Needlepoint is a story that Jon came up with one day and shared it with the group. Everyone seemed to love it so the work kind of became a collaborative piece. Jon found it easier to write it as a short story at first and it originally was going to take place in one room. As the screenplay came together it branched out and will have a few different settings. The central story is a daughter who is trying to connect with her catatonic mother in a nursing home. And that’s as much of the plot as we got. In the Kickstarter video he mentions that this movie is different than his other movies. When asked about that he says the scope of this movie is more focused. While most of his other movies have had comedic elements to it and gore, this movie he tells us will be all serious and will have no blood.
If you haven't checked out the Kickstarter page for Needlepoint yet it's a must see. The Kickstarter video is the best one we have seen so we had to ask him about it. What Jon told us was after watching other Kickstarter videos he decided he didn’t want to just stand there and ask for money but give the audience something that shows off his skills as a filmmaker. He figured that people will be more generous if they can see a bit of his work. That philosophy has paid off as they are already more than 50%. With lots of crowdfunding sites we wanted to know why Kickstarter? Looking at other sites they decided that Kickstarter was the most appropriate for them. It is one of the most widely known and trusted crowd funding sources for movies. Jessica also has had success using it previously. Another movie that Jessica is working on 30 Seconds Away had a very successful campaign and is currently in post-production. Jessica’s philosophy is that to have a successful campaign you need to find the right amount to ask for. While it would be nice to get the whole amount she feels people are more likely to donate when amount they are asking for is not a huge amount. Since Kickstarter it’s all or nothing you have to get that sweet spot where it’s enough to get started but not too much to scare people away.
After the crowdfunding portion is done the plan is to get the movie made. Jessica was able to break down the production and come up with a way to shoot the movie in 2 days with an anticipated film length of around 9 to 10 minutes. With minimal special effects they hope to get the production wrapped up quickly. The plan is to get it on the festival circuit next year. Since many shorts are later turned into feature films we asked if there was any plans to turn Needlepoint into a feature. Jon said there was no plan at this time but there are some interesting directions he can take the story and it could be expanded upon. But it all depends on how the short turns out. While everyone is excited and optimistic they are also realistic and are not getting ahead of themselves.
Something we like to ask all local filmmakers is where they see the film scene in Milwaukee now and where the think it is going. While they see the Milwaukee Film scene kind of in its infancy they see potential growth. As Jon put it there is no established infrastructure but that is allowing everyone to be creative in their own way. There is no established style that clearly defines a "Milwaukee Movie". It will be interesting to see what the future holds for films in Milwaukee.
Check out their Kickstarter page HERE