Yesterday was a very good day in the development stage of MY SPIRITED SISTER. As you know, we’re running our Kickstarter Crowd Funding Campaign. It’s off to a nice start, but we did need to make a little tweak. Actually, a fairly big tweak.
An important part of a campaign is the pitch video. Statistics clearly show that campaigns with a video succeed at a much higher rate than those without. Our original video was Cooper and I talking about how we met, ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?, and of course, our current project. It was a nice video, we’re both intelligent, articulate and charming people, but it was on the long side. In today’s world, attention spans are much shorter. We live in an age of sound bites and brief messages. We also realized we needed different faces out front on this project.
The solution was clear. Yesterday we shot a new video, shorter, faster paced and featuring Lauren, Emma and Abbe, the three stars of MY SPIRITED SISTER. The result was fantastic. The new video runs just under a minute, includes the pertinent information and gives the viewer a preview of how well these young ladies perform on camera. The new video is now on the campaign site and people are viewing it in its entirety.
There were other good things that came about as a result of the shoot. The director/actor relationship is one of the most important on a film set. There has to be mutual trust and understanding. For a director, working with actors is usually the skill that takes the most time to develop. It’s important to realize that actors are individuals and must be treated that way. What motivates one, may not be what motivates another.
Cooper and I had another opportunity (the TV spot was the first) to work with our leads and get a feel for their personalities, strengths and weaknesses. The girls did a great job. They were energetic and very natural and they have excellent chemistry with each other. As we continued to shoot takes, looking for that “magic” one, our actors started to lose the spontaneity a bit. I think they were worried about the time. They started to rush a little and sounded too much “by rote”. Cooper did an amazing job. She had them stand up, take a little break and a breath to get back on track. They engaged in a group hug and relaxed. When we resumed shooting, they nailed it! A great take that is now on the site.
It was so productive and rewarding to have everything work out that way. I’m so impressed, not only with our stars, but with Cooper as well. I’m not at all surprised. I knew without a doubt she had what it takes to be an excellent director and that we would work together in that capacity every bit as well as we do as writers.
After the shoot, I went to lunch with Cooper and her fiance. He’s a great guy and they are such a perfect couple. It really makes me feel good to see how happy they are together. (I’m showing some sensitivity here. That doesn’t leave this room! Okay?)