Voldemort’s glossy 12-page Look Book landed in my inbox like a New York City phonebook dropped on my stoop. Weighing in at over 10 megabytes, it sent my laptop into a coma while the download poured in. When I opened the file for the first time the world around me disappeared and my cognitive frame filled with the glossy words and images. I entered a hologram of my movie, pulled from my brain and planted on the screen. Others had seen and created in living color the story I had envisioned and shaped over the last five years. It was no longer just a pipe dream. It was real.
But the financial pages were blank. No budget, no projections, no comps. It was just a hologram of pretty pictures, not real. You can’t make a movie without dollar signs and numbers.
Two years ago a producer friend-of-a-friend read an early version of the script and offered to draft me a budget for $1,500. Without the know-how or connections to make a movie, I decided it was premature. Now, for $10,000, I was getting a budget as part of a bigger marketing package. Except it wasn’t there.
Not to worry, Voldemort assured me, Jesus is working on it. He’s a producer, he’s busy, but he will soon materialize the missing pages from the ethers.
And sure enough, after two weeks of hand-wringing, the missing pages appeared. I love a good spreadsheet. It can provoke fear of sudden death or provide elixyr on the path to success. But this spreadsheet was a totem of signposts to parts unknown. The numbers were odd, and somewhat random. Contingencies and Fringes were huge, and Talent was listd at just $44,372. Why not $44,373 or bertter yet $44,400 (a full house, fours over jokers)? No round numbers here except at the bottom line.
And the back page was supposed to list both my and Voldemort’s cotnact information, but only showed Voldemort’s. “To make it look more professional”, I was told. Not what I was expecting, but I quickly agreed: Voldemort’s name added credibility. I accepted the draft and ordered five copies printed. My family and friends would know how to contact me.
In the entertainment business where image is everything, Voldemort’s team produced something that made an instant impression. Despite the funny numbers, the slick glossy booklet gave me instant credibility. It made my project tangible and accessible, something I could sell. Voldemort and his team caught my dream and moved it one big step closer to reality.