Fundraising, Day #10 / by Stefanie Sparks

We’re fundraising right now. Day #10. We’re at 5%. I’m so humbled by the people that are reaching out to me trying to help in any way they can (more than just donations). I’m meeting some of the coolest people as I’m out scouting for locations or looking for crew people that are ballsy enough to sign on to this project. It’s been, so far, an amazing process. But it’s hard to raise money.

I prefer to not try to get money from other folks for my projects and I’ve always worked grueling day jobs to fund my films but when I put the cast together for this film, I said, not this time. This time, I’ve got the best possible cast I could ever ask for. I’ve spent three years working on this script. This is going to be an amazing film and I want people to be a part of it.

I keep thinking if we could just get everyone to donate $50 and then they get a download of the film, we’re changing the way films are made. We’re cutting out ALL of the middlemen. The festival directors who some times get it but often times don’t because it’s about money, butts in seats, corporate sponsors and Hollywood. I keep thinking, let’s change things! Let’s make this about the cast and the crew and the content and SCREW everything else. But I don’t know. It’s August and people are raising boat loads of money for Burning Man. Which I guess I get but man, we’re making a film that your mom, your sister and some day your daughter is going to watch and be like…”oh, wow, this is how things in film started to change”. Because things are changing. We’re creating the content we actually want to see rather than waiting in line and paying $20 to see a truncated version of what someone else thinks we should be, usually some blonde, with a large bosom who functions as a wife or a girlfriend while the dudes get all the relative story lines. Forget it. That’s not what the future is about. The future is about complex narratives revolving around women and people of color and women of color.

Fear not, this film is happening. It’s not about how much money we have. It’s about how many people get to become a part of this film. We’re trying to give people a way to access content they believe in now rather than waiting around for it to show up on Netflix. Because you know what, folks, some times the best content doesn’t make it to Netflix or Amazon. Some times it’s up to us to make this content available to ourselves. And thank God we live in a time when that’s possible.

We are the future. And the future starts out at just $15. :)