaker.
I'm not sure how closely you've been following our work since Summit. But you should know there's a lot of free content to dive into, if you'd like. From our 10-episode web series 'Kelsey,' to shorts: "Juice It," "We Had Plans," "Not Our Living Room," and "Hello." "Not Our Living Room" and "Hello" are probably of most interest for genre fans. (You'll recognize familiar faces in all those shorts, by the way.) I also have a comedy pilot, "Two Gays and a Girl," and two shorts, a horror titled "Night In," and a thriller titled, "Enough," currently in post-production.
But my main focus right now is my second feature, About a Donkey. It's not a horror film. It is a character-driven ensemble piece though. And it's definitely subverting expectations, which is a pattern in my work. It's generally more in line with my comedic work above, like 'Kelsey, ' and "Juice It." I'll definitely be back to my horror roots (*cough* already wrote third feature script *cough*) but this project is really near and dear to me and my collaborators. It's a film we've been wanting to make for years, but it feels especially timely. I think art matters more than ever right now -- reaching people and spreading empathy and hope is crucial. This film, if made, will do that.
We're currently crowdfunding for the film: https://www.seedandspark.com/fund/about-a-donkey. (I wrote a blog post recently about why I keep crowdfunding. You can read it here: http://www.congestedcat.com/blog/2017/1/27/working-towards-sustainability-why-i-keep-crowdfunding-making-shorts.) I hope you'll check out our pitch and consider joining us on this journey towards making another feature film. I truly believe this project matters and that it's something worth being part of.
Thank you for all the support,
-Christina & the team