It might seem obvious, but making a movie costs lots of money. Grips, props, camera, lighting equipment and special effects all add up. For a small film, just ensuring that the entire crew's gas money is covered can make up a large chunk of the budget. Applying to film festivals so people actually see your movie is yet another expense.
Cleveland Heights filmmaker Tiffany Laufer knows the cost well, and she's looking to get a crowdfunding boost to help her latest project make it to the big screen. Honor Society
is a short film about the societal pressures teenagers face and how the friendships they form are often the glue that keeps them together. Laufer already has filmed a trailer starring the two local high school-aged actresses who will appear in the production.
For funding, she is using Kapipal, an international fundraising platform. Laufer's goal is to raise $4,500 by October 16. As of this writing, she has raised nearly $400 for a "nuts and bolts" budget that will top out at about $8,500.
"[Crowdfunding] is a new endeavor for me and I'm excited to try this approach," says Laufer.
The process is as daunting as it is exciting, the filmmaker adds. Laufer has been pushing the project via Facebook, Twitter, her personal website
, and the movie's online fundraising home
. Laufer plans on submitting Honor Society
to more than 30 film festivals. Her previous film, The Acorn Penny
, screened at over 16 festivals across the country.
Even a dollar would offer something in terms of psychological support, Laufer maintains. "You have to hustle and take nothing personally," she says of the crowdfunding experiment. "It's been an interesting learning experience."
is getting made whether or not Laufer reaches her fundraising target. She credits her high school friends for getting her through some stormy formative years that included her parents' divorce.
Today's teenagers face a society that requires them to be practically perfect, an expectation that's both unrealistic and unfair, she says. Through crowdfunding, Laufer hopes to tell their story.
"We need to be there for our teenagers on all levels," she says. "I've come so far [in the filmmaking process] I have to continue."
SOURCE: Tiffany Laufer
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth