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Coming-of-age film arriving in Roseville

‘To Find a Monster’ uses crowdfunding
By: Seth Sandronsky, Press Tribune correspondent
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The crew and cast of “To Find a Monster,” an indie coming-of-age film, are coming to Roseville this April. Matt Baker, of Roseville’s Baker Animation, will be on the local set to edit as filming proceeds.

“TFAM is a love letter to friendship and the 1980s,” said Joshua B. Porter, 36, director and co-writer.

Amelia Belle, 26, is a co-producer who is also an actor and website designer.

“TFAM drew me in as a family film,” she said. “It is absolutely essential that we have such PG films with live action that families can watch in this day and age.”

Porter and Belle join Matthew Donaldson, 36, TFAM producer, co-writer and an actor, in blazing a digital path forward for their first feature film.

To raise money to produce and edit TFAM, the cinematic trio is using crowdfunding, a digital tool in the social media landscape: indiegogo.com/projects/to-fund-a-monster-crowdfunding-to-find-a-monster. There, readers can view a trailer and choose a level of support, from $1 to $50,000, securely.

Supporters can receive memorabilia such as signed scripts. Investors can reap potential return on their capital.

Phase one of crowdfunding covers preproduction costs, Porter said. Funds raised flow to TFAM artists, filmmakers and technicians now, according to Donaldson.

It is a brave new world raising money online to build a fan base for TFAM with Facebook and Twitter. To this digital end, Porter, Donaldson and Belle are collaborating with the firm of Crowdfunding Accelerator, Philip Cardwell of Universal Media Consultants and John-Michael Scott of IndieFund.it.

Cinematic creativity requires capital. It frees artists to do what they do best: create.

“We found these social media strategists to allow us to focus exclusively on the creative process,” Donaldson said. “We don’t want to make assumptions that we can do this on our own, a quick recipe for failure.”

“It’s about finding the smartest gals and guys in the room,” Porter said. For instance, TFAM business cards feature a quick-response bar code to take visitors to the crowdfunding website.

In the meantime, did someone say local job creation in a weak economy?

An estimated 50 people will receive paychecks for working on TFAM, partially cast, said Donaldson. Opportunities for college interns are also on tap, Belle added.

Selected songs from the 1980s are vital to TFAM. Its soundtrack gives viewers a flavor of the decade’s popular music and musicians, new for youth, not so much for their parents who grew up, like Donaldson and Porter, with such unique tunes.

Some TFAM casting continues, Belle said. Editing of the film will proceed during the filming in April and May, Porter said.

He, Donaldson and Belle will enter TFAM in the upcoming Sundance and Los Angeles film festivals. Their ultimate aim is to sell their feature film to a distributor and produce new movies in the future.

The cinematic trio just returned from spreading the word about “TFAM” at this year’s Sundance in Utah. Their promotional time there builds on preliminary meetings with potential distributors.

“I know that sounds crazy,” Belle said. “But I cold-called distributors and did webinars for TFAM with interests stateside and in the Philippines.”