We are funded! Thanks to you…and mother-daughter backers Alma and Allo Greer!

7/30/13 update: WE ARE FUNDED and no longer on Indiegogo. But you may still contribute on this site. 

We’re days away from the deadline for our post-production fundraising drive on Indiegogo–and by last week, we were worried.

But now two guardian angels stepped in with back-to-back $5,000 contributions–and we can finish the film you helped us get started.  

Meet Alma Greer and Allo Greer, our new co-producers.  They are mother-daughter book lovers from Detroit.  As the opening credits roll, after Dark Dream Productions and This Little Light Productions, a card will read In Association With…and the company names of their choice. We are so thrilled to have them aboard!  

It feels almost as if we conjured the Greer ladies.  Here’s why:

Last Friday, our Indiegogo total sat stubbornly below $2,500 and we needed to raise $10,000 more.  Our campaign had started strong, but slowed. (We’re told that July is not a good month for fundraising.)   And we had raised our production budget to shoot the film ($15,000) through Facebook and social media–before we began our post-production campaign on Indiegogo.  Maybe our friends, readers and family had given us all they could.  It was already a miracle we had come so far.

But we knew potential contributors would be discouraged by the gap to our goal.  Had we reached the end of the line?

At noon Friday, July 12, the producers had a conference call–director Luchina Fisher, screenwriters Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due, and producer Zainab Ali.  We needed a strategy. Oscar-winning screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher, visiting Spelman College last fall, told students: “You have to have a Plan B and Plan C to make Plan A jealous.”  It was time to come up with a Plan B.

The result felt like a prayer meeting.  Steve, a life coach as well as a writer, walked us through a four-step process that was like The Secret on steroids. Instead of feeling fear, we chose to feel gratitude.  We had plans to submit the film to Sundance, but we decided to create our own schedule.  We could compose our own music.  (Tananarive plays piano and keyboard.)   We would have a rougher version to exhibit and “clean it up” when more funds were available.  The list went on.  We would do the best with what we had.  We were blessed to have received so much already.  By the end of the call, we felt re-energized and excited.  Empowered.  “Amen!”

Twenty minutes after we hung up, Allo Greer contributed $5,000 to Indiegogo.  We were stunned. 

Two days later, her 80-year-old mother, Alma Greer, donated another $5,000 to match her daughter’s contribution.  Suddenly, we had the $10,000 we needed.  We were speechless.  We still are. 

Read the novel where Danger Word appears

Read the novel where Danger Word appears

Why doesn’t the total show up on Indiegogo?  Because for a very large contribution–so we have learned–Indiegogo has a rigid verification procedure.  The first $5,000 was temporarily withheld from our account.  Monday, the hold still was not resolved. Tuesday, Allo Greer decided to contribute to Danger Word through PayPal instead.  Thursday, her mother followed suit. 

So the fundraising total you see to the right is our actual total.  The total on our Indiegogo page is only a fraction of that.   Thanks to you and Alma and Allo Greer, we have come so far!

And you still have a chance to be a part of this community-funded film!  We have more than a week left on our Indiegogo campaign.  We’re still asking you to spread the dangerword.com link so we can climb as high as possible.  We have 50 Indiegogo backers and counting!  For a $25 contribution, backers receive a pdf of the screenplay.  (Though if you want to contribute $5,000, you might want to visit our CONTRIBUTE page through PayPayl instead. Just saying.)

Some Indiegogo visitors will see our low total and believe our post-production campaign is failing.  Or that we won’t be able to finish the film.  Not true at all!

We will finish Danger Word.  Every dollar we raise now will be used for marketing and publicity, film festival fees and to establish production offices for a feature film version of the novel Devil’s Wake, where Kendra’s story first appeared.  

We already have invitations to the Charlotte Black Film Festival and Atlanta’s BronzeLens Film festival.  Next stop…Sundance?  

We are moved and grateful beyond words.  Thanks to all of you–and our new co-producers, Alma and Allo Greer–for helping us make a beautiful film together.

Want a T-shirt? Or to be a producer? Click on the photo to go to Indiegogo!

Want a T-shirt? Or to be a producer? Click on the photo to go to Indiegogo!

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About Danger Word:

Also check out Tananarive Due’s recent post in The Grio about why we decided to make Danger Word ourselves: “Great pitch! But do the characters have to be black?” 

Danger Word has been covered in Shadow and ActThe Huffington Post, MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry” and The Grio

 

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Danger Word moves fundraising to Indiegogo

We’re more than halfway there!

Since March, more than 200 contributors have visited this site to give between $1 and $1,000 toward the filming of Danger Word, which was shot over Memorial Day weekend (2013).  Primarily using Facebook and social media, we pulled off a tiny miracle through “community funding”–thanks to you!

Frankie Faison (Grandpa Joe) and Saoirse Scott (Kendra) face the zombie plague

Frankie Faison (Grandpa Joe) and Saoirse Scott (Kendra) face the zombie plague

Now we’ve moved our fundraising effort to the crowd funding platform Indiegogo for Phase II: post-production.  That’s the phase where we improve the images and sound to create a film that can be exhibited in the company of quality films.  (Who knows? Maybe even at Sundance!)  Right now, all we have is raw footage of great performances from our stars Frankie Faison and Saoirse Scott.

Technical experts will take Danger Word the rest of the way.

Check out our short Indiegogo pitch (and a sneak peek at the trailer!):

PLEASE SHARE our easy-to-remember Indiegogo fundraising page: www.dangerword.com

Also check out Tananarive Due’s recent post in The Grio about why we decided to make Danger Word ourselves: “Great pitch! But do the characters have to be black?” 

Even if you can’t give now, or have already given, please SHARE the site with  your friends and family.  Can you help us spread the word about Danger Word?

We will have an exciting new gift to offer soon!  And we have added a free PDF of the screenplay for contributors who give $25 or more.

The site will also soon expand to offer a NEWS & PRESS page:  Danger Word has been covered in Shadow and Act, The Huffington Post, MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry” and The Grio

Thank you for helping us make the dream real! 

DANGER WORD SCREEN poster-600x400

Danger Word: how a community shot its own short film

We wanted to make a short horror film, and we believed we could fund it within our own community of friends and strangers who shared our dream of creating a story and characters we could be proud of.    

We met our Phase I goal!

We met our Phase I goal!

Thanks to you, Danger Word has been shot, is being edited, and will have a trailer online soon!  We are grateful beyond words for the support of our backers.  Thanks to you, this story of a grandfather and his granddaughter who have survived the zombie plague in his wooded cabin is a reality, not just a dream. (To learn more about Danger Word, click ABOUT.) 

Phase I of our fundraising campaign–which relied mostly on Facebook and social media to spread the word–has been a success.  We wanted to raise $15,000, and we surpassed our goal!  (Even minus $442 in PayPal fees.) 

Now we have moved to Phase II. Phase I was for preproduction/production, and Phase II will be for post-production.  (Until our Indiegogo campaign is set up, we will continue to raise funds on this website.)  Our Phase II campaign will be for $12,500–not quite as much, but still costly to pay for the professional technicians and editors who will make this short film look and sound as good as any you would see in a movie theater.  Click here to contribute to the post-production campaign

For a longer explanation of how production costs work, read on.  For now, we just wanted to say thank you!!!!

Danger Word stars Frankie Faison (Grandpa Joe) and Kendra (Saoirse Scott)

Danger Word stars Frankie Faison (Grandpa Joe) and Kendra (Saoirse Scott)

FUNDING OUR FILM: 

The first $15,000–what we called Phase I–went to cast, crew, equipment rental, location rental, makeup and F/X, transportation, and maintaining the set during production.   That is “pre-production” and “production” expense, and it came to about a thousand dollars a minute!  (By contrast, a Hollywood movie averages a million dollars a minute!) Our director/co-producer Luchina Fisher stretched ever last dollar to the breaking point, and wrung every last scrap of value from every last penny.    

 Now we move to Phase II, known as “post production”—color correction, sound balancing, music, editing, ADR (dialogue replacement often used, for example, in moving vehicles), deferred travel expenses and the like.  This is where we take the raw footage and assemble it into a trailer, and then a movie.  These two phases were designed to be “crowd funded” (or, as we like to call it, “community funded”).  Phase II will soon shift to a more “public” vehicle, Indiegogo, where the strength of our trailer will help us move beyond the circle of our friends, fans, and family to show our newborn child to the world.  Those who have contributed already—bless and thank you.  We ask only that you keep us in your hearts, and share the Indiegogo link with your friends, Twitter streams and Facebook friends when we launch. 

The trailer will be ready soon!  Can’t wait to share it.  Thank you again for making this magical journey possible for all of us. 

Danger Word on Melissa Harris-Perry! (MSNBC)

On Sunday, our film’s co-screenwriter and co-producer Tananarive Due was a panelist on MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry” show.  During a segment on blacks and science fiction, Due explained how we are using community support to finance our short film,  Danger Word, which co-stars Frankie Faison (Banshee, The Wire, The Silence of the Lambs) and Saoirse Scott (One Life to Live).

An important fundraising announcement AND A TRAILER are coming SOON! 

Tananarive Due and panelist Tim Reid (CLICK ON PHOTO to see the clip)

Tananarive Due and panelist Tim Reid (CLICK ON PHOTO to see the clip)

Danger Word: a wrap and support from director Julie Dash. Can you help us reach our goal?

Julie Dash

Julie Dash

UPDATED 6/5:  We just wrapped our two-day shoot with Frankie Faison and Saoirse Scott on our terrific set in Delancey, New York. We got great footage, and we’ll have a trailer ready soon. Then, last week, a surprise: groundbreaking filmmaker Julie Dash, who wrote, directed and produced the modern classic Daughters of the Dust, joined our list of donors. Imagine our excitement!  Dash is a pioneer in film—Daughters of the Dust was the first full-length film by a black woman with general theatrical release in the United States.

It’s a real boost of confidence that she believes in what we’re trying to do with Danger Word: we want to make an entertaining horror film that also makes a difference.

And we still need your help, too.

As you can see from the thermometer, we’re still a bit shy of our $15,000 goal to finish paying our crew for the shoot.  Not only was this crew of professionals willing to work on our indie, but they braved the cold and rainy weather without complaint during the shoot. Everyone involved, from cast to crew, was forced to be a warrior over Memorial Day weekend.

They had our backs when it mattered—and now we want to have theirs.

Saoirse Scott co-stars as Kendra

Saoirse Scott co-stars as Kendra

Can you help us with even a small donation today?  If so, please DONATE HERE.  Even if you can’t, please share this post with your friends.

To see the behind-the-scenes photo album from the Danger Word shoot, CLICK HERE to go to our Facebook page. (You don’t need a Facebook account to see the pictures!)

Frankie Faison (Grandpa Joe) and Kendra (Saoirse Scott)

Frankie Faison (Grandpa Joe) and Kendra (Saoirse Scott)

Shooting

Target practice in the woods