Monday, February 15, 2010

Change of plans

Travel Day is being restructured as our winter window is getting tighter. TD is intended to film in snow conditions and as of now, with one of our investment partners seeming to drop out, I've begun working another way to fund the film while keeping with our original intent. I've been working on the funding since last July and sometimes a project can get stale if nothing  happens in a length of time.

So what I have to do is to "re-invent" the project and this means changing some of the elements, adding another actor or two and re-visiting the budget. And as I have noted in past blogs, I have two other projects that are hanging around, waiting for attention. 

Emperor of Mars has been in development of sorts for nearly 20 years, having almost been made at least 5 times with several more times when it was just optioned for a year or so. For those who don't know options, basically a producer interested in the script will pay an option fee (usually 10% of the sale price) of the screenplay in exchange for an exclusive right to the screenplay.

Meaning he sort of owns it until such time he finds the full budget for the movie and can then pay me the full price, plus any additional work I might do (rewrites, polishes, washing his car).

Emperor was optioned to an Alberta company for the last 2 years but they haven't been able to fund it for $5 million, and the option ends Tuesday, Feb 15th. This time I will try to get it made through my own connections.

You may ask why I would attempt that since my last 8 months haven't been entirely successful for TD.

A funny thing about that, one of the problems for funding Travel Day came with it's relatively low budget. A few of the investors I spoke to preferred a higher budget as they, as money-finders, would get bigger commissions.

In short funders make more money from a high budget than a low budget.

Now all we're talking about here are two low budgets if you compare them to Avatar. And then there's Tom Cruise who's cutting his fee to $25 million for the next Mission Impossible.

But I'm in the world known as "under $10 million", which is where most independent films fall.

So I'm going to pass Emperor around and see what happens.

Then there's Chaser.

Chaser is a screenplay I wrote a few years ago almost on a bet. I bet a friend that I could write a screenplay that takes place entirely in a car.

My agent and friend Frank wasn't enthusiastic, and others said it would never get made. But after I finished it, Frank read it and liked it. And so did others. It was hanging around Sam Rami's Ghosthouse, the producers who made the Spiderman movies.

Chaser is a story about memory and what we remember -- or don't remember. And it's fast pace and constant twists were perfect for Shirley.

We decided to make a trailer, a 2 minute long video preview of Chaser with selected scenes to show investors what it could become.

The only question is "how"?

(More on Chaser Wednesday)


  1. Luck helps. Combined with a willingness to go where it leads you. And to be ready if the bridge starts to fall.