So far, so good!

We’ve had our exciting World Premiere and first round of screenings; and it all culminated in a trifecta on Halloween, of course!

On October 31st “Things we Dig” first screened at the International Vampire film and Arts Festival, then at LA-based HorrorHaus Film Festival which included a fun live Q/A session via Zoom afterwards, and then we capped off an amazing day at the Northern Frights Festival in Canada after dark. And the feedback so far as been fantastic! I couldn’t be more pleased and proud of #teamdiggers – our brilliant cast and crew!

In Kuni’s own words: “mmm, yep, pretty damn good!”

Now that ‘spooky’ season is over (well…NEVER for yours truly…) and the holidays are about to get started, I am focusing on 2021 and continuing our film festival run with hopefully, eventually more in-person screenings! I’m awaiting the notifications from more upcoming festivals, but I DO already know that we are on for the Sick Chick Flicks Film Festival in February in North Carolina! Crossing fingers for more international screenings as well!

I wanted to take a quick moment to thank all of you who have messaged me or shared my social media posts about the screenings of ‘Things We Dig’ and helped me get the word out!

Also, thank you to those who have seen it and gotten back to me with your most appreciated and overwhelmingly positive comments and reviews! I promise to re-visit those words in my moments of doubt and artist ‘angst’!

You have lifted me out of my despair about not being able to see you in person, at a film festival and sharing our excitement with hugs and lots of cheers! It really means so much to me! We (creators) do this to connect with people and this frigging pandemic has robbed us of it this year. I can’t wait until we dig out of this crisis (no pun intended) and move forward! Thank you again!

In the meantime, stay healthy and wear a mask, please!

Pia

Giving Thanks

Today I see lots of posts on social media about Thanksgiving and thought I’d add my own two cents, for what it’s worth.

Gratitude – I believe it’s not something to celebrate just that ONE day. I meditate every day and add gratitude to my daily thinking. It has helped me in so many ways, it’s hard to explain. I believe it has eased my anxiety and insecurities and helps me maintain perspective and even a dose of happiness. Yes, there are days that I wish, I could..wish, I had, wish there was more of this, less of that. THAT’s when I remind myself of what I have, what I am and what I’ve accomplished as well. Of course there’s always room for improvement, but you have to balance that inner dialogue with those reminders.

A year ago, during Thanksgiving dinner with friends, I was an anxiety-ridden wreck. I had been plagued with daily heart palpitations and SVT attacks that resulted in ER visits. I had made my decision by then to go ahead with the cardiac ablation procedure and was nervous about THAT on top of it.

Today I look back in literal ‘heartfelt‘ gratitude. I’m grateful for the docs, nurses, surgeons that helped ‘fix’ me, the medical science and technology that made it possible for me to heal, and friends and family who were there for me throughout that difficult time. I’m grateful for finally having had the confidence to get back on a transatlantic flight and see my overseas family again. I’m grateful to have the confidence to get back to the things I love without the constant worry and fear of my heart acting up. I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to continue my main passions: acting, film and visual art.

This is just a glimpse of my gratitude. There are too many things to list and I won’t bore you with the details, but my point is: There is something to be grateful every day, even if it’s “just” waking up to a new day!

thankyou

 

Anyhoo, lots of cool stuff has happened since my last blog and I promise to update on here soon. But for now, I got a big old food shindig to get ready for!

Have a great Thanksgiving and make it a great day!

Heeere, money, money, money!

A few weeks ago, the San Diego Film Consortium kindly asked me to be part of the “How to use Crowdfunding to Fund your Film” panel at one of their networking events. I’d never done a panel before, so I prepared as much as possible beforehand and dug out my to-do lists and other notes from the time I did my own Indiegogo campaign. The panel was fun and I had a great time giving my two cents and answering questions. Afterwards, I was about to throw away my written notes when I realized they might make a helpful blog. So, here we are!

If you want your crowdfunding campaign to work, it takes a lot of preparation and work. I did loads of online research and googling for tips, etc,  before I started mine. I started blogging about it before it even started.

• Do it as early as possible! Run it while you develop your project, before you start pre-production. Remember, it takes 30 days (or longer if you have the time) for the campaign itself, and then up to 2 weeks to receive all the funds once it’s ended. So, give yourself 6 weeks and be aware of that timeframe for your film in development or pre-production. If you rely solely on the funds for pre-production, then you really need to do it early. Most campaigns start with a bang, then fizzle out for a while and then have a last minute surge again before they close. Time your campaign to people’s paychecks. Also consider the time of the year (before Christmahannukwanzadan and right after the New Year is tough). Mine started September16th and ended Oct 16th, which gave me enough time for pre-production up until the shoot day on November 8th (about 3 weeks).Screen Shot silly 2014-09-14 at 7.17.22 PM

• Make a video! Use humor if possible, depending on your project. For me, making the video itself was a lot of work: write the ‘script’, find the location(s), co-ordinate it with your co-star, talk to the camera, be yourself, show that you’re passionate and excited about it, film it, edit it (don’t get me started on THAT), upload it (I used Vimeo for the video upload) and then share the hell out of it!

 

• Figure out how much money you need – break it down and explain. Location and insurance, food & beverages for the cast & crew ate up most of my budget. Keep in mind post production costs! Things like DVDs, cases, poster prints, promo material and most importantly film festival submission costs!. I definitely should have, and could have, raised my fundraising goal just for the festival submissions alone, lol! Those fees add up!

 

• List and introduce your cast and key crew (if you have them already lined up) – especially if you have ‘Names’ attached. Have your cast and crew spread the word, too!

 

• Figure out the perks for your contributors, make them original and try offering many different options and levels. Keep in mind delivery options (shipping costs), order them in time if you need them custom made (Zazzle, etc).
perk
• Make updates on your campaign page to keep people engaged. Add new perks midway through when the momentum usually lags, use photos or video.

 

• Use as much social media as possible, FB and Twitter are a must. Email your friends/family who are not on social media.

 

Most important: Keep your promises – deliver your perks! Update, update, update! Even after the campaign. Let them know what is happening to your film. You may want to do another campaign some day and people remember! They remember, too, if they got ripped off. Don’t be one of those filmmakers!
Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 11.26.22 AM
So, there you go – I hope this helped! Feel free to share this with your filmmaker friends or other future fundraiser peeps!

Good luck! :)