Sorry folks, I missed another column last week. Some weeks are just tougher than others. In other news, I finally joined Twitter personally. @voyagechimera has been on Twitter for a number of years, but I've recently decided to try personally interacting a bit in that sphere and see what comes of it. No idea if this will help Chimera or not, but it seems like a good idea, plus it allows me to post about non-Chimera projects. Look for @michaeljaygates if you're interested in following me.
TABLE READ AND CASTING
Fortunately, after a long year and a half of devoting a lot of my spare time to the release and marketing of Chimera Part I, things are slowly beginning to move again on Part II, now tentatively titled Wake of the Chimera. With a script in place, the next step is to have a table read. Perhaps it's just post-COVID habit, but it seems best and easiest to hold this online, avoiding all the issues of travel and making the timing easier.
Part II will introduce several new characters, including a number of female characters, particularly Marcus DeVol's mentor in the Astro Navy. This means the casting process will be starting up again. While I'm not ready to make an official announcement or post character descriptions yet, the ball is beginning to roll, as we definitely want to have a few new faces to at least do the readthrough with us. The next few weeks should see that process beginning.
Obviously, this is key. If we want to make another film, we're going to have to raise the money to do it, and we can't spend as little as we did last time. We've got a big cast, some crew members, a composer -- all of whom need to be paid for their work, and most of which need to be fed on set. The budget isn't finalized, but I'm estimating a final total between $30,000 and $50,000. That's 3 to 5 times what we raised the first time, but still far less than the tens of millions we'd need inside the Hollywood system (not that I wouldn't jump at the chance to make our little movie big!). In our time of rising inflation and political/social unrest, raising the money could prove difficult, but it's a challenge I'm itching to take on. Last time all we had was an idea and a conceptual trailer. This time we have a finished Part I on DVD and Blu-ray and streaming on eight different platforms, including Tubi and Amazon. I'm still kicking around whether to use Seed and Spark again for our crowdfunding or to switch to the more well-known and popular Kickstarter. Kickstarter has huge recognition value, but only a fraction of its projects are film-based, whereas Seed and Spark caters entirely to indie film. Tough call.
A parting thought for the weekend: did you know Fox bought Tubi? I'm somehow just finding that out. It even happened after Disney bought Fox. Does that mean Disney pays us a few cents every time someone watches Chimera on Tubi?.