Author Archives: cooperjim
Just wanted to make it official and let you know that my new online home can be found at http://www.james-cooper.ca
I don’t intend to update this blog further, and all my latest comings and goings will be posted within the aforementioned domain. See you there!
If you’ll recall, last year I contributed to a kick-ass anthology comic called Holmes Inc. that was created by none other than Ty Templeton. Last year’s story, The Family Name, told the story of Elizabeth and Trey hunting down the man responsible for stealing the spyglass from Sherlock’s grave.
I have not one, but TWO stories in this year’s edition of the comic. I team with Brice Hall on the story Night of the Living, in which Elizabeth and Trey are thrust into what appears to be a zombie outbreak at a mall, and Jeff Longstreet handled the art on my one page story, Special Guest, which features Artie.
Below are a couple pages from Night of the Living as well as a freebie look at Special Guest. I love the way they both turned out. Holmes Inc. is always a lot of fun to work on.
If you’re interested in learning about making comics with Ty, you should check out his brand spankin’ new cartooning school: Ty Templeton’s Comic Book Bootcamp.
Night of the Living (page one & two)
DIY filmmaking guru Jon Reiss asked me to write a guest post for his blog recently, and I’m happy to say that the post has gone live over at:
Additionally, the good folk over at Film Courage ran an excerpt from Kickstarter for Filmmakers on their site yesterday. This one is titled What Crowd Funding Is / Isn’t:
Huge thanks to Jon, Film Courage and everyone else who have helped spread the word of the book thus far. More to come!
Ted Hope’s blog has run the second excerpt from Kickstarter for Filmmakers today, so head over to learn about campaigning as a team and how to plan your rewards!
Additionally, Indiewire just went live with a sample of the book as well! It contains information seen in the first excerpt Hope for Film ran, but also some extra at the end that’s not to be missed!
Wow, what a first week for the book!
I was hoping for good things when I undertook this venture, but holy crap, I didn’t expect this kind of response. Where to even start?
Over the weekend, Kickstarter for Filmmakers peaked on the iBooks Business chart at #2 and has been bouncing around the top ten ever since. I won’t get my first sales report for a couple months, so I still have no idea how many people have bought it, but it’s still pretty awesome to see it up there:
A lot of really cool stuff has been put into motion over the last week. Playback Magazine (the Canadian film industry’s Variety) has asked me to write an article about crowd funding for their next print edition.
In addition to that, Ted Hope’s blog, Hope for Film, has begun running excerpts from the book as of today. Two more are scheduled to go up next week, so if you’re still on the fence about downloading the book, be sure to check out the excerpts for a taste of what’s inside!
There seems to be demand for a print edition of the book, so I’m trying to figure out how to accomplish that. If you’ve got any suggestions, hit me up on Twitter. I’m basically making this all up as I go, so any insight would be lovely.
Some other really exciting opportunities have popped up, but since they’re not 100% yet, I don’t want to say much. Needless to say, it’s been an awesome first week with the book. Thanks to all that have supported it and bought it thus far!
Here’s the press release that went out to promote my new ebook:
In fall 2011, Toronto-based filmmaker James Cooper was faced with an obstacle that many of his peers will find familiar: how to fund his new short film. Weighing the options with the film’s producer, they decided to try their luck at launching a Kickstarter campaign.
45 days and $21,000 later, the film, Elijah the Prophet, was successfully funded. Drawing from his experiences in the trenches as well as the thorough research he did prior to (and after) launching his own campaign, James wrote the ebook Kickstarter for Filmmakers to aid his fellow filmmakers in preparing and executing their own crowd funding campaigns. The book is a combination of personal experience, advice, facts and a case study on how the campaign for Elijah the Prophet was planned and executed.
“After the campaign was a success, I found myself answering a lot of questions from friends and friends of friends about how we did it. After a while, I realized that there’s no real catch-all source of information to break down the basics for people, so I set out to make one myself.”
However, he didn’t want price to get in the way of people taking a chance on the guide. It’s cheaply available for $1.99 on the Kindle, Nook and iBooks stores (with Kobo and more on their way). You can also buy it direct from the book’s website on a pay-what-you-want basis in DRM-free PDF. “Making it available to as many people as possible was really important. Not everyone has an e-reader, so the PDF is a solution anyone can use” says the author.
Things have been moving full-speed ahead over here, so I haven’t been giving much attention to the site, so my apologies for that.
Elijah the Prophet is wrapping up post production, and is nearly complete, which is really exciting. I think we’ve got something really special here, and hope you guys agree when you get to see it.
Over the past six months or so, I’ve been writing a book called Kickstarter for Filmmakers. It’s a pet project I took on after we succeeded in raising the funds for Elijah, and it’s almost ready for release. Once we were successful, I found myself talking to a lot of people who were asking how we did it, or if I had advice for them if they were to pursue a campaign of their own. It was then that I realized a guide could be really beneficial to some people, so I set out to compile everything I’ve learned about running a Kickstarter, plus additional research and a thorough breakdown of the campaign for Elijah the Prophet. The end result will be a 60ish page ebook that I intend to sell dirt cheap, both directly via DRM-free PDF as well as through Kindle, iBooks, etc.
I’m also hard at work contributing to the new issue of Holmes Inc. If you liked my story from last year, you’ll love what I have up my sleeve this time. I’m paired with a fantastic artist by the name of Brice Hall who is busting out really cool, dynamic work. Looking forward to you all being able to read it!
My Cryptophobia story is still happening, we’re just waiting on Viper Comics to sort out their release schedule.
Lastly, I have a secret film project in the works. I’ve acquired the rights to a comic book property to adapt it into a short film. Going to be pretty awesome if we can get the funds together for it. I’ll be announcing more as we have something more concrete.
Oh, and just as a side note, I’m still writing the weekly Bagged & Bored comic over at TDot Comics, so stop by every Monday for the latest episode!
I’ll try to make sure the next update doesn’t take so long. Until next time!
Next to “How are things going with Elijah?” the most common question I’ve been getting the last two weeks or so is: “Are you getting nervous yet?”
The answer, honestly? Not in the least. It’s Tuesday as I type this, and the shoot is right around the corner (we start on Saturday), and I’m heading toward the biggest production I’ve directed yet, but I couldn’t be calmer.
My cast and crew know their shit. It feels great to not have to worry about if things are being taken care of, and instead focusing on collaborating with my Director of Photography and wardrobe department and set decorator, etc.
The entire process, from the day David and I agreed to do this thing together, has been fun. Even the stressful Kickstarter stage of the process was fun. It’s been fantastic.
I fully intend to write a post Monday or Tuesday as a sort of post-mortem report to let everyone know how it went, so come back next week and I’ll have some set photos and stuff like that to show off. Should be fun.
Two days ago (on Nov 26), the Kickstarter campaign for Elijah the Prophet came to a successful close. 134 backers pledged $21,006 to help us make the film happen. I’ve been riding that high all weekend, but it’s funny, because a lot of people have been asking me how I feel and saying things like “You must be relieved.”
While I’m certainly thrilled that we hit and surpassed our goal, I wouldn’t really use the word ‘relieved’ anywhere in the scope of my emotional spectrum. See, now that the money is firmly in place, it’s finally starting to sink in that it’s actually happening. We’re making the film. It’s not longer a ‘what if’ scenario, but a ‘when’ one. This is exciting and intimidating in equal measure.
Elijah the Prophet marks a significant jump in scope, budget and cast/crew for me. It’s the biggest project I’ve been involved with in literally every aspect. I don’t remember who said it, but there’s a saying that goes something like “the best way to improve is to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.” Elijah the Prophet is the embodiment of that advice.
I expect December to be somewhat chill in terms of prep, but we plan to hit the ground running in January for a March shoot. I’ll keep you posted as things develop.
In addition to Elijah getting funded, I also landed a Producer for a short Zach & I wrote, so we’ll see how things shape up for that.
All in all, it’s looking like 2012 is going to be a great year.
This is the big one.
This past Wednesday, I launched a Kickstarter campaign for my next short film: Elijah the Prophet.
Written by Jesse & Zachary Herrmann, the script won this year’s Canadian Short Screenplay Competition and caught the eye of Producer David Cormican. It caught my eye, too, and was immediately determined to be the one to bring the script to screen.
After about two weeks of pitching to David, I landed the gig, and we went into overdrive putting the film together.
Two months later, we have a cast and crew that includes Brian Markinson from Caprica, Melanie Nicholls-King from The Wire and Rookie Blue, and Director of Photography Alwyn Kumst, who lenses for Degrassi.
All this talent on board is only half the battle, though. Now, we’re tasked with raising the remainder of our buget through an all-or-nothing Kickstarter campaign where every dollar gets the project closer to fruition.
If you can’t believe in me, please believe in the incredible cast and crew that are helping me put this film together. Head over to our campaign page for full details on the film and consider your support.
Can’t pledge? You can still help us out in a big way by sending our link to any friends, family or enemies you think might be interested in what we’re doing.
I’ll be checking in with progress reports as we go, but needless to say, I’m in for a busy 45 days.