O.K. so I
admit Thunderclap is relatively new to me, but it’s not a crowdfunding
site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. It is something else completely different, and it’s something that more black filmmakers should take advantage of.
But before I
get to that, I should come clean and tell you that the feature film currently
in development, “The New Thirty,” is a film
being written by S & A’s own London based contributor Wendy E. Okoi-Obuli.
belies what some angry commenters like to assume of us not doing anything of
our own and just criticizing other filmmakers. The fact of the matter is that
there perhaps isn’t someone who hasn’t written for S & A who hasn’t either
made their own films or have written film scripts.
back to Wendy’s project, which was one of 12 chosen for the Film
London Microwave indie initiative, and is, as she says in her own words, a “chick-flick;” However, the project didn’t make it to the second round, as the judges felt they’d be unable to make their film within the scheme’s £150,000 ($230,000) budget.
But the project is still in development, and soon will start preparation for packaging for financing at a considerably higher budget than the microwave scheme would have allowed.
"Another black rom-com?" you’re probably asking. Wendy has an answer to that question.
As she says, “like
most women, I’ve watched my fair share of chick-flicks which almost always seem
to be steering their audience towards the quest of getting the guy – no matter
how unreasonable, questionably unethical, or odious he might be. The message
seems to be: if there’s a ring at the end of a path of emotional turmoil,
contortion, or even humiliation, it was all worth it."
She however adds that, “with a hybrid/bi-cultural upbringing (British-Nigerian) despite
that fact that these films reinforce any Nigerian cultural influences I might
have had growing up, they were never really directed at me, or anyone who
endured any sort of hybrid cultural upbringing. Even while these mainstream
chick-flicks set about playfully cajoling young women (usually represented as
white and western) down the path to betrothal, the narrative surrounding women
of “ethnic” persuasion too often seems to be of coercion and lack of agency on
Further, her goal with "The New Thirty" is “… to subvert the usual rom-com and
chick-flick clichés, while using humour to look at some of the added ways in
which women outside of the mainstream, even within modern, western society,
navigate being single and independent versus married and socially compliant…If
a woman’s still single at thirty, or even single and childless at 40 and
beyond… does this negate her womanhood and right to be, consider herself, or be
seen as, happy?”
it’s about women needing to listen more to themselves than to the often
well-meaning people around them who encourage them to seek external validation,
often leading them to resorting to desperate measures. Does desperation to be
in a relationship lead to love, respect, or emotional stability?”
does Thunderclap come in? Well, as I previously stated, what it is not, is a
crowdfunding platform. Instead it’s a site to get the word out about a project.
In other words, it’s like your own personal PR machine.
As "The New Thirty" continues its progress towards production, the filmmakers want to start
building their potential audience with regular news about cast announcements,
production photos, as well as cast and crew interviews, teaser trailers,
and so forth.
So by going
on the Thunderclap website for "The New Thirty" (HERE) you can decide on what
personal social media account, such as Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr via which you will
receive up to date status reports on the film that will be automatically posted on your account, letting your network of friends and followers know what’s going on with the film, and thus creating support and awareness of it.
So for all
of you out there who always like to talk about supporting quality black films,
here’s a great opportunity to do it, and it won’t even cost you a cent.