Stephen Spielberg predicted at a University of Southern California event with George Lucas last June. “There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe a half-dozen mega budget movies are going to go crashing into the ground.” In the following summer months, we witnessed inflated budgets juxtaposed with slow foreign growth. There were 18 movies that cost over $100 million dollars to produce this summer, only 11 of which made their budget at the box office. Spielberg was right – with a dramatic decrease in profit in the foreign market, the high price of movie tickets, independent films deciding to debut through streaming devices rather than the movie theaters, and practically no DVD sales – what is the studio system supposed to do? Change while telling compelling stories.
Audiences are becoming saturated with 3D action narratives. During the blockbuster summer of flops, movies like The Conjuring and The Purge switched up their marketing styles, invested in their scripts and doubled their productions’ budgets during their opening weekends. Part of this was because their budgets to start off with were practical. The biggest threat to Hollywood, however, is the home theater. With video on demand, audience members like you and I are showing that our palate is much more broader than the Blockbuster template and that we love other things like smaller independent films, thought provoking documentaries, Netflix queues, Amazon Prime and episodic dramas on HBO and AMC. Cable, iTunes, Netflix and other video-on-demand outlets symbolize an alternative to Hollywood. Vimeo recently released their on-demand platform alongside of YouTube – the market is evolving as we learn new ways to digest our entertainment and media. Soderbergh leaves the theaters for HBO, Kevin Smith tours with his films and follows the credits with a live Q&A and Spike Lee, Zach Braff and Veronica Mars turn to Kickstarter. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the totempole, the small independent filmmakers like me have something that we didn’t have since the Cormanite days – a voice.
The world wants something new, and we are all here to develop it. I guess what I’m really trying to say here is thank you Kickstarter backers. You have truly transformed me, my career and my goals. Before I started this campaign, I was unsure of the possibilities, and now I have a platform to work off of. I have an audience that not only wants to watch a movie with me, but they want to help make it too! That’s what movie magic really means – motion pictures being inspired by a community that has a say in what gets produced and what doesn’t. Audience members who know they’d rather watch a short film about a struggling young man from the Dust Bowl era over a Lone Ranger remake. Hollywood isn’t imploding, it’s changing – and quite frankly I think it’s for the better. Thanks for giving me a megaphone and allowing me to create. I love all of you because you have given me the chance to produce something wonderful, and I can’t wait to watch the final edit with you.
If you get a chance. share this post with your friends. If you haven’t pledged to my next short film #WrongSideUp #DustbowlMovie yet, please do. Let’s get this picture funded!
106 backers, $12,747 pledged of $15,000 goal, 7 days to go.
Love and thanks!
Your Support, My Story, Our Film. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hdilla/wrong-side-up-a-dust-bowl-inspired-short-film
– Henry Darrow McComas, Colorado Video Producer
Henry McComas is a film and video producer based in Denver, Colorado. Prior to moving to Colorado Henry was a video producer and filmmaker in Seattle, WA where his first award-winning short film, Emerald City, was born. His new project, Wrong Side Up, is a totally different feel, setting and experience for Henry. It is a coming of age story about a twelve-year-old boy whose fate is determined by his father’s departure and the impending Dust Bowl as he is forced to care for his family and their farm. Ultimately, this is a film about responsibility, accountability and most importantly, family. Wrong Side Up is our biggest project to date and we are so excited to share it with you.
Our incomparable team:
We are so excited to be working with some of Colorado’s most amazing talent including award-winning Director of Photography James Drake who will be shooting on the Red Epic; Motion Graphics extraordinaire, Kevin Kerndt; phenomenal film composer Chris Joye; and world champion Irish dancer and bagpiper, Owen Barrington. We are also excited to be working with historians from History Colorado and stellar band, the Dustbowl Revival.
Our final plea:
We need your help to show this Dust Bowl narrative. We want you to be a part of our favorite film to date. We want to see your name on the credits and for you to feel the same sense of pride when it’s finished that we will as the creative team. Together we can make this phenomenal short come to life. Please pledge to the production and spread the word. Show your interest by sharing this link with your friends, family and social networks: DustBowlMovie.com You can also use #dustbowlmovie or #wrongsideup on your social network sites including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.