Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

Congratulations to TILT: the Score Group #2 Finalists:

TONY SMITH (53% of the votes)


STEVEN MCKNIGHT (25% of the votes)

( & (Twitter: falsettoclergy)

This was another great round. ALL of our Group #2 composers/competitors submitted work they should be proud of, and we’re grateful that they each took the time to enter our little contest.  Our hats are off to them!

Don’t forget to come back to support Tony, Steven, Group #1 finalists Carlos & Matt, and our other finalists during the Final Round of voting (Wed, 5/26 – Mon, 5/31.) The winner of the contest will be selected from the Top 3 Final Round voter picks and announced on Thurs, June 3rd.

And now…time to vote for Group #3!


We have some great announcements in store for you in the coming weeks, including updates about the TILT: THE SCORE contest (voting starts 5/17), casting (yay!), the 1st draft of TILT: THE SCRIPT (yikes!), the launch of TILT: THE TOWN (what?), and much more!

However, right now we’d like to take a moment to thank you, TILT: THE FANS, for checking out our site and being so supportive as we go on this film journey.

So…thank you.  From all of us working on TILT.

Now, since you stopped by, please take a moment to answer a little question for us:

by Julie & Jessica of King is a Fink

Director Phil Holbrook had been kicking around his idea for TILT for a few years, but our involvement with the project started on December 29th, 2009, with this message:

Just for the sake of discussion, what do you think you would charge for a script, if you were given an idea & an outline?

I’m pretty sure we looked at each other and said “one million dollars” in unison.  Then we took a deep breath and got serious.  What would writing for another person mean?  The decision to take on this project wasn’t easy.  Soon after getting Phil’s message, we “met” him on Skype.  He shared his idea with us, which had to have been hard, and then we mulled it over for a couple of days.

While we didn’t actually make a pro and con list, if we had, it would have looked something like this:


  • We’d ever worked with anyone else on this level. So far we’d written 15 or so shorts and (almost) 3 feature-length screenplays, but our process had been a private one.  By accepting this assignment, we’d be not only developing someone else’s idea but relying on their feedback and criticism.  This. Was. Scary.
  • We had other projects on our slate. We were about to finish The Unlovables.  We wanted to revise Moonbugs.  We were in talks to adapt a naughty memoir by author Kevin Keck (no relation; totally family).  We wanted to make another short.  Did we really have time for another major project?
  • What if it didn’t work out? This was the most worrisome issue.  We’d developed a great rapport with Phil and considered him our friend, but we knew that there could be problems.  What would happen if he didn’t like what we wrote?  Or what if we wrote the movie and didn’t like his directing?  What if the movie was a huge success but we didn’t like how the profits were split up?  (Admittedly, the last one would be a great problem to have.)  Lots of things could go wrong.


  • First and foremost, we really liked Phil.  We’d developed a great rapport with him over Twitter, submitted shorts (and gotten accepted) to his film festival, and genuinely enjoyed interacting with him.  We also thought he was a talented director.  (You’ve seen Honest Work, right?)  Phil was the perfect Twitter friend: supportive of others projects and eager to share great information.  And he was just freakin’ funny.
  • We genuinely liked Phil’s basic idea.  The idea was fresh, provocative, and edgy, definitely in line with our other work.
  • The project fit in with our ultimate goal, which was to write screenplays for others.  If we could successfully partner with Phil, develop a script that he loved, and help him make the best movie possible, we’d have proof that we could do the same for other directors.  (Kathryn Bigelow, can you hear us?)

Our Decision

Obviously, we decided to take the leap and join Phil on this journey.  No regrets.

First Steps

After we decided to take on the project, we emailed Phil a 5-page treatment for TILT.  We’d fleshed out the story in some ways that he hadn’t expected, but, from the very beginning, he encouraged us to contribute our own ideas.  This has been one of the best things about working with Phil: he has always maintained that this is our project, too.  It’s made the writing process a lot easier.  We don’t just submit pages to him like he’s our boss; we share our work with him as our partner, someone we can rely on for honest feedback and encouragement.

Turning in Act One

As promised, we turned in Act One to Phil the week before EgoFest.  And then…we didn’t hear back from him.  For about 12 hours.  Julie’s hair turned white.  We worried that he didn’t like the script, that he didn’t want to work with us anymore, that we’d ruined everything.  But the next morning Phil sent us a message saying that, overall, he liked what we’d done.  Whew…

Our 1st Big Collaborative Bump

While we were in Brainerd for EgoFest, we talked a lot about TILT, and we talked about one particular element of Act Two that we all had differing opinions on.  Without giving anything away, there’s an element that Phil wanted to add that we disagreed with.   By the end of the weekend, Jess and I had promised to give it a shot.  On the ten-hour drive back home to Chicago we threw ideas back and forth and tried to figure it out.  By the time we got home, though, we still hadn’t figured out how to incorporate Phil’s request.

A Big Talk

We talked with Phil about the issue over Skype, and it was the most difficult talk we’ve had.  In the end, we asked Phil to give us a chance to prove that we could make a solid Act Two our way.  We know this had to be hard on Phil; it took a huge toll on us.  On one hand, we knew that this had started as Phil’s project, and we wanted to give him what he wanted.  We didn’t want to let him down.  On the other hand, we wanted to stay true to ourselves and create character arcs and story lines that made sense to us.  We also wanted to end up with something that we could share with others as a true reflection of our ability to develop stories.

We sort of felt like we were designers on Project Runway: we wanted to satisfy our client (Phil) while still letting our personal style shine through.  (Hmm, note to Phil: we may need to get a TILT Tim Gunn.  And maybe a TILT Heidi Klum.)

Ready for Act Two?

We’re planning on turning in Act Two to Phil by Saturday (3/27).  We think it’s good.  We hope Phil does, too.  We’re still a little nervous about showing him what we’ve done, but, in the end, we know that we’ll be able to talk about the story honestly and respectfully.  Our partnership is solid (solid as a rock, in fact), and we all have the same goal: to create the best movie possible.

Face to Face to Face to Face

Posted: February 25, 2010 in Tilt
Tags: , ,

Originally Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 – 11:38 AM

The Tilt gang meets up for the first time. Was it weird? You bet!  Watch the video below to see our first face to face Tilt meeting where we reveal a brief synopsis, discuss who our audience is, and chat about locations.

Finally, some info on Tilt!

One of our goals with Tilt is to include the audience every step of the way. While we (Phil, Jeremy, Julie & I) are all passionate about filmmaking and storytelling, we aren’t experts on everything that’s involved with making, marketing, or distributing a feature film. In fact, it’s incredibly daunting for all of us. Therefore, we want to tap into our biggest resource: YOU.

Why are you a resource? For many reasons. You might have more experience than us. You may have more expertise. Maybe you’ve already made a feature film (or know someone who has). Or you might simply have a different perspective. Whether you fit one or all of those categories, we’d love to hear what you have to say. So – up for giving us a little Friendly Feedback?

TODAY’S TOPIC: The Distribution of Wealth

Now – first we want to acknowledge that broaching this subject is incredibly presumptuous. We haven’t even finished the script, and we’re already thinking about what happens if we make money. Who do we think we are? Well, for one, we’re people who, despite not having experience making a feature, have life experience that has taught us to be very cautious when embarking on financial endeavors with others.

Going into this, we all understand fully that we may make no money or (please, no!) even lose money. However, from our experience (from Julie’s as a business owner and ours together as filmmakers), we know, beyond a doubt, that this is an issue that needs to be discussed openly and honestly up front. Otherwise, problems could develop later due to unrealistic expectations and assumptions.

Here’s what we’ve agreed on so far:

  • All money raised to make TILT will be used to make this the best movie possible. What does this mean? We will not pay ourselves unless we turn a profit.
  • If people (us, friends, family, members, guardian angels, fairy godmothers, etc.) invest in our movie (outside of Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, or other crowdfunding platforms) AND if TILT turns a profit, then those investors will be reimbursed before we divvy up the rest.

So, today’s question is: If TILT turns a profit, how should be split it up?

After examining Hollywood film budgets, it looks as though they usually allot money to people based on their specific roles: the producer and director get the most, followed by the screenwriter, followed by the cinematographer.

However, some of the circumstances of our arrangement make following this model difficult:

  • We are all wearing several different hats. Phil is directing and producing. I am writing and producing. We’re exploring the possibility of sharing editing duties. We’re all contributing to the planning and promotion of the film. The tasks that we all complete are not cut and dry.
  • Julie and I are writing the screenplay together. Does this mean we should we be treated as a unit or as individuals?

Additional questions:

  • Also, we’ll need to set aside money to pay other contributors. Should we pay them up front or give them a share of things later? How much should we set aside for them?
  • Since none of us has marketing, publicity, or distribution experience, should we hire a strategist or consultant right now? Is it too early? And will it really help us make more money in the long run?
  • Are we wack-a-doo to fork over money for a consultant for a movie that hasn’t even been written yet, let alone filmed or edited?
  • Should we plan to set aside money to pay sound designers? Or actors?
  • Most importantly: What questions aren’t we asking that we should be?

Thank you in advance for your insights and ideas on today’s topic. If you don’t know the answers, feel free to bring someone else into the discussion. The more, the merrier.

Posted by Jessica

  • What is TILT? A feature-length dramatic thriller we’re making in 2010
  • Who’s involved? Phil Holbrook (directing & producing), Jessica King (writing & producing), Julie Keck (writing), Jeremy Doyle (cinematography), everyone else (TBA)
  • What’s it about? A father, a daughter, a tragedy, and some revenge. Not necessarily listed in order of appearance.
  • When is the movie going to be finished? Phil first approached us about the collaboration in January. We plan to deliver the 1st 30 pages to Phil before they head up to meet him (and Jeremy) at EgoFest on 2/19. Projected finish date for the screenplay = March. Shooting planned for late summer / early fall.
  • Where will TILT be shot? Lovely Brainerd, Minnesota
  • Have any of you made a feature-length movie before? Nope
  • Does that scare you? Yep.
  • Why do you think now’s the time to try it? We’ve all produced our own shorts; check out Phil’s Honest Work, Julie & Jessica’s shorts, and Jeremy’s work. Also, we’re all driven. We’re inspired by the other amazing filmmakers we know taking a shot and making it happen. We’re all ready. And we all know that 4 heads (and sets of hands) are better than one.
  • Who’s in charge? Everyone. We communicate regularly through email, Twitter & GoogleWave. We meet weekly via Skype. All tasks are discussed, assigned, and followed-up on in a friendly and respectful manner. And when things get done, Jessica puts cool scratch-and-sniff stickers on our reinforcement poster. (Phil has the most stickers…for now.)
  • How are you going to engage your audience? We’re going to buy a whole bunch of diamond rings, then take our audience out for a romantic dinner, get down on one knee… no, wait. Scratch that.
  • We hope to engage our friends and our fans by sharing every single step of this filmmaking journey via blog, vlog, Twitter, etc. We all have all of the passwords to all of the TILT accounts (Twitter, the blog, the email, etc.), so we’ll all have equal opportunity to ask questions, vent, or share information. Maybe Phil will post videos when he’s in the midst of casting or scouting for locations. Maybe Julie will vent via vlog when she’s up all night and having trouble with a scene. Maybe Jeremy will blog about how he can’t believe Julie wrote a spaceship into the middle of a dramatic thriller…maybe not.
  • But we’re not only going to share our successes and frustrations with you. We’re also going to ask for your input. From time to time, we’re going to post questions or ask for your opinions about how to do something or which way to go. Why? Because YOU, friends and fans, are our best resource.
  • So far, who’s the hardest person to work with? Phil. Two words: Di. va.
  • Who’s the easiest…? Julie, definitely.
  • Um … easiest to WORK WITH? Oh…um, Jessica & Jeremy are probably tied on that one. (Awkward…)

We hope this gives you a little better idea about where we started and where we’re headed. We plan to post updates on Mondays and Thursdays, at the very least, so subscribe to the site to make sure you catch everything. Also, you can keep up with us on Twitter (@TILTtheMovie) for additional updates. Follow us individually on Twitter to get extra tidbits and a ringside seat to our collaboration: Phil (@philotilt), Jeremy (@jerdoyle), Julie & Jessica (@kingisafink).

What’s Coming Next? A post from Jeremy Doyle about equipment he plans to use + a vlog from King is a Fink