Formed in April 2021 to help ease the financial challenges of independent film production in the Kovid era, Project Indy Hope has launched the nonprofit Project Indy Hope Foundation as it expands. Gary Pass, CEO and founder of Project Indie Hope and Chrome Entertainment, says the company has already contributed about 200 films in its first year and there is still much work to be done.
Speaking at a panel at the American Pavilion during this week’s Cannes Film Festival, Charlie Phoenix, National Project Manager at Pass and Project Indy Hope, discusses issues in the indie sector, along with Aimee Schoof, the company’s mandate and co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films; And Cady Vanasirikul, head of acquisitions of the exchange. You can see the full panel below.
While there is optimism here as projects are flooding a strong ear market and working rules are being revised in the United States, the Covid Protocol and the challenges are likely to be near for the foreseeable future, panelists agreed.
“I think it’s kind of a new normal now, I think we’re continuing this. I know we’ll continue testing all my shoots,” Schuff said.
That test could be prohibitively expensive, and Project Indy Hope says that with its services, a six-week independent production of 40 cast and crew could save as much as 300K.
On top of that, insurance costs have risen. Vanasirikul noted that Covid Insurance is 10% of the budget which would otherwise “cover three or four more days of shooting … it’s insane.”
The epidemic and its associated costs have also affected the content. “It affects your casting and the number of days, the type of movie, the extra three days that you have to do to make the action better or the performance better – so you have to be creative,” Scoof said.
Schoof added that overall, “this is a global issue for a collaborating group and we all need to be sympathetic and not have such strict rules … and allow a little more flexibility in the deal.”
Pass said the move to Project Indie Hope in the private sector would allow the company to “not only focus on the Covid test for independent filmmakers and subsidize it, but for anything in the future … to finish a film, it’s a miracle. Add Covid.” And it is a work of God. “