Today was a travel day to Marfa, TX (which is where they shot THERE WILL BE BLOOD and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN), and my phone blew up twice.
First, there were these kind words from MJ Slide:
Hey all, it's MJ Slide, 19 year old filmmaker and screenwriter, and a proud backer of A Year Without Rent - Thanksgiving. The fantastic Marty Lang asked me to say a few words about why I decided to put my money where my mouth is and back this sucker and I was more then happy to oblige. I feel like the vast majority of the gung-ho spirit that drives the success of certain indie films comes from the underlying idea that worthwhile endeavors require doing hard sh*t. I think it would be safe to say Lucas's undertaking of AYWR fits that criteria quite well. I've followed his journey, from the amazing come-behind win that his initial Kickstarter campaign was, through all the learning experiences, frustrations of some productions not "getting their sh*t together" and sleeping on random people's couches. It's been a very wacky ride.
To put it simply, in my eyes, he's dealt with all of the above to bring the Indie Film community closer together. Call me an idealist, but I truly believe that. I dig crazy people who go all out to help others and bring to light projects that deserve support. AYWR has done that and more. Lucas won't be at my table for Thanksgiving, but that doesn't mean I can't share some holiday cheer in the form of fundage. I'm not wealthy by any means (think shift leader paycheck at a small ice cream shop) but I gave what I could and unashamedly so. I want Lucas to succeed, and as much I want him to complete this journey for himself, I also want him to continue so we can all see what other wonderful films gain a spotlight because of his willingness to give up a whole year of his life. Cheers to you Lucas, and to every last person who backs this campaign.
I've been following MJ since she was 17, making films on her own in South Carolina. She's incredibly motivated, and I'm trying to figure out how I can get from Texas to SC in just over a day for her next film.
Then, came this video from editor Lee Rothenflue. It's fantastic. Really funny stuff. Just watch it.
The update section of the campaign is full of these, with posts from Richard Jones, Charles Simons, Marty Lang, and more. It's really cool. Sometimes, when you're on the road like this, you kind of get the feeling that you're shouting into the wind, so to have the wind shout back is really, really something.
The whole thing it's just, it's fantastic. Check it out.
Filmmaker Lucas McNelly is spending a year on the road, volunteering on indie film projects around the country, documenting the process and the exploring the idea of a mobile creative professional. You can see more from A Year Without Rent at the webpage. His feature-length debut is now available to rent on VOD. Follow him on Twitter: @lmcnelly.