April 2020

Funding Your Short Film

James Dreyfus (actor), George Anthony AKA Marie La Rae (actor/drag queen), Michael Beddoes (director), Steve Cheriton (actor/drag queen) taken by Amy Clarke

Written by: Amy Clarke


In 2016 I voiced an idea I’d had for a feature film to my other half who also happens to be director/producer Michael Beddoes, and he suggested I write it as a short. I’d never gone down the road of making a short film before, but he was well versed in the world. Even though I saw this film as a feature he said it could work really well as both a stand-alone short and a proof of concept in one.

So, I took a virtual pen to paper and started to map out my idea for Sequins, a story of a wannabe teenage drag queen in 90’s Blackpool. I’d had the germ of this idea in my head since my late teens when I enrolled in a dance school in Ireland and ended up living with drag queens. It was the early noughties and a time when there wasn’t a hope in hell they could have walked down the street in Cork city in full drag.

I chose Blackpool in the ’90s for a couple of reasons. Seaside towns in the UK are known for their drag and cabaret entertainment and Blackpool is one of the main hubs for this. Also, I was born there and spent a lot of my life going back and forth from Ireland where we moved to when I was very young.

I chose the 90’s because it was a time before the internet, smartphones and social media. If you were a little different and marched to the beat of your own drum you had to go out and find people like you to connect with. So the protagonist automatically had a challenge.

After six months or so developing the script, we needed money to get it made. We went down the route of many filmmakers before us and launched a crowdfunding campaign. Here we learned a lot about the heartbreak of filmmaking as the time elapsed and we were nowhere near our goal.

Crowdfunding is a talent unto itself and we took this failure as a learning curve. The first issue was we set our target too high, our ambitions getting the better of us. If you set a target of over £20k for a short, then people are likely to see it as too high a figure and not pledge anything.

We also didn’t have anything in place before we started our campaign to prove that we were worth the investment. We only had a script and a lot of passion. After the fundraiser closed, we picked ourselves up, analysed what we needed to do, and got back to work.

For more information about Genera Films: www.generafilms.com

Check out there IMDb page for the trailer and more about the cast – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8812974/

— To be continued in our April 2020 Issue of Cut Frame Magazine. —

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Cut Frame Magazine is an online magazine Highlighting the Entertainment Industry from the Perspective of Filmmakers, Actors, Musicians, and Industry Professionals

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