They say that necessity is the mother of invention. I would say that art is a kind of necessity itself. Those who are artist need to create or we feel unfulfilled in a profound way. As a writer, I enjoy reading my own words, but without being able to share them with others, I am only partially doing what I feel I was put on this planet to do.
I had been working on a number of other webseries and feature film scripts and starting to feel a massive amount of frustration that nothing was getting made. I was waiting for someone to give me the shot and bring my words to life for me on film/video. And one day, I’d had enough waiting…
I started an Indiegogo campaign in hopes of raising the funds to shoot the series. I had six episodes outlined with six more generally plotted and three that were fully written. I went into the project with the commitment that no matter what happened, I would shoot something with whatever funds I had raised and I would make sure that even if it was just a little bit, I would pay my cast and crew something. In Hollywood we are often asked to collaborate on projects for no money with the promise that it “will be good for our careers,” but at a certain point, we all need to be able to put food on our table and pay our rent. If we are to be professionals, we need to be treated as professionals. I didn’t want to start out my career as a producer asking people to work for free, just as I had been working for free for so long now.
Our Indiegogo fund fell short of our goal, but we got to keep what we raised, and that gave me the ability to start out the process making the first episode come to fruition. I shifted which episode I wanted to shoot first to one that had limited cast and what I felt would be a simple location. I sought the help of the great guys at Inner Image Media for the production and post production. We shot the opening credit sequence on green screen with the help of some amazing folks. And then, months later, after rehearsals and setbacks, we shot “Tales of the Sword: A Lady’s Honor.”
The one thing I have found out from producing is that everything takes three times as long and costs three times as much as you think it’s going to. There have been so many learning moments working on the first episode that it would probably take too long to list them here. Let me just say that I am overwhelmed with gratitude to our Indiegogo donors for giving us the seed money to start this adventure, my cast and crew for all the hard work and dedication, and my post production team for being wizards with what they do.
I am blessed to have been able to bring my words to life, and I look forward to bringing you more episodes of TotS in the future. Until then, create and live your own adventures!!