WEST VIRGINIA MOVIE - ANGEL'S PERCH
CONTACT - J.T. Arbogast - Scrappy Cat Productions
firstname.lastname@example.org - 646.823.3043
Los Angeles - February – J.T. Arbogast and Kimberly Dilts, two filmmakers with West Virginia roots, are teaming up with the West Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to launch a Text2Give campaign to raise funds for the production of their first film, Angel’s Perch, set to shoot early summer 2012 in the historic logging town of Cass, WV. Through this innovative technology that allows people to make donations through their cellphones, the filmmakers hope to raise the remaining $260,000 of the $475,000 budget needed to film and edit Angel’s Perch by April 1st in order to remain on schedule and begin filming June 5th.
If the team is successful, it would be the first time in history that a film was funded with this technology, and donors will have a chance to win, among other items, a walk on role in the film.
Arbogast and Dilts began their filmmaking journey in February of 2011, with a successful campaign that raised $32,000 on Kickstarter.com, an interactive website that allows artists to raise money for creative projects from individual contributors. The initial $32K provided the starter funds the filmmakers needed to
begin the project, allowing them to finalize the script’s legal paperwork and contracts, bring the director to West Virginia to scout locations and shoot footage for a trailer, and in late January 2012, to shoot the first five minutes of the film in Los Angeles. However, while the filmmakers garnered generous pro-bono support from local businesses such as Snowshoe Resort, Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Green Bank Observatory, they found raising equity to be especially difficult in the current economic climate.
“The downturn has been difficult for small businesses across the country, and that definitely includes independent filmmakers,” says Dilts. “Making a movie on your own is never easy, but we really hit a wall.
And if we wanted to shoot in 2012, we knew it was time to think further outside of the box.” An extraordinary partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, West Virginia Chapter allowed the Angel’s Perch team to apply for grants and foundation support, but grants can take a long time to come to fruition.
So the filmmakers began exploring more ways to get the community involved. “We have always known that the real power is in this state, this community—it’s one of the things we’re looking to celebrate in this film— the power of the West Virginia community to support its members and lend a hand when you need it most,” says Arbogast. “We know people don’t have a lot of extra cash these days. But we also know that a lot of small donations can really add up—if one in 70 West Virginians gave $10 to the film, we’d be at our goal!”
Five years ago, a Text2Give campaign like this wouldn’t have been possible. “Independent filmmaking has changed radically in the past few years,” says Dilts. “It used to be that you cobbled together the money to shoot, you went to festivals, and you prayed that a studio bought your film. Today’s reality is different. Filmmakers have to create a community and an audience now—to make it not only possible to shoot the film, but to say to distributors, ‘look here! This is our audience! This is who believes in us and who wants to see this movie.’ If we succeed with our text to give campaign, we will not only be able to make a beautiful film that celebrates the best of West Virginia, but we will be making history!”
By making a donation via the Text2Give platform, donors will automatically be entered into a drawing for giveaways related to production including: autographed photos of the cast, DVDs of the completed film, Tshirts,
posters, 2 tickets to right the Cass Scenic Railroad, “Backstage Passes” for a meet and greet with the cast & crew and behind the scenes tour of the set and one lucky grand-prize winner will get a walk-on role in the film itself.
The inspiration for Angel’s Perch came from the writer’s own roots in Pocahontas County and his experiences with the disease. “Everyone has an emotional home - the place that defines your happiest memories. For
me, that place is a small town in the mountains of West Virginia,” says Arbogast. “In 2004, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and over the next few years I watched as she slowly lost her memories. There was something poetic about her struggle to hang on to her memories while living in a place
she loved so much that is itself a preserved memory.”
Arbogast was also tired of seeing the state he loved misrepresented on the big screen. “West Virginia is so often depicted in films as a place where terrifying hillbillies come down out of the mountains to kill college kids-- but that’s not the West Virginia that I know,” Arbogast says. “It’s a state full of beautiful landscapes, small towns and proud, hardworking people. In a lot of ways, this film is a love letter to the entire state and all those who have a connection to it.”
By texting the word ANGELS to 85944, donors can contribute $10 to the film. All of the donations will go directly toward the filming of the movie and are 100% tax deductible, with 5% being donated to the West Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. For details on the Angel’s Perch project, please visit: www.angelsperch.com