Forget it, you might say. Those of you who are of science and reason and "just the facts, ma'am." But I say to you, you gotta have it or forgettaboutit. You will never get a film made.
This project took on a life when I believed. I believed that 15 years after Thomas Chapin died was enough time for him to be forgotten or immortalized. With the making of this film, he will be remembered and celebrated. The moment I made the decision to proceed, the winds began to blow my way. Very importantly, his widow and his family gave the green light. They knew I was right; we have to do this now or the memories, the stories of him will fade. A reason to move forward, yes; but it took believing to begin.
My bones, my body must be aligned with my belief, or I ain't going nowhere. Here's the physical part, the part that moves into action. With the doing, proof is provided that it's not just a pipe dream. And the doing never ends, if you are to make a dream come true.
My first "to do" was the film's website. It went live on the internet in March of 2012 and helped me get the word out, as well as to raise the first monies that year to move forward. Then, a ten-day trip to New York City to research, to gage whether making a film about Thomas Chapin was a worthy one. ("Absolutely!" was the answer I got over and over as I talked with those who knew Thomas well.) A three-month trip back to New York to begin recording interviews. Hours on my computer, building up a social network to help spread the word. By the end of 2012, signing up to launch an online fundraising campaign at Kickstarter.com to raise a chunk of money to start shooting my film by the summer of 2013. As the song goes, Let's get physical. Let's get into physical." (Success! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/290658030/night-bird-song-the-thomas-chapin-story)
Now to the faith part.
Feeling it in my spirit, in my heart I called upon all the forces -- natural, spiritual and physical -- that could help me. God, Jesus, Thomas in the beyond, all the saints of jazz past, all the souls up there in the clouds that could help me, and anyone on Earth that would stand with me. Before launching the Kickstarter campaign, I woke up one morning with a dream. A very important dream that framed my efforts to make this film. I had been researching crowdfunding, so this was on my waking mind. (The dream in a minute.)
By now, most internet-savvy people know what crowdfunding is. For those of you not in the know, here is Wikipedia's definition of it: Crowdfunding (alternately crowd financing, equity crowdfunding, crowd equity, crowd-sourced fundraising) is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the internet to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Kickstarter.com is the premier of all the various kinds of crowdfunding sites.
Back to the dream. I awoke to a voice that said, "It's not crowdfunding, it's cloud funding." Huh??? As I do whenever I remember a dream, I roll it around in my head and ask, what does it mean. Cloud Funding. Hmmm. And my thoughts began to take shape to give meaning to this new phrase.
Here's kind of how my mind fashioned its definition (a definition you won't find in Wikipedia or Webster's). Crowdfunding happens on Earth as you gather your friends, family and all supporting entities to back your campaign. It is an Earth thing. As for, Cloud Funding, it happens "in the clouds" where the Heavens and all that is unknown and mysterious in the Beyond come together to move the Earth and any circumstances, synergies, coincidences, and energetic forces, be they human or otherwise, to assist you. Makes sense to me. I'm one of those "there are no accidents" believers.
I know, some of you think this is all WOO WOO. That's ok, that's why I say this filmaking stuff is a matter of faith. Ya need a little woo woo ta make it happen. I'm not the only creative soul to believe this. Read Sir Edmund Hillary's description below of woo woo. A mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist, in 1953 he conquered the world's highest peak, Mt. Everest.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness, concerning all acts of initiative [and creation]. There is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream, you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. --Sir Edmund Hillary
Filmmaking can be like that, if you believe and begin -- All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
I am still climbing my mountain. Having finished spending that Kickstarter money with which I accomplished my first HD film shoot and a new fundraising trailer, I continue my journey and still look to the Clouds for supernatural, mystical, magical assistance from beyond. On Earth, I tend to my physical work and welcome all the material assistance of well-wishers who WILL that this film be made. The WILL is growing stronger all the time, and with it comes much Earthly good for my project.
As all sorts of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance that I could have never dreamed of still happen to me, filmmaking and the making of this film remains an a wondrous act full of mystery and excitement. It is still requiring faith and help that is beyond this Earth.