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The Nostalgist [17.45] [sci-fi] featured on the American Cinematographer (Short Takes section - December 2014) and it is now available online for free

Giacomo Cimini

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I'd like to introduce you to The Nostalgist, my latest sci-fi short film that featured on the American Cinematographer (Short Takes section - December 2014) and it is now available online for free on Youtube via WIRED.

The cinematography is by Gareth Munden (Lotus Eaters) and the camera operator is Peter Taylor (Jungle Book, Gravity, Kick-Ass, Gladiator).

Here’s the link to the film:


The film was shot in London over seven days in 2013 with a mixed crew of newcomers and highly skilled professionals and a cast led by French star Lambert Wilson (Suite Francaise, Of Gods and Men, The Matrix Reloaded) and British child actor Samuel Joslin (Paddington, The Impossible).

It was shot in 5K with Anamorphic Lenses (Xtal Express) using Red Epic Cameras. The RAW footage was converted in EXR files for the VFX and then re-exported in DPX for the Color Grading. The film was graded at Company 3 (London) by Greg Fisher.


The Nostalgist received its worldwide festival premiere at the Palm Springs Short Fest in June 2014, where it was awarded the runner-up prize for live-action short over 15 minutes, and it received its European premiere at the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy in July 2014, where it was awarded the first prize as Best Short Film in its Generator 18+ (fiction) section. The short also was also selected for the LA Shorts Fest and FantasticFest in Austin, and its UK premiere was at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2014 in the CULT section.


I hope you will enjoy it and of course if you have any question please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Thank you Tyler.


The total budget we raised was around £90k (35% Kickstarter + 20% soft money in form of tax credit + 45% private equity). From sales we recouped around 20% so far (not far from the estimates).

Part of the vfx work came as an investment.

Kickstarter aside there were 10 producers investing, so the money invested individually in the end were in line with a low budget short film.... Many hands make light work!

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Hi Tyler,


Of course we took a gamble but we used my previous sci-fi short film -with unknown actors and in Italian but with a participation to the Venice Film Festival and strong sales on iTunes and other similar short films as history case studies- and more importantly we treated the short with the same approach we would treat a feature film.


There is a market out there for short films that are not available for free online: Worldwide TV channels, VODs, limited theatrical releases, exclusive online releases, ancillaries and so on.


We decided therefore to delayed the free online release of almost two years from the premiere at Palm Springs. With the current increase of feature film titles more and more available VOD this with The Nostalgist will probably remain an experiment.


The premiere at a key festival like Palm Springs Short Festival was certainly crucial. The festival is highly regarded among short film experts and known by the industry and crucially, like very few others festivals, it has an extraordinary market for short film where you can specifically find sales agencies specialised in short film.


As I said, also sharing the cost among different people interested for different reasons in the short helped the process.





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Thanks for the info Giacomo.


I have one short film right now that is very current event that I really want to shoot, however it would cost around $25 - $30k to do it right.


The big problem I've had is finding capitol for this and other smaller projects. I don't have a fan base to help spark interest, nor a top actor associated.


If I could find a revenue source that works, I could probably fund it through friends, but it has to be fool-proof.


So my question to you is; how do you deal with online fundraising for something that isn't going to be a big movie with huge payouts at the end? On kickstarter for instance, most people won't sign up unless there is some great gift at the end of it all.

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Hi Tyler,


Re your question.


Finding funding for making films it is always complicated no matter what the budget is. The Nostalgist is not a big movie with huge payouts, it was just professionally structured and it is still very far to break even. It was something we really wanted to make and we went for it. We really wanted to see the story adapted and we thought it would have been professionally a great experience.


Kickstarter is an unpredictable system and a huge amount of work. If you don't have a fan base or an actor or soft money, you need at least have a socially compelling subject, something that will entice people to be part of it and not necessarily great rewards.

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Yea, the rewards structure has always been my beef with crowd funding. You can do good rewards on features, but shorts, it's a whole other ballgame and even if you have good soft money, it's still not enough in most cases.

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Could you solicit a item as part of the funding that would serve as the thank you or recognition gift? Maybe a corporate gifts maker could produce a paperweight with an image of some pivotal scene from the short embedded in it as their donation which then would become the reward for the monetary donors. Custom Lucite paperweights are very cheap to produce, even in small quantities.

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