My dear supporters, and the many doubter. This is my open letter to you and the world. I’m a woman from a minority background, and I have a dream to be a writer/director in a the global film industry. What do I do for my dream? I work on my stories, my novels and my scripts, and every waking moment is spend worrying and wondering when I can reach a stage where I don’t have to prove myself. I want to work, and I’m damned if I don’t work hard for what I want. Currently, I work almost full time, dedicated to my dream without a single dollar earned from it yet. I volunteer on projects just so I can have something to add to my portfolio. Every day is a struggle to prove that I have made the right choice. Imagine doing that every day of your life for almost a decade? Tiring right? Yes. But I’m not giving up. I’m going to keep fighting, keep going, because I too have something to share with the world.
Why am I suddenly writing this? Because, today, I am extremely saddened and angered at the whispering. Is that what things have come down to?
Most of you know I went and asked for help on a Crowdfunding site for my short film, ‘The Circle’. Without each and every dollar support for the project, I would still be sitting at my writing table, dreaming. Today, I am able to hold my head up high and say I have worked so very hard and so very long to get this ‘tiny’ movie for you but ‘big’ movie for me done and showcased at a premiere event I personally held. Those who helped me in my desperate hour are the ones today responsible for giving me my confidence back, and the drive back. No one can understand how much that has meant to me and I’m forever indebted to them.
Currently, I was successful at pitching a story which was liked and as we speak, that story is seeking help once again through a Crowdfunding campaign, because frankly speaking, the last project was a financial strain on me.
‘Dhago’ is a medium length short horror film based in Nepal, and for this I’m leaving everything behind and going to devote my hours, freely, to have this story made. Why? Because it’s another bullet point on my effort to prove myself again and again and again. ‘Dhago’ is also seeking funding, because let’s be honest, I’m broke, but not defeated. However I’m very sad to hear whispers about my intention and intention of the group behind the film.
So, let me share with you my experience on the making of ‘The Circle’ with you so I can shed some light on how Crowdfunding works. I don’t need to write this, but today, I feel it’s my story, and I should be the one to tell you how it was. You shouldn’t be hearing from others who weren’t there, who didn’t see how it was. You should hear it from me, and the team who helped me make it. Without the help and support of cast, crew and my financial supporters, the stories I write would have only been stories on paper and nothing more.
So here how the Crowdfunding campaign I ran for ‘The Circle’ was put to use. It raised $2600ish so the movie had a chance than looking like a home video.
Crowdfunding is basically where the public can give certain amounts to a project they like, so that collectively, the project can reach it’s rare targeted funding and have the money to PAY for hiring the actors, hiring the camera gear, hiring lighting gear, hiring the sound gear, renting the shooting location, pay for shooting permits, pay for shooting insurance so that any incident during shoot covers all cast and crew’s safety, pay for transport, buy props and costumes, buy food and drinks so the cast and crew can work with food in their bellies, it also pays for their time and effort because for cast and crew it’s their work. Imaging you work hours without pay, or hope of pay- that was the case on ‘The Circle’. All those who worked on ‘The Circle’ worked absolutely free and absolutely hard- without their generosity and time, I could not have managed with the meager $2500. And yes, it’s a meager sum when you consider the lowest funds for short films reach much higher than that. ‘The Circle’ plus its premiere, which I personally paid for and was held on the 30th November in Sydney, cost me approximately $5000. I only raised $2600 due to some pledges bouncing. The other $2400 have personally been my expenditure so that I could make a better movie. $5000 is not that much when you consider that on ‘The Circle’ lighting and camera gear alone cost $2000 to hire for the duration of the shoot. So please, when you are considering pleading for ‘Dhago’ or any other films or creative venture, do consider the effort that simply goes into producing a mere 7minute movie.
For those who supported ‘The Circle’, predominantly my family, friends , lovely cast and crew, and Nitesh Raj Pant. Without their support, I simply couldn’t even imagine having made the movie. For those of you who had supported me then, and those who are supporting me and the team behind ‘Dhago’ now, a four times longer movie than ‘The Circle’. I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me a chance to give my dream a go. To have achieved something I’m proud to say was supported by so many of my near and dear. And now, a special thank you to those who are supporting ‘Dhago’. Your support, each and every single one, gives us hope that this time again, we can give our everything to this project.
I now have been approached for two prospective job offers due to your generosity and belief in me, that I will put your contribution to the very thing you supported. Some of you who supported ‘The Circle’ Pozible campaign earlier this year were also able to see the film for yourself. I have nothing to hide but my pride at the teams hard work.
However, I am indebted to each of you who have stood behind me. You have given me enough confidence in my self and my ability to do the stories I take on as a writer/director justice. This industry is not easy to get into, especially for a woman from a minority background. You truly do not know what your support has meant to me. You help me say, ‘I can do this. I maybe a woman in a male dominated industry, but I have a vision, and I can work twice as hard to prove that I can do this. That I have a whole community behind me.’ So once again, thank you for giving me a start no one else would give. And forgive me my efforts to shed some light in these uncertain waters where I’m still having to prove it seems. Alas, I wish you all a happy healthy progress in whatever you are attempting yourself.