Ted's Dead the Movie
Eastenders

I hope that you managed to watch Eastenders tonight and see the incredibly talented Laurence Saunders in action. In tonight’s episode Laurence was prominently featured as Social Worker Rick Gekowski. His performance was outstanding. Laurence is, of course, no stranger to the Soap world having been a regular on BBC’s Doctors. This is just a little taste of the quality of performance that we can expect to see from Laurence as Ted.

Kickstarter Launch

Kickstarter launched in the UK on October 31st. November 1st and we’re on it. I’ve asked for a ridiculously low amount of money due to the fact that it’s all or nothing. Meaning that if you are pledged less than you are seeking you don’t get a penny of it. I know that, at a push, I could cut corners and shoot it for the amount that I have asked for but I would have nothing left over for things like a wrap party and I would be pulling every favour imaginable in order to put a premier together.

I’m allowing 60 days to raise £20k. It seems like an achievable goal. We had our first pledge within an hour of launching. Thank you very much kind stranger. I look forward to mailing you your DVD. In fact as you were the first pledge I may deliver yours by hand.  I would really love to meet all of the people that end up putting money into this project. I would love to shake them by the hand and say, “Thank you. You made this possible.”

I’m very excited and very nervous at the same time. The ball is rolling and I am, or have to be, 100% committed to this project now. There is no backing out. Especially if we get the £20k that we are asking for. It’s exactly what I want but the pressure is on.

Wish me luck and, if you can, please make a small contribution.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1039072188/teds-dead-the-movie

Kickstarter

I am about to launch the Kickstarter page!

I have to raise the money to make Ted’s Dead somehow and, at the moment, Kickstarter seems to be the easiest way. The benefits to using Kickstarter, to me, seem to be twofold. First of all it is a soft sell. People are coming to Kickstarter looking for a project to invest in. They are already on our side. They want to see creativity. Secondly there is a natural built in publicity machine at work with Crowdfunding. Especially at the moment with the imminent launch of Kickstarter in the UK. Being one of the first projects to launch on Kickstarter in the UK has to bring some notoriety with it.

The hard part is deciding what incentives to offer. I am hoping that people are investing in the project rather than buying merchandise. I would hope that they enjoy the teaser and like the premise of the film and would want to invest in the project. Maybe I am being a little Naive but I have looked at some of the incentives offered on US projects and they wouldn’t really entice me. I’m hoping that people will see these as the perks that they are supposed to be rather than the driving force behind a decision to invest.

My teaser trailer is currently uploading to the Kickstarter site. 89% and rising. Hopefully by the time it hits 100% I will have a clearer idea of what to offer. What would you want? A background role in the film? A signed poster? An invitation to the premier? 

95% and I have some idea. I am flexible on what I am willing to offer but unfortunately the site doesn’t work like that. I have to give clear and precise description of what I am giving away. 

I will be back in a couple of days with the link to the Kickstarter page. Until then enjoy the teaser trailer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0YiaxMUdw4

Test Shoot

Again I must apologise for the lack of updates. The reason for this is that I did want to keep things a little quiet for a while. That has all changed now. Now I need to get the word out as much as possible. So what’s been happening?

At the end of August a casting decision was made. Laurence Saunders was cast in the role of Ted. We decided to shoot a test. Two scenes were selected to shoot and edit in order to give you a taste of what we were attempting to produce.

September 22nd. With a tiny crew of dedicated people we shot the test. It was a short but very sweet half day of shooting. 

Since then we have edited these scenes, cut a teaser and launched the IMDB page. 

So what’s next? 

We need to raise the necessary finance to complete the film. Kickstarter launches in the UK at the end of October and we intend to be on there. If we can raise just £6,000 I will start to shoot. It wouldn’t be enough to complete the film but we could get a significant amour in the can.

If you do want to invest please email me at tedsdeadthemovie@gmail.com 

Until then please enjoy the teaser, follow us on Twitter and check us out of Facebook.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0YiaxMUdw4

https://twitter.com/TedsDeadMovie

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Teds-Dead-the-Movie/117389588309171

Other Work

I didn’t really want to use this blog to talk about anything other than things relating to the progress of Ted’s Dead but inevitably, with other work encroaching on my “Ted” time, I feel that I have to tell you what I have been doing and why the lack of updates.

I made a music video with Ben Calvert & the Swifts which led to me being asked to shoot a video for Dirty Old Folkers. I have also been asked to make a documentary about graffiti art which I have been researching. The documentary itself is not a time consuming project but if you are making a film about people painting you really need to see them paint. If you are going to see art made you also need to see what happens to it. So what I really need to arrange is an open air event for these artists to work and then an exhibition for the final results. 

Around all of this I have also been working with Mark Locke on a music video for Misty’s Big Adventure. The never ending shoot that earned the title “The Apocalypse Now of Music Videos.”

So progress has been a little slow on Ted recently but hopefully will pick up soon.

Crowd Funding

I think that it was Pip Piper who said that the thing that people always concentrate on with Crow Funding is the “Funding” where what people really need to give more thought to is the “Crowd.”

I could not agree with this more and have heeded this advice. I will be starting a Crowd Funding campaign but right now I need to start a Crowd Finding campaign. This is what i intend to do for the next three weeks. I have started a new Twitter account specifically for this project. Please follow and watch for news both here and on Twitter. @TedsDeadMovie.

I never really saw the point of Twitter until recently. I still think that it is more relevant to people who have something to promote. The problem is that the time people have something to promote it is usually too late. My intention is to build the following first so by the time I am in a position to Crowd Fund the people are already in place.

Again, please wish me luck in this endeavour and if you are in a position to throw a little cash into the pot keep an eye on this page and on Twitter for forthcoming info.

Thank you!

Casting

The scariest part of filmmaking. Get this wrong and you may as well trash the entire project. I’m attempting to cast most of the parts from the pool of talent that I have worked with on previous projects. I have worked with a lot of people that I would like to work with again. I want to maintain a friendly atmosphere on set and I think having people who all know each other and have worked with each other before will help with that.

The one flaw in this plan is that I do not know a “Ted”!

I am going to have to leave my comfort zone for this and audition an actor that I do not know. I have looked at a lot of head shots and showreels to narrow down the selection and I believe that I may have found my “Ted” but I can’t be certain until met and auditioned him. I am auditioning just one actor at the moment as I have high hopes. That is a lot of pressure for the actor.

Please wish me luck with this. The worst thing that I can do is cast the wrong person in the lead role. It’s easy in hindsight to say that Harrison Ford was the only logical choice to play Indiana Jones but that’s because we have seen the movie. At the time Tom Selleck must have seemed like a good choice too. Or Even Burt Reynolds.

Just think about what happened on Apocalypse Now. Two weeks into shooting Harvey Keitel was replaced by Martin Sheen. These decisions are not as obvious as we, as movie-goers, would like to think. 

Schedule

In a month that includes my Birthday, my Mother’s Birthday, my Wife’s Birthday (in 19 minutes) and our Wedding Anniversary, it’s been difficult to get much done on the project.  I’ve just turned forty which is quite scary. Wife about to turn twenty-nine and we’ve been Married for nine years at the end of the month.

What I do have is a completed schedule. As no budget is in place at the time of this blog I have to assume that we will have little or no money to make the film. I will not let something as little as finance stop me from making this film. With this in mind I have put together one of the most insane schedules that I am ever likely to see it’s a two week shoot.

I recently did a day on the soap; Doctors. On that day we completed 23 2/8 pages of script in one day. It’s not the best way of working as it allows no margin for error and pretty much everything is first take and move on but it has shown me what is achievable given the right level of organisation and a disciplined approach. So after this eight or nine pages in a day does not seem that outrageous and if we slip behind so be it. If at the end of two weeks we have seventy percent of the film completed we can take a couple of weeks out to cut what we have and hit the ground running again with new momentum.

Next step is  to find a cast and crew that are willing to take the plunge with me. Wish me luck.

Finance vs Distribution

With the script complete I know that I should be giving thought to how I am going to raise the finance to produce the project. I have given some thought to this but I have been giving a lot more thought to how I am going to get the money back once it is completed. I don’t know whether this is just putting the cart before the horse or not. My take on it is this: I would not invest in any endeavour without know know how the people I am investing in intend to make a profit.

I am putting in marketing and distribution strategies based on how good I perceive the finished film to be. In a vague way what I am saying is that if the films exceeds all of our expectations and turns out to be a masterpiece I will have a plan in place to get a large theatrical release followed by a blu Ray/DVD release and a list of foreign territories to approach along with TV rights, merchandise, etc. But I am also planning for the potential groaner. The piece of crap that we would all be ashamed to call our own. And for this horrific possibility I have one word. Youtube! I will be planning for all of the shades of grey that fall between these extremes of black and white.

That doesn’t really tell you what I have been doing though. Well,the truth is, not much on this project.I have been finishing off the Apocalypse Now of music videos. Aggression for Misty’s Big Adventure for Director Mark Locke. And the launch of the single and video for Valpolicella Girl by Ben Calvert which I hope that you will watch on Youtube. 

To be continued.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7AIYRuRx5U

WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST HUMAN MEMORY?

Not sure what my first was. My timeline is a little askew. I remember seeing Star Wars when I was 5 years old.