As you may have gathered by now, I have teamed up with experienced screenwriter and novelist Toby Venables to work on a script development project for a feature film, #AltWar.
Inspired by the non-fiction events of 2017, captured in my work at Byline and the public interest book, Alternative War, the film takes a slightly different approach. The base of reality is being taken into a fiction narrative, creating a tense and explosive, international thriller.
The idea behind this is simple one: present the facts of the currently dark world to as many people as possible, in a way which can be easily digested and discussed. There’s magic in this, which I know Toby will be explaining the challenges of soon.
We launched the funder at Byline Media last week and so far it has made a good start, breaking the 15% mark in only days, but the clock is ticking and we still have over £8,000 to raise before we meet our target.
The funder page is here, and that’s where you can make a pledge and find out more detail about the project itself.
What I wanted to do today, however, is write a little about the creative process Toby and I will be going through – from a practical point of view – and explain how the £10,000 script development fund will be used if we succeed.
That’s right, I’m going to set aside the Britishness and talk openly about money.
The development fund is going to pay for the writing of the full script, through the various draft stages, over the whole year of 2018. Both of us will be spending long hours working on this, and there will also be a number of face to face and online development meetings, as well as almost constant online and telephone contact.
We’ve set an initial target of £10,000, which we have to meet in order for the funder to pay out. At that point, fees will be deducted by Byline to cover hosting and payment administration, totalling 15% – meaning you are also supporting the broader independent journalism across the site. (So that’s good thing number one!)
This leaves £8,500 in the development pot, which Toby and I will split equally between us, giving us an individual writing budget of £4,250.
This fund will be used by both of us over ten months writing time, providing us £425 per month each. This means we can dedicate around 50 costed hours per month (worked out roughly on the basis of an hour costing £8.50, including electricity, sundries, fuel and transport to and from meetings, tax and national insurance). On top of this we will be adding hours from whatever spare time we have, as and when we can find them!
So, the development fund is providing an absolutely vital 1000 hours of funded writing time for the two of us (meaning we can set aside other paid work and focus), spread over ten months, to bring #AltWar from a draft treatment to a polished script.
Frankly, we wouldn’t be able to do this for any less, the pair of us already juggling jobs around our busy families.
After that, well, we are in the hands of the movie gods and goddesses…
I hope this has provided a useful and concise insight into how the development fund will be spent.
Please do take the time to visit the funding page, make a pledge if you can, and share the project wherever you feel able.
I’ll be back, as will Toby, with some more tales from the project soon.