FGHMovie.com HomePage. FGHMovieBlog: May 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Edit Day Donation":

This comment was left, and I thought it should be posted here...because rarely do people read comments on other peoples blogs... I want to give whoever else is out there watching a chance to chime in.

BELOW is in-part my response...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Edit Day Donation":

Out of sheer curiosity, I've been checking out this movie's progress. Fires, killed cats, equipment malfunctions. It's got all the drama of 24 (except in 24, there's an endpoint).

I never left a comment because by my nature I know that if I saw a firey car crash, I'd definitely rubberneck and assume that someone else will save the people inside or call 911. I don't like to get involved. I think, however, I'm going to call 911 on this trainwreck of a film production because it needs some serious help.

When administering CPR you do chest compressions. In this case, the filmmaker needs to be recessitated into reality by a slap to the forehead. Instead of CPR, the filmmaker needs to GST. Get her Shit Together.

Before you solicit donations, understand that when you use that Save Karyn blog about people donating to help a woman with her everyday living expenses as a comparison to your plight, you're not being truthful to those people from whom you are soliciting donations, and you're not being honest with yourself. Karyn made it abundantly clear that the money that was donated to her was going to pay off her debt. Your blogs however consistently make TWO things clear.

1. You need money to finish your movie.
2. You're struggling to make rent and pay bills and live your life as a struggling filmmaker.

How can you guarantee that the money that is donated toward the completion of your film is only used for that matter? Because technically you can say that your rent is a business expense, after all, that's where your DV deck, laptop and other donated equipment for your film are located, right? If you don't have an apartment, you don't have a place to do business, and therefore the movie doesn't get finished. The same applies to food, your car, and...you get the idea.

So what I would suggest you do is just be completely honest (like Karyn was) and tell people you need money FOR EVERYTHING. The appeal about the Save Karyn blog was that there was no doubt where the money was going. It was going into her bank account. You're asking for money under the guise of art, activism, and filmmaking. I am not suggesting that what you're doing is a scam, but the reason why donations are so hard to come by for you is probably because we've seen this before on a much bigger scale. We donated to the Red Cross after 9-11 and after Hurricane Katrina. And then we hear about investigations into misappropriation of funds. It makes us rethink our generosity.

Don't self-aggrandize what you're doing. In the end, you're trying to make a film. No different than any other of the 3 million peole in LA. I understand you want to save and rescue animals. And if I want to donate to that cause I will donate to an organization that I know can use my money to accomplish that goal effectively. Your film is a product. It's not an abstract ideal. It's not a charitable organization. If you finish your movie, there is no guarantee that it will lead to the saving of one animal because it still requires distribution, promotion, marketing to get the message out there. I can donate that money to organizations that have mareketing and promotion strategies that have been proven to be successful.

Think about this. Why is donating to your movie any different than investing in any other film? Because of your moral message? Because of your cause? Don't fool yourself. As a filmmaker, I know that it is the most ego-centric, vain thing you can do with someone else's money.

There's a saying:

You want to be an artist?
Get some paint.

You want to be an artist and you need my money?
Get the fuck out of here.

If you really wanted to help the cause, you could have taken that money you raised for a DV deck or a senior editor and donated it to an organization that helps animals. But instead it's going to your film. You want to know why? Because you're a filmmaker first. An animal rescuer second. There's nothing wrong with that. It's only wrong when you won't accept that fact and try to make others believe that you are something more than you are.

Did you pay back the 400 bucks you owed your lead actress for postcards before you bought the DV deck? If you didn't, is there a way you can provide a way for me to give her the 400 dollars directly. You may think that you only owe her $400, but you owe her and everyone else who gave up their time, equipment, sweat, blood, tears, and money to your film. You owe all of them a finished film. That's probably all that they really ask from you. They knew what they were getting involved in, and 7 years later, you haven't given them anything. Not a goddamn thing. Maybe if you treated them as well as you try to treat your animals, you'd realize that.

Posted by Anonymous to FGHMovieBlog at 1:24 PM

The biggest question here is integrity/honesty and this question: "
How can you guarantee that the money that is donated toward the completion of your film is only used for that matter?"

The answer is that just like in my rescue donations. I can send you receipts. If you want to pay the vendor directly that too can be arranged. I have always offered that. Maybe not as clearly as I do in rescue. I will make that much more clear. In my most recently fundraising mailing, I offered to people to "pay the editor directly." I will put that on my website's donate page tonight. Maybe next weekend what I can do is make a page of what donators have donated and the receipts that coorespond. Although that might take more than just a weekend to do. On my rescued pets web page, I offer info on the vets so they can call and pay the vet directly, the person who donated to THUMPERS vet costs, when I take in that money to the vet I will get a receipt and send it to the person who donated, if they provide me an address.

The second biggest question is this; "
You owe all of them [actors] a finished film. That's probably all that they really ask from you. "

The answer is, of course I owe them a finished film. That is NOT all they ask. They ask for it to be good. They also ask is that I not QUIT.

When I first started out on this journey, I read in Filmmaker Mag or some other journal that the ONE thing that an INDIE FILMMAKER has on their side is TIME. Time to make the best film they can make. There is ZERO point to putting out in the world, anything less.

I KNOW this is just a film, I do not think I self-aggrandize it at all. And there are a million other ways I can rescue animals and I also engage in doing some of those. But if I were a politician I would write a Bill like AB 1634 (which still needs people to call in and SUPPORT it. CLICK here for more info) If I were a business person, I would find creative ways to get my employees to donate their time to animal rescue. But as I was in school writing my scripts for my Masters Degree, with stories about, love, sex and violence... I was driving to and from USC seeing dead animals on the highway. And within the first 9 months of being here I came across my first LIVE LA stray... and by the time school was ending, I had picked up at least 10 stray animals and found homes for them.

Because unlike you, I do not merely rubberneck in life. I get involved. When I saw a car accident as a young person I set out and became certified as an EMT, Emergency Medical Technition. It is just in my nature to get involved.

My making a film was one of my goals when I came to LA. Do I wish I was pulled in a direction where I did not have to make a film about animal rescue? YES. A lot of days I do. Frankly, the film would be done by now. And I would either be working in film somehow or discovered another avenue for a career.

I LOVE editing. If this were any other film, I could have gotten it much farther in editing and then brought in the big guns near the end for technical stuff beyond me. But I simply CANNOT look at my footage sitting at my computer alone and see all my dead animals from the fire. I am just not a strong enough person to do that. Even with someone else editing, I have to fight to hold back tears from seeing my animals. Every time I watch the trailers and see my pets... Even writing this write now... I have to hold back tears... I HAVE to finish this film. I also have to sleep at night. Trust me I have tried many many times to pull out tapes and load them up and watch them and edit them. But I end up... several hours later... still staring at the same footage sobbing uncontrolably and completely unable to function. Even now as the tears start to flow I have to keep it in check as I have to work at a job, where I cannot have visable tears every moment of the day. SO I wish my path in filmmaking did NOT involve animals. I wish I did not see so many strays when I drove to and from school. I wish I was not raised in a family that stopped and picked up stray animals on the side of the road.

I am fairly organic in following the path of the process. But I am also part coward. In that I am not a very outgoing person who hustles the film community like I see other filmmakers doing. That is part of my daily journey and my struggle as a human being. And I think that is in part what you are seeing. But what you are also seeing, is that I have a ... I was going to say full-time... but even I can only work part-time on this. So I have a part-time crew of ONE. Me. The email blast I just sent out. I wrote it, designed it, had a friend I brow-beat into editing it. But the website. Everytime there is a change on the site, I do it. I taught myself Dreamweaver. So everything TAKES longer because I am learning as I go and doing the majority of it myself. My cast and crew knows this. They ARE often times annoyed that I get easily distracted by rescuing animals. Which is also why things have taken this long.

As a matter of fact. I promised one of my cast/crew that I would no longer rescue until the film is done. And here I am sitting next to an OLD Silky Terrier (8 yrs old missing teeth) some asshole dumped at the shelter after they used her for breeding. SO with the last 57 dollars in my pocket because I over extended my monthly budget by pulling two other dogs for two other rescues, wherein I am still waiting on reimbursement. OH and I am having to budget a few hundred MORE dollars for rescuing animals from the shelter.

I do not rubberneck... like the footage in my trailer I jump out and get involved. I met this nice lady at the Downey Shelter and she was frustrated with the shelter as she was trying to rescue a shelter puppy for her son. And the rules in how to find an available animal is EXTREMELY confusing. So, AGAIN I did not rubberneck (YUP I have issues of getting involved) I gave her my contact info and she agreed to foster a mom and litter of pups, which then I am obligated to PULL from the shelter at $35 each seven pups one mom... you do the math. THEN I have to have them all Spayed or Neutered before adoption. That, even with discounts could be another $200. And I have to field applications and go to the Best Friends adoption on June 3rd, SO IF YOU ARE IN LOS ANGELES AND are interested in adopting a shep mix puppy I HAVE SEVEN! Come find me under the Sparky and the Gang and POOCH HEAVEN booth. Best Friends Super Adoption STRUTT YOUR MUTT Sunday June 3rd Westchester Park by the LAX airport.

I will probably have a small thing for the movie there as well. As a fundraiser and my postcards. (I am running low... FYI... HINT HINT HINT). Although I want to redesign them. I did the back graphics for both postcards. Thankfully someone donated the poster design of the movie.

I TRULY DO appreciate your comment because I think you are not alone. And if you want to reimburse the actress for the postcards, contact me and I will give you her information. We are also fundraising to buy more postcards (see below the Edit Day portion of my donate page, let me know if you are interested in paying the printer directly. I can arrange that.

Oh and lastly, about this film saving animals lives. It already has. So the question really is... can it save more?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Edit Day Donation

I need a total of 30 Days.
Maybe people from Blogger
or who read my Blog can donate EDIT DAY 5!

I have DAY 4 on MYSPACE!

For more details click here

Friday, May 11, 2007

FGH Spring ENews is OUT!

FINALLY our Spring ENewsletter is out.
You can open it here.