Hedge Funding

Hedge Funding

A week into this journey of creating a completely new film studio out of nothing and it’s been both lovely (see the comments building on the Ko-Fi page, which is how you support the project) and interesting…on a lot of levels.

There’s a learning curve with film-making, that much I’ll give you, but it’s in realising just how different Hedge Fund Studio that all the lights go on.

I had no idea, at least not at first, films are largely privately funded through an elaborate investment tax relief scheme for people already wealthy. (It’s called EIS if you want to look it up). That’s definitely not what Hedge Fund is about, which immediately creates our biggest asset and biggest challenge: whether it works or not is entirely reliant on the community it grows from.

Then there’s the whole tax relief set up, which isn’t something Hedge Fund will be structured to take advantage of. It’s all quite off-putting when you start to look into it.

Thankfully, I guess, we’re doing it ALL differently. I crowdfund, I pay my taxes in the absolutely normal way and we make films. There’s no magic, no schemes. I’ll admit it is the hard way, but what’s the point in doing anything in good heart if there’s no mild peril? It’s something every film we’ve ever watched has told us, ironically.

You can get more detail on the project as a whole here.

So far, over a hundred people have joined our fledgling community and we’re hovering around 3% of the overall budget needed to make our first feature. 

And those lovely people are already helping build the script for our first film, Naked Bears – something everyone who joins in will be able to do.

The members’ votes on the environmental project the first film will help support are also well underway, and it’s a close run contest at the moment. If you want to be part of it too, all you have to do is become part of the family.

However, there’s a long way to go and the project has been swallowed up in the week’s Brexit news cycle madness, which is a shame. I hope we’ll get it back on track now, but it’s all down to you.

So, if you feel like it’s something you want to get involved in, it would be a pleasure to have you aboard.

I’ll check in at the end of next week with an update and some news on distribution options and what we’re aiming for as a return on the first film. Until then, here’s a short video I made earlier, having a bit of quiet time.

Have a great weekend and be good to one another.

Page To Screen, Times Are Changing

Page To Screen, Times Are Changing

Hello all.

It turns out the pickle we are in, internationally, is unlikely to end well.

Worse still, it turns out the written word isn’t having the impact it needs to. Because people are turning off to it.

This is, sadly, part of what the disinformation barrage which is integral to the world’s ongoing hybrid war is for. Fighting disinformation with information in the same format just creates a tornado of white noise, rather than one triumphing over the other.

I still believe the traditional structures of news delivery are failing us and I still believe there is a better way, in spite of everything.

Subsequently, for me it’s time to try something different. So, I’m making my first feature length documentary. It’s not going to be rushed, not going to be bodged, and the intention is it will be the first of many – which will become self-funding.

The script is written, the production company has a name (Bedsit Genius), and the equipment is all in place. What I need to do now is make the film, working title “Malware For Humans.”

To do this, and do it properly, there are a few things which need to be paid out up front – such as location fees (for disused bunkers, etc) and weapons hire (because bringing this topic to life in a way people will “get it” is quite a challenge).

The budget for this is £5,000 and I’m trying a new way of raising this: through cups of coffee…

You can visit my Ko-Fi page here and contribute to this project through cups of coffee rather than fixed amounts. It’s fast, secure, and doesn’t charge any fees so everything goes to the budget.

Unlike any of the other crowdfunders I’ve done, there’s no time pressure or all or nothing, but without the funds I have to adjust the end product down and the topic deserves the best shot I can give it.

I aim to be shooting in September/October and working on post production through the winter. I’d like to be able to have it released in February, ahead of the UK’s looming destruction. But this depends largely on you.

In terms of how people can watch the film when it’s done, I’m leaning towards distribution through Prime for international streaming and downloads, with an option for DVD’s here in the UK. Mainly because it appears to be the easiest route to the largest audience, without having to unleash YouTube’s adverts on the finished film.

I intend to give 10% of any net proceeds to charity, and will pick one when the time comes with the help of the good people of Twitter.

I hope you can see some potential good in this project and can throw a coffee at it.

Much love,

James.