A Gal’s Guide to Making a Movie is a new weekly written series by Erin Bagwell. To view the whole series click here.
Part Thirteen: The Post-Production Team
When I first started on the Dream, Girl journey I had no idea the energy and the attention we would get. Once the Kickstarter campaign earned $100K my profile was projected into this incredible space where people wanted to hear more from me and why I was making this film.
I was asked to speak on panels, do a keynote speech out of town, and even star in a Clinique + TED video and photoshoot all because I was a girl who had an idea and was chasing it. Now, if I’m being totally honest with you gals this stuff really freaked me out and made me super uncomfortable. Even though we had made the money to produce the film, I still had such a long way to go to make the actual movie. So even though I was getting great press and the film was getting a lot of good buzz, it was buzz I felt like I hadn’t earned.
Not only did I feel like I had nothing to share yet- I also felt this pressure build up around me that was distracting to my work. I needed to be at my desk editing, not out promoting or marketing. But when you are are small team like we are, every opportunity felt like it was a good opportunity. So I convinced myself that I needed to figure out a way to do both things, both promote the film and get the work done. I also tried to shake off the imposter syndrome by reminding myself that the attention I was getting wasn’t about me, but about the film. Every time I spoke it was a chance for people to get more invested in the film and our greater mission. I had to remove my ego from the equation, and get out of my own way to shine a light on the film.
However working on both the PR and the film itself became increasingly more difficult as our profile got bigger. I realized that I needed help to keep up with Dream, Girl the brand and Dream, Girl the film. I hired Francesca Kustra to help me edit the story and I moved from my coworking desk to a little two person office at WeWork. Every day Francesca and I would come in and go through stacks of scripts for the film.
We had the film transcribed when I first started editing, so I’d print out all these quotes I had organized by topic and Francesca and I would cut, paste and zero-in on the main themes for the story. Then she would order everything we sorted on the actual timeline and we would watch the clips back to see if it felt right. Then I’d make notes on our scripts to add or cut stuff and we perfected the sections until we got the story we wanted.
In addition to getting editing help from Francesca, Komal and I started to work together full time. Even though she lived in Ottawa and I was in NYC, we would talk nonstop about the business behind the brand. We connected on how we wanted audiences to see the film, and what potential distribution would look like. The more I invested my time and heart into Dream, Girl, the more I wanted to be involved in how people would see it. So Komal pitched me on making her my distributor for the film. She wanted a real role in the company and a percentage of the business in exchange for her work.
Since being on set together during the interview process, she had come down to New York on and off for a couple of months for all the big Dream, Girl moments. She sat by my side as I edited the trailer for the film and was there when the cameras were rolling with Clinique. It felt so good to have someone part of the ups and downs of this journey and I wanted her to be as invested as I was in the film. So after a couple of nights thinking it over and talking to other friends who had partnerships, I asked Komal to be my business partner. I would maintain the majority stake in the business since it was my creation but she would become my co-founder.
We were in this together and everyday we were there to take care of one another.
I had no idea at that time that our partnership and our love for the business would develop into such an intense and meaningful friendship. Being business partners was kind of like having a spouse, our lines of communication had to be open at all times, and she became invaluable asset in forming the relationships with the right people to elevate our brand.
Next time on a Gal’s Guide to Making a Movie. Part 14: The Angel Investor. What happens when Dream, Girl starts running out of money!
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