The Seed&Spark Blog

Puzzle Pieces

February 2, 2016

• Jen West

People refer to independent film in all sorts of ways - a passion pursuit, as a business... just to name a few. Some even call it a hobby. I guess it can be any combination of these depending on the creator. When does it become worthy of classifying as more than a hobby? It seems in most people's eyes when you start actually making money.

Even though I've never made a dime on a film, I find myself resenting the label of hobby. If I were to label it as something, it feels more appropriate to call it a life purpose. Even if I never make something profitable (though my intention is to navigate the business aspects with success), film will always remain my focus. With experience I get better. It becomes easier to find my creative voice every time I try to use it.

Sometimes whether or not an individual pursues formal education their profession determines how others define their work. I did not go to film school. Sometimes I wish I had the well of knowledge my peers do when approaching a project (especially in regards to film history), but I don’t think it makes them necessarily any better or more qualified. If you've got it, you've got it. I’m banking on the fact that I've got it, or I will find it soon.

All that to say - don't let others define what it is that you do. If you have a full time job and do film every other breathing second, it doesn't mean it's a second priority. You are an artist, bottom line. Keep finding the time to proactively create and refine your craft. Keep making art.

We are in week three of our crowdfunding campaign this week, and Thursday marks the beginning of our final seven days. My remaining goals break down to reaching 80% (the Seed&Spark green light!) by Thursday, then of course reaching 100% by February 11th. I don't know if it's because we are in the thick of it, but even though this campaign is a tiny fraction of what we are trying to find for the project at large, it feels just as important. I am a firm believer in the fact that a crowdfunding campaign is one of the most powerful tools that we have to prove several critical things: 1. That you have an audience. 2. That your core family and friends believe in you. 3. That your film has an identity that people are driven to. It's also a damn good way to scream from the rooftops about this beautiful baby that you will inevitably give birth to. I can think of few better marketing strategies for the very early stages of an independent film. So with these things in mind, we give it our all every day. You can check out Electric Bleau’s campaign here.

What else is going on? All of the things. This month is a big deal. My big overarching goal is to have verbal confirmation on our budget at large. If we can make this happen, then we can stick to our original timeline of shooting this summer. If we can't, then new dates will be created for late summer or fall. That's certainly not the end of the world, but I'm going to give it my all before taking that next step. Big news on that front - we have an individual very interested in coming on as an Associate Producer, which is a significant chunk of that. He loves this project and wants to be a part of making it happen. We are also working hard on attaching a name talent or two. I'm not certain that this will happen before our crowdfunding campaign ends, but it's a possibility. This will also be a huge factor in finding our funding at large. The puzzle pieces are becoming available, now it's time to put it all together.


Jen West

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Jen West is a writer and director living in Atlanta, Georgia. She is known for writing and directing Piece of Cake (2006), Crush (2011), Bubble (2013), Call Me (music video for St. Paul and the Broken Bones, 2014), and Little Cabbage (2015). She is currently in preproduction on her first feature called Electric Bleau. She studied design at Jacksonville State University and film at The Art Institute of Atlanta.



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