Indie filmmaking can be an incredibly daunting task. Besides the usual creative tasks of writing, directing, producing (you know, just about everything involved in actually making the film while in production), there is the front loaded work as well. And the very first part of this, before you can even get into pre-production, is finding money to get your project off the ground.
As the dynamics of fundraising change (well, they’ve already pretty much changed, for those of you keeping track), more and more filmmakers find themselves going the crowd sourcing route. For writer/director Anna Axster, she went to Kickstarter to get her feature film debut “A Country Called Home” (which she wrote with Jim Beggarly) funded, and she ended up raising over $100,000.
Axster has been in the filmmaking business for a decade or so, writing and producing shorts as she has learned the business. But “A Country Called Home” just may be her big breakthrough. Starring Imogen Poots (“That Awkward Moment,” “The Look of Love,”) and Ryan Bingham, the musician and sometime actor who won an Oscar for his soundtrack work on “Crazy Heart,” “Country” tells the story of Ellie (Poots) who comes back to her Texas hometown to deal with the aftermath of her estranged father’s death. But what she thought would turn into a quick one day trip to tie up loose ends becomes a journey of discovery as she comes to grips with her past and a man that she barely knew.
The film has been getting positive reviews, mostly for the gravitas from Poots’ performance. As an actress, she has been given mostly uneven material to show her chops, but the script by Axster and Beggarly and the direction from Axster is spot on, allowing Poots (and the rest of the cast) to shine. Look for a quick cameo from the always spectacular Shea Wigham as Ellie’s brother.
This may be one of those rare times where they hype of the film is well-earned; it’s also gratifying to know that filmmakers like Axster can get projects made, even if it comes down to rolling up their sleeves and raising the seed money themselves. In this edition of the podcast I talk with Axster about “A Country Called Home” and her fundraising efforts through Kickstarter.
You can also read a transcript of this episode.
- Anna Axster on IMDb
- Anna Axster website
- A Country Called Home Trailer
- A Country Called Home on IMDb
- A Country Called Home on Twitter
- A Country Called Home on Facebook
- A Country Called Home on Instagram
- A Country Called Home website
- Script Fest – Use coupon code SYS15 for a 15% discount!
- SYS Podcast Episode 75: Mayuran Tiruchelvam talks about funding his demolition derby short through Kickstarter.
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- Our free guide, “How to Sell Your Screenplay in 5 Weeks!”