EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS NASH
DIRECTOR OF THE UPCOMING SHORT DADDY WARBLOCKS
“We’re really excited to tell this story.”
Getting together all the necessary elements to produce a quality short film can be challenging to say the least. Some people save up their own money while others rely on grants and private investors. Over the last few years, the term ‘Crowdfunding’ has become popular among indie filmmakers and it rightfully should. Instead of seeking out angel investors you essentially pitch your project hoping to attract thousands of smaller investments.
I’ve featured films that were funded through ‘crowd’ sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo in the past but now it’s time to focus on the pitch itself. In a world full of aspiring filmmakers and millions of projects to choose from, how can you ensure you will stand out amongst the crowd?
Writer/Director Chris Nash’s pitch for his new project Daddy Warblocks is attempting to do just that.
“Daddy Warblocks is a story about loss. Conrad has isolated himself in his home. He doesn’t sleep well and he refuses to get rid of any of his wife’s belongings. This has been going on for a long time until one day he is given a set of magical toy building bricks. Bricks he uses to build the family he was supposed to have. But you can’t just build a family and Conrad quickly discovers what can go wrong when you play with the universe.”
The story is the key and presenting it to others is absolutely crucial. You also have to demonstrate a passion for the project. Give your potential investors something to believe in. Make them believe in your passion. Of course, it all begins with a screenplay.
“Pick a human emotion, think about it and let the story come from that. I was inspired by the theme of loneliness. The largest challenge has been fitting the story within the short-film time frame. It’s really easy to expand and expand but it’s rather difficult to cut-the-fat and keep the meaning of the story present. I collaborated with Martin Anthony and Luiza Almeida, who took equal part in the writing process.”
What I found fascinating about the project was the involvement of renowned LEGO Artist Nathan Sawaya. If you’re going to make a movie that centers on the creation of elaborate brick sculptures then why not go after a famous LEGO artist?
Image from www.brickartist.com
“Nathan Sawaya got involved after I sent him the fake trailer for the film. He loved it. He actually called me eight minutes after I hit send. His enthusiasm and love for the art has proven invaluable.”
The lesson here is that you’ll never know unless you try. Take a shot and make your project stand out! Still, Chris and his team weren’t satisfied and set out to create a fake trailer for their project.
“The pitch for the short film was partially us working with the concept loneliness, but also partially used to try to enter a 48-hour film festival. The A3F. We didn’t get into it, but we were honorably mentioned. It was the 48 hour film festival inspired the trailer. I think otherwise we would have just made concept art.”
If you have the resources available to you, why not go for it and show people what you intend to create. Give them a hint of the tone and overall style you are attempting to achieve. It’s a fantastic option to help sell your pitch to the masses.
“The trailer came together in two days. One half-day for writing, one full-day for filming, and another half for editing. It was a quick process. We showed up at our friend Bill’s house and just did it. It took about 11 hours, 14 if you count transportation and lunch. Editing took about eight.”
“No shortcuts. Nothing Is Automatic.”
This is the motto of Storybird Films, the collective production team behind Daddy Warblocks.
“The concept that there is no guarantee of anything. No audience is guaranteed to love your work, understand your work, or even pay to watch it. So we take a work-hard approach. At the end of the day, if you’re not tired, then you’re not doing it right. Get busy. Work at it every single day, and follow EVERY lead/idea people throw at you. Worst case you’re in the same boat, and best case you’re in a new boat.”
I think it’s important to keep in mind that while your story is at the center of the pitch, you have to surround it with passionate and dedicated people. So the Storybird team took all the elements they had gathered and created a sincere pitch for crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com.
Carefully developing your pitch is extremely important but it doesn’t end there. You still have to get the word out.
BEYOND THE PITCH
Crowd Funding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter are a fantastic resource for people to learn about your project but how do people know what to look for? You also have to put careful thought into how you will promote the pitch as well.
Social media is a key component to running an online funding campaign. Sites like Twitter and Facebook are absolutely crucial. Start with your friends and family and expand as rapidly as possible. Chris went above and beyond by emailing sites like mine. You never know unless you try right?
Daddy Warblocks is still looking for support at this very moment. Behind the scenes, the team is working tirelessly to make sure they will deliver on the promise to deliver a heart felt and touching story about loss.
“No Shortcuts. Nothing Is Automatic.”
Check out their Indiegogo page and don’t forget about the donate button as well!
Keep up to date on their progress by following them on Twitter and visiting their site www.storybirdfilms.com.
Be sure to check out Nathan Sawaya’s site as well. There are literally hundreds of INCREDIBLE pieces of LEGO art over there.
Special thanks to Chris Nash for the interview. Best of luck on the project!