What If...

What if...

Those two words usually don't end well. And they often come at the most pivotal moments. For some, it's before we even begin. And for most; we never do. For others; it's when we've reached that point in the fight where fatigue sets in, and hopelessness tempts us to give up. "I don't see how we will ever get through this." But, please, if you've never experienced this weight of fear and self-doubt then just stop reading right now.

What if...

My experience getting our film off the ground has been full of "What If's". And not just from me! But every time I've decided we need to press on, despite the doubt. Life's too short to never try. And I can confidently say I'm not afraid to fail. So I often do. But it's funny how it becomes easier and easier to accept the failures, and harder and harder to make the same mistake.

Right now, if I can be transparent with you, we've only raised 8% of our funding goal. And we only have 11 days to go. I'd say the WHAT IF is pretty strong right about now. But WHAT IF we flipped it on it's head. Filled in the rest with something positive; re-energizing; motivating; something HOPEFUL.

WHAT IF... we wasted our time! WHAT IF... this was all for nothing! WHAT IF... we don't raise the money!

And to that I say... What if we do :)

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CLICK HERE to view our Kickstarter.

Everyone loves to start...

Everyone loves the start of something; a new idea, a new relationship, a new journey. There's so much hope. The dream is fresh and vibrant. We have nothing to fear! 

....but only because we've just gotten started.

Someone once said, "The worst thing you write, is better than the best thing you didn't write." As a filmmaker, the start to an idea is like love at first sight. It's my addiction. Only because the thrill is so cheap. It costs me nothing to sit and spin a thought into a web of intrigue. Once I had the chance to meet my favorite composer, Howard Shore, and during a panel I eventually worked up the courage to ask him the final question of the night.

Voice trembling. I said, "Mr. Shore, as a creative, I know there are times you have to dig a little deeper to persevere through a project. In those moments, what keeps you going?"

His answer: "The dream. The thought that if I can see this through, I will discover something even greater than I first imagined."

The dream.

It takes a determined heart to finish what we've started. But there's a crucial choice to be made if we are fortunate enough to write "The End" on our ambition. That means we found what it takes to motivate us to finish what we started. So now we can choose to be satisfied. Or we can choose to start again. 

Our country was once at risk of being forever split in two, all because people no longer wanted to fight for what started the Civil War in the first place. People were in fear that this war was for nothing, and that spirit of fear put our country in jeopardy. Overcoming fear is a major theme in Jonah's story, and one that everyone can relate to:

JOSHUA
You're a coward. Always looking back cuz you're too afraid to look ahead. You know what's happening in the North? Husbands, brothers and sons are all dying to free you. But their wives, sisters, and daughters can't stand the war pains. So everyone's yelling and voting for a democrat to bring the easiest end to this war-- abolition or not. Lincoln's staring down the barrel of a rifle he loaded. All cuz the 'righteous' no longer want to fight as long as it takes.
JONAH
I don't care for your politics.
JOSHUA
Then let me say it another way. Cuz you should care as long as you call this country home. Your brother's gone, and he's got the only freedom there really is. But you've got the only life there really is. And I'm damn sure you ain't supposed to spend it trying to make up for what you failed to do. Or keep runnin' cuz you're too afraid to fight for life as you want it. But if you are going to live it in fear, then the South has you to thank after-all. Because it's men like you that'll make the South victorious, by the grace of God.
JONAH
And where does grace stand? North or South?

 

"There are no great writers, only great rewriters." -Justice Brandeis

Jonah has been an idea for a film for quite some time. And now I finally sit with a finished draft in my lap, eager to share it with the world. But, it can be better. So I barre the door, close the blinds and start again. Knowing the time to start production is quickly approaching, and without the greatest story possible, we will never have the greatest film possible.

Everyone loves to start... but not everyone will start again.

Coming up: The Countdown to Kickstarter. Finding Our Battlefield. And a Country Divided.

Stepping out, Stepping up

It all started with an idea. But everyone has one, so where do we go from here?

I've had a desire to tell a Civil War story for quite some time. It started with a character, sitting him down in a cabin, and writing until I knew him more than I knew myself. Opportunities came and went, new drafts came and went, and my motivation came and went.

Then I got tired of waiting.

So much of our time can be spent waiting. But waiting for what? Someone else who has more courage than we do to offer us an opportunity? This world turns under moving feet, and carries away those who stay put.

I started filmmaking because I no longer wanted to wait for my phone to ring; for someone to offer me an opportunity. It was, is and will always be time to create opportunity. All I knew was what makes a good story, and everything else I was okay with learning along the way. Nobody knows anything until they've done it once. So I've made it a point to stretch in every project; embrace the unknown; and never (EVER!) do it alone.

So here we are. Leaping on Leap day: Expanding a tiny idea into 25 pages of powerful storytelling. Believing for a multitude of generous hearts to believe in this story, or to believe in us, or both. Daring to make a film that will challenge every individual that comes aboard. Bravely stepping in to the world of the civil war, through the eyes of a Black, Union Soldier on the run.

And needing to raise at least $40K to achieve it.

Coming soon: We're building a what? Who's "we"? and The Countdown to Kickstarter.