#38 – So It’s All Come Down To This…

I’ve been a bit vacant of late, I do apologise constant reader. Things went a bit nuclear back there for a bit, but I feel like I’m back on safer ground. Within the last month I decided that I needed to start building a crew base of people I would hope to make The Cult of Nigel with. Seems like a sensible idea, right? But me being me, I tried to do four short films at once – which is fine if the plates keep spinning, but as soon as one starts to wobble you immediately regret the whole thing. And it’s definitely possible if you were dealing with four crews made up of the same people, but I was stupidly trying to meet with four lots for the same position. Unfortunately two of those projects fell through (both for different reasons), and therefore I fear Blah Blah Blah and Smile may join the ‘ideas scrap heap’ – or who knows, Two Pound Forty Pence was once abandoned and resurrected some years later. Let’s wait and see.

But now for more positive news! I have finally (finally!) launched a Kickstarter campaign for The Cult of Nigel. We are pegging it as a ‘pre-order’ campaign, because that’s what people can do. We are not charging the earth like most campaigns do for a film that will be a a much lower price once it’s completed – £3 is the price it is now and will be later on. I keep having mind shifts ‘we won’t do it’ to ‘maybe we will!’, so if you’re reading this blog, I implore you to with my infinite gratitude if you could part with 300 pennies and help us make the film we’ve been trying to make since this blog started. So far, it’s day-two, and we haven’t done too badly at all. The campaign has just passed twenty donators with just over £500 being reached. We still have quite a sum to go, but I hope with some dogged determination and willing support from people who know me and my work will decide to click the button and pre-order The Cult of Nigel.

If you’ve so happened to stumble across this page or you’ve willingly clicked on the link I’ve shared somewhere online, I want to thank you. Thank you for taking the time to see what I’m up to and thank you for supporting our new project by taking an interest. I know social media is a shit-storm of ‘noise’ coming from all directions, so the fact you’ve even taken the time to click onto this page deserves my sincerest gratitude.

Now, can I ask you to do one more thing? Give us some cash? I’m kidding! I wouldn’t blatantly beg like that (or would I?), but instead I am going to try and give you several reasons to donate to our fundraising campaign for The Cult of Nigel.

Drum roll…

  1. The story. We do have a terrific story to tell and one I hope will connect with an audience on many levels – it has some funny moments and some dark moments, what more could you want? The Cult of Nigel is the story of a man who believes he has been returned to earth after being abducted by aliens, and he must tell the world of his experience within three days before they return to collect him. But unfortunately for Nigel, everyone thinks he is crazy.  We are calling this film a ‘light-hearted dark comedy’, which I don’t think we see enough of at the cinema (if ever).
  2. My first feature film. I have written, directed and produced ten short films which have now all be released online. Each project has been an invaluable journey as it has afforded me many opportunities to learn and hone my craft – making these films have been my ‘film school’. I’m trying to be modest when I say that I’ve learnt a considerable amount about writing, producing, directing and editing all from doing my own work, which I will be able to put into The Cult of Nigel. I am ready to step up, and this is the project that will give me that opportunity.
  3. The team. We have a small team of dedicated filmmakers who are working on this project. We all believe in this story, and we are going to try our hardest to make it as entertaining and funny as humanly possible. We are fortunate enough to have Phil Harris on board, who is over-seeing the production and lending help and advice wherever necessary. Phil has produced four feature films with Substantial Films, the first of which has just arrived on Netflix! Myself, Beth and Gina will run the production until the shoot, by which point we’ll have on board a mix of local crew who form the rest of the team.
  4. Me & Neil. I guess this could come under ‘The Team’ section, but Neil James and myself have already worked on a handful of smaller projects together, and we have a ‘decent’ chemistry. I’m kidding! We get on great, as professionals and as friends, and I believe that will come across in this project. It’s Neil’s first feature as lead actor too, and he is chomping at the bit to have his moment to shine. The humour and tone of The Cult of Nigel is definitely in keeping with Neil’s talents as an actor, but it also gives him some darker, more dramatic moments to sink his teeth into.
  5. Budget and script. The script was deliberately written to be possible with a smallish budget (by industry standards). No huge explosions or car chases (that comes next), so it definitely is within our capabilities. It’s going to be a solid story, with solid production, which will feel like it’s been made for a considerable amount more than what we’re asking. I’ve made all my short films on super-low budgets, and so I know what it takes to get stuff made with little resources, and I also have the passion and drive to make sure this film ends up the best it can be.
  6. Being a part of the process. By donating you’ll become part of the family – not literally, but you know what I mean (you may get a christmas card!). You will be an integral part of launching our careers onto the bigger stage, and hopefully The Cult of Nigel will be the first of many more ‘big’ projects to come. And if nothing else, you’ll be able to tell friends & family that you were a part of giving us that first chance. I’ve tried to avoid fundraising as a solution, but it seems like it is the most accessible way to get our film made the way we want to. Many famous directors made their first feature on a shoestring budget, so I’d be in good company. Whilst £15,000 may seem like a lot to us on a personal level, that money will get quickly swallowed and it’s the minimum we need to achieve our goal.
  7. My short films. This is where I play the guilt card. If you’ve found this page, the likelihood is that you’ve come here via one of our social media pages, which also means you’ve probably watched one of our ten shorts. If you’re unsure, check 23halfFilms.com to see which ones are ours. So, the whole reason why I’ve spent the last three or four years making short films, was to eventually be able to make my first feature – whether this be through skill and technical competency, or through exposure, everything I’ve done with my company has been leading to this moment. It’s been a long journey, and often some hard work was involved, but hopefully all that is about to pay off.

Thank you again for taking the time to read this blog post, and hopefully one of the above reasons has convinced you to ‘pre-order’ The Cult of Nigel.

£3 is all we’re asking, but if you can round that up to a crisp fifty, I’ll be your best buddy forever.

Cheers – Dan

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