The Film of Neither Wolf nor Dog is shaking the tin cup

Some of you may have seen that Steven Simpson, the director of the film version of Neither Wolf nor Dog, is running another kickstarter to get funds to finish post production and begin some distribution. We need your help to get this baby polished up and ready for prime time. Here is the kickstarter page: While you’re there, look at the trailer he’s put together. I think it is great.

But I want to tell you a little about this strange venture of movie making.

The world divides into two camps when you look at the need for $30,000 to finish a film.

Camp one says, “Why do you need so damn much money?” I was in that camp for a long time.

The other says, “How can you make a movie so cheaply?” Anyone who knows the industry is in that camp.

Let me tell you a little story. Back when this film was first proposed by a successful Hollywood director, he told me, “We’ll do it low budget. Nothing more than six million. Probably closer to one or two million.” I cocked my head like a confused dog. Six million? Two millon? I stay in $35 a night motels and get antsy when I have to pay more than $10 for lunch. Six million? Two million? What planet do these guys live on?

Well, they live on planet Hollywood, which I visited one time, with its special dressing trailers on site for actors and an entire kitchen set up with chefs preparing swordfish and steaks and specialty diets for vegans, vegetarians, ominvores, gluten free-folks, etc.; people paid to clack “action” signs and people paid to oversee the people clacking “action” signs and nose powderers and costume stitchers and on and on. This doesn’t even touch the big bucks guys like directors and actors. Then there are real transportation costs and production costs, all of which add up. Look at that insane list on the credits at the end of a film and try to figure it out. All you need to know is that all of that stuff adds up to millions. And, there you are.

Then go to Steven’s reality. Buying trucks and an old car off craigslist; getting cameras on ebay, driving from L.A. to Pine Ridge in the Nissan with Chris, the actor who plays me, breaking down in Death Valley or some equivalently inhospitable place, getting actors to work almost for nothing, paying himself nothing, paying me nothing, finding a house on the reservation where all the actors could stay together in the basement, having the family who owns the house cook the meals, getting a raggedy old camper that Dave Bald Eagle could rest in on site in while they were out shooting if it got too hot. . . well, you get the idea. “Shoestring” doesn’t begin to address how this project is being done.

But you can only cut costs so far. Even with everyone working for peanuts or nothing, Steven still had to dig into his own pocket to get the filming done. And the post production and preparation of the film for showing requires technology and involvement of people who work at market rate, not for a lunch at Subway. He has done amazingly with what he has — look at the trailer and judge for yourself — but now, raising this from the “scotch tape and baling wire” level of the actual filming to the high production standards needed to go out in public requires putting the film in a well-tailored suit, metaphorically speaking. If he can pull that off for $30,000, it is another miracle.

We need to give him a chance to pull of that miracle. Please help him get there.

I’ll make you a deal. When we get to $20,000 I’ll tell you the strange saga of how Fatback became a corpulent Corgi in the movie. It’s a story worth hearing.

Thanks for your faith in this project.

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