No, I've not gone to Hawaii!


OK, so it’s been 3 months since the last blog entry.
I’ve been doing one of the following:


a) pouring a magnum of champagne from my Virgin Islands’ beach house
b) running off with your money and living it up in Vegas
c) conducting high-level talks with Universal about my next $80m blockbuster

Answer:
I wish. Well, about (c) anyway!

I have in fact just been busy on the day job. But I’ve also been buried in the script. Scripts evolve draft by draft, and the best films avoid going to set before the script is ready.

So, the BIG news is that 12 drafts later, I think we’re there.
This baby’s ready to give birth!

The even BIGGER announcement is that we now have a PRODUCER, which is fantastic news!

J Binks
Joe Binks is a producer at Jack Morton Worldwide - a brand experience agency with offices in Asia, Africa, the U.S. and London.

Click on the 60-second film below to see an example of their terrific work.



Joe is thrilled to be part of the team.
‘After reading the script, I knew I had to throw my hat into the ring. The opportunity to work with the talented crew already assembled excites me.’

The powerful themes in Steve’s script will no doubt translate to a compelling film.


‘I believe that we can really achieve something with Happy Birthday and I’m really dedicated to help Steve achieve something special.’
Joe Binks, Producer

So, with a producer in place and a script ready to go, it’s time to push the film into pre-production.

So it’s now time to send in your pledge!

Let me say again a huge THANK YOU! to everyone who’s getting involved and supporting
Happy Birthday. Thank you to those who’ve already donated to the film, and to those who have generously pledged an amount.

We’ve now around £8,000 and with a loan I’m taking, we should have about £18k towards the target of
£25,000 needed to make the film.

That means I’m now asking, please, for all those who’ve pledged an amount to make that contribution as soon as possible.
You can do this in the following ways:

by bank transfer: (preferred means, if possible)
Please see your email invite to this blog for bank details.

by cheque:
made payable to:
Red Rag Pictures Ltd

by Paypal (this is possible, but the least effective because Paypal charge a commission which reduces the amount we receive)


join us!
get involved

This is not about any financial return; short films don’t make money.

It’s really about investing in a dream, and by seeing it come to life, sharing in the success.

But anyone who gives money to the film will be a special part of this exciting venture. You will have an on-screen credit in the end roller as an Associate Producer. The movie will open at a West End cinema, (which we will blag for next to nothing!). You will be invited to the premiere and to the party that follows, where you will meet the cast and crew.


ceremony textless
If we do get Oscar nominated, we will host a special Oscar Party where we will watch the Oscars live and prepare to celebrate, should we win. Of course, you will be invited.

Every pound will be spent on bringing this film to the screen. There will be no profit. No one in the main crew will be taking a professional fee, only minimal expenses - the bus fare and a sandwich if they’re lucky!

It’s ambitious, but we really believe in this film, and we think you will too as you see it come to life.
press me

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Please pledge now by pressing the button (you confirm later) or make a donation, using one of the methods in the yellow box below.

And check out the earlier blog posts below if this is your first visit.


Looking for Josh

We are about to go out to cast, which means the casting director will be looking for the best actors to fill each role.

Perhaps the most challenging role to fill will be that of Josh. I am looking for a black boy of around 8 years old to play Josh. Children are always difficult to cast; their experience - of both life and acting - is inevitably very limited.

But somewhere out there there’s a great young actor who will be amazing in a film. And I want him to be in
Happy Birthday!

If you know of anyone who you think might fit the bill, please get in touch.

They’ll be more news as it happens; it won’t be another 3 months! Please click the
Like button at the top of the page - it all helps to spread the word and build support!

Thank you for your interest in this fantastically exciting journey to see a movie made.

It’s great you’re coming with us!


signature
Steve Bookbinder
writer and director
happy birthday logo small
mail@redragpictures.com
HappyBirthdayMovie.net
BOOKMARK THE PERMALINK




Never mind the glitz and the glamour; this is a game-changer!


More on this weekend’s little bash in a moment.

First - where are we up to on the money?

We now have
£7,500 in donations or pledges. That’s a fantastic amount after just one month since launch!

A massive thank you to those who’ve given or pledged to reach this amazing figure in so little time!
press me

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You can still give by pledging any amount here. See the join us section above to see what’s in it for you.

To date, we’re almost a third of the way to our budget of
£25,000. We’re now looking at widening the campaign.

If Rome was built in a day, film financing takes a long weekend.

It has to be said that the journey to making a good short film is a long one.

That’s because it takes time to raise the money. Having reached £7.5k from family and friends, I am now looking at funding from people I don’t know. But this will take time.

The government have abolished the UK Film Council - up to now a major source of short film financing. The role is passing to the British Film Institute, but the transfer will be gradual, and funding decisions are on hold.

sponsors?

There’s no free lunch in business. Any potential sponsor needs to see a return. And that makes short films a poor bet - they don’t make money because they can only play at Film Festivals, not in cinemas with a paying audience.

The alternative ways of funding require full campaigns launched across various online platforms. They eat time. For breakfast, lunch and dinner. And the rest.

So we may be in for the long haul. They’ll be setbacks among the successes. But hey, be sure of this. We will make this film. And even if it’s later rather than sooner, you’ll be at the Premiere seeing it on the silver screen!

So - Sunday night sees the biggest event in the movie calendar.
Picture 5

Live from the Kodak Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, the great and the good, along with those we’ve not yet heard of, will tread the red carpet to see those rewarded with the industry’s highest honour - a 13.5-inch gold-plated britannium knight holding a crusader’s sword - otherwise known as an Oscar.

3 candles
If you see any of the ceremony, remember this is where we want to be next year to collect the Oscar for Best Short Film. Not for the party, but as a way in to making real movies. That is my passion and longing, and I believe I can do it.

hello, are you famous?

But it’s not the trophy or even the Hollywood razzmatazz that’s enticing. I’m really quite uninterested in everything celebrity. I thought Heat magazine was the publication of the Association of Radiator Installers.

I was once in London’s Groucho Club when a friend pointed out Jude Law. I’d probably just been at the urinals with him, but I didn’t notice.

Picture 14
No, the real power of the Oscar is in catapulting your career.

When former short film and EastEnders’ director Tom Hooper walks off with the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday for
The King’s Speech, he will be guaranteed his next big budget film.

decent return

Movies cost a lot, so to the big studios like Universal it’s all about reducing the risk on their investment.
The King’s Speech cost $15m to make. It’s taken to date $236m at the box office. A 220 million-dollar profit will probably warm most studios to Tom Hooper’s next idea.

Those takings are
boosted hugely by Oscar nominations. One quarter of a film’s overall take can come from the period between the Academy Award nominations and the ceremony.

The power of the Oscar to change lives and open doors to making movies is no less a reality with short films.

Picture 8
Director, Ian Barnes is, like me, making programmes in his day job, but with an eye to directing films for the big screen. He will be sitting nervously on Sunday night to see if his Oscar nominated short film, Wish 143 wins the prize that will open the doors to make the dream possible. He will probably already have had interest from LA agents and the like. If he wins, you’ll probably see his feature film at a screen near you in the next few years.

That’s the power of the 8.5lb statue they call an Oscar. And that’s why I’m aiming so high with Happy Birthday.

Take a look at
Wish 143, up for the Oscar on Sunday. It’s a funny and moving story of a young man desperate to come of age before time runs out.

Will it win? There’s some stiff competition this year, but who can call it? Good luck, Ian!


A teenager with only months to live is granted one wish from the Dreamscape Charity. But David doesn’t want to go to Disneyland or meet Gary Neville; he just wants an hour alone with a naked woman.


thanks!
Thank you for your interest in this fantastically exciting journey to see a movie made. Don’t forget to check out all the latest news on the right.

It’s great you’re coming with us!


signature
Steve Bookbinder
writer and director
happy birthday logo small
mail@redragpictures.com
HappyBirthdayMovie.net
BOOKMARK THE PERMALINK
pledge or donate

You can still pledge or donate whatever amount you can by using the payment box here, or clicking on the pledge page. Thank You!



by Paypal or with most major debit/credit cards.
You don’t even need a PayPal account. Just press the donate button now and choose the amount.

by bank transfer
Email mail@redragpictures.com and we will send you the bank details.

by
cheque made payable to Red Rag Pictures Ltd.
Email mail@redragpictures.com and we will send you the postal address.
Please keep in touch.
Post a comment by clicking on the
Comments link here.
Spread the word on Happy Birthday!









Can you help me to win an Oscar?

Picture 5

Hello and thanks for opening the blog. Welcome to my first post, launching February 14th.

Many of you will know that I have always dreamed of making a movie.

Well now I am going to make that dream a reality.

And with your help I can!

I am asking for financial support, not as an investment proposal, but as an opportunity for you to be part of something really special.

the problem

The fact is that movies are expensive. A film company like Universal has to risk millions of dollars on a product that it can’t guarantee will sell.

Its best bet is to get a film directed by someone who has already made them lots of money with a successful movie.
James Cameron or Peter Jackson will do nicely. Steve who...?

You get my point. It is very rare for anyone to risk that investment on someone new to the game.

the answer

Many directors have found that the way to break in to that first feature film is to make a short film. Something under 30 minutes that can demonstrate their ability; it is their calling card.

Two British directors -
Jonathan Newman and Gareth Edwards - have recently finished their first feature films, having both previously made shorts which proved they could do it - the risk was worth taking.

If the short film is good, and it wins awards, it can qualify for the Oscars. And an Oscar nominated film always gets noticed. An Oscar
winning film is of huge significance; it is much more likely to open doors to a feature film offer.

So that is my plan.

I am going to make a short film which will have all the elements of a feature film: outstanding actors, the highest production values and above all, a compelling story.

And I am aiming high - at the
Oscars in February 2012. Each year, along with the ‘red carpet’ gongs, the Academy makes an award for the Best Short Film.

February 14th is the story of one ordinary family on any normal Valentine’s Day. But this is no rom-com. Kate and Adam Miller, along with their son Josh, are shattered when American anti-abortion activists crash into their lives. This edge of seat movie will belie its short length, and prove a profoundly moving cinematic experience.

the challenge

The trick is to pull off a movie, albeit shorter, which rivals any major feature film in its quality. But without spending serious movie money!

Steve
I am asking industry professionals that I have worked with if they will make this film with me, but without receiving their usual fees.

I am assembling a team of experienced craftsmen and women who are totally committed to making this film a success.

So why do I still need to raise money to fund the film?

Because some things are impossible to get for free. Location fees, props, lighting bills, consumables like film stock and crew food are examples of things which have to be paid for. They all mount up if you’re producing a film of professional quality.

what will it cost?

I estimate the costs to be around £25k to make the film. That may sound a lot, but is in fact a tiny fraction of what films cost to make. The Harry Potter 7 budget is said to be over $250 million. Ok, so Voldemort won’t be in my film, but given that even a very low-budget movie is considered to be around £10 million, that would make the cost of a short film proportionally about £2.5 million.

So we will be making this film for 1% of the normal rate!

I am asking family, friends and anyone who reads this and wants to be part of an exciting journey to see this film made, to consider donating. Of course, we’re saving any of our own spare cash for the pot.

You can donate now or make a pledge; the details are below. But whatever you can contribute will be hugely appreciated.

If you choose not to give, that’s no problem at all. The hate mail you receive will be entirely coincidental. Only kidding; that’s cool if you want simply to take an interest but you’d prefer not to donate.

what will your money be spent on?

Every pound will be spent on bringing this film to the screen. There will be no profit. No one in the main crew will be taking a professional fee, only minimal expenses - the bus fare and a sandwich if they’re lucky!

Focus-Film
From the actors to the set designers, the cinematographer to the film editor - everyone will be doing this because they love making films, and they want to see this idea brought to life in a stunning movie that gets Oscar recognition!

what’s in it for you?

As I said earlier, this is not about any financial return; short films don’t make money.

It’s really about investing in a dream, and by seeing it come to life, sharing in the success.

But anyone who gives money to the film will be a special part of this exciting venture. You will have an on-screen credit in the end roller as an Associate Producer. The movie will open at a West End cinema, (which we will blag for next to nothing!). You will be invited to the premiere and to the party that follows, where you will meet the cast and crew.

ceremony textless
If we do get Oscar nominated, we will host a special Oscar Party where we will watch the Oscars live and prepare to celebrate, should we win. Of course, you will be invited.

please join us!

If you would like to be part of this film in the making by giving a donation, we’ve made it really easy to do. You can pay in the following ways:

by Paypal or with most major debit/credit cards.
You don’t even need a PayPal account. Just press the donate button now and choose the amount.

by bank transfer
Email mail@redragpictures.com and we will send you the bank details.

by
cheque made payable to Red Rag Pictures Ltd.
Email mail@redragpictures.com and we will send you the postal address.

how else could I give?

make a pledge

You might prefer to pledge a donation, rather than giving right now.

That would mean committing to an amount but not giving the donation until production starts in the Spring. If you would like to donate in this way, just click on the pledge page.

advertising_target
target

Can you help us hit the first target?

We are aiming to reach
£10,000 in pledges or actual donations by February 14th this year. We already have £2,300 - and the blog has only just launched! So that gives us 3 weeks to raise £7,700. You don’t have to give the money now; just by pledging an amount, it will go towards the target.

It’s ambitious, but we really believe in this film, and we think you will too as you see it come to life. Please pledge now by clicking on the
pledge page or by donating, using one of the methods in the yellow box above. We’ll let you know how we’re doing in the next blog.

thank you

Thank you for reading this far! And an enormous heartfelt thank you if you are willing to donate towards the film. It’s you that will make this movie happen. I promise it will be a thrilling journey of which you will be a very special part.

As an Associate Producer, you will be kept up to date with all the twists and turns as they develop, as well as being the first to receive an invite to the World Premiere!

This will be the unravelling story of an idea turning into a movie. Who knows what we can do when we believe the dream?

Watch this space...

If you would rather not be part of this, and you would prefer not to receive any further contact, please forgive this intrusion. Just email mail@redragpictures.com and we will remove you from the list.

Please keep in touch. Post a comment by clicking on the Comments
link at the page bottom.
Spread the word on
February 14th!

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