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Guest Post: How I Made 6 Indie Films in 10 Years

Guest Post: How I Made 6 Indie Films in 10 Years

I just
finished producing my sixth feature film, “Mr. Rudolpho’s Jubilee.” We shot in Berlin, Milan and
Tuscany with an artist collective of 300 people from 30 different countries. Its an uplifting, family-friendly romantic comedy in English, German and Italian, with musical narration by my
band, Bright Blue Gorilla. Ive been
making no-budget indie films with my husband, writer-director Michael Glover, for 10 years and we just
celebrated 25 years of touring the world as artists, doing concerts and movie
screenings.

If we didnt take the
step of quitting our L.A. jobs, selling everything we had and buying one-way
tickets to Europe, wed probably
still be in L.A. waiting around to be discovered.  

Ive never felt limited in my music or film
career as a woman. Ive always
felt I could do anything I dreamed of. Maybe its because of my sister Dedes death. Dede and my best
friend, Lisa, were killed by a drunk driver when I was 20. It was a wake-up
call: Life is short. From that moment on, I knew I had to do what I loved and live a meaningful life. No one could make that happen except me. 

To me,
the three keys of success are:

1. Ask for help. 

2. Do
the best you can, with what you have, where you are.

3.
Include others in your prosperity. 

Thats how weve made six feature films for practically no money. As
a performer, I learned by doing, and we learned to make films the same way: By
diving in, knowing we would make mistakes and embracing the process. We
skipped short films and started with features. Each feature has grown in quality
and opened new doors

“Mr. Rudolpho’s Jubilee” is the story of a famous
Italian fashion designer who, disillusioned with his shallow life, decides to
commit suicide during Berlin Fashion Week. Fortunately, his plan fails, and he’s
taken in by a group of Bohemian artists who have no idea who he is. Meanwhile,
the world outside searches for Rudolpho. The film humorously presents universal
modern themes: The isolating effect of technology, the pros and cons of
gentrification and the importance of keeping life simple.

After
months of pre-production, we ended up with 38 shoot days, 35 locations, 50
crew, 52 speaking parts and 100-plus extras. Our apartment in the heart of Berlin doubled as a production
office. I was able to walk to each location, introduce myself and ask them if
we could shoot there. We had a great “yes” rate
with locations, especially when they learned we were an artist collective and
not a big-budget film. 

Because
it was a big project with a small team, sometimes things were done at the last
minute. For one of our final scenes in Berlin, we still didn’t
have two important background roles filled on shoot day. We decided to head to the location
anyway and just wing it. When we arrived, there were two pregnant women sitting on a bench — perfect for the scene. I introduced myself, explained what we were doing and
asked them to be in the movie. They agreed, signed contracts, and we shot. Dont be afraid to ask for help!

Since Rudolpho” was an ultra-low-budget shoot, we created a
profit-sharing model for cast and crew. Everyone who came on board was there
because they wanted to be and believed in the project and in the
people. Shooting “Mr. Rudolphos Jubileewith an artist collective was magical: A real labor of love. 

For our
band, Bright Blue Gorilla, we came up with a mantra that would sum up our
lifestyle and aims. It’s something we do our best to practice and live up to, especially on movie shoots: Remain calm and share your bananas.”  

Robyn
Rosenkrantz is a producer and musician with
Bright Blue Gorilla Movies &
Music
. “Mr.
Rudolpho
s Jubileeis her sixth feature film. Help bring this film to life
on her
IndieGoGo campaign.

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