Just a quick heads up, folks, that Mike McCafferty will be guest starring on Community tonight at 8:00 p.m. PT on NBC! Be sure to check your local listings for the correct time and channel in your area.
We’re in the final stretch, folks! Less than a week till Round 1 ends! Now Dockers gave the impression that they were going to post the vote leaders, but they never did. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and find out where we stand in this contest. I risked carpal tunnel syndrome and went through all 3,000 entries! Whew! And I have the sore neck, shoulder, arm, and wrist to prove it! So what’s the verdict?
Well, it’s good news and bad news. The good news is that we are definitely in the top 50! Out of 3,000 or so entries that’s something to be very proud of! And it’s because of all of you voting every day and trying to help spread the word, and, heck, even recruiting your family to vote! So where are we? Currently, we are number 32. That’s the bad news, because as I went through each entry, I found more entries that had more votes than we have and it pushed us down the list. But it’s not terrible news and I’m certainly not going to complain about where we are in this contest. Do I wish we were in the top five? Of course. But considering all the problems we’ve had trying to get the word out to other fans (with the broken fan club mailing list and Facebook blocking me from friending other I-Man fans), I’d say we’re doing pretty good.
But this last week is especially dangerous for us. The most motivated contestants and their supporters are in this top 50 and they are pushing very hard, so we need to keep pushing just as hard lest we keep dropping and fall out of the top 50. I’m afraid to say it could happen. Behind us there are contestants who have more voters than we have and could theoretically pass us by. One contestant, another filmmaker no less, has been right on our tail for several days now. Today he passed us up…not because he has a better project or a loyal established fan base, he doesn’t; but because he’s been vote trading with other contestants. In fact, a lot of contestants have been vote trading.
It’s not against the rules (I checked), but it is a flawed strategy because they are voting for the very people they are competing against. Also, the way the app is designed, someone could vote once for someone just to get their picture on their page and then come back every day and leave a message on their page saying they voted again when they really didn’t. The contestant would really have no way of knowing for sure. I’d like to think that all the contestants are honorable, but I live in the real world and wouldn’t be surprised if some honorable contestants are being suckered by less honorable contestants. So I’m not playing the vote trading game.
Besides, when I contact the cast and tell them we made it into the top 50, I’ll be able to proudly say that it was the I-Man fans who got us there and not because I was trading votes with the competition. And I do have to, also, give a shout out of thanks to all my family members, friends, and fellow filmmakers who have also been tirelessly voting every day. All of you have been wonderful in your support! Thank you so much!
Contest Submissions Progress
Friday, my director and I sat down and hammered out the cast list, which is basically a list of all the roles in the video and what type of actor we were looking to cast in each role. The next day I posted the roles on SF Casting and, after being approved, they went live on Monday morning. Within hours I literally had hundreds of submissions from actors! So I’ve been combing through them trying to find actors who fit what we are looking for. Tomorrow I’m going to finish that up and then contact the chosen actors and invite them to the audition, which is being held in Pleasanton, California, this Saturday.
Monday afternoon, my director and I visited the studio we are planning on using. It’s also located in Pleasanton and run by some really nice people. We’re shooting in a studio because I wanted a plain white backdrop for the video. This will put the focus on the actors without the distraction of any background and give the video a clean uncluttered look. To get that kind of background you need to use a studio with a cyclorama, which is basically a wall with rounded corners, so you don’t see any hard edges. Another advantage of using a studio is that we won’t have to move from location to location. We’ll be able to do all the scenes on one sound stage and just change a few props, actors, and lights.
With a small low-budget production like this, I’m doing much more than just producing. I’m also playing financier, accountant, casting director, costumer, and prop master; and I’m sure my roles will expand even more in the days to come. Today I ran around to various businesses looking for the costumes and props that we will need. I struck out at a few places, but managed to find a couple of places that can give me just what I am looking for.
It’s getting late and I need to sign off now but, remember, keep voting!
Can you believe there are only two weeks left of voting for Round 1 of this competition? Yikes! So how are we doing? Well, in one week we went from 40 people voting and 95 votes to 111 people voting and 341 votes! We more than doubled the number of voters we have and we more than tripled the number of votes! Way to go!
But the big question is, how are we stacking up against the competition? Last week I found 33 entries with more votes than we have. We plowed right past about a dozen or so entries that seemed to have started out pretty strong, but then fizzled out. And we are getting very close to passing by four more. But then I found a few more entries that were in front of us. So as of today, there are 25 entries that I know of with more votes than us. While it is very encouraging that we appear to be moving up, please keep in mind that I haven’t seen all the entries and have no idea how many that I haven’t seen have more votes than us. Also, I’ve found at least three entries that started after us and have passed us by. So we need to keep voting every single day and we need to keep finding more voters!
To see how we stack up against the top players, here’s how the top ten entries (that I know of) are doing:
- 3,235 votes, 706 voters
- 1,334 votes, 299 voters
- 1,283 votes, 156 voters
- 1,025 votes, 269 voters
- 958 votes, 145 voters
- 898 votes, 111 voters
- 895 votes, 196 voters
- 863 votes, 181 voters
- 722 votes, 96 voters
- 721 votes, 151 voters
So please don’t get complacent! We’ve got a ways to go yet! We need every vote!
Joyce, our I-Maniac fan club president, is currently moving the fan club mailing list to a more reliable program. So if you get an email from her, be sure you opt in. She’ll be sending out an announcement about this contest as folks opt in. Some of the email addresses no longer work, so if you have contact with an I-Maniac that may not be aware of this contest, please lend a hand and let them know about it.
I attended a United Filmmakers Association mixer over a week ago and was able to get a free copy of the Reel Directory, which is the Northern California version of the Hollywood Creative Directory. Basically, it’s a directory of services and everyone in the business from audio post facilities to production equipment to stunt equipment rentals to traffic and crowd control services…virtually everything you could possibly think of and would need to make a movie. I’ve used it to start calling around to studios and getting rental rates for the video we’re shooting. My director is prepping for another shoot right now, but we’ll be meeting again on Friday. I’m happy to say that my financing came through, so this video is officially green lit!
I’m also starting to get quotes from artists and will be commissioning some custom artwork as part of my submission. Exciting stuff!
The contest requires that if I use any third party’s name, I must have a signed release from them. This weekend, I got emails from Paul Ben-Victor, Eddie Jones, and Mike McCafferty and I talked on the phone to Vincent Ventresca on Sunday. All these wonderful guys are very willing to sign a release so that I can use their names when entering my submissions into the contest! Vince is contacting Shannon for me and I’m still waiting to hear from her. Do you realize how lucky we are to have such a supportive cast? I can’t think of another cast that would do what these guys do.
There is still so much to do and it’s going to get crazy. Please don’t mind me if you see me wearing a straight jacket in the near future!