Have you ever wanted to produce a movie in Hollywood? A new production company, That Christmas Movie LLC, wants to help you reach your goal. This year, That Christmas Movie LLC is setting out to film the first ever feature length narrative film that will be backed by equity crowdfunding, meaning that YOU can be part of filmmaking history. Because of new investment laws that made it easier for people to support projects of this kind, current regulations will help thousands of Christmas movie-loving fans (but we promise that being obsessed with holiday movies is not required) be part of the production process and benefit from the film's profitability.
The movie, titled I'll Be Next Door For Christmas, is set to film in Los Angeles this summer and will be released over the 2017 holiday season! Producer David Willis wrote the screenplay for the film and will also be the director. We had the opportunity to ask David Willis and accociate producer Katherine Botts a few questions about this exciting and unique oppportunity for fan investors.
PW: What inspired you to want to make a Christmas movie created by investors?
DW: Hollywood doesn’t make small, character-driven comedies anymore. They spend all their money on comics book movies, prequels, sequels, and sequels to the prequels, etc. We love Christmas movies, and we think there aren’t enough good ones, so we wrote one. And now we’re producing it. And since Hollywood has left a vacuum in the marketplace, there’s an opportunity for small investors to participate in any success the film may have.
KB: I’ve worked on a crowdfunding campaign before and it was really hard to raise a large sum of money when you are limited to donations. Without the potential for passive income, you had to give backers a perk and those could become costly, especially if you were shipping out physical items to every backer. I love that now you can invest in a movie versus donating money to it.
PW: What is it about That Christmas Movie that makes this project so unique?
DW: The title of the movie That Christmas Movie LLC is producing is “I’ll Be Next Door For Christmas.” It’s about a family that’s Christmas-crazy, and celebrates in an over-the-top way. Except for their 16 year old daughter, who dreads the holiday because of her family’s excesses. And when her boyfriend plans to visit for the holiday, she wants to spare him the madness. So she hires two actors to be her parents and stages a fake Christmas dinner at the empty house next door. What could go wrong? It’s unique because that particular story has never been told, and it’s unique because it’s the first holiday movie in the world to use investor crowdfunding.
KB: Also, not all movies plan to feature a reindeer and elaborate, over-the-top Christmas decorations. I can’t wait to be on the set for those days.
PW: Why do you love being able to include fans in the process of filmmaking?
DW: They ask a lot of great questions about the project and the process, so it keeps us in tune with our audience.
KB: I love reading announcements about upcoming movies and tales from the set so I thought others would too. It’s exciting build up leading to the release of the finished film.
PW: What's been the most unexpected part of this new process so far?
DW: Paperwork. Because it’s an investment, it’s much more paperwork-intensive than a Kickstarter campaign. Which it should be, because we take fiduciary responsibilities seriously. In terms of paperwork, it’s like doing your taxes times 100.
KB: The power of social media. It’s such an invaluable tool. I really had to step up my game to reach as many people as possible.
PW: Do you foresee making additional movies in the future that include fan investments?
DW: Absolutely! This is just the beginning. We have 3 more movies planned using this process.
KB: Not all of them are Christmas movies but they are all comedies I would love to see on screen. We need more laughter in our lives.
PW: For someone who wants to get involved in the process today, what's the best way for them to do so?
DW: If you want to be involved as an investor, you can go to startengine.com/startup/thatchristmasmovie and see our campaign. If you want to raise money for your own company, go to StartEngine and read all the info on how the process works. Even if you don’t invest, I suggest you follow our campaign (and others) to get updates so you can follow along in the process. It’s pretty exciting — it’s a whole new way of investing that’s brand new to America.
KB: The ideas and products for equity crowdfunding are limitless. I’m very excited to be on the forefront of this new film financing model.
To learn more about the production budget and distribution plan for That Christmas Movie LLC's I'll Be Next Door For Christmas, be sure to visit their website. Invest in a piece of filmmaking history!