Archive for Crew

The Road to the Premiere

The Road to the Premiere

In case you haven’t been following us very closely or are just checking Trichster out for the first time, we had an exciting journey to get to where we are today and the latest chapter is with our premiere at SoHo International Film Festival – affectionately shortened to SoHo6. When we heard we were accepted to SoHo6 our team was over the moon. We all did the first of many happy dances in this story. (you know how fond we are of happy dances) We have always talked about how great it would be to have our first public screening in New York City.

Trichster began in New York, was mostly shot in New York and New Jersey and finished its post in New York – so we couldn’t think of a better place to have our World Premiere than at the SoHo International Film Festival.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 7.48.54 AM

But after we got accepted, what happened next is every filmmaker’s dream. Not long after tickets sales for our screening were open to the public the screening sold out! SOLD OUT! We filled a theater with people who wanted to see our film a MONTH before the screening is going to happen. Cue second happy dance!

We’ve always said our goal is to get as many people to see Trichster as possible to raise awareness for trichotillomania so to have something like a sold out premiere is fantastic.

BUT WAIT! There’s more! Our friends at SoHo6 saw that we sold out so far in advance and responded to the demand for more seats. That’s right! They were able to arrange a SECOND SCREENING for us during their festival. I think you know what’s coming next: happy dance numero tres!

So if you weren’t able to make it or didn’t get tickets in time to the first screening, you have a still have a chance to see Trichster at its first film festival. The second screening is Wednesday, May 20th at 5:10pm – here’s a link for those tickets:

We are so grateful to the support of everyone who’s helped us make this film, from friends and family to crowdfunders to crew to all the amazing people in the film and now to SoHo. With your help Trichster has come so far! We’re looking forward to sharing the film with the world and our premiere is a big, big start!

So stay tuned for more fun stories, photos and updates from the festival and, of course, many more happy dances ahead!

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Post Production Update!

Post Production Update!

On May 18th, 2014 Trichster successfully completed our third crowdfunding campaign. This means that to date, we’ve raised a little over $30,000 for our documentary. Considering how this project started, that figure is incredible. It shows us that we’re not alone in our desire to raise awareness of trichotillomania (a hair-pulling disorder). It shows us that people all over the world are in support of our project and the hard work that we have all put in to create this film. It has made us forever thankful to the hundreds of individuals who are making this film possible by their continued support.

It’s really incredible what we’ve been able to accomplish on such a small budget with five first-time independent filmmakers. We found amazing people who were willing to share their stories with the world, flew across the country and even to London to film with them, and made incredible life-long friends in the process. We still have a ways to go in order to finish the film, but it’s a bit surreal knowing that the production process has come and gone; I never imagined the film would garner as much attention as it has.

Trichster started as a simple idea. For years I had wanted to make a film about Trichotillomania after watching a childhood friend live with it. A few years ago I met my friend Amanda (at the time a writer/producer for VH1) for a drink in the Lower East Side and told her I had been contemplating shooting some interviews about trich. I was surprised at how interested she was in helping and before I knew it the two of us were in Union Square asking people what they knew and thought about trich. We had two cameras and a microphone. Embarrassingly, we were fairly new to our equipment and didn’t really know what we were doing but I think we both had a pretty good time figuring it out. As it turned out, almost no one knew the word Trichotillomania, but most people knew someone who pulled out their hair. We were on to something.

We enlisted the help of three other friends in the industry and just like that we had a team of creative professionals who were all invested in this single idea. Ultimately, it was pretty incredible how we came together- two producers, two camera gurus, and a director, all with a shared passion.  It was difficult trying to schedule shoots; we all worked full time and often worked late hours, making it tough for the five of us to be in one place at the same time. When we were able to get together, however, we collaborated well and really pushed each other to explore all of our options as novice, zero budget filmmakers.

The first step was raising some money so that we could rent extra equipment and cars to go to New Jersey (where some of our cast lives), and travel to the Trichotillomania retreat. I was completely petrified. We really needed $10,000 to get started. Who was going to give us this money? Where was this all going to come from? After a leap of faith, we launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes that complete strangers would care enough about our project to help fund it. Donations came pouring in. By the end of the first day we were 20% funded and receiving large donations from people all over the world who we had never even met. My confidence soared.

This new support came with a plethora of new responsibilities. I was no longer only obligated to myself to make the film, but to the 169 backers who believed in me and our team. Suddenly our “little side project” was not so little. I had to finish the film and do my best lest I let people down. We started getting press. People wanted to be involved. Emails from our website filled my inbox and I rushed to answer all of them. We branched out and started to shoot in higher-profile locations which cost extra money and time. We ran another crowdfunding campaign, this time with the startup company Seed&Spark. The release of our first trailer got us a bunch of new hits and to date has over 30,000 views on Youtube.

In April of 2013 I experienced one of the proudest moments of my life. With the money that we raised we were able to book 5 hotel rooms, hire 5 new crew members, and bring four cast members together for the Trichotillomania Learning Center conference in New Jersey. I rented a giant van and bravely faced the streets of Manhattan to pick up hundreds of pounds of rental equipment and drive a car full of people through the Lincoln Tunnel towards Newark airport. For three days we shot in three places at once with two full camera crews and a hallway “confessional” booth. I never sat down. My nerves were high. What if people were upset we were shooting? What if we couldn’t get the needed releases? How do you negotiate a location agreement with a hotel that requires a million dollar insurance policy for film crews? Thankfully, our team was able to pull it off. On the last day of the conference, the crew was upstairs making sure we had all of our equipment together and checking out of the rooms while I said goodbye to some of the new friends I had made in the trichotillomania community. Though I had only known them a short time, I felt this incredible connection to them and really struggled leaving them. We drove two cars of crew back to the city and dropped off all the equipment. When I got back to my apartment I broke down in tears. The realization that my dream was coming true was overwhelming. We had done it! Months of planning and a year of shooting had panned out well and we had really been able to accomplish this, all while having full time jobs. I was so grateful for the team that made it happen and for the people of the trich community who had let us into their lives and accepted us. Rebecca Brown, one of the cast members in our film, was staying with me at the time. She quietly approached me and asked me if I was alright, if I needed a hug. I started laughing.

Having just completed our third crowdfunding campaign, that overwhelming feeling is back. Everything we’ve done over the past three years has been steadily building and I can feel the finish line approaching. We are so close to being finished with the edit of the film. I’ve spent the last 10 months editing the footage and crafting it to tell an honest story about people who I’ve grown to really care for. I can’t wait to finally watch it on a big screen.

So what’s next? Talented friends I’ve made in New York are generously donating much of their time to help finish the film. We have an incredible composer who is at this very moment writing music to match our picture. Our graphic designer and brilliant color corrector will be working nights and weekends to make Trichster look incredible. Our talented audio mixer will bring the sound and music together and make it sound awesome. Once all these elements come together, we’ll have a finished film!

The next thing the Trichster team is tackling: film festivals. None of us have much experience with film festivals, so there’s a learning curve. We’ll be budgeting the remaining funds to go towards applications and deliverables. As soon as we figure out when and where we’ll be screening, you’ll be the first to know! Words cannot express how thankful I am to everyone who has followed us, contributed to our campaign and supported out film. You are all a huge part of Trichster. I so look forward to sharing our “little film” with all of you, and look forward to seeing what the future holds for us.

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TLC Conference

TLC Conference

Hello there Trichster followers!

It’s been just about a month since Trichster went to the TLC Conference and it’s high time we gave you an update!

To begin, it took the Trichster team months and months of planning to shoot the conference. We had to fly Rebecca in from London, hire extra crew to help, book rooms, rent equipment and cars, coordinate with TLC, decide who to film, how to film, and, most importantly, how to keep tack of over 500 people at a conference when many could not be on camera! Planning was definitely a challenge but in the end we pulled it off.

Rebecca flew into New York on the 5th of April and stayed with Jillian for the majority of the time. It was fun living as “flat mates” but we were all sad to see her fly home at the end of the month.

Sophie and Rebecca attended the conference in its entirety while Valerie and Jessie both came on Saturday for afternoon sessions. We filmed some really beautiful moments and were so happy to be able to attend! We also set up a “confessional booth” while at the conference and spoke to some really amazing people- the material looks awesome.

More important than the actual shooting, it was so nice to feel such an amazing connection to the members of the trich community. Trichster saw some familiar faces they met while shooting at the retreat back in September and met many new people along the way. It is very rare to feel so welcomed among strangers and to feel like family within a matter of minutes. It’s incredible what TLC has been able to accomplish with such little staff. We loved every minute that we spent at the conference and were sad to say goodbye.

We have some very busy months ahead. We still have a handful of shoots left before we dive face-first into the editing process. For now, Jillian has started going through the 170+ hours of footage and organizing everything. This is a giant process and documentary editing can take years! Trichster is also starting to apply for grants. We will need funding for post-production, festival entry, and marketing materials. Film making is very expensive!

Thank you all so much for your continued support. What started out a year and a half ago as a “girl with a camera” has grown into so much more than any of us could ever have anticipated. We can’t wait to fill you in on the next leg of our journey.

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TLC Retreat

TLC Retreat

Well we’re back in New York after shooting at the TLC Retreat in the Santa Cruz mountains in California. Valerie and I had a great time, though it was difficult to adjust to sleeping in the woods, in a tent, on a hill after living in New York! We met some incredible people and truly had an amazing experience.

I want to thank everyone at the retreat for opening up to us and inviting us to share their experience. I know it was difficult for some people to get used to having cameras around, but we did our best not to intrude on everyone’s privacy. I’d like to thank a few people that we met at the retreat:

Julia, Hope, Avery and their mothers

And especially Kaija, Shannon, Sera, Cynthia, Kim, Sera, Xochitl, Doug, Samara, Jennifer, Susan, Laurie-Ann, Sara, Megan, and Lauren and her mom for sharing their stories with us. You are all incredibly brave and I feel so privileged to have met you.

I also want to thank Christina for allowing us to take part in the experience and believing in us to tell honest stories.

We look forward to seeing you all at the conference in April!!

Below are some pictures we took while shooting:

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Shooting With Grace

Shooting With Grace

The production of Trichster has been moving right along. This weekend we spent the entire Saturday with Grace and her family. It was so much fun! Grace and her sisters are just as sweet as they can be and they kept us entertained all day. After a long day of shooting, Grace’s parents invited us to dinner and we shared a delicious meal of pasta with vodka sauce, broccoli rabe, and awesome garlic bread. The crew was happy!

That’s Grace in green on the far right with her sisters Anna and Julia.

I should also mention that we had a bit of trouble getting there, as you can see from the video below:

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