As soon as we at Jasper heard about the production and Kickstarter campaign for the film Lola's Prayer, we were hooked. For starters, we've been watching filmmaker Wade Sellers for a while and keeping tabs on his work. Wade is one of those filmmakers who can take the wildest of hairs and prune it into the most beautiful of topiaries. Then, when we put two and two together and discovered that Wade's latest project is the adaptation into film of a short story written by Lou Dishcler and published by our good friends at Hub City Press in Spartanburg -- well, we were just flat out psyched. Some of us at Jasper have jumped on the Lola's Prayer bandwagon by supporting Wade and his esteemed cast as they raise funds via their Kickstarter campaign -- (we'll be writing about Kickstarter campaigns soon ourselves) -- and we'd like to encourage you to do the same. There's something about knowing that your 5 or 10 or 50 bucks, combined with that of someone else, can make a real difference in facilitating a fellow artist to reach her or his goal that makes us feel good about the use of our cash. It makes us feel good and, actually, a little privileged to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
If you'd like to know more about Wade and his film Lola's Prayer, please read his guest blog below. And then, if you can spare the price of a beer or a venti latte, or even a pizza -- please think about visiting the Lola's Prayer Kickstarter page and joining Jasper and at least three dozen other backers as we become a part of something that is, well, neat. It'll be money well spent.
A Message from the Filmmaker, Wade Sellers
My friend, filmmaker Chris White, sent me a notice a while back about the Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival in Spartanburg. The concept was that filmmakers would create short films from short stories included in Expecting Goodness, a collection of short stories published by Hub City Press in Spartanburg. The project deadline was March 19th, so I decided to pass. There were plenty of excuses - there wasn't enough time, we have no money, blah, blah, blah. Sitting at home that night I couldn't stop thinking about the project so I took another look on the project website.
Big on my own personal list was to eventually adapt someone else’s written work. I have produced and directed many of my own short films, most written by myself. But, when I read through the stories in the book I had trouble finding a way I could interject my voice into them. I should have started reading at the beginning. “Lola’s Prayer” is the first story in Expecting Goodness and by the second page I was hooked. As I turned the pages and was introduced to the different characters I began casting immediately, picking actors I knew from Columbia. I had no choice. I had to make this story a movie.
I trudged through a first draft. It’s a beautifully written story, but it is mainly driven by Lola’s internal monologue. Narration is something I usually frown upon in films. The job of the filmmaker is to tell the story with pictures. So the hard part began–how do we show these things to the audience and remain faithful to the story. Four drafts later we have a script that is faithful to the story, but communicates Lola’s character and her interaction with her world in a cinematic way.
My needs were for a small, but talented, crew that could get us from location to location without sacrificing the vision that has been established for the film. As I went down the list of actors I wanted, each responded with a big “yes.” Lorrie Rivers plays Lola. She had been planning to travel back to Los Angeles, her current residence, but after she read the script, she pushed her travel plans back and we moved our shoot schedule up. The rest of the cast made adjustments to their schedules as well. The amount of support for this project has been overwhelming.
When I began making films many years ago, I could shamelessly ask people to work for free on indie projects. I can't do that anymore. Understanding and working with professionals has made it impossible for me to ask someone to give their time without some sort of compensation.
To raise funding for the project we began a Kickstarter campaign for Lola's Prayer. A budget of $4,200 was extablished. The money raised from this campaign will go to pay the cast and crew for their time, location costs, props, food and other expenses that can't be ignored. I am taking no money as part of the project. This is the first time I've turned to others to fund a project. It's hard. It's a big old gulp of your pride. Our first response has been overwhelming. The deadline for the Kickstarter campaign is March 17th and it is an all or nothing proposition. If we don't reach our goal, we don't get the funding.
This is a new experience. Every time we have begun production on any project there is a big twinge of excitement. This is why we do what we do. This is how we express ourselves. Being surrounded by a community, in Columbia, that supports those goals is a rare and humbling experience.
The cast of “Lola's Prayer”
Henry -- Alex Smith
Lola- Lorrie Rivers
Mozzie- Jocelyn Sanders
Bethany Ann- Kim Harne
Lola's Sister- Vicky Saye Henderson
Lola's Brother-in-law- Steve Harley
Jed- Bill Kealy
The Farmer- Tom Hall
The Farmer's Son- Galen Hall
If you'd like to join with Wade and your fellow film lovers and supporters in Columbia, please click on the link below. Every little bit helps make this film a reality and we all appreciate the support so very much.
For more information on Lola's Prayer, please feel free to contact Wade at the number or email address below.
Wade Sellers - Director