Henry Tjernlund is creating Screenwriting and short films.
1

patron

$14
per month
ABSTRACT

Thirty-five years ago, while getting a science degree, I also attended film school. Life took me in other directions for a couple decades. Fifteen years ago, I returned to that passion for filmmaking and helped others make their films. During that time, I wrote a stack of my own scripts. Some have done very well in contests (top 10% more than once.) Several years ago, I became disabled and my income shriveled up. I can barely make ends meet, let alone pursue my artistic endeavors.

There are crowd-funding platforms for funding the films themselves, but I also need a steady amount of extra income to keep my car operational, buy some supplies (I also paint, when I can), pay for software upgrades, and fill those gaps which project funding doesn't cover. I would love to be able to afford an exceptional sale of film gear (where a fellow artist is buying new equipment and clearing out their old). So I am appealing to any benefactors who could help me turn out one short film after another. These short films will be posted for free viewing up on YouTube and other venues.

DETAILS

I've loved watching movies my whole life. Stories fill my mind. But I also love science. I was a science nerd and a fan of sci-fi. I watched the original Star Trek episodes when they first aired. Since movies were made only in several places back then (and I was no where near those), I went for a degree in science. My first job after graduating was at the university itself. The pay was paltry but I could take courses at a tiny fraction of the regular cost. So I took film and photography classes.

A series of life events happened before I got more than half way through the film curriculum. I married, and took jobs in the manufacturing automation industry. Some of the work involved travel and extensive stays at the work site. My spouse and I grew apart and we ended the marriage mutually and equitably. More jobs followed. I also did some vol. FF/EMT services. (It runs in the family.) Then, my father passed away (he had developed cancer from working in the steel mills).

At my mother's request I returned home to help her out, eventually becoming her caregiver. I had been working part-time jobs, such as instructing at a community college. There I found another passion - writing. I was always dyslexic, but in-line spell checking was a huge benefit! I sold several short stories and began writing film scripts as well. After my mother passed away, I thought I'd be able to resume full-time work and get back on my feet again. That didn't happen.

I continued to write while working part-time. I did jobs such as scanning and sorting parcels at FedEx or UPS. I started to volunteer on student and independent film projects when I could. I never felt more in my element than on a movie set. A brief writing partnership led to the brief publication of a novel. One of our two scripts did well in one of the top movie industry writing contests, the PAGE Awards, where we made it to the top 10% of thousands of entries. I started entering my own scripts into other contests. Half the time they did well, getting into the top 20% and even 5%.

I was gaining confidence in my writing. But then my hip blew out while doing yard work and things went downhill from there. Other ailments reared their ugly heads. My doctors convinced me that I should apply for disability. That process took over a year to finalize, with a federal judge agreeing with doctors that I was unemployable. Disability payments keep me from being homeless, but not much more than that. Paying the necessary bills doesn't leave much for making movies. Yes, there are crowd-funding websites, and I have tried several. But it's difficult to get people to invest if you have nothing to show them.

I have continued to write and so far have a growing stack of scripts (around 25 as of this writing.) I've been working at finding an agent. Studios don't buy scripts directly from writers - you have to have an agent. But even to get an agent you have to be referred by someone in the industry. Doing well in contests alone isn't enough.

I think if I can finish 3 to 5 projects, then I could get crowd-funding for more projects. But I need those first several projects. Here are some of those starting costs -

  • Copyrighting scripts, $35 each, through the US Library of Congress. They say you should not send out a script without copyright protection. I have yet to copyright all my scripts.
  • Keeping the old car I have up and running. To pass inspection, it needs exhaust work and two new tires. And I need help with buying fuel and car insurance.
  • Insurance for the film projects. It's highly recommended to have some insurance in case someone gets hurt, or drops a camera down a manhole. Most locations require proof of insurance.
  • Keeping up with software. A growing number of companies no longer sell their software. They rent it out by the month. And it's cheaper to pay by the year, than by the month.
  • Paying for online cloud storage. Film footage can take up gigabytes of storage space. Online cloud storage is the easiest way to get movie clips to an editor or music composer. It's also an excellent form of data backup.
  • Replacing gear as it gets worn out or broken. Most of the gear I have has been previously used.
  • Entering finished projects in film festivals. Most film festivals have entry fees. Winning awards can make it easier to secure funding for future projects.
  • Buying props, wardrobe, and gear of opportunity. I buy a lot of these items at thrift stores, but even those purchases add up. (I’ve had some incredible finds at thrift stores, such as a 1960s Geiger counter, a complete army uniform, a SCUBA wet suit, and a vintage Japanese geisha dress).
  • And other costs for details that increase the film's production values.

A steady flow of modest income would greatly boost my ability to make an equally steady stream of short films. These films would be made publicly available. Other filmmakers could even use them as background elements for their own films, such as something playing on a television.

Here is a list of some of my scripts, all of which have done well in contests. Other scripts have yet to be entered into any contests as I can't afford that right now. Making a filmon my current income puts everything else on hold. It would be great if I didn't have to do that.

WHAT YOU KNOW (96-pages, crime thriller)
[2015 Screencraft Action & Thriller screenplay contest semi-finalist (top 5%)]

QUESTERS (feature, medieval fantasy, co-written)
[2014 PAGE Awards quarter-finalist (top 10%)]

SMALL BLUE (123-pages, science fiction)
[2015 Scriptapalooza Science Fiction screenplay contest quarter-finalist (top 20%)]
[Zoetrope 3rd highest reviewed screenplay for the month of Nov. 2014]

MECHANITY pilot (60-pages, science fiction) (aka UNITY)
[2015 Screencraft Pilot Launch teleplay contest quarter-finalist. (top 20%)]

SICKLE MOON (112-pages, horror)
[2015 Screencraft Horror screenplay contest quarter-finalist (top 20%)]

I would really appreciate it if you could help make this happen.

Sincerely,

Henry Tjernlund

ABSTRACT

Thirty-five years ago, while getting a science degree, I also attended film school. Life took me in other directions for a couple decades. Fifteen years ago, I returned to that passion for filmmaking and helped others make their films. During that time, I wrote a stack of my own scripts. Some have done very well in contests (top 10% more than once.) Several years ago, I became disabled and my income shriveled up. I can barely make ends meet, let alone pursue my artistic endeavors.

There are crowd-funding platforms for funding the films themselves, but I also need a steady amount of extra income to keep my car operational, buy some supplies (I also paint, when I can), pay for software upgrades, and fill those gaps which project funding doesn't cover. I would love to be able to afford an exceptional sale of film gear (where a fellow artist is buying new equipment and clearing out their old). So I am appealing to any benefactors who could help me turn out one short film after another. These short films will be posted for free viewing up on YouTube and other venues.

DETAILS

I've loved watching movies my whole life. Stories fill my mind. But I also love science. I was a science nerd and a fan of sci-fi. I watched the original Star Trek episodes when they first aired. Since movies were made only in several places back then (and I was no where near those), I went for a degree in science. My first job after graduating was at the university itself. The pay was paltry but I could take courses at a tiny fraction of the regular cost. So I took film and photography classes.

A series of life events happened before I got more than half way through the film curriculum. I married, and took jobs in the manufacturing automation industry. Some of the work involved travel and extensive stays at the work site. My spouse and I grew apart and we ended the marriage mutually and equitably. More jobs followed. I also did some vol. FF/EMT services. (It runs in the family.) Then, my father passed away (he had developed cancer from working in the steel mills).

At my mother's request I returned home to help her out, eventually becoming her caregiver. I had been working part-time jobs, such as instructing at a community college. There I found another passion - writing. I was always dyslexic, but in-line spell checking was a huge benefit! I sold several short stories and began writing film scripts as well. After my mother passed away, I thought I'd be able to resume full-time work and get back on my feet again. That didn't happen.

I continued to write while working part-time. I did jobs such as scanning and sorting parcels at FedEx or UPS. I started to volunteer on student and independent film projects when I could. I never felt more in my element than on a movie set. A brief writing partnership led to the brief publication of a novel. One of our two scripts did well in one of the top movie industry writing contests, the PAGE Awards, where we made it to the top 10% of thousands of entries. I started entering my own scripts into other contests. Half the time they did well, getting into the top 20% and even 5%.

I was gaining confidence in my writing. But then my hip blew out while doing yard work and things went downhill from there. Other ailments reared their ugly heads. My doctors convinced me that I should apply for disability. That process took over a year to finalize, with a federal judge agreeing with doctors that I was unemployable. Disability payments keep me from being homeless, but not much more than that. Paying the necessary bills doesn't leave much for making movies. Yes, there are crowd-funding websites, and I have tried several. But it's difficult to get people to invest if you have nothing to show them.

I have continued to write and so far have a growing stack of scripts (around 25 as of this writing.) I've been working at finding an agent. Studios don't buy scripts directly from writers - you have to have an agent. But even to get an agent you have to be referred by someone in the industry. Doing well in contests alone isn't enough.

I think if I can finish 3 to 5 projects, then I could get crowd-funding for more projects. But I need those first several projects. Here are some of those starting costs -

  • Copyrighting scripts, $35 each, through the US Library of Congress. They say you should not send out a script without copyright protection. I have yet to copyright all my scripts.
  • Keeping the old car I have up and running. To pass inspection, it needs exhaust work and two new tires. And I need help with buying fuel and car insurance.
  • Insurance for the film projects. It's highly recommended to have some insurance in case someone gets hurt, or drops a camera down a manhole. Most locations require proof of insurance.
  • Keeping up with software. A growing number of companies no longer sell their software. They rent it out by the month. And it's cheaper to pay by the year, than by the month.
  • Paying for online cloud storage. Film footage can take up gigabytes of storage space. Online cloud storage is the easiest way to get movie clips to an editor or music composer. It's also an excellent form of data backup.
  • Replacing gear as it gets worn out or broken. Most of the gear I have has been previously used.
  • Entering finished projects in film festivals. Most film festivals have entry fees. Winning awards can make it easier to secure funding for future projects.
  • Buying props, wardrobe, and gear of opportunity. I buy a lot of these items at thrift stores, but even those purchases add up. (I’ve had some incredible finds at thrift stores, such as a 1960s Geiger counter, a complete army uniform, a SCUBA wet suit, and a vintage Japanese geisha dress).
  • And other costs for details that increase the film's production values.

A steady flow of modest income would greatly boost my ability to make an equally steady stream of short films. These films would be made publicly available. Other filmmakers could even use them as background elements for their own films, such as something playing on a television.

Here is a list of some of my scripts, all of which have done well in contests. Other scripts have yet to be entered into any contests as I can't afford that right now. Making a filmon my current income puts everything else on hold. It would be great if I didn't have to do that.

WHAT YOU KNOW (96-pages, crime thriller)
[2015 Screencraft Action & Thriller screenplay contest semi-finalist (top 5%)]

QUESTERS (feature, medieval fantasy, co-written)
[2014 PAGE Awards quarter-finalist (top 10%)]

SMALL BLUE (123-pages, science fiction)
[2015 Scriptapalooza Science Fiction screenplay contest quarter-finalist (top 20%)]
[Zoetrope 3rd highest reviewed screenplay for the month of Nov. 2014]

MECHANITY pilot (60-pages, science fiction) (aka UNITY)
[2015 Screencraft Pilot Launch teleplay contest quarter-finalist. (top 20%)]

SICKLE MOON (112-pages, horror)
[2015 Screencraft Horror screenplay contest quarter-finalist (top 20%)]

I would really appreciate it if you could help make this happen.

Sincerely,

Henry Tjernlund

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