Friday, 6 November 2009

The 'York Film Collective'/MilesTone Productions

Early last year I suggested to my filmmaking buddies that we should organise ourselves from several disparate small film companies into a collective organisation, with the intention of making some really big film projects that took us to the next level of being filmmakers. Whatever 'the next level' meant but it kind of made sense. To me anyway. It was hard to explain quite what I meant actually, until now.

Previously, between us, we'd made a bunch of accomplished short films, music videos and a feature and were doing pretty well at being filmmakers that got things made and screened. But gradually, from making BandWagons to the Hum-drum shorts, a sense of personal frustration began to build, a sense of impatience at having only tiny little snippets of success at small film festivals and not really feeling like I was progressing towards what I always thought filmmaking was about or what I wanted out of it. We needed to go larger.

Watching a great documentary about American Zoetrope, the early but failed company formed by Lucas, Coppola et al, was a turning point as I realised that when filmmakers get together, magic can happen. So out of that came the 'York Film Collective' idea. And now finally, with MilesTone Productions, comes a version of the Film Collective Idea. We now have a collective of writers, actors, directors, producers, editors, special effects wizards, make-up... uhh, witches, composers and artists. When you list them all, you suddenly realise that we're a pretty awesome company.

So what's missing? Well, it's green, it's vulgar, it's... not bogies, no. It's money.

And that brings me to a major new initiative we're embarking on. And it's one of those 'There's never been a better time to invest' type deals. Thing is, there really HASN'T been a better time to invest in our small-but-perfectly-formed film company, and here's why.

- We've just made an awesome feature film for £6000, which is about a sixteenth of what most SHORT films are made for, and we now need to spend money on t-shirts, badges and some other merchandise so we can earn some money to take CrimeFighters to cinemas around the country. It will cost. We have nothing.

- Our web series Zomblogalypse has a small but loyal cult following, with new fans every day. To make Season 3, which is more ambitious and larger scale than the first two, we are going to need an effects budget. We also need printing costs to make the sell-through DVD as well as more tees and badges, and the graphic novel which are all out in 2010. These are things that will, we hope, make money, but we need to spend it to earn it. Again, we don't have it.

- The Zomblog movie. We're in the very, very early planning stages right now, but we want it to capitalise on the cult following of the show and the increased awareness we hope to gain during Season 3.

We're putting together a funding package that people can digest and decide if they want to help us, and this will materialise soon, but the basic premise is this:

- Any donation is welcome. Last year we received several small but very welcome donations from a dozen or so individuals who helped us buy some essential materials like tapes and t-shirts.

- For a donation of £100 you'll receive an Executive Producer credit on Zomblog Season 3. That means you'll see your name after every episode. And bask in the warmth of helping us into production.

There is more, but I'll wait until the funding pack comes out. There will be an online shop where you can buy the merchandise to own a piece of CrimeFighters or Zomblog, and a link where you can donate money to help us continue to make our films and series.

I think people who've already been involved in helping us make Zomblog and CrimeFighters have started to realise that we are all hardworking, ambitious filmmakers who are deadly serious about filmmaking and aren't going to go away anytime soon. Making films is long, hard, stressful work but well worth it for anyone involved. We hope that means you.

That's it. I hope this has been riveting reading for you all, and that if you believe in us and our flourishing film company, it may well be worth investing in us and the 'York Film Collective'. Thank you.

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