How this talented UK producer funded his movie with Kickstarter
The producers of the film ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ (based on the famous book by Caroline Smailes) funded their film successfully through Kickstarter. They are also happy users of Albert. Our team had a chat with one of the producers Josh, about his dream of making the movie and being self-employed.
1. Hi Josh. What is the film ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ about?
Josh: ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ to me is a story about a boy who is on the outside of everything in his life, he seems to exist without affecting anything. His mother left his family, while his dad is currently as efficient at being a father as eating soup with a fork and his closest friend at school is his Art teacher. For some unfathomable reasons, he also seems to attract the close and dedicated attention of the school tormentor Tommy Clarke, which as you are probably starting to see sums up Arthur’s life very well.
Then Arthur meets Delphina. Delphina is a water nymph that lives in the old, abandoned bath house. Arthur escapes his world and with Delphina finally manages to learn that sometimes the people that hurt you are probably very hurt themselves. Arthur, however, doesn’t realise just how dangerous Delphina and the bath house really are and that if he wants to live, he had better run for his life.
2. When did you decide to start the film project?
Josh: I received a phone call from an actress Sophie Wright, who I had previously worked with. She spoke about being involved in this film based on the book ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ , but that they hadn't found a production company yet. The project intrigued me straight away as myself and my business partner Luke Cutforth were looking for our first film. I called Luke, who was on tour in Australia and two hours later, after immediately having read the book he called me back stating: "This book is amazing, I have to make this film."
When you read a book like ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ that challenges so much in today’s young people like myself, there is never a moment where you have to decide if this is something you would want to make into a film. The decision was made since it was so beautifully written by Caroline and I am merely fortunate enough to be the person she chose.
3. Why did you fund the movie with a Kickstarter project?
Josh: Funding the movie on Kickstarter was actually a suggestion by Lex Beckett the other producer on the film. I decided to bring Lex on as soon as we knew we had confirmed the option for the film. It’s one of the best decisions I have made throughout this whole process as his experience and dedication have taken this film to places that wouldn’t have been possible without him. By funding the film through Kickstarter, we have allowed ourselves a creative freedom that is otherwise unheard of on films of this size. We wanted to be able to tell the story that Luke and Caroline wanted us to tell, not the story that would make investors profit. Luke also wanted to involve the audience of his successful video blog so that they could enjoy the journey with him.
4. Why did you decide to work for yourself as a movie producer?
Josh: I never really decided to work as a producer! My love for films lies in cinematography and still does, but if making this film has taught me one thing, it is that I also love being a producer. There is an unimaginable thrill that you experience when you manage to confirm a location for free, or manage to convince a distribution company that even though this is your first feature they should take a chance on you. Or being able to get that little bit of extra funding so that we can feature the film in one more cinema allowing more people to see it. It came as a surprise to me that I would enjoy producing and it has shaped my career for the better. I have recently handed off most of my production responsibilities entirely to Lex and our amazing production manager Lisa Cullis as we get closer to filming, so that I can concentrate more on the visuals of the film and creating the images that Luke needs. I am very excited about being the director of photography, but I look forward to getting back to it once we wrap up and get this film out there to as many people as possible!
5. Our app Albert, helps people with working on what they love. Can you explain a bit how Albert helps you?
Josh: Making the film is the absolute focus of my life right now, so to be able to concentrate on it entirely is very important to me, Albert helps me simplify completely the entire invoicing process and means i can put my attention where it matters,the film, without being scared that when my taxes are calculated it won’t be a mess. The integration with Dropbox, the ability to fill company information automatically from the Companies House database and the simplicity of the app means that I can relax knowing its being taken care off.
I regularly participate in testing applications. One of the most important qualities to me, is when a team invests time to communicate with their users regularly. The team at Albert are amazing at listening to what you want and making the features that you need available. I am very excited to be a part of Albert and look forward to seeing where it goes and what else the team are capable of.