Guest Post: Gary/Michael for Inspiration

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you may know, one of my major creative projects this year is producing a 23-minute 35mm film called Inspiration. I wrote the script based on a story I had published several years ago. Some of you may remember it – about a young girl named Claire who tries to discover her absent father by painting his portrait, and learns about herself in the process.

I’m working with a talented team of Emerson College students to produce the film. We have a great director, recently started casting, will begin location scouting this week, and are set to shoot in late October… and hit the festival circuit in early 2009. It’s been fun, nerve-wracking, exciting, energizing, and crazy-making so far… and it’s all good. The ultimate goal for myself is to get some play at the festivals and land an agent for my feature scripts. I’m using my creative professional name Michael Gray Beckett for the project… so much easier to spell and pronounce – with a bit of flair!

As you can imagine, raising $20,000 in production funds is crucial, so I’m asking for your help. We have teamed up with a website called IndieGoGo that promotes and raises funds for independent films. We have a challenge to raise $5000 by July 24. The site has a live widget that shows what we’ve raised to date. We have some big supporters in the pipeline, so we’re about halfway to the goal despite what the widget says.

The clock is running… if we don’t hit the $5000 target by the deadline, all the money is returned... and we lose a major block of funds. So taking a cue from the Obama campaign, which raised millions in small donations, we’re doing an email blast to all our contacts and humbly asking for whatever support you can provide. For $50, your name will be listed in the credits, and higher tiers of support offer more goodies. But whatever you can donate will be greatly appreciated. So give up a few Frappucinos and help some talented college kids make a 35mm film. And feel free to share this email!

To make a donation, go to [clicky]. Click on the Contribute Now button. It’ll ask for a quick email and password to sign up… then you can click a donation amount or enter an amount for your credit card or PayPal account. All contributions are tax-deductible.

To learn more about the project and download the production packet and script, go to [clicky]. And keep tabs on the latest developments on our blog at [clicky].

So far, the team has raised over $3500 apart from the IndieGoGo site. We were one of the first projects this year to be awarded a Kodak grant of 5,000 ft of film stock… and have purchased all 18,000 ft we need. We’re sending out the Panavision equipment grant this week, with some prayers and good vibes. We also have enlisted a business sponsor who is revamping the IS Films website and providing a generous cash donation. And the summer will be filled with more exciting fundraisers. (So much for my trademark tan this year!)

To those of you with whom we've fallen out of touch… apologies on my end. As you know, life and distance makes keeping in contact tough; you do pleasantly pop up in my thoughts on long bike rides. Consider this a great excuse and invitation to reconnect… Let me know what is happening with you! Connections, art, and Inspiration are more important than ever in these troubled times.

Much thanks for your support and your presence, and enjoy the holiday.

Gary / Michael

From Ty: Do it! Do it now!