Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I leave for the International Indie Gathering Film Festival & Convention this Thursday. On the trip with me will be two of the members of 3 Bitches Press will be with along with me for the ride, Missy Goodman, and maybe a fourth member will be added to that list Alicia Justice, our agent.

We are all there in order to kick ass and take names where our projects are concerned. This is the festival where if you want to build a filmmaking team from scratch you can do it.

Last year was my first year there and I went with my Aunt Sue. It was awesome. But it was different from the other types of events that I’ve been to in the past.

There is an elaborate screenwriting and filmmaking competition. The winners 1st-4th and Honorable Mentions are announced in advance of the actual festival. Then at the convention there are panels and a vendor room. Certain films are selected to screen. My short documentary Carla’s Halloween placed 3rd and was picked to do so. My Christian Music Video Lord You’re Beautiful, song by Danny Jones won 1st Place and will also screen.

There are also Acting, Stunt, and SFX (Make-up) competitions going on during the actual festival, where I will be a judge. We hope to find our cast there. Missy and I will be meeting with Jodi Beth and Richard McKee of RJ Productions. Missy feels a need to put her seal of approval on them as production partners and really we need to lay out each other’s functions in the filming of the movie.

I want to find financial backers for my film Letters to Daniel there. And that could mean many different things. It could mean screenwriting gigs. It could mean someone buying any one of our scripts. It could mean genuine excitement about Letters to Daniel. The script itself is receiving an Honorable Mention award there.

I’m sure Imaginarium will be awesome too. But right now I’m a mess over all of the Indie Gathering excitement. My mood took a shift last night. My money management hasn’t been the best. But the reality is this 10 awards and on top of all of this Missy and I received an offer to do an interview for television at the festival.

Missy has been fighting against this festival. In part because she’s not real big on meeting new people.
Wrong industry to be in if you don’t want to meet people. She loves having me as her ‘mouth piece’ at events. But that’s really a double edged sword. I will talk to anyone with a pulse.

I like what you said about us indie filmmakers. At our level it is still about art and passion, and don’t get me wrong there are movies in Hollywood that have these qualities. But for Letters to Daniel it’s about swinging for the fences on an issue that is so close to my heart that it’s hard to stay balanced it.

They say a film is made three times. The first time is when it’s written. The second when it’s filmed. And the third when it’s edited.

I have not really done serious editing. Not the kind that results in movies that people call to mind when they think movies. They think actors, they think actresses. They think writers, they think directors.

I think of movie theaters.

I dream of Oscars.

And here at Indie Gathering is where dream starts for Letters to Daniel. The feature film.


Amy McCorkle

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

Two weekends ago I attended Fandom Fest and the Fantasmagorical Film Festival attached to it.
The time leading up to it was incredibly hard. For two months I hadn’t written consistently on anything. I actually spent more time planning Letters to Daniel the feature film than anything else. And mismanaging my money in order to enter film festivals and screenwriting competitions.

Which as any person with bipolar disorder knows is a sure sign of mania. It’s one of the symptoms I’ve yet to beat completely. I don’t want it to haunt me, to follow me into this big adventure I seem to be on. It would definitely wreck any hopes of having a stable life.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Letters to Daniel, the feature film is my swing for the fences. I mean as you know there is a lot of work that goes into a film, especially an independent. And being the most collaborative art form there is I am nervous that all the pieces come together correctly.

Well, at Fandom Fest I was also screening the documentary that is on this site. The documentary Letters to Daniel: From Breakdown to Bestseller. I was also manning a booth where I was selling books. Nineteen to be exact.

I sat on one panel and after that attended the Film Festival Awards Ceremony. Here I am with the only other attending winner.

I don’t understand, if you’re in competition why not go? Sure it sucks a donkey’s penis to lose but your work was selected to screen when another’s wasn’t.

I won Honorable Mention in the documentary competition. And where I don’t have a trophy for 2013’s Bounty Hunter I walked away a medal declaring my win this time. I’m taking and running with it.

So I’m working on three books at this time. Love’s Legacy which is the concluding novel of the Healing Hands Trilogy. ANGEL which is a mafia romance thriller. And a Non-Fiction how-to-market book from a bipolar person’s perspective.

I feel like the two month crash and burn has finally shaken itself off and now I’m back off to the races.
The next festival is Indie Gathering where Missy and I took home ten awards. Are acting competition judges. We have a meeting with another production company about Letters to Daniel. We have television show interview. And I plan to try and sell our award winning screenplays.

Very busy indeed. But it seems I got my mojo back.

This always happens. Sometime around May or June the energy I have to take on the world vanishes. It’s probably a touch of the hypomania. It allows me to juggle so many things at once.

Here’s the reality I’m juggling three books. One feature film. And this blog. One of the books will eventually pull me from the other two. The feature film will be continued to worked on. And this blog won’t have as many posts as it could have if I were being more diligent.

But the parts of the blog which are now archived are now collected into a book you read. And I wait still for an answer. Thank god for my relationship with Lea and MuseItUp if I want a smaller advance and to see my work in print or rather eprint as it were faster than NY is taking I have the series I’m working on for Lea.

You see as a hybrid author I have the best of all worlds. An agent to shop my works to NY and Hollywood. And myself to use my connections in the independent publishing and moviemaking arenas.

Lucky in some respects but those opportunities only came to me because I was willing to bust my ass for them. And if any insinuates this has been a pleasure well then they just need read this blog or watch the documentary and see that nothing could be further from the truth.


Amy McCorkle

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

 Another year. Another Fandom Fest has come and gone. Each year Fandom Fest proves why I come back. My books sell well there. I get cool pictures of cosplayers. Catch a glimpse of cool stars of yesteryear and maybe some doing well still.

This year Stan Lee didn’t eat my food.

This year there was actual hardware handed out at the film festival awards ceremony.

And I sold a lot of books and told a lot of people about Letters to Daniel.

I also had the Letters to Daniel screenplay in competition as a finalist. And the zero budget proof of concept documentary that was born from this blog.

Film festivals are notoriously political and you have to run a campaign to win. For me having both projects in competition was incredibly meaningful to me. Fandom Fest was my first Con event. My first screenplay win. I was plugged into a great local writers community.

Which if I have to say anything Stephen Zimmer has championed us writers in the face of some withering opposition. That being said it was Ken and Myra at helm accepting my film and my screenplay.

So not only did I campaign on line. I started up my Kickstarter campaign for the dramatic film around the same time. So Letters to Daniel and Fantasmagorical became work for me. There are times when you need a guardian angel to protect you and to see you through. In this case my work.
Letters to Daniel, as you know is an intensely personal project. It’s really not about you. It’s about me and my journey and where it takes me.

And this weekend it took me to a lightly attended awards ceremony.

It’s funny, as I said in the first letter we don’t know each other. But I can say know each other’s work.

The documentary and project on Kickstarter got a lot of exposure at the Fandom Fest. I had people again tell of how others they knew had bipolar disorder or that they had bipolar disorder. There was a young girl suffering from anxiety and it was a big deal for her to be at such a large and overwhelming event. I had one copy of Letters to Daniel the short memoir. I just gave it to her. I hope she finds a kinship in those pages that allows her to grow and help someone else the way that your work helped me.
But back to the festival and guardian angels and such.

I found myself sitting with my best friend Missy in hopes that there be some recognition. You see, I’m competitive I like to win. But especially with this project because of the message it has to give to everyone. This blog is the root of everything that has come after. The book, the first documentary, the second documentary, the screenplay, and now hopefully the feature film from that screenplay.

Of course as always I tend to ramble in these things. So back to 1PM Saturday. I found myself surrounded by a very light crowd. There were a lot of awards handed out. None of the Best of Fest winners were present. Dude, you entered your film. You must believe in it. Come support it.

Obviously, I don’t have the production value to win a film festival straight out. They only awarded one screenplay award. Missy and I didn’t win that. Our friend Pam a finalist as well, didn’t manage to snag that one either.

One of the last awards given Honorable Mention was for the documentary category. LETTERS TO DANIEL WON! It’s quarter to one in the morning and I’m STILL wearing the medal. Then it was home, dinner, and desert. And late tonight, wouldn’t you know it Casino Royale was on, the movie that inspired the title to this blog and everything that’s come after.

I gave a crap acceptance speech but really I was not expecting, just really wanting it. Your best work has indeed inspired me to mine.


Amy McCorkle