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The Seed&Spark Blog

Creative Calls

February 19, 2016

• Jen West

First and foremost - we reached our Seed&Spark crowdfunding goal! We were able to secure $28,500 for development funds, which is no less than humbling. The biggest campaign we've ever previously run online was for $10,000 and that was to make the film itself. So not only did we almost triple our goal, but the funds go towards next steps in order to proceed with the project. This shows tremendous belief in our follow-through and ability to get this film off the ground by those who contributed. Thanks to all who made it happen! We are full steam ahead.

As we tackle locating 1.5 million to make Electric Bleau, we are finding that there's a significant difference between the mentality of this film compared to the shorts we've made in the past. While the highest priority is to make a beautifully executed piece of creative work, almost equal in impact is the fact that this is a business and needs to run as such. Numbers, numbers, numbers are always looming. In the past I would say that 95% of our teams were creative individuals who were hired to lend us their talents and skills for the project at large. Now, it's about 50/50 for creative versus business-minded folks. It's certainly exciting to enter this new dimension of making something that could potentially be profitable, but it adds a significant learning curve as you can imagine. Fortunately we seem to be aligning with genuine folks who know what they are doing in this arena while also becoming informed ourselves. Let there be no mistake though, there are some sharks out there disguised as your new best friend. Always go with your gut and do your research.

So what's the name of the game now? Several things. We are still waiting to hear back about some exciting name talent attachments. We've been recently advised that we need to potentially line up distribution opportunities on the front end as opposed to afterwards, as this will help us find investors for the remaining funds. We have someone joining our team that specializes in just this, so we plan to start that conversation this week. However, I'm not holding my breath for any kind of significant distribution deal on the front end… so I'm taking this piece of advice with a grain of salt. I feel like most solid distribution deals happen on the flip side for situations like ours. Honestly what everything boils down to is connections and having people on your team who've got the right ones.

Last week we had a meeting with a great bank here in Atlanta that we plan to stream all of our financials through. They are really into Electric Bleau and are extending some special introductions outside of the norm because of this. We will talk more about that partnership next week! There is a lot to know in the banking realm.

I feel like I can finally dive back into the creative with a clear mind. I am looking forward to revisiting the script and making it even better. Last week AJ Haynes (our lead) passed through town and we were able to have a face-to-face. Talking to her about the character evolution of Bleau Benoit made me realize how much I've missed working on the story. AJ had some great ideas that I plan to implement. As we start casting other characters, I feel like the story will just get richer and richer with insights from the actors.

We've also set up our music recordings with Magnetic Audio in Birmingham for the first week of April. AJ has been working hard on 5 original songs embodying the character of Bleau, which will then be played by the band in the film. I'm looking forward to those creative sessions and finally hearing the voice of Bleau for the first time.

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Jen West

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Jen West is a writer and director living in Atlanta, Georgia. She is known for writing and directing Piece of Cake (2006), Crush (2011), Bubble (2013), Call Me (music video for St. Paul and the Broken Bones, 2014), and Little Cabbage (2015). She is currently in preproduction on her first feature called Electric Bleau. She studied design at Jacksonville State University and film at The Art Institute of Atlanta.

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