Thursday, 5 May 2011

Dark mater

So, here are the cold statistics.

  • Number of rounds of mailings to potential investors: 6.
  • Number of enigmatic postcards sent out to potential investors: 48.
  • Number of letters mailed out to potential investors: 157.
  • Number of interests generated: 1.
  • Number of investors secured without the surname “Phelps”: 0. 
  • Number of surviving parents: 1. 
  • Number of investors secured with the surname “Phelps”: 1.

Gawd bless my Mum, with her thoroughly welcome cheque-book. No demands to set up an EIS scheme, or lengthy discussions about RoI estimates; she hasn’t even read the investor pack. I can be as nice (or not) as I want about her here, as she’s never read the blog, or even found where to read the blog, and she probably won’t unless I print it out and post it to her. And then find her reading glasses for her too. She’s just doing what Mums do, the little sweetheart.

As for securing cash from the local business community, our extensive efforts and networking managed to raise the princely sum of £0.00. Not quite enough to make a film; actually it’s not quite enough to justify the postage.

Is this a reflection of the fragile state of the UK economy, or a poor marketing message, or are these typical of the kind of returns that you’d expect from a direct marketing campaign? Whatever, it is safe to assume that local business people of Winchester and the surrounding environs aren’t super-mad for the undead.

But we’ve got one investor. This gives us two possible ways forward. And one of them is to get a proper job.

The other, thankfully, does involve making a movie, but it breaks a cardinal sin of low-budget film production: investing in your own movie.

Isn’t this just like those publishing companies that you pay to print your un-publishable writing? Or those people that re-mortgage their houses to finance an unwanted invention when they get no love from the Dragon’s Den? If no one wants to back your movie, is it really only because your masterpiece is being universally misunderstood?

Yeah – thanks for bringing that up, Andy. Our major obstacle is the timing. If we want to shoot in a school, we get just one crack at making this film every year – during the summer holidays. In all the discussions we’ve had with other film-makers, finding even comparatively small amounts of investment money is a consistent ball-ache, and it has taken some of them years to get started. So, we can keep going round and around the funding route, or we can trim the redundancy holiday and do it this summer.

It’s a no-brainer, if you’ll pardon the zombie vernacular. A re-working of the budget, and we’re just about there, at least to get us to the end of principal photography. I only hope my Mum realises just how much bad language she’s conspiring to inflict on the discerning masses.

Not that we going to ‘fess up to this next year in Cannes when people ask about the budget – they’ll get the standard “under a million” response. Mum’s the word, eh? Oedipal.

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