Crowdfunding Vs Not Crowdfunding

We’ve all heard the tales of how Kevin Smith made Clerks, how Robert Rodriguez made El Mariachi and how Dave McGlone made All Or Nothing, right? What’s that, you haven’t heard of that last guy? Okay, I’ll tell you his story.

We had a choice when we decided that we’d make a feature film instead of another short. That choice was whether or not to crowdfund a bigger budget than we could afford ourselves or we could tailor the script to a micro budget. We chose to turn our backs on crowdfunding and find a way to produce a movie for as small a budget as possible.

When that decision was made we threw all of our change on the table and came up with $500. HOW THE HELL ARE WE GONNA MAKE A MOIE WITH $500??? We wondered, but we did already own cameras, lights, computers, editing software and sound equipment. We had some contacts and a transport machine AKA a car, surely with all of this we could make something?

We sat down and devised a movie that we could make in one room, maybe two rooms if we had time. We came up with an interesting idea… “What if four guys are sitting around a table and they all have guns to their heads.” we developed that idea a little and later that after noon I went to work on the script that would become ALL OR NOTHING.

Knowing that we had just $500 to play with meant that I had to leave out the epic car chases and awesome special FX that I wanted but the story didn’t really call for them so it was cool. I wrote the script with every penny carefully considered, if I wrote that a player drank a beer, well we needed to show him at least holding a beer bottle, we would have to get a beer bottle… if I wrote that the characters were wearing bling bling necklaces then we would have to buy those expensive things. So props were kept to a minimum, locations were kept to a minimum and nothing was in the script that didn’t have to be or that we didn’t already have.

So with no flashy explosions, no cool car chases and not much time to shoot we had to create kick ass characters that would stand out, speak in different voices, have different styles and who audience members could believe and connect with. 

All for $500.

Well, we did it, and the movie is now out and I’m incredibly proud of it and all of those who worked on it. But why didn’t we say raise 10 times our budget through crowdfunding and make it easier on ourselves? Well I’ll tell you, I don’t think we could have made a better movie for $5,000 but we could have messed it up. And there is the reason why sometimes you don’t need to beg, borrow or steal, you just need to believe in your vision and get it done .. and if you’re curious you can now see ALL OR NOTHING by clicking on this link

Nearly there

We’re ready, were almost ready … crap the computer crashed.


On my first trip to Hollywood I was in a meeting which was a preparation for the following few days of meetings at big studios, the biggest thing I took away from that meeting was “Go With The Flow”. I use that mantra in my everyday life now, I use it whenever something goes in an unexpected direction and more than ever I use it in my film and writing projects.


This past month as we’ve been editing and prepping ALL OR NOTHING for release and trying to stay sane (which is harder than it sounds) we’ve encountered a couple of problems, a couple of legitimate reasons to pick up the macbook, throw it out the window and crawl into bed to hide from the world. 

Or we could “Go With The Flow”, which we did and guess what? We overcame all and any problems that had arisen.


Now when I say problems, I really mean little mishaps that are easily resolved but when you’re working on something that you’ve dreamed about our whole life, when it’s the fulfillment of your childhood ambitions and the tiniest thing goes wrong, it can feel like the whole Universe is trying to stop you from reaching your goals.


This past week alone we’ve put out some pretty huge fires (not literally but, you know), problems that were easy enough to fix, like shutting down the computer and restarting it five minutes later… problem solved! Like taking away an element that wasn’t working in the audio, like cutting lines so that the next cut would sync up with the last. 

The point? Nothing is insurmountable, nothing is going to get in your way if you want it badly enough and if you “Go With The Flow” then you will get to your destination.


I often think back to that meeting in Hollywood and think how simple a concept it was that was put across and yet how profound a lesson it would be. I’ll say this, over the course of the last year, as Karl and I have worked day in and day out on this film, there have been many, many, many reasons for us to stop and move onto the next project or quit altogether and find other career paths but, we’ve gone with the flow, worked through all of the issues that have come up and we are very very close to finally releasing our movie. That feel very good to say!


And what a movie it’s going to be, we have music by ASH ( who I’ve been a fan of for half my lifetime, we have a great story set in the world of underground “Ultimate” poker and we have the fantastic story that the film cost about €500 and we shot it completely in one day … yeah, 1 single day! We have a great poster, some great performances, a great distribution partner in Distrify and we believe that we’ve done something very special with this film… which is amazing because we only set out to raise funds for our next film, WALK ON and instead we fell in love with ALL OR NOTHING… it’s been a hell of a ride!


Okay, have a great week and hopefully I’ll be back next week with a release date and info about our cool, “you can make money from our movie” strategy!


Be Cool



Believe in yourself and work hard

Five years ago I wrote my first script, it was tough but it was also the same time that I quit smoking. Maybe the writing helped me quit. I knew when I completed the first draft of that script that I was hooked for life. Writing was my new drug and the high it gives when you write “Fade Out” is very difficult to beat. 100 pages and it all makes sense and tells a complete story? Damn right I was proud of myself and I still am every time I complete a new draft.


When I started out very few people believed that I would make a career out of it. Very few people believed in me. Well, five years later, I’m about to release my first feature film, put that along side the three short films I’ve made, the award nomination I received, the trip to three major Hollywood studios, the friends I’ve made, the respect I have within the writing and filmmaking circles I frequent and I’d say those people who didn’t believe in me can suck it!

I’m proud of myself every single day. I stuck with it, I worked hard… damn hard! I spent time learning what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong, I listened to the advice, I grew as an artist and I am still growing. I wouldn’t be told that it wouldn’t happen, I refused to believe that I should “get a real job”.


The point is that you should never give up on yourself if you really really want to do something. Sometimes you just have to work hard and prove people wrong!!

So for now I’ll sign off and get back to work on ALL OR NOTHING, we’re about halfway through now so it shouldn’t be too much longer before we can share it with the world.

Remember, always believe in yourself and always work hard and then the impossible becomes possible… dreams are made to come true!


Keep dreaming.



Crowdfunding versus film production


Catchy title huh?


Well I’m not trying to incite a death match between crowd-funding and filmmaking, I’m a big fan of both but I think that maybe crowd-funding is abused a little in the quest to get to film production.


We considered raising the $5,000 we need to make our next project “Walk On” via crowd-funding but in the end we decided that it would be more fun and productive and impressive to raise that film by making a cheap film which we could sell in order to raise the funds… As a film fan and an indie producer I feel that this funding model of making a cheap movie to fund a slightly more expensive one is the way forward for hungry filmmakers.


The total budget spent to produce All or Nothing is going to total about $500 (Five Hundred). It has taken huge amounts of effort, a lot longer than we expected, three attempts to shoot it and a lot of headaches… but it was worth it all.


In recent times with cameras becoming cheaper and software like Adobe Premiere Pro available for less than $35 a month, filmmaking has never been more accessible. With enough time, a good script, talented actors and the desire to drive your career forward I think that it is now worth thinking about producing rather than begging for your film budget.


Sure it’s nice to offer signed posters, dvds and postcards from your movie, but who wants your autograph when you haven’t won an Oscar yet? Here’s an idea, make a movie, a cheap movie costs you less that $1,000, sell that movie online, sell dvds, host screenings and ask people to pay what they want. Tell them about the plans for your next movie, how much their contribution means and see how much more people believe in you when you have a good product in front of you.


And so Crowd-funding v Movie production could be the way forward, the choice is yours.


Oh and just to be really clear, I love crowd-funding, it’s great and I think more people should donate to as many projects as they can. Of course I also think that people should buy dvds, pay for streaming and buy tickets to screenings of small independent movies … like All Or Nothing when it comes out in early 2013.


Keep working hard!



Making movies with passion



It’s hard to convince people that waking up at 7am on a cold December morning is a good thing, nobody wants to get out of their warm beds that early and especially not on a Sunday.


So we decided that it would be a good idea to start our movie shoot at 7.30 am on a Sunday morning in December… we’re crazy, right? Well as it turns out, even with such an early start we were still working on set when the clock struck 10pm. So I guess you just have to sacrifice that lovely lie in on a Sunday morning if you truly love movies.


Now it was a lot to ask to get a whole feature length movie shot in just one day… it was a lot to try and manage, a lot to keep an eye on and a lot of spirits to keep high.


We did manage to shoot every page though, maybe not as I’d designed it initially but never the less we got it all this time and we got it to the standard that I wanted (*Lets hope that statement doesn’t come back to haunt me!) and overall I went home from the shoot satisfied and very very tired.


And so after 11 months, three shoots, a major band signing onto the project, a lot of blood, sweat and tears, two severe hangovers, four mild arguments and a feckin’ wally being stupid about it we finally have the raw materials we need to make the movie that we wanted to.


I have to thank Declan, Des, Neil, Sam, Sharon, Amy and Ethan on behalf of Karl and myself for putting in some great work and for never complaining once about the cold, the long hours, the rain, the lack of alcohol or anything at all … you guys are all heroes to me!


To end this post I just want to put it out there that sometimes movie making is not glamourous, it’s not beautiful and sometimes it isn’t even fun… but you push on through the tough times because the good times are like nothing else, but if you don’t have the passion and the drive then you’ll never get there… so be passionate and make the best movie that you can.


Rock n Roll