Hello Everyone! I
t's been a busy week, full of ups and downs, and so I'm writing to you all to catch you up. We finished our Final Cut -- our Ukrainian editor, Yakiv, finished the last cuts to LOVE & VODKA and it felt like a major accomplishment.
Those GoFundMe contributions made helped me to pay him another installment of the $7000 that I owe him as editor. Thank you!
I still owe him around $3000, which for some people may not be a lot of money, but for me right now, after not being able to work due to the film industry union strikes, and after already spending so much of my own money toward this passion project, feels like a lot.
We still also need to get the sound post done, as well as color grading and pay for some stock footage.
This past week, I felt a bit down, to be honest.
Many established producers will tell you that its harder to make a micro-budget passion project with unknowns than it is a multi-million dollar, packaged picture with bankable stars -- and though I haven't experienced that myself, I can say that when you are taking a chance on unknown actors and you, yourself, are not yet considered "known" as a director (even IF you DO have one feature under your belt that has done very well... in my case, "Darcy") -- all I can say that pushing this project forward has felt, at times, as if I'm pushing a bolder uphill with gale-force winds blowing straight at me.
The one thing that keeps me going is that it's turning out to be a lovely little film. The performances are delightful. It's full of good laughs. It's honest. And it makes me cry during the heart-felt moments. So I'm very proud of it. If I weren't, I couldn't put myself out there.
Look, if I had the right organizations to back me and push this picture along, I know it would do well. And I'm definitely working toward that end. But it takes constant work and the ability to put yourself out there again, and again.
I'm including this video of our Associate Producer Ariel Wan who is someone on my side. She's believed in me from he get go and recorded this video before we had our first film production crowdfunding campaign.
I'll come back soon with an updated version because - just recently - Ariel viewed the Final Cut and is extremely excited to see what we've made. It's a wonderful feeling to show what you've made to the very people who believed in you from the get-go and hear their encouraging and satisfied feedback.
They took a chance on you and you didn't disappoint them. To that end, I'm asking you to take a chance on us and this film.
Even if you don't have funds yourself, perhaps you know of the right Ukrainian organization that is looking to support a film about the American-Ukrainian transatlantic friendship.
By supporting #LOVEANDVODKAMOVIE ... you are supporting activism in the form of a movie. We've done our best to provide hope to Ukrainian refugees and give them something to be hopeful and happy about... Thank you. Heidi
As many of you may know from reading the last blog entry or by checking out any of our socials, the #LoveandVodkaMovie is in post-production, and more specifically, we have started a GoFundMe to raise funds for the finalization of the film. Among other things, these funds will be going towards color correction as well as sound post.
In my opinion, it becomes clear how much cinema relies on sound, especially in its absence. This I have realized while watching the initial drafts of the film, but also through other films that I have seen recently. The clearest example of this is in The Boy and the Heron, a 2023 release from the legend Hayao Miyazaki. This film has a lot of magical qualities, from the illustration and animation to the beautiful foley art and soundtrack. The sound design is really beautiful, allowing the audience, well at the very least me, to be transported into the world within the film. Although Love and Vodka is not in the same vein as The Boy and the Heron, I hope it can become a film that produces a similar magical experience.
All the best for now, and please consider donating to our GoFundMe!
Love and Vodka Intern, Sophie
привіт (Hello) Everyone!
We've got our #GoFundMe page up and running and hope you will consider taking a look, watching our #teasertrailer and sharing to spread the good word.
As we near the finish line of the overall creative process, having transitioned from production to post, we need to go into #crowdfunding mode one more time to pay for everything.
But we always like to make it fun and so there are going to be cool videos and updates for you to read along the way.
Thanks so much and see you on the other side, hopefully -- in the cinema!
Once upon a time, there was a high school film teacher who’s dream was to be a screenwriter and see his stories on the #bigscreen
He wrote a script based upon a real life experience - the trip he took to #ukraine to visit his girlfriend’s family when he was in his 20s. The script waited to be made into a movie… and waited… and waited. Time passed. Over ten years.
And then the high school teacher heard about a parent of a student at his school who was a #producer and #director of #indiefilms He decided to take a chance and reach out.
That was in the year #2017 One pandemic, Russian attacks on Ukraine, a film industry union strike and seven years later, and this little film that could is in #postproduction And though the Final Cut of @loveandvodkamovie won’t be exactly like the original story of R.J. Fox's @foxwriter7 ‘s #script , his work inspired its heart and spirit for adventure.
Producer/Director/Writer @heidiphilipsen is running the proverbial baton to the finish line and aims to craft a #movie that #delights #moves and #inspires - with a #cast of #ukrainian #actors and #michiganders who will most certainly entertain! #followus for #news and #updates on #future #screenings and #filmfestival run information.
#ukraine #universityofmichigan @uofm_alumni #baycity #ypsilanti #annarbor @personaeentertainment #screenwriters #womeninfilm #filmteachersmakingfilms @uofmichigan @easternmichigan #ukrainiansinmichigan
Hey everybody! It's been a while...
I hope all of you had a wonderful New Year and holiday season and am wishing you rest and relaxation for 2024. That would certainly be beneficial for us folks on the #LoveandVodkamovie. In terms of film updates, our team has been working on the editing process, and we are all very excited about the progress. Everything is looking good! Additionally, we are making progress on the sound design and composition ideas for the film.
Will be posting weekly updates so don't forget to check in,
the #loveandvodkamovie team
Well, we did it! After 45 days and a LOT of generosity from our supporters, we reached our goal for production on the crowdfunding site Seed&Spark and went DIRECTLY into production not even a week later.
There is so much to catch up on and share.
For now, we want to send out our heartfelt thanks from Michigan to all those around the world who sent both dollar pledges and in-kind donations. We appreciate you and will be keeping you up-to-date on our latest.
When the world changes while you're trying to make a movie? What if the story of the very country you wanted to make the movie about changes - and you can't help but become swept up in it?
If you are like us, you work to revise the original story and give it that twist that will not only keep up with the times, but also help lead change for the better.
We've been keeping up with the times of Ukraine over the past five years. They are ever-changing.
One thing that we have learned along the way is about how passionate and resilient Ukrainian people are -- and how much they become even more so in the face of adversity.
Can you still make a rom-com while a war is going on? We like to think that we are preparing for better times and focussing on love and hope. It's not denial. Nor is it lack of caring - far from it. We believe that you must spread love to extinguish hate; especially when you are on outside looking in.
No one likes to feel helpless. As filmmakers, we believe that cinema is the way to be the change you want to see in the world.
We've hit a bump. Stopped at 56%. But that's okay - we've got 20 days left and we know people have been busy!
Look, there's lots going on the world today. Interest rates are high. Violence is in every headline. People are worried about whether they should save or spend.
And yet, there is goodness out there. You just have to focus on it and hold it in your heart and mind. Sounds kitschy in a cynical atmosphere, but what you believe does come true.
That's why we want to make this film. We believe that you can rely on hope (and hard word) to get through the tough times.
The good news is that we have backers for post production in Europe! The tough news is that we need to get through production to get to post.
Join us on our journey as we get our next pledges and help us make our hopes, beliefs and dreams a reality!
Your LOVE & VODKA Team
We're on Day 17, moving along toward our goal.
There were some issues with Seed&Spark's tech yesterday, so if you (or esteemed friends, family or colleagues of yours) attempted to make a pledge and could not, I'd like to ask you to please try, again.
We are SO CLOSE and really do need every penny for production. I've gone over our budget so many times, I'm feeling dizzy, and it all comes out as the same number $45k. If we put a 7.5% contingency on that, it comes to between $48k and $50k.
In terms of feature films that properly take on insurance, have locations, SAG-AFTRA actors (the minimum on SAG-AFTRA ultra low budgets is $219/day for all shooting days, travel and rehearsal days. We have one SAG-AFTRA actor - our lead actor - and aspire to pay our non-union actors, as well.
Personally, because this project is under my leadership and I really want to get it made, I am deferring my producing and directing fees -- all of them -- and to show how much I REALLY want to shoot in Bay City, Michigan and Grayling, Michigan this summer from June 26th through July 12th, I'm making a pledge in this Seed&Spark Campaign as well.
If you haven't already, consider following us on Seed&Spark for more update.
Your LOVE & VODKA Team
Good Morning, Love & Vodka campers - Thank you for joining us!
We received two pledges yesterday but could sure use some more. We've got to get to $15,600 to make GREEN LIGHT.
Check out our WISHLIST to see what some of the things your pledges will help pay for.
Also, make sure to follow us on Seed&Spark if you haven't already!
Your LOVE & VODKA Team