<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Meg. She’s an indie filmmaker here in LA and is here to talk about her experiences and challenges in filmmaking. Dudes, Hollywood in a recession is nooooo fun! But here’s what’s working and isn’t working for Meg. Hit it lady!!! </editorsnote>
#TalkNerdyToMeLover’s Meg Pinsonneault
Last Friday marked the end of my crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo for a feature length documentary called Gwapa (Beautiful), about a poor Filipino family’s journey for a healthy future. We didn’t reach our goal, but $12,411 our of our $16,500 goal ain’t bad! (In the end, we’re left with $11,291 after Indiegogo’s 9% fee. If we had reached our goal, then they would’ve only taken out a 4% fee.) Fortunately, we raised enough to fund production in January and we’re very excited to film the second part of the project! But what was truly wonderful and magical was the support we saw and are still seeing for Gwapa (Beautiful). The community has really gotten behind the project to not only donate, but to spread the word too. We were a featured campaign on Indiegogo. Likewise, we snagged featured stories on Take Part and Film Courage, and were mentioned on Perezitos blog too. As a filmmaker, it’s truly inspirational to have so much love for your film and your vision. I feel honored and blessed for this. Because of all this support, I know in my heart that Gwapa (Beautiful) will be a success and the indie film community is a major part of that! Not to mention, this campaign garnished a lot of buzz for the film and we have some very exciting stuff in the works! So be sure to check out www.gwapafilm.com for updates from our Filipino production and beyond. In case you wanted to back to this inspirational film but didn’t get the chance to, we’re accepting donations via Paypal on our website as well.
To add to all the excitement, I was notified on our last day of the fundraising campaign that Gwapa (Beautiful) was nominated for indieWIRE’s “Project of the Week.” (Gwapa (Beautiful) was chosen as “Project of the Day” the previous Wednesday.) This was quite the honor, but overwhelming too. This news came at such a crazy time of the campaign and it is was quite the task to promote the campaign and the contest at the same time. The contest was voter based and tallied through a Facebook poll that ended on Monday, December 5th. So the hustling continued through the weekend. But we were so exhausted from the last week of the campaigning that our feeds were pretty quiet. We thought we had all day Monday to promote the contest and ask for votes. It wasn’t until Sunday evening that we realized the contest ended at 11AM Eastern Standard Time, not 11PM Pacific Standard Time! Needless to say, I was kicking myself for not reading the fine print more carefully. At 9pm PST on Sunday night, Gwapa (Beautiful) was 40 votes behind first place. So, fellow filmmaker and best friend, Sabina Padilla (@sabinapadilla), and I decided to pull an all-nighter to see if we couldn’t win the contest! It proved to be worth it and we won indieWIRE’s “Project of the Week.” Our reward is a digital distribution consultation from SnagFilms and Gwapa (Beautiful) is now officially a candidate for “Project of the Month.” That winner will be awarded with a consultation from the Sundance Institute! This is truly amazing opportunity. I’m so incredibly grateful to everyone who voted and promoted the contest on our behalf!
We were up against some really amazing projects that are just as deserving of this honor as Gwapa (Beautiful). Big shout out to filmmakers Samantha Buck and Danielle DiGiacomo of Best Kept Secret for running an awesome race! They clearly have a lot of support from the community and I respect their work very much. Best Kept Secret is a powerful film about a Newark high school teacher struggles to help her autistic students find a place in the brutal world that awaits them after graduation. There’s still we 6 days left to donate to their Kickstarter campaign! Get involved here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dandig/best-kept-secret The other films nominated for “Project of the Week” were We Are Many by Amir Amirani and The Defector: Escape from North Korea by Ann Shinn. Tis the season for giving. Show your support and get involved with these inspirational documentaries!