Hello friends, fans and other fellow creative professionals,
As you all know, six months ago, I set myself upon the mission of putting together a team of writers, artists and animators to bring my animated adventure series, “Surfur Gurl”, to life.
Hundreds and hundreds of resumes were sent to me from THE MOST talented people I’ve ever seen. Some whose work I was a fan of, previous to them applying to work on the show. I am honored and humbled that so many amazing people reached out to join this series and work for my fledgling animation studio.
I’m also saddened… deeply saddened… that I could not hire everyone. The one take away from my employer escapade is that there is infinitely more talent and capability out there than the narrow, congested, Hollywood bottleneck can ever accommodate. This will have a lasting impact on me and, someday, I hope to do something to end that restriction and free these creatives to pursue their own ventures, unrestrained by the corporate studio gatekeepers.
Looking back, I have wanted to move to Hollywood ever since I came here on a vacation, as a little kid, with my family. But it wasn’t until I saw Star Wars in 1977 that I knew that I wanted to use my natural-born creative abilities to tell my own stories. Moving here was a dream come true.
But it was not an easy decision to make. Selling the home I loved so much, a lifetime of collectibles and movie props, and closing my business down in Chicago to come here was a heavy burden. Nor was it easy to leave everyone and everything I knew behind to chase this (foolish?) dream. I knew that I was cutting the rope bridge and that there was no way back and no “Plan B”. It’s this and nothing else. Failure is not an option.
However, the reality of this place and this industry are such that unless one is already in the cult, one does not stand a chance. It is not about talent. It is about politics. No news there to most of you reading this.
There is lots of work as a temporary service provider for the studios, but not for idea people, like me (who also has many of the same creative abilities you fine folks have). From what I’ve seen, first hand, that is deliberate.
Those holding onto power do not want to share it, or worse, for someone to come along from outside the cult to upset their delicately stacked apple cart. They will do backflips to (ever-so-politely) shut you down.
I’ve lived here for 6 years. I did everything possible to get my series green lit. Burnt through all my savings and then some and the answer from people with titles like “creative executive” (not sure what one majored in to achieve that title)… is still, “no”… despite the fact that the very people these studios rely on to make their shows happen, ALL love “Surfur Gurl” and want to work on it.
I am, therefore, going to do it anyway!
Instead of spending another second or wasting another dime pursuing funding and distribution from the terminally ill Hollywood studio colossus, I’m going to, instead, create a new 60 second “Surfur Gurl” trailer for the first 2-part episode, and use that in a crowdfunding campaign.
My hope is to create enough of a buzz with the new “Surfur Gurl” trailer to create an even bigger buzz for funding the first episode. And that first episode will hopefully fund the rest of the first season of the show.
Sadly, I likely won’t be able to afford the 60’s music I want to use in the initial episode, but if people like it enough, I might be able to get enough funding to add it for the full series after that. We will see.
I still would love to work with all of you, as soon as that becomes possible. But, to get this going, I have to pull this in close to the chest and go in a different direction than I had originally hoped. Once we get past the first fund raising hump, we will be bringing on additional help in terms of writing, art and animation. So, you are still on the list!
I have re-written the first “Surfur Gurl” episode, myself (which I had already written years and years ago, I just added more to it). I will be doing all the character art, most of the storyboards, the backgrounds and the voice-over work (except for Honey & Scoop, who I will have to cast for the trailer).
I gave myself 6 months to, once more, try the traditional Hollywood route, thinking that the 25 year box office low last summer and the mass exodus out of cable and satellite subscriptions would have shaken the cancerous monster out of it’s slumber and maybe give someone outside their cult a chance. Silly me. I won’t make that mistake again.
Thanks for reading. I just wanted to take a second and explain to you what’s been happening and where things are headed now.
All the best,
April 24, 2018