Being International Women’s Day, it seemed only right to launch our brand new blog, right from the pen (and mind) of horror filmmaker Katie Bonham. Enjoy!

It is Sunday the 8th of March and the first time I have ever written a blog! Okay so it’s been a crazy week of indie filmmaking at its best, my Kickstarter for my next film Keepsake finished last Sunday and failed to reach goal, which left me in the realms of funding hell. With everything in place ready to shoot at the end of March and no money to achieve this, I had to go back to basics.

Jet setting (from Glasgow to London ;)) back from Frightfest Glasgow where I had just screened The Paper Round for its world première, I was in limbo – on the one hand, feeling on top of the world that The Paper Round was so well received, and, on the other, Keepsake, which lacked funding and had taken months of work from cast/crew to pull together. But where there’s a will there’s a horror way…

There was only one way I could make this film now – goodbye overdue holiday (sorry mum, I know I promised, and I mean really promised, but a girl’s gotta create the horror she craves). So I decided to cut down the script by removing the dialogue fat, something that, in hindsight has only made the story stronger. I also made a very scary call to my crew and outlined the lack of budget and the implications of food, camera kit, props, location and that we would in fact need to shoot in three small blocks to make this work. The crew I have are awesome, but I wanted to give them the heads up and the chance to ‘opt out’ if they thought they could no longer commit. As always people surprise me – and everyone was in, ready with sandwiches, sleeping bags, donated props and a tight shooting schedule that makes my head hurt if I think too much about it…

And then something else truly amazing happened – people who had provisionally donated to Keepsake began to contact me; they heard I was continuing with the film regardless and still wanted to help. This was the moment that I realised the full extent of people’s kindness and support for struggling filmmakers, and not only that but people actually wanted to see my short films made. At first I was worried to say yes, people trusted me with their money and the art I am trying to create. The fact that they were willing to send their pledges straight to me was an overwhelming feeling. I am a great believer in the art of asking (as outlined by the awesome Amanda Palmer) and had asked for help once the Kickstarter campaign failed, but in true horror community spirit we had found a loophole together. Pledges are still coming in as I type this. People are fricking (my dad will read this) amazing!

Due to strict funds, I am actually typing this from my family home in Hythe, where I have returned to prop hunt through the large and very messy (Sorry again mum) garage where no car has ever lived, only my family’s place of ‘things no longer wanted but too good to throw away’. It’s a cove of strange and wonderful items – I already found a sheep’s skull (don’t ask) and many other items of awesomeness to include in the film. As I stood rifling through the objects that made up the years of my family, I realised how much I love to make films and how pooling resources only makes us more creative; sweet Sally the sheep’s skull would have never been in Keepsake if it wasn’t for the funding crisis – imagine what other happy instances of creativeness will come of this seemingly terrifying low-budget filmmaking road…

Until next time my horror friends…

On another slightly strange note – in the spirit of asking, we are still looking for a grip and a sound guy – interested? Then hit me up!

 

Twitter: @ktbonham

 

About The Author

Katie Bonham

Writer/Director Katie Bonham is an avid horror fan, with three successful shorts produced in the past 15 months (her fourth short Keepsake is currently in pre-production). Exploding with ideas, determination and a pragmatic sensibility, Bonham is a talented up and coming director worth looking out for. Katie also reviews for horrortalk.com and cinemachords.com.