Nearly every day I get an email or a movie from an indie film-maker, it’s all part of the job, but, it’s not often that I get an email from a film maker, who hasn’t actually made his movie yet. That’s what happened a couple of weeks ago, Andrew Scott Ramsey contacted me about his movie, Make-Believe Time, a horror movie that sounds like something that might just scare the hell out of us. I decided that since I’m usually only involved in any way, after the movie is made, why not chat with someone who really wants to get his movie made, and get in on the ‘ground floor’ so to speak?
* * *
BM – Hi, Andrew, thanks for taking the time.
ASR – Thank you.
BM – Tell us a little about "Make-Believe Time."
ASR – I would describe it as psychological horror/thriller that never stops from the first frame until the credits roll at the end. It starts when an upper-class family settles in for the weekend at their large family estate and a very twisted and violent group of "thugs" led by Spencer invade the home. Over the course of the next 3 days, Laura (Lynn Lowry) and her family are subjected to unthinkable acts of torture and mind games by a twisted villain with an axe to grind against American society. Without giving away all the good surprises, that’s the film. If I had to describe what it means to me, it’s far more personal. I didn’t set out to write a horror film, I believe the disgusting and sick culture of American culture leads people to write and direct angry films of any genre. I sat down with a clear intention to write an honest film with real characters I could relate to. I can say with a chuckle that things didn’t turn out that way as I let things run wild.
I suppose in the end, I didn’t end up writing something 100% original, I just wanted to make something that a horror audience will enjoy with the graphic depictions of sex and violence, which I made sure to pack the film with. If the audience takes something else away, even disgust and contempt, I will feel like a total success. That way, I can polarize the audience one way, you either love "Make-Believe Time" or you hate it.
BM – When did you start raising money for the film?
ASR – Well, I started the funding campaign for the film two weeks ago, things have started slowly but I am hoping some positive buzz will get out now that Lynn has agreed to star. It was a major boost for someone of her caliber to read the finished screenplay, enjoy it, and then want to star in it. That’s been a real confidence booster for me.
BM – How did you get your start in filmmaking?
ASR – This is my start in filmmaking. I am medically retired member of the United States Air Force and am now living in Sacramento California. I have written numerous screenplays in my spare time over the years, some finished, some only specs. I suffer from anxiety and depressive disorders, so dealing with the world through those eyes is hard. I lack confidence and never let anyone read what I write, and I write all the time. Earlier this year, I had what many would consider a mental breakdown and was in a dark, nasty place. I had it with the world and was tired of my own problems holding me back, I just needed to write. I sat down and wrote "Make-Believe Time" in 4 days. I let some selects friends and family read it, and the reaction was strong. Over the months, a few people I consider reliable read it also and said it was solid. I started a Facebook page, tried to keep it updated as best I can, and through chance, I came in contact with Lynn. I know her work and I hold her in the highest regard. She expressed interest in reading the screenplay, she did and within a day had contacted me back saying it had real potential. She agreed to star as the mother, Laura, and once again I can’t express what this has done for the project. And I know this is a very indirect answer to your question, but I can’t stress enough how much of an outsider I am. Before I cast Lynn, nobody knew my name. They still don’t. And as of right now, I am doing this all myself. Writing, Directing, Casting, pretty much all the pre-production is being done in my small apartment as of right now. But things are shaping up fast. I feel confident the film will be available for everyone to see by summer 2013!
BM – Have you found it easy or hard to raise funds for your film?
ASR – Simple. It has been almost impossible for me knowing my limited reach and the fact no ones knows me. I get that it is hard for people to give money to a person and a project they don’t know, but I have to work my hardest to let people know I am not full of it.
BM – Does online fund raising seem to make it easier for indie filmmakers?
ASR – I have to be honest, I still think this is a viable method, but the bubble is bursting or already has. The market is flooded with people calling themselves filmmakers raising thousands of dollars to fund their lifestyle instead of the films people paid them to make. I know it might not be my place because I have never made a film, but I am not intending to throw "Make-Believe Time" up on youtube, edited courtesy of Windows Movie Maker. I have lofty expectations for sure you might say, I just say I know what I want and I know exactly how I want every frame of my film to look. But to answer your question without being long-winded, online fund-raising will be next to impossible very soon with the flooding of projects and sites that support them. And the filmmakers need to be way more honest when they troll and spam all over Facebook. Just come out and say, "yea I want your money." That’s pretty much what I say every time.
BM – How big of a budget are you looking to raise?
ASR – Well, after looking for hours at my script and breaking it down scene by scene and looking into how to get the services I need, the number I came up with $20,000. As of right now, I am doing this all by myself and I like to think I am doing pretty damn good considering. The best way for me to raise this is making people aware of who I am as a person. I believe I operate with honesty at all times, sometimes to a fault, and "Make-Believe Time" is what drives me now. I have made all the arrangements so I will have my own money for the next year, the funds raised will not go to buy me a new Xbox and couches. I am finding the crew and cast I need locally, but they are only willing to talk so much when there is no funds attached at this time. Hopefully this is enough for now, I am looking for pics you can use but the film page on Facebook has some early posters/art I made for the site.
BM – Well, good luck on getting your funding, and keep us in the loop about Make-Believe Time.
ASR – I will, thank you.
* * *
If you’d like to make a contribution to Andrew’s effort, head over to www.facebook.com/makebelievetimemovie and all the info is there, or just go directly to http://www.indiegogo.com/MBTfilmfunding?c=home and make a donation. Personally, this sounds like a movie I’d love to see, so I’m heading over right now to put my money where my mouth is…I suggest you do the same. And, on behalf of everyone here at RC, we wish Andrew the best of luck and we’ll be right by our mailbox waiting for that screener to arrive!