Walking tightrope to film success

Sometimes I feel like I'm walking a tightrope, other times it feels like I'm looking for the end of the corn maze while trying to muzzle the panic.

It's been more than four months since I was jettisoned by The Sacramento Bee as a cost-saving measure. While it's given me the time and freedom to devote myself full-time towards producing my feature-length documentary film "Do the Dance," I'd be lying if didn't admit to experiencing fear along the way.

But fear is a good thing.

For many years, my work as a reporter at The Bee was never enough. The job was safe ( ... until it wasn't), but I needed to find joy, impact, and challenges elsewhere.

Not that the job wasn't challenging, but it was an environment where few new ideas found the nutrients to grow.

Between my creative pursuits, Burning Man and my volunteer service to community cable channel Access Sacramento, more and more I struggled to fit it all into non-work hours.

Even before The Bee called my cell phone to inform me of the lay off I knew I'd devote myself full-time into making "Do the Dance" a success.

The first months were occasionally awkward.

I had to learn to shake off the urge to bumrush any crime scene to find out what happened. I'd have to learn to watch Sacbee videos without wondering how I'd do it better. And I'd have to find a new identity altogether.

New twitter id, new facebook bio, major LinkedIn revision.

My new freedom has also created more time for people to #takeEdtolunch. Those lunches served as a testing ground for ideas both in a one-on-one environment and later online.

The lunches and the work myself and my business partner Damen Quincy Hayes have been doing in the background have been preparing us for a big finish to 2018 for "Do the Dance."

For those new to this blog, "Do the Dance " is a feature-length documentary that uses a Sacramento 1969 strip club indecency trial to tell a larger story about the limits of sexual free expression 50 years later.

Starting with a very productive meeting in July with a US-based distribution company, the path to success has been lined up: secure "A" list talent to perform the voice over, finish the movie on time, keep the quality up to the level of our trailer and we'd have a deal.

The presence of a deal doesn't guarantee success, but it's much further than many people get in this process.

We're now in the process of creating the legal entities and documents needed to accept investments in "Do the Dance LLC," the limited liability company we're creating for this project.

SEC law makes it illegal to even outline the potential investment, so those seeking investment information will have to contact me directly.

This project and funding the project will be the biggest challenges of my lifetime, but it's tightrope worth walking. I don't have a rich uncle to bankroll my first movie. But I don't think I'd have it any other way. Knowing the journey you've taken or seeing the valley before the scaling the mountain make the view from atop that much better.

#layoff #filmmaking #indiefilm

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