By Brittany DeVries
You may have been wondering what we, the producers, have been up to since the Indiegogo Crowdfunding campaign for “Scars of an Orphan”. In a word, “Lots!”
Guillermo Navarro, our writer, completed a treatment (i.e., short descriptive narrative) of the script. We’re very excited with the story line Guillermo is crafting! The treatment is a critical piece we are adding to our business plan and pitch deck. The business plan and pitch deck outline to potential investors and partners the viability and importance of telling Diana’s story. They show we have a well thought out plan from beginning to end.
As Guillermo prepares to write the entire script, we are reaching out to investors and potential partners internationally to help raise the remainder of funds needed to “green light” our project. We are excited about the response we’ve been receiving from potential investors as well as endorsements from large organizations such as the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) (<hyperlink>).
Often, the planning and preparation that goes into development is just as important, if not more important, than shooting the film itself. Why? Feature films, even low-budget ones, require a crew of hundreds to execute the vision of the producers and director. Each person involved becomes a piece of the puzzle that will create a finished film. Locations set the stage and bring to life what is written in the script. Actors, under the guidance of the director, portray the story and captivate the audience. Careful planning is required to ensure we not only have the funds to pay cast and crew, but also that the film will be engaging and reach the intended audience. What good is an inspirational film if no one sees it?
I was recently reading updates from the Cannes International Film Festival to gain insight into industry trends, funding opportunities, new talent, etc. “Screen International” released an article titled: “Ukraine’s film and TV cash rebate finally signed off by president” (read more > (http://www.screendaily.com/news/ukraines-film-and-tv-cash-rebate-finally-signed-off-by-president/5117418.article) The article outlines the terms of the new cash rebate and highlights two Ukrainian projects screened at Cannes. This is great news for our “Scars of an Orphan” film project! It represents a growing Ukrainian film industry and shows Diana’s story could be shot on-location in the Ukraine utilizing local talent and crew. In addition to saving thousands in production costs, this adds authenticity to the story.
When financing a feature film, it is important to know what countries provide special tax incentives, cash rebates and project funding. Independent filmmakers working on low-budget films know every dollar counts, and while funding is available, it can be very competitive. Each fund and/or grant has specific rules and requirements. Because independent producers don’t have the advantage of a big studio system, we often look for producers in other countries to form co-productions (p.s., studio films do this too!). A “you bring the bread, I’ll bring the butter” approach helps projects form faster and best utilizes what each partner has to offer. Next time you’re at the movies, pay attention to the opening and closing credits. You’ll see what production companies were involved, and often, what film funds and tax credits were utilized to make the film.
Thank you for being a part of this project and your help in bringing Diana’s inspirational story to an international audience. We hope you continue to be a part of this journey and follow the making of the film via this blog (we hope to post weekly updates). Maybe you’ll learn a little bit about independent filmmaking along the way!
Brittany DeVries is a producer for Scars of an Orphan. DeVries is the founder and producer at Seedling Media Productions.