So I’m all set to begin the production process for episode 5 of Mountain Cult. I haven’t posted on here lately for multiple reasons, but the main one has been my hesitancy to begin spending money to make the 5th episode a reality. I also spent a week making a cartoon because I thought I could do it in one day.

No matter what we choose to do in life money will always be an obstacle. Part of the overarching goal of being human is to accumulate as much wealth as you can. If you are a foolish person like myself your goal is more likely “how to comfortably afford burritos.”

I’ve been saving money all year with the anticipation that episode 5 would cost me a pretty penny to make. I estimate it will wind up being $2000-3000. I have discovered recently that there are various ways to solicit investors in order to offset some of the costs. I have devoted time to better understanding various methods but they all pose their own unique challenges. I think it’s safe to say that raising money is not a strong suit of mine. My sales pitch is basically “invest if you want, but if you ask me I wouldn’t do it.”

I’ve been looking at platforms such as Kickstarter and Seed and Spark. They both offer awesome opportunities for low budget filmmakers and appear to be extremely viable options for a hustler. I do anticipate launching a kickstarter campaign but I need to be sure I do it the right way.

A major obstacle for me is branding. I feel the most effective way to attract investors for episode 5 is to build an audience. If I were pitching to actual investors, they would like to know that I have an anticipated rate of return. The reality is, however, that short films rarely if ever turn a profit. No matter how great episode 5 may be, the chance of me making money from it is minimal. The real underlying goal is to make something that is successful enough (in terms of execution and/or viewership) to take my filmmaking to the next level. I would like to make a movie or get my show picked up by a service that will pay for me to create more episodes.

So I’ve been weighing my options for how I can ask people for their hard earned cash and they don’t look good – at least right now. But I mentioned my great obstacle is branding – that’s because of the one way I can see myself successfully campaigning for Mountain Cult. I feel my best course of action would be to publish daily video journals about my process making the episode – from start to finish. By growing my platform on youtube I could guarantee an audience when the film is completed. I could also build momentum for the start of a kickstarter campaign. The branding issue exists because I don’t want to market myself as a analysis guy, advice guy, or youtube guy. I only want viewers for my films, but relying on the publication of a video months down the road is not a reliable way to build any type of community.

These are some of my scattered thoughts but expect to receive more of them in the future. I don’t truly know what I’m going to do, but the time has come for me to begin moving forward regardless. I’ll post the link to my shitty cartoon below if you want to watch it. And I’ll post the link to my $1.99 paypal button if you want to become the number 1 big-pockets investor for my project. Each donation is rewarded with a sense of deep regret and asking yourself why you are so careless with your money.

Brief Update – 07-09-20


I’ve finally found a new apartment with the girlfriend, and we’re hoping to move in this weekend. It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but with both our incomes we should truly not have much of an issue gaining acceptance.

This is the main reason I haven’t been blogging, writing, directing, or creating in general. Sometimes life is more important – I could easily spend the rest of my days trying to produce something incredible and never make it there… I realize these two items show no real world correlation, so I’ll state it in a different way. As soon as I begin production on a new short film it will consume all my time, energy, and focus. I made an agreement with myself that I would not involve myself in a new project until my living situation was figured out.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been working a ton of overtime at work. This makes a huge difference in income, and should allow me some financial liberty in the near future. 1 overtime shift for me earns me an extra $350. The cool thing about my work is overtime shift are available in abundance.

I figure if I work 1 additional overtime shift per month, strictly for film, I can improve my production. Say I need 4 actors for the film involving a 1 day shoot. I can easily afford to shell out $50 for the day. The reason that is significant is because I can post the roles on major casting websites. Here, actors sift through roles searching for different criteria. By offering $50 the role has much more appeal and values their work (in comparison to the numerous unpaid roles). I’m going to take a wild guess that I can get 5-10 submissions for that kind of rate of pay. And if I need only 1-2 actors, I’ll be able to pay $150, which is much more legitimate.

Somewhere in the near future I’d like to start looking for advertisers/financing – but before I will feel comfortable pitching to small businesses I’d like to grow my channel’s audience. I truly believe that having the balls to approach individuals & corporations (small and big) who may find value in supporting your work ultimately separates the amateur from the professional.

Imagine Mountain Cult has an episode that focuses on the main character hiking through the mountains. He uses a compass to navigate his way. Let’s pretend my episodes average 10-50k views. Well if you’ve developed a new compass and have the opportunity to reach that size of an audience, wouldn’t you be interested, and willing to shell out some marketing money to have your compass featured? That’s my rudimentary understanding of how this would work, at least. What I DON’T want to do is receive any financial support from individuals who are interested in supporting my works because I’ve appealed to their emotional side (this is my dream and passion, please help make it possible!). I don’t have any problem with people who do it, and I understand why one would, that’s just not the route I’d like to start down.

My approach to becoming a successful producer is simple, albeit idealistic – If you can create content that people are naturally drawn to watch, investors will follow, leading to greater production value, resulting in even more views, and the cycle repeats exponentially. That’s capitalism for you – as unfair as it may be when you’re working your way up from the bottom.

In summary, this post was one big exercise in random brainstorming. I’m loosely plotting my future because I’m finally close to being able to prepare to film again. I’m very excited and will be sure to have more updates when I’ve returned to film mode. In the meantime, here’s some hungover footage Kelly and I got attempting to record crows eating bread crumbs.