Dare to Dream Essay Contest


Essay contest gives high-schoolers chance to spend two days on movie set

Co-Producer Kelly Daisy (kelly.daisy@frontier.com)
Co-Producer Andrew Tallackson (atallackson@att.net)

Dream big, John Hancock says, and the opportunity of a lifetime awaits.

That’s why the Oscar-nominated director, hoping to inspire the next generation of filmmakers, has created the “Dare to Dream Essay Contest,” where the winner spends two days on the set of his latest movie.

Filming on the untitled project, written by actress/screenwriter Dorothy Tristan and directed by Hancock (“Bang the Drum Slowly,” “Prancer”), is set to begin in late June and continue through mid-August in La Porte County, South Bend and Southwest Michigan. It marks the fourth time Hancock and Tristan have used the area as settings for their movies, the most famous being the 1989 Christmas classic “Prancer.”

Open to all high-schoolers in La Porte County and Three Oaks, Mich., the contest asks students to prepare a 300- to 400-word essay that is typed and double spaced. No handwritten entries will be accepted. Write your name, school, your parents’ names, your age/year in school, phone number and email in the top-right corner. Explain why you want to be a filmmaker or director and why you believe it will happen. If you like, write about any particular story you want to tell, or when you realized filmmaking was your dream.

The winner spends two days on the set, which will include a walk-on role, experience with the lighting crew, sound department and cinematographer and the chance to sit with John as he directs the film.

Submit the essay by email to contest@filmacres.com or to your designated teacher or school official by Friday, May 24. The contest’s judges are FilmAcres Co-Producer and Columbia College Chicago Professor Doreen Bartoni, FilmAcres Production Office Manager and retired educator Margaret Clifford and Tammy Lakes, the vice president of product management and marketing, Accelerated Performance Solutions, Pearson Education Inc.

Winners will be announced no later than Friday, June 7.

Visit http://filmacres.com/indiegogo for additional information. The movie website is www.filmacres.com. Join us on Facebook at FilmAcres or twitter @filmacres

Indiegogo Campaign – Press Release

Contacts: Co-Producer Kelly Daisy (kelly@filmacres.com)

Co-Producer Andrew Tallackson (andrew@filmacres.com)

FilmAcres launches Indiegogo campaign to help finance Oscar-nominated director’s latest film

They’ve defied the way Hollywood believes movies should be made. In the process, they’ve rallied a community together. Now, Oscar-nominated director John Hancock (“Bang the Drum Slowly,” “Prancer”) and award-winning actress/screenwriter Dorothy Tristan are taking that grass-roots approach global through Indiegogo. They’ve chosen the online “crowdfunding” option to help finance their new movie because anyone can contribute, with donations starting as low as $15 and reaching as high as $10,000.

It’s another example, according to Co-Producer Kelly Daisy, of how Hancock and Tristan embody the David-and-Goliath approach to moviemaking.

“This film and its content are not what you find in typical Hollywood blockbusters, but without question it has an audience,” Daisy said. “It’s the kind of story we desperately seek to add meaning to our lives, to connect us to what’s real and important.”

With shooting set to begin June 21 in La Porte County, South Bend and Southwest Michigan, the untitled movie written by Tristan centers on the relationship between a 13-year-old girl and her grandmother, a once-famous actress living in rural Indiana who may suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. The two bitterly clash, until the grandmother discovers her granddaughter has a magnificent singing voice, one that helps her score the lead role in a stage production of “Alice in Wonderland.” That triumph bonds grandmother and granddaughter together in ways they never imagined.

Tristan will play the grandmother and Grace Tarnow, a 13-year-old Kesling Middle School student from La Porte, will play the granddaughter. Hancock will direct.

Daisy chose Indiegogo over Kickstarter because Indiegogo projects, regardless if they reach their goal, take home whatever is raised, with Indiegogo retaining a small percentage to cover its costs. Kickstarter, by comparison, is riskier because projects must reach their goal to use any money raised.

Daisy said the Indiegogo campaign for the movie, which is through Hancock’s independent company FilmAcres, is set at a realistic goal of $25,000; however, she added, surpassing that amount is the intention. All money raised funds the movie’s production costs.

Here’s how it works. Visit www.indiegogo.com. Once there, you’ll not only read more about the film, but watch interviews with Hancock, Tristan and Tarnow as they discuss what the movie and its story mean to them. Just visiting the page and leaving comments, by the way, boosts the film’s chance of being highlighted on the Indiegogo homepage.

Each Indiegogo contribution comes with a special thank you gift. A $25 donation, for example, offers a digital download of the film. A $75 contribution includes a T-shirt and signed poster. A $250 contribution features a prop from the film, of which only five are available. For $5,000, contributors attend the movie’s premiere.

The options represent a broad spectrum, leaving the door open for anyone to help finance the movie. And in doing so, Daisy said, people can send a message to Hollywood studios.

“This can pave the way for how films are made. We want to see films we can relate to, that move us, that change how we think and challenge our points of view. That’s why we see movies.”

Additional information about the film also is available at http://www.filmacres.com, on facebook and twitter @filmacres.

We need a truck!

We need a truck!

Do you, or someone you know, have a dependable truck that FilmAcres could use for 10 weeks of production? If so, we would LOVE to hear from you. Specifically we are searching for a truck that:

* Is 24′-26′ in length
* Has cargo tie rails (these are a must have in order for us to be able to ratchet equipment and shelving inside)
* Comes equipped with a liftgate
* Has a payload Up to 10,000lb

Whether you have a perfect match or something similar please contact Kevin McGrail at mcgrailk@gmail.com.

Thanks again to all our many volunteers and donors. Together we are truly becoming “The Town That Made a Movie.”

John and Dorothy

Join our Art Department

Calling all Prop Masters, Set Dressers, Assistant Art Directors, and those interested in joining our Art Department Crew! Academy Awards nominee, John Hancock, is producing a community based independent film right here in La Porte County, Indiana. Help us become “The Town That Made A Movie” by applying for a position within our art department. Anyone interested should read the requirements listed below and send his or her resume and cover letter to Kevin McGrail at mcgrailk@gmail.com

Please feel free to share this email with others who may have what it takes to join our family. Help keep Kevin’s mailbox from overflowing by only applying for positions that are listed below. Serious inquiries only.

Prop Master:

We are looking for a Prop Master with on-set experience. This person will work closely with Production Designer, Art Director and crew to maintain the projects aesthetic.

Must have experience with:

  • Breaking down a script, researching, estimating cost and preparing a property list
  • Maintaining Inventory, care and maintenance of all props
  • On set responsibilities during principal photography

Set Dresser:

We are looking for an awesome Set Dresser with on set experience whom will work closely with our Production Designer, Art Director, Properties Manager and crew to maintain the projects aesthetic.

Must have experience with:

  • Breaking down a script, researching, estimating cost of set pieces and graphics items
  • Maintaining Inventory, care and maintenance of set decoration
  • On set responsibilities during principal photography
  • Making cool sets look even cooler

Assistant Art Director

We are looking for an Assistant Art Director with on set experience whom will work closely with our team to bring our touching story to life. Please have previous production design and experience managing an Art Department.

Must have experience with:

  • Planning, producing and coordinating design ideas
  • Hiring and managing an Art Department crew
  • Working within budget and scheduling requirements/restraints
  • Liaison for department heads

Art Department Crew

We are looking for Art Department Crew with some set experience preferred, but not absolutely necessary, to be a part of a feature film shooting from June to August.

Must have experience with:

  • Working on set during principal photography
  • Assisting of the creation of set pieces and props
  • Going on runs, purchasing materials and keeping track of receipts
  • Being willing to learn in a fast paced environment

John and Dorothy

Casting Update

I would like to thank you so much for coming to audition. This letter is to let you know we have chosen most all of our final picks and the people chosen for these roles have been contacted via phone. I have enjoyed watching all the amazing talent that has braved the audition process. I would love nothing more than to cast each and every one of you, but as you know that is not possible.

It is my goal to give everyone who wants to be a part of this film the opportunity to participate, so I hope you will continue to stay involved. I will do my very best to find a place for you, whether it’s in front of the camera or behind. There will be many extra roles available to those who want to be in front of the camera, and if you have not considered a role behind the camera yet, you may want to. I have had a lifetime of great moments in that role. I hope you’ll continue with me on this journey. Dorothy and I want to share this process, pass on all we know and leave you with some great memories that can never be forgotten.

Keep watching our posts for all the future opportunities. Hope to see you again soon.

John Hancock