“We want to fund the feature.” When Mary Wenninger and her husband Stefan Knieling said that after they viewed the short film version Evidence for a moment it didn’t sink in. After nearly fifty presentations and playing the wait and see game with so many possible investors and production companies, I finally heard what every producer dreams of. “We want to fund the feature.” In my own moment of silence I realized that the short film version just accomplished what it set out to do – act as a capital raise vehicle for the feature.
Although I told my fellow producer and assistant director Jessica Killam the moment I heard from Mary and Stefan, I kept the news largely under wraps until the deal was signed sealed and delivered. Film finance, even low budget films like Justice Is Mind, is a very convoluted business and it’s not for the faint at heart. Generally, you are asking people to believe in your product and to wait 2-3 years for any return. But the film industry is a passionate one and largely lives and breaths in all its forms because of that passion. For Mary and Stefan they love going to the movies and as they said in our press release, “Justice Is Mind is a timely story that marries cutting edge technology with its possible impact on civil liberties. It raises meaningful questions in an entertaining way – the audience will be talking about the film long after they leave the theater.” Indeed, that’s what a filmmaker wants with its backers—those that understand the essence of the film and believe in the product.
Our fifth screening of Justice Is Mind: Evidence at Balticon was yet again another moment of supportive attendees asking interesting questions and wanting to see the feature. Having Vernon Aldershoff (Henri Miller) as a special guest was terrific. Not only did he answer questions for the audience from his perspective but sat on a filmmaking panel with me the next day. Thanks Vern!
With the upcoming IndieFlix and DVD release of Justice Is Mind: Evidence this month and pre-production of the feature film now in full swing for a production start date in August, the work really begins in earnest.
My trip to Washington, DC and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum was a true delight. Seeing the Space Shuttle Discovery in person exceeded every expectation I could have imagined. And it’s just that kind of thinking that made the Space Shuttle a possibility in the first place – it had to be imagined.
If you haven’t been to the National Air and Space Museum I highly recommend it. From the Concorde, to the Enola Gay to the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the history of aviation and the space program could not be better represented under one roof.
But no trip to Washington, DC is complete without talking a walk on the National Mall. Seeing The United States Capitol Building, the Washington Monument and the World War II and Lincoln Memorial is truly an experience. I must admit, walking around the World War II memorial was an emotional one. When I saw some veterans and service members paying their respects, all I could say to myself was thank you for your service and defending the ideals this country stands for. For when you stand at such a memorial it doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you are on, we are all one nation united in liberty and justice—for all.