Scaretissue.com has covered a few crowdfunding campaigns in the past few months. For the most part, we’ve managed to follow projects that were completely funded. We love independent films, and we are very happy to help out in the fundraising process.
But what happens after the campaign is over?
We discovered the film She after the fundraising campaign, but directors Chelsey Burdon and Mark Vessey were gracious enough to answer our questions about the upcoming short film. She has become a film that we simply can not wait for, and we’d like to thank everybody for their contributions to this article.
Mark Vessey (from imdb) primarily comes from a writing background, having written countless short stories and film/music reviews over the years. His passion for cinema and vivid imagination inspired a move into filmmaking. In 2013 alone, he had written over 20 scripts (features and shorts) and taken on his first solo project: the upcoming satirical horror-comedy short: English Mary 3D, in which he directed, wrote, produced and starred in. The interest gathered from the aforementioned short gave him the opportunity to work with several big names in the industry.
Chelsey Burdon (from kickstarter) has worked in film and theatre since graduating in 2009 taking on a range of roles from assistant director, co-producer and production management. She has worked on shorts, features and music videos and also writes for various film websites and magazines. This will be her second short film as director, the first, Sweet 6teen, was selected to be part of the ShortCuts To Hell Anthology currently available for download on iTunes and was screened on The Horror Channel. An emerging genre director with experience in all aspects of the industry.
SCARETISSUE: Please tell us what it was like to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. What was your strategy? Was She and He involved in the crowdfunding? How did it feel to have your project validated?
MARK: I was highly sceptical about taking the crowdfunding approach, it was never my original intention for the project (then again, I never intended for it be this “big”.) It was a very nerve-wracking experience, every aspect of the process had me filled with anxiety. We were very lucky in our success. We only had a month to prepare, whereas normal projects should really spend about a year building a fanbase, promoting their work, etc. We visited numerous festivals in the UK promoting the campaign, handling out flyers, etc. You have to be shameless in this industry, so it was quite a good learning experience.
CHELSEY: I would definitely recommend Kickstarter to film-makers who are confident that they have a great and marketable project but need that extra push in terms of funds to make it happen. Once we had Fiona Dourif and David Meadows on board, who both came back to us with really positive comments on the script, we knew that we could make it into something much bigger than we originally anticipated. The Kickstarter process was hard work, but it was also a great experience that allowed us to connect with what would be our future audience and really gauge the response from this project from the horror community.
SCARETISSUE: Once the production started, please tell us what it was like to shoot the film. Where did you shoot? Headaches? Blessings?
MARK: The production itself went incredibly smoothly, apart from a slight hiccup where we almost ended up having to lose our ending. Again, it was a good learning experience on the necessity of rolling with the punches and expecting the unexpected (or rather, being prepared for the unexpected.) I owe a great debt to our talented cast and crew. Everyone knew exactly what they were doing and was just as invested as we were, and I doubt things would have gone as brilliantly as they did had it been otherwise.
CHELSEY: I couldn’t have asked for a better shoot! We had such an incredible team on this one and everyone was really enthusiastic about the project. We didn’t really have any hiccups, me and Mark had planned everything that we wanted so thoroughly that it really helped to keep things running smoothly. The actors were great- they often had little time to rehearse and we jumped about with the chronology a little bit but they did an amazing jump and we rarely had to do more than two takes on anything.
Scaretissue Note: We also managed to catch up with the stars of the film (Fiona Dourif and Phillip James) for some quotes on what it was like to work with Mark and Chelsey:
Phillip: SHE was a lot of fun to work on and acting opposite Fiona was wonderful. I don’t know how much you know about the story but the script itself is pretty intense and as Actors it was exhausting to go where we needed to emotionally for the takes, but looking over the Rushes I can see that it was well worth it as the images the Directors Chelsey and Mark ended up with were beautiful and utterly disturbing.
Scaretissue: What made this project so attractive to you?
Fiona: Put simply, I liked the script! I liked the simplicity of the vignettes, I liked the quietness of it. I feel like most people can relate to feeling trapped in a relationship, or in the feeling of responsibility to someone else, and that can be a really scary thing, like real life horror. So I thought it would be fun to take that to its most extreme.
Scaretissue: What was it like to work with Mark and Chelsey?
Fiona: Mark and Chelsey were great! Both of them are clearly super smart and had a clear vision, which I wasn’t expecting from directors so young. They were really good at letting me follow my
instincts within the pretty clear confines of what they wanted, so I didn’t feel all alone out there, but felt totally free to experiment. That’s kind of an actor’s dream. Plus the set was so young and excited the whole thing was just really fun. Their passion was infectious. I hope we get to work together a bunch in the future. Sign me up for the sequel!
SCARETISSUE: Finally, I see that you have this slated for the festival circuit. When does the film come out, and what festival are you aiming to debut this at?
MARK: We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a première at FrightFest, which is in August. After that, we’ll be sending out the DVDs to our backers and continuing to submit to as many festivals that will have us. We fully intend to cast our net as far as possible and not limit ourselves to the UK, or even horror festivals for that matter.
CHELSEY: A Frightfest premiere would be amazing. Just to be able to watch this on the big screen with an enthusiastic audience will be like a dream come true and hopefully the finished product will be strong enough to get some decent screenings. We’d love to see it at Grimmfest and Celluloid Screams too, myself and Mark went to them both last year and really enjoyed ourselves. We’ll be hitting some international festivals too hopefully.
SCARETISSUE: Is there anything else you would like to add?
CHELSEY: Thanks for taking an interest- we’d both love to continue making films and are really excited to share this with an audience. If you like the sound of SHE then consider helping us to spread the word and hopefully we will see you at a festival some time this year 😀