Imagine North by Northwest meets Spaceballs at a cafe for scones and they’re joined by the Monty Python clan as they trade double entendres with Austin Powers via Skype. This is how writer/director Chad Martin describes his new feature film project, EarthBreaker!, a tongue-in-cheek sci-fi comedy currently raising funds through IndieGoGo (through May 10, 2013).
While Hollywood vets like Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) and Zach Braff (Garden State) have had no trouble securing multi-million dollar budgets through crowd funding, outsiders like Martin and his team of Minnesota producers are struggling to raise even five figures despite a calculated marketing plan and social media push.
EarthBreaker! co-producer Nick Evert reflects, “If it was easy to get funding for a film, everyone would be shooting and there would probably be a lot of really great films getting made, but there would probably be more [crummy] ones than good. Working hard and acquiring money for a project is what sets the dedicated apart from the hobbyists.”
Adds Martin, “For every Steven Spielberg, there are thousands of talented filmmakers whose movies will never see the light of day. It’s a highly competitive industry, and although talent and hard work certainly play a role, ultimately, success is largely dependent upon who you know. Filmmakers who have no Hollywood connections, no representation, no money, and STILL manage to complete a feature film? In my mind, that’s the heart and soul of true indie filmmaking.”
Martin and Evert are joined by producer, co-owner of their production company, and friend, Eric Lee, who chimes, “…so many people are making movies [so] it takes a great idea, a great look, and great execution to really stand out from the crowd. EarthBreaker! can be the film that stands out, but finding the money, as we have found, is [proving] to be difficult.”
Yes, so many people are making movies these days. At any given time there could be five, ten, or more Twin Cities based productions trying to raise money via Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, or other means. It’s impossible for the core group of local filmmakers to consistently fund each other’s projects, especially when pocket books are so strapped.
Therein lies the challenge. The people most interested in seeing indie films get made are engulfed by pleas to support project after project while focussing on getting their own projects off the ground. Friends and family are good for one or two projects, but once those resources are tapped, where does one go to find the money?
The producers of EarthBreaker! are still trying to answer that question.
To support EarthBreaker!, click here.
* Contributions to this article provided by Sid Korpi, author of Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss, blogger at Good Grief Pet Loss, and actress extraordinaire.