PEI

P.E.I. filmmaker vlogs about challenges of movie-making

P.E.I. film producer Susan Rodgers is pulling back the curtain and sharing what it takes to try to get a movie off the ground, in a new series of video posts on Facebook.

'I thought it would be fun to let people into my head space and see what it takes to pull a movie together'

'We are hitting crunch time,' to come up with funding to shoot Still the Water, says filmmaker Susan Rodgers. (Submitted by Susan Rodgers)

P.E.I. film producer Susan Rodgers is pulling back the curtain and sharing what it takes to try to get a movie off the ground, in a new series of video diary posts on Facebook, also known as a vlog. 

Rodgers's movie Still the Water has been in the works for almost a year, and recently began offering shares in the film to Islanders by becoming a Community Economic Development Business.

"We had a lot of people off-Island wanting to participate, but they don't experience the same tax credits that Islanders do, so we set up an Indiegogo campaign to give them a chance to participate," said Rodgers.

To be honest

People frequently ask Rodgers how the movie is going, and she responds "Great!"

But "inside, you've got this internal battle going — it's not always great, it's challenging," she said. 

So she began posting video blogs on Facebook about the trials and tribulations of movie-making, called, "The Cost of a Dream." There are five installments so far.

"I thought it would be fun to let people into my head space and see what it takes to pull a movie together," she said. 

She talks openly and in detail about the weight of trying to reach her goal as a new, unproven production company. 

People have responded by sending Rodgers encouraging private messages, which she calls "mind-boggling to me and humbling." 

Movie money

Raising the money to make the movie has been Rodgers's main focus the last few months — and there's a big deadline looming.

Rodgers had hoped to be filming this month but has not yet raised enough money. (Submitted by Susan Rodgers )

Getting status to offer shares through the province's little-used CEDB program took longer than planned, and the timing ended up being poor — just before this year's RRSP deadline. The investment offers a 35 per cent provincial tax credit. 

Still the Water was hoping to raise $2 million with the share offering, but must raise at least $500,000 by April 30. They haven't reached that goal yet — if they don't, investors will each be refunded the $1,000 to $20,000 they invested.

"We are hitting crunch time," Rodgers says in one of the video blogs. She had hoped to begin shooting in April but enough money had not yet come in.

"If that doesn't work, maybe when a door closes a window will open? But I'm hoping it's going to work," Rodgers said. 

The movie is a story of two hockey-loving brothers in rural P.E.I. who live under the thumb of an alcoholic father. The film picks up a decade later as one of the brothers returns home — there's hockey, fishing and family drama. Rodgers is also successful author who's penned a popular series called Drifters.

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With files from Angela Walker

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