A studio in Longueuil has devised a more original way to fund its next feature film: urging residents to donate unused prepaid credit card balances.
With this idea, Studio Lucidius is challenging crowdfunding agreements, which are increasingly popular for developing cultural initiatives.
“Since we have not yet been able to access financial assistance from SODEC [Société de développement des entreprises culturelles] And Telefilm Canada, we had to develop ideas to fund our film, producer Donald Gagnon explains. We looked at product placement and other solutions, but we remembered the story of the red paperclip.”
Recall that in 2005, Kyle MacDonald, after a series of exchanges, managed to get a house for a red clip. A story that made headlines several times.
“Why can’t we fund a feature film with unspent money on prepaid credit cards?” Studio Lucidius team is located in Ar. From Vieux-Longueuil.
Millions of unused dollars
Donald Gagnon notes that, according to data from the National Retail Federation of the United States, “more than $45 billion is in circulation in gift card balances that have not been used for a few years.”
“A few dollar balances might end up in the trash or in the corner of a drawer,” says the producer.
In light of these facts, his team wanted to seize the opportunity to collect the lost money to make his film a reality. Free spirit.
Thanks to this unusual initiative, the team hopes to raise $150,000, which will be used, among other things, to pay adequate salaries to the cast and craftsmen hired for the film.
Anxiety and panic attacks
Feature Film Free spirit It will tackle the topic of mental health by telling the story of Amy, a young bookseller who dreams of becoming a writer. Donald Gagnon describes the film as a “sympathetic dramatic comedy”.
He says that the creative impulses of the main character decline due to panic attacks and anxiety. In a certain denial, she never wants to talk about it, even when those close to her try to open up for dialogue.
“Anxiety affects a large part of the population. So I chose to approach the topic in the form of a comedy, to bring a little lightness, gentleness and hope to this very sensitive topic,” explains author and director Evelyn Gerrard.
Moreover, in July 2021, a scenario Free spirit It won first prize for Best Screenplay at the Paris Play International Film Festival.
If the Studio Lucidius team manages to raise the money needed to produce the film, they will donate the profits from its distribution to Revivre, which helps people suffering from anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder and their loved ones.
Production slowed due to the epidemic
The movie was scheduled to shoot in the summer of 2020, but the pandemic wanted it otherwise. Financial pressures and health constraints forced the studio to stop the project.
The same is true for the fundraiser, when the first card donations were received in February 2020.
“The project is not dead, confirms Donald Gagnon. We stopped all promotions at the beginning of the pandemic, but we want to restart the project now.”
“We remain optimistic because we know that comedy on the topic of mental health is more important than ever,” he adds.
to give: unfilma3dollars.lucidius.ca.
In collaboration with Michel Hersir.
• $1: Lead actress for 30 seconds
• $4: Show for 10 minutes
• $10: Truck rental for 24 minutes
• $50: Sound Engineer for 90 minutes
• $300: Production manager for one day
• $1,000: hairstyle for five days of filming
• 3000 dollars for renting photocopiers for one day
• $10,000: Post-production (audio/photo editing) for 11 days
• $75,000: All actors for the entire shoot
• $150,000: The movie can be made
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