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Starting the Year off Right

I'm so excited to get things rolling with "The Legend of El Chupacabra" so I thought I'd start by sharing a bit about the project. Chupacabra is a feature-length film. The script clocks in at 88 pages, so it will be a shorter feature. The rule for films is "one page = one minute." So an 88 page script should be 88 minutes long. I've always found that my films tend to run about 20% longer than the scripts, I've written so we're probably in the neighborhood of 100-110 minutes.

This is a big homage to all of my favorite Spielberg films...Jaws...E.T....Close Encounters. And there are some more recent works like "Stranger Things" and "Super 8" that are very similar in tone to what I'm hoping to achieve with this film. Of course, those projects were equally influenced by Mr. Spielberg. Who isn't?

With the script finished, or at least a very solid first draft done, I'm moving on to pre-production. Trying to develop my strategy for both funding the picture and building an audience. That's essential. This will be an ultra-low budget film. But there are some things you just can't compromise feeding cast and crew. So, I'm evaluating and reverse engineering successful crowdfunding campaigns to understand what works. It's clear that a successful IndieGoGo campaign takes as much forethought and planning as a good script.

In addition to crowdfunding, I'm also researching more traditional means of funding a film. It's all very daunting and the business side of things is not where my heart lies but as they say..."there are twice as many letters in business as there are in 'show'." I'm sure whoever came up with that one was quite pleased with themselves. They should be. It's true. A successful (profitable) film doesn't simply happen. And today, it's critical to build an audience for your movie ahead of time. Unless you've got cash to burn airing your trailer on TV and YouTube ad nauseum three weeks before your movie opens, you better get creative and figure out how to build up that audience.

I was able to connect with another San Antonio feature film director, CJ Goodwyn, here in town who is in the very last stages of post-production on his film "Eyes of a Roman." CJ is a smart guy, ambitious and an excellent filmmaker with multiple features to his credit. It was great to get his perspective on the "business" side of things.

So yeah...scary...exciting...nerve wracking and something I've wanted to do all my life. Make a feature film. Twenty years ago, that seemed like an impossibility. Today it feels within reach.

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