By Megan Riakos
On 14 January 2014, I was in the midst of shooting the final week of my first feature film Crushed. We had assembled an amazing team together for not much money, to complete the film in not much time.
On that same day Variety released an article titled ‘Employment Of Women In Film Production Dips Below 1998 Levels’. It goes on to reveal that in the U.S. only six percent of features are directed by women. SIX PERCENT! Australia fairs a little better (but not by much) at roughly eighteen percent.
That is why I decided to self-fund the production of Crushed. A director of my standing, not just as a woman, but as an emerging director in a crowded landscape, is swimming against the tide to direct a feature. I decided that rather than wait for permission, I would forge ahead with a film with not one, not two, but three strong female characters. Other than myself as the Writer/Director/Producer, the key creative team behind the film also included another female Producer and lead actress Sarah Bishop and a female Production Designer, Cate Rann.
We were able to attract a host of talented actors to the project such as Roxane Wilson, Les Hill, Helmut Bakaitis and Millie Spencer-Brown and now we have the makings of a strong female driven mystery thriller.
But that’s the problem, principal photography has been completed and the edit is underway, but we need more money to help complete the film. Things like music, sound design and colour correction are vital parts of the process that we still need to fund, so we have created a Kickstarter campaign to help get the film to the big screen.
Kickstarter is an online crowdfunding site that enables the community to get behind a project and in return are rewarded. In our case we decided to treat the campaign as an opportunity for the community to pre-purchase downloads of the film and tickets to screenings. We wanted Kickstarter to help us build an audience around the film rather than just be a means of raising money and to help prove that there is a market for films like mine.