Howard Goldberg is a Sundance alumn who developed the screenplay “Eden” at the 1993 Screenwriters Lab. The completed film was in the Dramatic Competition at the 1996 Sundance Festival. His latest film, “Jake Squared,” starring Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, and Mike Vogel, is seeking funding through Kickstarter.
So, really, is there anything harder in the world than getting a feature film made? Running for president, maybe… but, believe me, you don’t want me to be president—seriously—so films it is!
And finally, for the first time, it’s possible to make real feature films in a way that allows you to create a film the same way you’d make any other piece of art. Like a painting or a novel. With the new cameras and editing equipment, it’s finally in the power of filmmakers to make the films they want to make without having to compromise for that which is commercial . You can make a film exactly as you want to see it. Exactly as it should be. Exactly as you dreamed it. You don’t have to answer to anyone except yourself. How liberating for the artist and how liberating for the audience!
But, even for no-budget films, there are costs involved that can’t be avoided. You can write a novel with some paper and pen if you want. You don’t even need a computer (yes, that’s right. No computer! Can you imagine?) You can paint a painting with 20 bucks worth of materials. But, when you make a film, you still have to buy food for your crew. You have to get permits. You have to record music. Yes, thanks to the new technology, these things can be done for next to nothing, but the key word there is “next,” not “nothing.”
So, enter Kickstarter, the last piece of the puzzle. With Kickstarter, filmmakers have the opportunity to raise those funds they need and have the support and love of people who really care about what they’re doing, and do all that while still retaining complete artistic control of their vision. It’s kinda’ like the financial side of what Sundance Institute has been doing for us on the artistic side for the past three decades.
Jake Squared, the film that I’m doing, which starts shooting on August 16, is a crazy journey into the world of a filmmaker who decides to make a film to help figure out how he’s managed to screw up every relationship he’s ever had. But, the filming spirals out of his control and he winds up having what’s either a mystical experience, a nervous breakdown – or both!
I planned on making this film no matter what, with whomever I was able to cast in the parts and, if I had to, shoot it on my Canon Hi Def home camera. But, luck smiled on me and I was honored to get the most amazing cast I could ever have imagined – Elias Koteas and Virginia Madsen – to join me, simply because they loved the script so much. So, now we’re shooting on a Red and the budget has gone up from $0 to quite a bit more. With less than two weeks to go before we shoot, I need your help. Please go to my Kickstarter page and support this project if you can.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart.