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July 2013

I have been struggling with the joys of a crowd funding campaign on a programme called Indiegogo. This is the wave of the future of funding many films, since Hollywood seems to have gone onto a paint by numbers, method of choosing the films the Studios will pay for. They seem to have lost the ability to pick proper worthwhile movies to finance, with grown up stories, good actors and professionally written scripts. So even the likes of Stephen Spielberg are having a hard time getting the green light on their work.

Crowd funding is where you not only pay for a ticket to see the film, but actually put the money in to make it as well. Seems a bit harsh doesnít it? But that is the way of the film funding world at present. It seems to me that it is a good idea for the little independent producers, who use it, to get their films made and are unlikely to charge to see them, but now bigger names, Actors and Producers are using the process too.

It is mind boggling to say the least and I have been working on this pretty much 24/7 for the last few weeks. Our campaign at has a week to go, so if have a mind to get behind it I would be delighted. I have been making this Anthology of new films with my own money and local grants and the first one based on THE MONKEYS PAW (BEWARE OF WHAT YOU WISH), was paid for by me and the Director, my old friend Patricia Doyle.

I have had to draw a line now and need to find outside money, before my son has come and scoop me off the street, homeless and hungry. But it is very hard and getting harder, as the film and media business changes before our very eyes. The entertainment industry has always been dynamic and I use that in its true sense, but it is so dynamic at the moment, that you can hardly see the changes, they are so quick, like a whirling dervish.

Oh the lovely safe..or safer..old days of when I started, when you had a few known and generally loved places you worked at, on screen...Pinewood, Shepperton, Hammer Films, the BBC and ITV etc knew where you were.

I have been and am attached to films, with Producers, Iíve never heard of; thatís no problem...if they have a good script and are making sensible overtures, but like everyone else they have to get the money. And for the fourth largest industry in the world, Media (film, television, music et al), itís a devil to get funded. Of course itís the same in the the theatre world, but that has the angels, those who can always be relied upon to invest in the right show. So crowd funding is in a way looking for our Ďangelsí. And they are there, but the competition for them is fierce and you have to work very hard. Added into all this is the marketing which is now so tied up with the social media...the internet to you and me and that is Facebook, Twitter, Linked in,Instagram and so it goes on. Furthermore you have to put your films somewhere, YouTube or Vimeo so that you can either download them or send people to watch them and the social media sites all have different formats that they prefer. Is your head spinning yet. You get nice messages like ďWhoops we dont use that file type, use one of theseĒ and so and so.

So my friends this is why I have been absent from these pages for a little while. Still itís all a learning curve I suppose and keeps your brain on a good work out...

Itís very hot here in Idaho at the moment and I have had something called a ductless split air conditioner installed, much cheaper than an integrated system built- in into the house, but more expensive than what is called a swamp cooler, which goes into a window and makes a heck of a racket. The one I have is all the rage back East and of course I am in the West, so talking back and forth to the supplier in Florida, is like talking in a foreign language.

The reason I say all this, is because I gather we are having a real heatwave back in the good old UK and you may be seeing these things being sold over there 'ere long!

So sadly I am not acting at the moment, but hope to soon, but still keeping my hand in in the business. I think Martin Jarvis, friend and former Youth Theatre colleague has the right idea, his joy and huge success is radio, which I love. He has done so well in it and I for one could listen to him by the hour. Plus as you get older, they dont have to see you! Itís just the magic of the voice.

Thatís all for now folks.



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