As I was trying not to look at the treadmill display in my local gym yesterday morning, I happened to glance down just as the time read 20:01, and I couldn’t help but smile; 2001 is definitely a magical number!
Besides being the still-amazing-to-me number of generous backers on our nail-biting Kickstarter run, it figures predominantly in my own personal filmic history as well, as 2001: A Space Odyssey was the very first movie I ever saw in a theater (and yes, that’s stretching it a bit … it was really my Dad taking his 3-year-old to the movies with him).
The treadmill in said gym is located inside the “Cardio Cinema,” which is – in all seriousness – the only reason I was able to get myself going on a regular basis! You can jog/run/bike in the protective darkness of a small theater, watching a movie cranked-up to ’11’ as you pound away at whatever form of cardio-vascular torture you prefer to self inflict. (An added bonus is that if you are prone to misstep, you can get shot across the blackened room to land in a heap somewhere without so much as a head turn from your fellow masochists. This I know for myself … )
I couldn’t help but to reflect on how many times I had tuned-out whatever movie happened to be playing on the screen, and paid attention instead to the one playing inside my head. Exercising, although not my favorite thing to do, has truly become the gateway to a creative sanctuary where I continually discover all sorts of amazing ideas and inspirations running loose! I’m still not quite sure how it all works, just that it does (for me anyway).
Over the past 5 years since the idea of creating a CG animated film of The Price first began to take shape in that mental oasis, I have never gotten tired of Neil Gaiman’s wonderful story. I started by listening to an audio recording he had pointed me to — and in support of this project has made available to everyone to listen to here, for free! (So even though we will all have to wait for the cinematic version to be finished, you can let Neil’s mesmerizing narration sweep you away until then!)
Speaking of: many of you have been asking, “So when will the movie be finished?” among other questions, so I’ll do my best to answer them here.
1) When? The production schedule of The Price will depend on a couple of things:
Firstly, the availability of those I have selected to help me produce many of the assets for the film. They all have day jobs, and while they are very eager to get started (a few expressing outright their wishes to put aside their regular, more mundane work in favor of this project), everyone still needs to put the proverbial bread on the table. They will be acting as freelance contractors, working on The Price during their ‘off’ hours, so understandably their contributions will take more time to produce.
Secondly, I am looking at several film festivals to approach with the intent of submitting the finished film in order to qualify for eventual Academy Award consideration. (Yes, I want to ‘go for the gold’ with The Price! We took a long-shot with Kickstarter — how much harder can winning an Oscar be, right???!!!) Therefore, I will also be carefully planning my production with the scheduling of these festivals clearly in mind. So the answer is … To Be Determined.
2) Now that you have a budget, what happens next? On the creative front, design comes first. I will be working with an extremely talented artist and designer who has been a close friend for over 20 years, and whom I will be featuring in my first video-blog (coming soon).
There are also a number of organizational issues to deal with, in terms of setting up a new company (or ‘entity’ as the parlance goes) specifically for the production of this film, organizing the finances and employing an accounting firm to maintain the books and assure complete transparency and accountability in the use of the precious funds all of you have made possible. I’m doing this stuff on my own dime, and want you to know (without joking in the least) that I consider your donations to be sacred — to the point where I am almost scared to use them!
A revised website is also in the works for the new year, featuring a forum section and other improvements to provide a place for our wonderful community to ‘live’ during the making of the film.
Then there are a few legal items to attend to; Work For Hire agreements and other documents to prepare … which leads to the last big question that I have been asked many times …
3) Will The Price be available to purchase by the general public? This is a tough one, because there are legalities involved. Right now, I have the permission/rights from Neil to produce the film and to show it in film festivals. Understandably, the rights to sell something created or derived from the protected work of someone else is a much more complex matter, and one that will need time to process through the appropriate channels. Neil has been a terrific champion of my little film, and I am extremely grateful for everything he has done to help make this happen, but I also have tremendous respect for him as an artist and the creator of his material, and willingly concur that these protective processes are absolutely essential. So, again on this answer, I’ll have to ask you to stay tuned …
… and in the meantime, I will do my best to keep this site posted with interesting items as I put my head down and get on with it! But before I go, here are a few quick notes:
The Limited Edition Poster (or ‘1-sheet,’ pictured below) bonus for those who increased their pledge (well over 400 of you!!!) is going to be sent after Christmas to avoid the postal rush & all the grief and pain that goes with it.
Having said that, I realize that some people were hoping to use their poster as a type of ‘gift card’ or placeholder to give this season while waiting for the real thing to get made. To help out, I’ve posted a special version of the flyer artwork that you can use (with a blank section you can fill out and customize yourself); just look for it in the “Downloads” section of the site.
One final thing: the support from everyone was a tremendous help throughout the fundraising period — some of it coming from surprising sources! Let me share this note from none other than Patrick Rothfuss!!! (And if you seriously haven’t yet read his astoundingly great novel The Name of the Wind, you should literally stop wasting another second reading this, RUN don’t walk — I mean it!!! [think Kurt Russell in The Thing] — to your bookstore of choice, sit right down in the middle of the aisle and read to at least page 30! You can thank me later, after finishing this extraordinary first novel by a power-house storyteller … the best book I’ve read for a really long time!!!) Anyway, I was blown-away to find this for me on Facebook from ‘Pat’:
“Congrats on making it happen. I was watching it for these last couple days, thinking about maybe stepping in as a team anchor if you needed a little push right at the end. But you managed it with time to spare….”
Surreally-cool-beyond-measure!!! And on that supremely happy note, I shall ‘shut-it’ and wish you all well!!!