Building A Base Of Support

I need to get the word out that I’m making this film. Even though it’s not a feature film, I still want people to know it’s happening – and I want to create a buzz if I can. This buzz is important not only for fundraising purposes, but also for the purposes of building a future audience.

Through my monthly, daily and hourly networking I am not only expanding my professional circle of contacts, but also I am promoting my film. The more people I talk to about this project, the more people know about it, and they tell THEIR circle of contacts. This film would not move an inch without serious and constant networking, so it is imperative that I continue to do so.

In preparation for the beginning stages of planning a fundraiser, I asked my writer/producer if she had any thoughts and contacts for a possible location. She put me in touch with a woman, JB. JB has been living within the Japanese American community in Los Angeles for all of her life and she knows everyone it seems. I met with her for tea a couple of weeks ago and a door to a whole new world was opened to me.

I am applying for a $5000 grant for women in film and the application is extensive. Part of what they want to know is how I plan to reach my audience and what my plans are for distribution. Since this is a short film, I thought that I would tell them not only about the festivals I plan to enter, but also about who in the community is interested in this film. JB helped me connect with a few Japanese American organizations in Los Angeles and even spoke to the Little Tokyo Community Council on our behalf. I have also reached out to other Japanese American organizations and to a few select colleges and universities, asking for them to show their support of our project in a letter. Once all is said and done it looks like I will have 7 or 8 letters of support from all around the country.

JB invited the writer and me to speak about our film in front of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce this weekend. There will be many prominent members of the Los Angeles Japanese community there, I expect, and I am excited to see where this will lead!





The Fundraising Mountain

The total projected budget for this short is about $80,000 and we have currently raised almost $12,000. I have a planned meeting with executives at a Japanese national public broadcasting organization, in Tokyo, Japan. This company has expressed interest in collaborative US/Japan projects like the three project planned (the short film Path of Dreams and two subsequent feature films).  I am confident that our team will garner full consideration from these executives as they have proven interest in the work of the screenwriter, having produced two documentaries about her work and family. I am cautiously confident that we will secure corporate sponsorship from major Japanese media outlets for a significant portion of the film’s budget.

Our goal is to raise at least half of that budget privately from significant angel donors, friends, family, grants, and the public at large including the theatre community in Los Angeles. This theatre community in Los Angeles is not only supportive of, but also familiar with the work of the screenwriter through her multiple productions over the years, as well as her existing fan base in the southern California, across the country, and around the world.

I plan to hold a fundraising event to give us the opportunity to host prominent executives as well as those in tune with the Japanese-American community organizations.

Furthermore, I plan to launch an online fundraising campaign. In preparation for that launch, I have created a video to highlight the international impact of this screenwriter’s work by interviewing three professional artists who have worked with her in the past.

I don’t know how tall this fundraising mountain is, but I have started the climb.