WEEK IN REVIEW: Love from our Kickstarter, Update #1 by Love You Back Productions

Jazz & Heritage Community Partnerships-Julia Elizabeth Evans Photographer (2 of 1).jpg
16711577_10203318797646120_41509673191423001_n.jpg

Shout out to Jazz & Heritage Foundation's Community Partnership Grant.  With the support of Jazz & Heritage Foundation, I get to hire my best friend to produce an original film score! Woohoo!

This WEEK IN REVIEW reaches you from our metaphorical KICKSTARTER newsdesk.  For the next month, we will be reporting with LOVE from our kickstarter page.  

This week, we did some calculations.  Weenta and Julia keep thinking, thinking....how do we achieve KICKSTARTER VICTORY?....beep boup beep [robotic sounds]...

$200 a day x 30 = $6,000

That means, Weenta and Julia need— 

20 FRIENDS PER DAY to donate $10. 

or   

10 FRIENDS PER DAY to donate $20. 

We got a lot of friends.  So, this is no probs. Easy peasy.   Would you like to join the celebration? Come out of woodwork! Donate today. Woohoo. 

Have an amazing weekend!

-Jules and Weenta

WEEK IN REVIEW: 2 weddings and a Kickstarter Video by Love You Back Productions

Pap, the cook at the corner store, sneaks in to say hello while we prep for a scene in our Kickstarter video.

Pap, the cook at the corner store, sneaks in to say hello while we prep for a scene in our Kickstarter video.

This week, Weenta and Julia make a Kickstarter video. We also split up and filmed 2 weddings on the same day!

Julia and I have been preparing to launch our Kickstarter campaign for our "Corner Stores" short documentary on November 1st. One of the most important parts of a Kickstarter campaign is a Kickstarter video! We happen to be lucky enough to be video makers, but we had to call in help to shape the concept of the film.

We knew the video would be filmed inside a corner store, but that's about all we knew. I enlisted the help of my cousin, writer, comedian and actress, Eritria Pitts to come up with a treatment for the video.

Our new friend and video maker/editor Zen offered to help us film.

Shout out to Zen: the most amazing camera operator and production assistant. 

Shout out to Zen: the most amazing camera operator and production assistant. 

Hair and makeup.

Hair and makeup.

This was right before I dropped Julia's favorite glitter makeup and spilled it all over the floor. 

This was right before I dropped Julia's favorite glitter makeup and spilled it all over the floor. 

IMG_1296.JPG
IMG_1301.JPG
Werking it in the corner store aisle.

Werking it in the corner store aisle.

So what exactly is the concept for our Kickstarter video? Well you'll have to wait for our Kickstarter launch to find out... 

Meanwhile, Julia and I had weddings to film. I took the lead on a very special wedding. A marriage between Anna and William, a couple who work for the United Nations. Their wedding brought together 90 friends and family from all over the world. 

Anna and William with the caterer planning out the dinner for the family gathering the night before their wedding.

Anna and William with the caterer planning out the dinner for the family gathering the night before their wedding.

Anna and William currently live in Dakar, Senegal, but have a home here in New Orleans. 

Among their most special family members in attendance were Ndeye, and her daughter Fatou. Fatou is 10 years old and this is her first trip to the United States. With the help of Anna's friend Emilie, Fatou made a scrap book detailing her travels to the US and her time in New Orleans.

Fatou and Emilie working on Fatou's scrapbook. 

Fatou and Emilie working on Fatou's scrapbook. 

The voyage of Fatou and Ndeye to the United States of America, #heart in Anna. 

The voyage of Fatou and Ndeye to the United States of America, #heart in Anna. 

Ndeye writing Anna and William a heartfelt wedding note.

Ndeye writing Anna and William a heartfelt wedding note.

This has been my favorite wedding to film to date. It was a chance to tell a unique story about two diverse families coming together.

Anna and William are two very laid back people. William is French, Anna is a French-speaking American. Their wedding party was a mix of French speakers from France and Senegal, English speakers from the United States and the UK, and all kinds of nationalities and accents and places in between. 

I don't know French at all, but I was really wishing I did. People were excitedly speaking French all the time and I kept thinking: I know they're saying something good, I just don't know what it is! I'll be needing help from Anna and French speaking friends to translate some parts of the video we captured in order to put together their full story.

We came up with 4 story keywords to guide us in the making of this wedding film:

1) Family

2) Blending

3) Reunion

4) International

This is a strategy we learned from following Stillmotion, a production company that made phenomenal wedding films, but has since branched off into commercial work. For inspiration for Anna and William's film, I re-read a Stillmotion blog about pre-production on a destination wedding in Ireland.

After reading the blog about the Ireland wedding, I knew what would make this film special would be filming family time before the wedding day itself. These events were:

-a day spent with family baking wedding cakes

-a Skype phone call with Anna's 3 children who live in Senegal

-a party the day before the wedding with all 90 international guests 

I'm excited to watch back the footage and create a memorable and heartfelt story. It's going to be the best wedding film we've made yet. 

Julia and I have lots of editing to do in this next month, we'll be promoting our Kickstarter to our networks, plus my birthday is coming up! 

Can't wait to take on what's coming next. 

 

WEEK IN REVIEW: Sponsored Filmmakers, woot woot!! by Love You Back Productions

Getting ready for the party. Back on opening night of the New Orleans Film Festival.  - Wednesday, October 11, 2017.

Getting ready for the party. Back on opening night of the New Orleans Film Festival.  - Wednesday, October 11, 2017.

This WEEK IN REVIEW comes to you in pictures.  Let me fill out everything y'all heard about last week with visuals!  Here's a few snapshots of Love You Back Productions' New Orleans Film Festival experience!

We connected with our friends, our collaborators, our mentors, and our inspiring peers! Cheers to all!

From the left: Weenta Girmay of Love You Back Productions, Bron Moyi of Emerging Voices Program, Jasmin Mara López of Emerging Voices Program, and Nisa East. - Thursday, October 12, 2017.  Learn more about Emerging Voices, here: https://neworleansfilmsociety.org/emerging-voices/

From the left: Weenta Girmay of Love You Back Productions, Bron Moyi of Emerging Voices Program, Jasmin Mara López of Emerging Voices Program, and Nisa East. - Thursday, October 12, 2017.  Learn more about Emerging Voices, here: https://neworleansfilmsociety.org/emerging-voices/

IMG_1118.JPG
IMG_1120.JPG
From the left: John Richie and Julia Elizabeth Evans.

From the left: John Richie and Julia Elizabeth Evans.

From the left: Nisa East and Weenta Girmay.

From the left: Nisa East and Weenta Girmay.

Finally! On SATURDAY:  

As New Orleans Tricentennial: Story Incubators, Weenta and I presented at the 2017 New Orleans Film Festival.  Here is a little video taken on a friend's phone, after the presentation.  Hear our Story Incubator fellows, producer Todd Voltz and director David White of The Heart is an Organ, talk about their film.  Check out their project!!!

....And, of course, hear us talk about New Orleans' corner stores!

From the left: prod. Todd Voltz [prod. The Heart is an Organ], Julia Elizabeth Evans [Love You Back Productions, dir. Corner Stores], dir. David White [dir. The Heart is an Organ]

Looking AHEAD.  Weenta and I will launch our Kickstarter on October 30th.  (Yay!)  Get excited to hear more about how to spread the word and to support us! 

Love you all!

Julia

 

ICYMI: Weenta and Julia Win Story Incubators Grant, Take NOFF by Storm! by Love You Back Productions

This week, Weenta and Julia go to the New Orleans Film Festival 2017.

Also update from last week: We won the New Orleans Story Incubators Film Grant!

Don't know how that news didn't make our last blog post, but we were caught up in the post-win glow and the whirlwind of the NOFF kick-off and filmmaker parties. 

Speaking of filmmaker parties, I attended the NOFF kick-off screening of The Florida Project. 

The kick-off was a the Orpheum Theater, which is a venue Julia and I know well. Love You Back Productions shot a quick commercial for one of our favorite clients highlighting the beautiful stage details and expansive seating at the Orpheum. It was surreal to return to the Orpheum so soon after filming there, as an audience member. 

The Orpheum_film_fest.jpg

Julia was not so fortunate--she had an allergic reaction the same day and was stuck at home passed out after breaking out in hives and puking all day. Whomp, whomp.

The Florida Project was an amazing film directed by Sean Baker, the creator of the film "Tangerine," made famous for being shot entirely on an iphone. The film follows a young girl and her mother over the course of a summer spent living just outside Disney World in a budget hotel called "The Magic Castle."

the-florida-project_shopping_cart.jpg

After the film, there was a second line to the NOFF kick off party at The Four Winds--this one was for all-access pass holders only. 

Right in the thick of the Second Line at the opening of the NOFF.

Right in the thick of the Second Line at the opening of the NOFF.

Kinfolk Second Line band. 

Kinfolk Second Line band. 

NOFF_Second_Line_2.jpg
NOFF_Second_Line_3.jpg
NOFF_Second_Line_4.jpg
NOFF_Second_Line_Weenta_2.jpg
NOFF_Second_Line_Weenta_3.jpg

We'll be reporting back soon with more images from NOFF parties (which happen every night) as well as updates on the Corner Stores documentary and Story Incubators grant. 

We'll be launching our Kickstarter campaign for the story incubators grant in late October, so look out!

WEEK IN REVIEW: We Pitched Our Film. So How Did we Do? by Love You Back Productions

Julia and I were totally pumped to pitch our short documentary.

Julia and I were totally pumped to pitch our short documentary.

This week, Julia and I pitch our idea for a short documentary on Discount Market, our neighborhood corner store. The pitch was for NOVAC's Tricentennial Story Incubators Program. We were one of 10 applicants that made it to the semi-finalist round. The pitch today was to determine which 5 applicants would be selected as finalists.  

Julia and I spent all this week writing and preparing our pitch. This is the second pitch we've given as a business. We gave our first pitch as semi-finalists in the Women and Business Challenge at New Orleans Entreprenuer week. 

Last time we were given a pitch coach and had months of preparation ahead of our pitch. This time around, we wrote and delivered our pitch within 4 days.

So how did we do?

Feeling dope about our pitch delivery.

Feeling dope about our pitch delivery.

Awesome.

I was super nervous before the pitch, but the nerves were out of excitement instead of total and utter fear, which is how they usually come up. I couldn't wait to get in there and tell the judges about our story. We pitched in front of Darcy McKinnon, NOVAC's executive director, as well as representatives from the New Orleans Film Society, the New Orleans Mayor's Office, and Louisiana Creates.

We delivered our pitch perfectly. Then came the question and answer section. That part was tough. I wasn't sure what types of questions we would get asked. Here the main question that gave us pause:

What happens if the store gets sold or closes?

One of the judges assumed that if the store gets sold, we won't be able to make our documentary. Julia and I nodded along in agreement. Inside my head I was thinking: wait a minute, that's not true. We would talk to the new owners, we would figure out a way. We're capable people and video producers. 

The problem is, I didn't speak up, and because Julia has a severe hearing deficit, she didn't hear the question properly and didn't speak up either. 

Afterwards, we hung out in the parking lot and talked about how the pitch went. I told Julia that I wished we had responded to that question instead of nodding along. We both freaked out. What could we do? We sent an email to the pitch judges explaining ourselves. Julia was bummed about her hearing disability, I was bummed about my lack of assertiveness.

Just as we were getting the car to leave, Darcy came out. She said, "You guys have been in the parking lot for a half hour?" Julia explained that we debriefing and talking about the question we missed, when Darcy interrupted--

"You did great. You guys had a great pitch." She gave Julia a hug. We all instantly felt better. 

We know we did our best, we're feeling good about the experience. Now, we'll have to wait another week and see if it was enough to get us selected as finalists.

Still at this stage of our careers.

Still at this stage of our careers.