Ato Essandoh working with Martin Scorsese!

We are so thrilled to have Ato in our cast! His a fantastic actor and apparently everyone else is finally figuring that out! He will begin filming for his series regular role on the new HBO "Untitled Rock n' Roll" project, produced by Martin Scorsese, very soon. 

We couldn't be happier for him! Congrats, Ato!

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/martin-scorsese-mick-jagger-hbo-rock-drama-1201368843/

http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/news/hbo-orders-martin-scorsese-mick-jagger-rock-project-20141219

Time Flies

Whoa. It's been awhile since we've posted. We've been busy, busy, busy. Our Line Producer is currently finishing our final budget and scheduling. We've secured another location, but still need several (2 different biochem labs, an apartment for our protagonist, Iris, and a bar...so if you know of any places let us know!!), and last but not least, we've now got a full cast!

So without further ado, here's a complete list OR you can just click over to our "CAST" page:

Ato Essandoh, Jennifer Gordon Thomas, Joseph Thompson, Ben Jaeger-Thomas, Moira Stone, Amy Lee Pearsall, Nat Cassidy, Jordan Tierney, Diana Oh, Melissa Roth, Brian Silliman, Kristen Vaughan, Chinaza Uche, Matthew Trumbull, Synge Maher, Ridley Parson, Neimah Djourabchi, Sara Thigpen, and Christopher Yustin. 

Phew! That's a boat load of talent. And you have no idea how good these cats are so stick around.

So much to do still. We've got some investor interest, but we're also prepping for a Crowdfunding campaign to cover as much of production costs as we can. That's big work and it will take all of our community to spread the word NOW so that we build our following. If there's one way YOU can help us at THE SPIKE *right now* it's to share us on social media. Help us build excitement for what is going to be a truly exciting film!

Identity

Hi, Jennifer Gordon Thomas here. I'm playing the role of Iris in THE SPIKE and I've just read this interview with Ethan Hawke in The Guardian that I found fascinating and of interest to us as we work on our film. http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/nov/29/ethan-hawke-boyhood-before-midnight

One of the things Hawke talks about in his roles in both the Before movies and Boyhood is how people change over time and/or stay the same, reveal themselves, and how that is tied up in the concept of identity. As Linklatter's movies were all shot over many years, there are obvious physical changes to the actors, but there are internal changes as well. And of course, there are changes to the characters. Or as Hawke puts it "It gets to the essential question of what part of ourself is continuing." 

THE SPIKE takes place over a several year period of time: before, during, and after major world events happen that change the characters...or they are perceived as having changed by those around them, OR they may actually become more "themselves". This has always been a topic of interest to me. Identity and perception. And if you take a look at our screenwriter Mac Rogers' work over the years (for those of you familiar) I think you might find this is of interest to him as well. It's something I've always enjoyed exploring in Mac's work and this time will be no different. 

I'm not going to bore you with a lot of actor pontificating, but it's going to be fun and challenging for all of the actors to traverse these big changes in our characters, over the course of several years, but during a shoot of only 20-25 days. I'm really looking forward to getting to the fun part. 

No Rest For The Wicked

It's Saturday and we all work regular day jobs during the week, but it's still a busy morning here at THE SPIKE Central. No rest for the wicked.

Rebecca Comtois, our director, and Yessical Curiel Montoya, our DP, are hard at work on their Look Book today. Producer/Actress Jennifer Gordon Thomas is location scouting. Many hats here, people. 

We're still looking for some key locations. Specifically: a bio-chem lab. Actually we need 2. One similar to a lab you'd find on a university campus, and another slightly more tricked out lab. We also need a an apartment location for our protagonist, Iris, and a bar.

So, if anyone has any leads on anything that might fit these bills, please shoot an email to Jennifer@TheSpike.com

We can use all the help we can get on this one.

Happy Birthday, Mac!

We at THE SPIKE would like to wish a very happy birthday to our screenwriter, Mac Rogers. Mac was born 40 years ago today and we're so very glad.

Thanks for all you do, Mac!

Updates

It's been awhile since I've posted but we've accomplished a lot. We've decided to push back filming until May. This will ensure that there's no snow on the ground which frankly, after last year, was a serious consideration. This will also buy us more time to properly prep our fundraising campaign and raise other needed monies. I'm actually breathing a bit better because of this choice. We need to take our time and get this done right. Better to push back now and get all of our ducks in a row. Now we will wait to put up the campaign until February.

Another good aspect of pushing back is that it pushes our fundraising campaign into *next* calendar year. When you raise money for crowdfunding you are basically exchanging small gifts,( i.e. DVD's, screenings, etc) goods, or services in exchange for money. The IRS calls this "income" and so you have to pay taxes on the money you raise. Having this money come in on the same calendar year we are shooting makes life a TON easier for tax purposes. Had we decided to raise money this year, we'd have a tax burden arrive April 15, right in the middle of shooting. No good. 

We've also completed principal casting and will be announcing that soon. We've got the website up, in addition to a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, and we've got the short script together for our fundraising video. We're in the midst of readying equipment and people to shoot it. Hope to have that up prior to Thanksgiving. 

If you've been reading and following along, and you're intrigued by the film, please post our website, FB page and twitter feed to your friends/followers. It really takes a village and we can use all the support we can get! THANK YOU!

Money, money, money.

We've come to that point in time when we have to talk about money....as in, we need it. We need a lot. Making a movie isn't cheap. This particular movie would probably cost several million to make, if'n we were Hollywood. But we're not. So we're going to try and make it for $200k. That's still A METRIC TON of money by our standards. Mac, Becky and I all come from theatre backgrounds, where we make epic productions on the cheap. That's not going to happen here. We're going to do it as cheaply as we can, but given the scope of the script, we're going to need a fair amount. 

Where are we going to get it? Well, we're going to try some good old fashioned crowdfunding, for a start. In addition we'll be seeking other backers and kind hearted souls who want to help us produce a fantastic thriller. As I said, this is all a throw of the dice. But we're confident.

Most of the money needed, to be fair, is to pay for equipment and our most excellent crew and cast. When I told everyone we'd need at least $200k to make this, everyone gagged a bit. But here's the deal: for years I've watched my artist friends struggle and beg for money in order to provide a service that the average human demands. "Entertain me". The number of times I've done work (lots of work) for FREE is astounding. I cannot, in good conscience, ask my fellow artists to work for free on this film. They need and deserve to be paid. They will get good, hot meals, they will be transported (or have their transportation paid) in order to get to set, and they will be paid to come to work. That's how it's going to be. So...we have to make some money. A good portion of this blog will probably be about us trying to raise money and about the various aspects of crowdfunding and finding backers. 

There is every chance that we won't make enough as we need and this will be a very short story and a short blog. But we've got to move forward like it's going to happen because that's the only way it will. Forward. 

To Feature Or Not To Feature

THE SPIKE has gone through a lot of changes since Mac and I first started meeting and discussing the project. Initially we thought we'd do a short, then we realized the script wanted to be a feature, but then I got cold feet and didn't think we could make a feature of this scope, so I asked Mac if we could try it as a webseries. There was some comfort or safety in being able to do it as a webseries because we'd be in total control. Mac is also a phenomenally gifted writer and I think tv would be a great vehicle for him. If we could fashion the script episodically, it would be great material for him to pitch to network.

All of that changed when Becky and Yessica came on board. The script still really does want to be a feature, and Becky being the balls-to-the-wall lady she is told me as much. "Why are we doing it as a webseries?" I didn't really have a strong enough answer. In my age I've clearly become way too 'safe'. Art should not be safe. Thank god for Becky and Yessica who totally believe (and have convinced me) that we can do this as a feature. We're building a great crew here. The beautiful part is that we've already written the script with little mini cliffhangers all throughout, so we've got a great thrill ride already in place, and very little will need to be done structurally to adapt to a feature. 

Making indie films is not for the faint of heart. We're throwing dice here, but I'm ok with that.

Auditions

We're holding auditions this weekend on the 3rd and 4th. A bunch of amazingly talented actors are going to come into a room (which I've rented - oy, the money keeps going out) and read Mac's words for our camera. VERY EXCITING! I can't really say any more about this for now, but I'm really looking forward to seeing these characters interpreted by these marvelous actors!