What was supposed to be just a few friends making a lil’ film in the woods with our iPhones during the pandemic has turned into a $33,000 crowdfunding campaign for an 8-episode web series
I’m not really sure how it happened.
Check out our website here.
In the world of filmmaking, $33,000 is still considered “micro-budget.” Many phenomenal films have been made for only a few thousand dollars (Primer is one of my favorites) and for me, this is the highest budget I’ve ever attempted to work with on an independent project. Micro-budget filmmaking for me has meant making films with my friends, calling in favors, or paying people out of my own pocket. This takes the process to a whole new level-it means we have a responsibility to provide our collaborators with a professional experience, our audience with entertainment worth their attention, and our families with a really good excuse for spending too much time on it.
That’s a lot of pressure. It’s forced me to take a good hard look at my life; my resources and my beliefs, in order to find purpose strong enough to motivate not just me, but an entire team of artists.
What could be strong enough to motivate that many people? Something urgent, something we believe in that needs to happen now, something that we can all get behind.
I believe our core desire as humans is for intimacy and relationship. Beyond nutrition and shelter, a sense of community is the most basic need. Above that is love and transcendence. So, if I could find something as complex but as necessary as intimate relationships to motivate people, maybe it would work.
It’s been really scary, because it also has to motivate ME. I have to have a VERY good reason to spend time on this project and away from my friggin’ gorgeous Puerto-Rican Ladyfriend, while not earning any money and risking my artistic and professional career. Oh, and not getting anyone sick with COVID. 🤯
I came to the conclusion that producing Hidden Falls is about creating a community for our collaborators where they can meet new friends and be honored and inspired, telling a story to our audience in a time of isolation and separateness about forgiveness and the reconciliation between broken friendships, and pursuing a connection with the mysterious divine.
Let me break that down further.
I come from a middle-class White Christmas background. Then, I went to a Christian university where I broke down all the fundamentals of life and dismantled my faith completely. My religion became a curiosity about the intersection between science, art, history, and spirituality instead of a dogmatic power-based structure that attempts to maintain the peace and quiet nature of the status quo. My experience with God became about exploring that which is mysterious and compelling and full of love, and sharing that with others. Jesus Christ became personal for me when I realized his mission in life was to give people hope; hope for a good future.
I’m not trying to evangelize here, I’m just saying that for me, actively pursuing the created mystery of life (that which we call God) through nature, storytelling, and community is experiencing the most sublime aspect of humanity. Nothing could be more motivating.
Our world needs hope. It needs a new, positive example of how we can live connected and aware yet still be unique and different. It needs a story about people who have hurt each other, but are compelled into forgiveness. As wonderful as Lord of the Rings is, the world even needs a fantasy series that pushes us beyond the obvious dualism of light and dark and shows us the subtleties of diminishing love within us. Something less epic, and more folk.
This is why I want to create Hidden Falls.
Apparently I have this habit of getting in way over my head. Oh well.
Thanks for joining me on this journey. If you want to support the quest, you can check out our Kickstarter page, or even consider sharing one of our social media posts, or if you’re super generous, donating to help us meet our goal. We literally can’t do it without you. Here's the link to our donation page.
With gladness and confidence,
Actor, Director, Editor, Producer