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Home » Podcast Episodes » Angel’s Perch – From Script To Screen | 048

Angel’s Perch – From Script To Screen | 048

Angel's Perch DVD Cover

by Tommy G. Kendrick

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Angel’s Perch – The Story

Everyone has an emotional home. It’s not necessarily where you were born, or even where you grew up, but it’s the place that you dream about in the quiet moments—the place that defines your happiest memories.

A young man must return to his small Appalachian hometown to face his grandmother’s worsening Alzheimer’s disease only to discover that his own painful memories are holding him back in his life.

Set almost entirely in the small, historic logging town of Cass, WV, Angel’s Perch examines the delicate relationship between past and present, memory and loss.

The material was so heartfelt that it made it possible for us to bring in these well-known, talented, amazing actresses and have them work for scale for us because they were so inspired by the script.

Angel’s Perch – The Cast

Angel's Perch Cast

Not Waiting For The Phone To Ring

While listening to Stacey Parkes’ Startup Film School podast with Angel’s Perch producer Kimberly Dilts and writer-producer-actor J.T. Arbogast, I shouted in agreement when I heard Kim Dilts say:

We were at a point in our careers where we were starting to see that there’s a limit to what you can do if you’re not making your own work. You’re waiting for the phone to ring. Always.

I knew then and there that I wanted to have Kim and J.T. on Actors Talk to tell the story of this journey of theirs from actors,to theatrical producers to filmmakers. And a great story it is.

Gazette photo by LAWRENCE PIERCE.....If you’re a regular listener to Actors Talk you’ve no doubt heard me say something similar to the quote above on more than one episode.

In fact one of my goals for this show is to encourage actors, especially actors who are in the early stages of their careers, to understand this concept: Be creators, not just interpreters of someone else’s work.

We can do more than sit impatiently waiting for our agents to call, text or email about the next audition. We can do more than ‘just’ go to class. We can learn how to create work and in the process we can only enhance our abilities to be interpreters as well.

In an ideal world we would be able to take this film and leverage it into good representation that sees that we’re capable of making work and helps us get our work produced so that we don’t have to wear 300 hats for the next one.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Angel’s Perch and I’m delighted to say it’s a terrific ‘little’ film. There are no explosions, no wrecked cars no FX sequences that cost millions. I say ‘little’ not in a negative way. Angel’s Perch is about character and heart and story. In short it’s the kind of movie I really like.

Take a look at Angel’s Perch official trailer.

Kickstarter Success Tips

Why Kickstarter:

There was something for us on the Kickstarter side…something about a goal and an amount of time…if you didn’t raise it by a certain date you didn’t get anything… there was something about the pressure and urgency of that we both responded to… we felt like this was an all or nothing venture.

The other thing was at the time, Kickstarter had much more traffic than Indiegogo…[There was] a reporter out of Roanoke, VA who was looking for a story that was local [so] he could highlight Kickstarter as a platform to help artists regionally to make work. We sort of became a great case study for him and he became a great champion for us in terms of tracking our story in the region on the local news broadcasts.

As you can see from the graphic below, Kim and J.T. not only met their Kickstarter goal of $25,000, they exceeded it by raising $32,005!

Kickstarter Success

I see so many indie film projects on Kickstarter or Indiegogo that do not reach their goal that it’s impressive to see filmmakers that reached 128% of their target.

The Angel’s Perch Kickstarter campaign ran for 45 days. In the interview, Kim and J.T. outline some of the successful strategies they employed. Keep in mind that this Kickstarter campaign funded in 2011. While the crowdfunding landscape has no doubt changed, there are concepts here that remain valid:

    1. We knew who our audience was – we spent a lot of time talking about what would be a very defined audience for this film, [who]would respond to this story. [Before the campaign began]We had a very good idea of who our audience was and how to reach them.

    2. We prepared a lot – there are a lot of resources that show what makes a campaign successful here’s how they did it – here’s what was great about their campaign. That information is readily available. It’s just a matter of taking the time to look for it.

    3. One of the most simple mistakes that people make with their video is that they make it more about the product rather than about their connection to the product. What we saw is that people are investing in you as a team. They’re really investing in you as an artist.

    4.Your passion has to really be evident in the video

    I never wanted the audience to feel like we were selling to them. I wanted them to feel like we were inviting them to this community

    5. Have a well-organized content plan. Every week we had something new to introduce about the project. Instead of just saying ‘we’re still here’ we were introducing ourselves to the audience throughout that 30-45 days as opposed as just introducing once with a video at the beginning and then just begging people to join in.

    Here, director Charles Haine talks about how he connected with the story of Angel’s Perch:

    6. We had a very finite time for the campaign[ research showed] that the maximum length for a successful campaign was less than 45 days…any longer than that and there was a significant decrease in success rate because it’s hard to sustain any kind of momentum for two months when you’re trying to raise money.

    7. You have to interact with your audience – we answer every piece of email for instance. You have to have a conversation rather than just put something out and expect people to pay attention.

Angel’s Perch – Timeline

Everyone says making a movie is so difficult and you just can’t know…I feel like it’s got to be like labor…people say ‘it’s really hard’ and then you have a baby and you’re like ‘I had no idea it could be that painful.

J.T. says he worked on the Angel’s Perch screenplay for about a year before he showed it to Kim. At that point, Kim says, she knew they were going to produce this movie. So here’s an approximate timeline:

Writing the script – about 1 year writing the script – J.T. shows the script to Kim in August, 2010 – Kickstarter Campaign Launch, March, 2011 – Principal Photography began – September 2012 – Picture Lock – December 2012 – Post Production Sound, January – February 2013. Film Finished – April, 2013.

Angel’s Perch Distribution

Kim and J.T. decided that as a small, character driven film, they were not the typical ‘festival film.’ So they looked for other avenues to get some traction in the marketplace

They decided to employ a DIY theatrical release with TUGG. In case you haven’t heard of TUGG, visit the link to find out more about this relatively new, web-based theatrical release strategy. There is at least one other company in this ‘distribution on demand’ space, Seatzy. I’m not sure of the differences between the two but the ideas are similar: create and ‘event’ – promote the event through social media – meet a predetermined threshold of ticket reservations and the screening is on.

Angel’s Perch premiered in June, 2013 and did a total of 250 screenings through TUGG.

Gravitas Ventures

Angel’s Perch is now being distributed by Gravitas Ventures and is available on DVD and Blu-ray and on multiple VOD platforms. WATCH IT NOW AT:

Angel's Perch VOD platforms

Angel’s Perch – Final Thoughts

Acting School – You’re trained in school if you study acting to perfect your craft but you’re not trained in how to run your business.

Low Budget Filmmaking – If you’re on a low-budget and you’re doing this for the first time, get a DP who is use to working with NOTHING. You need someone who can be very, very creative with not a ton of lighting.

On Working With People You Know and Like: You want to work with people you trust but you also want to work with people you LIKE. There’s an inherent kind of ‘craziness’ that comes with creativity. I would much prefer to work with someone whose ‘crazy’ I know – it just makes it less risky.

Angel’s Perch Press Kit

Angel’s Perch has an excellent website. Other low-budget filmmakers might want to take a look at the Angel’s Perch Press Kit.

3 comments
dotepuhib
dotepuhib

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