WRITING WEDNESDAY: End of ‘The Big Bachi’ Film Project

Some of you might have learned from my last newsletter, but I have sad news to report. I had to end the development of “The Big Bachi,” the independent film adaptation of my first Mas Arai mystery. I was helping to attempt to raise funds–I had even secured a fiscal agent, Visual Communications, to receive money so that investors could at least receive a tax credit (not sure if that’s even much of a benefit in light of US tax law changes!). I was able to raise enough to help fund a concept trailer but not much beyond that. I am thankful for the interest of the two filmmakers; a beautiful screenplay at least resulted from that effort.

I don’t regret the effort, which began with a Kickstarter campaign way back in 2016. I learned so much about the film industry and myself, too.

Here are some random thoughts:

1) I’m not good at raising money for my own projects. Some of this may be my upbringing and my sense of responsibility. If I ask people for money, I certainly want to deliver. So it’s stressful to ask for money for something that is so intangible such as a film.

2) There are not many grants that fund narrative feature films. Documentaries, on the other hand, have more various funding sources.

3) While we all were thinking “out of the box,” and setting “The Big Bachi” in the 1960s, when Mas Arai would have been in his late 30s, people seem to want the older Mas.

4) Producers have an extraordinary hard job, so if you are able to connect with a good one, be very thankful! Even if the project never reaches fruition (and chances are that it won’t), you are in a rare and fortunate position.

5) Everyone talks about streaming shows opposed to feature films, but is it as simple as people make it out to be?

Regarding the last point, I’ve been doing some homework on developing a work for a TV/streaming series. I’ve come up with some conclusions, which I will address in future posts on Wednesdays. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here’s some homework for you:

William Rabkin’s book, WRITING THE PILOT. https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Pilot-William-…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

William Rabkin’s book, WRITING THE SERIES. https://www.amazon.com/…/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p…

Podcast The Writers Panel with Ben Blacker: Nichelle Tramble-Spellman, Lindsey Rosin, David Radcliff
http://dcs.megaphone.fm/HTX6281562175.mp3…

Podcast The Writers Panel with Ben Blacker: Play button for Alexander Woo, Keto Shimizu, Katherine Beattie
http://dcs.megaphone.fm/HTX7207858576.mp3…

I’ll be referring to these books and podcasts, so if this is a topic that interest you, give a read or a listen.

3 thoughts on “WRITING WEDNESDAY: End of ‘The Big Bachi’ Film Project”

  1. Awwhh, sorry to hear, Naomi. Yes, it’s a terribly hard endeavor to crowdfund. After doing mine (Kickstarter then a restart on GoFundMe) for a music album and campaigning everyday online, I saw a gain in awareness but gaining $ investment is hard, especially with competing issues and causes also calling out for funding. That said, having a spec short to show around has been used to show potential investors and gain funds to get further. It can be a relay race to the next funders to complete the next phase in making the film, but there are people out there looking for projects to support. Never say never! And always read the fine print (as you know)!

  2. Juliet: Thanks for your words of wisdom. As I mentioned in the post, I don’t regret doing it at all. I learned so much and who knows–maybe I can put crowdfunding in a novel!

    Jeff: I’m optimistic as well. And it may not be necessarily Hollywood, but perhaps another city. (Hmmm.)

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