I am proud to announce a Her Film Project "matching funds" pledge for Meme. The film is currently crowdfunding through Kickstarter, and Her Film Project will be funding up to $1,500 in matching pledges. Be sure to pledge now to help this film meet (or surpass) its campaign goal!
Katie Carman-Lehach: Thanks! I became involved in Meme after meeting writer/director Sean Mannion, and seeing his short film Abel and Cain which I was super impressed by (I’ve since learned that short shares a lot thematically with Meme). Seeing how well that idea was executed, I jumped at the opportunity to help Sean create his first feature. Producing is not necessarily my first love (as directing is. Really, I wind up producing my own projects just out of necessity) but I'm always eager to share whatever knowledge I can, and help pay back people who have helped me on my own projects.
To explain for those who aren't familiar, a "meme" is, in it's most familiar iteration, “a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.” But Sean's film gets into is the more general idea of what a “meme” is and represents – the translation of an idea or a culture that can be passed person to person.
The film Meme tells the story of Jennifer, an overworked Graphic Designer living in New York City who discovers and unusual VHS tape one day at a swap meet. She becomes obsessed with it, and figuring out its meaning and origin. In her search, she comes across a television-obsessed cult, and ends up reconsidering her own life, relationship and career, ultimately finding her own independence.
It seems to be a bit of a heady story with tones of Cronenberg and Marshall McLuhan (“the medium is the message”). What has the response been from people supporting your film or those to whom you’ve pitched the idea?
KCL: As far as I’ve seen, people are pretty jazzed on the idea. There certainly aren’t many films addressing this idea about how people and culture interact, so it’s a fresh idea that people want to see and explore. It also helps that Sean’s script highlights a strong independent woman in the leading role (with a cast of many other strong female characters), along with some really interesting plot points and characters.
You are crowdfunding this film; what is your role in that process and what is some advice you might give to filmmakers who are considering crowdfunding for their own films?
KCL: Sean has been spearheading the effort; I’ve really just been helping in the promotion of the campaign, while also trying to give as many ideas and pieces of advice from my own experience as I can. We've both been through the 'crowd-funding' process on other projects, so we're pooling both of our experiences, advice and best practices together to hopefully make the campaign successful.
My best advice? Consider the campaign to be your full-time job for the 30 days or however long you chose to run it. It really takes a great consistent effort from a team of individuals to get your project noticed and funded. I would also say not to lose hope too easily. I’ve lost count of how many projects I’ve seen soar to their goal mere hours before their deadlines.
What is the future for the film as far as the film festival circuit, special screenings or distribution?
KCL: I believe Sean intends to submit the film to various festivals, and hopefully a distribution deal will follow soon after. I’m confident once the film gets some time on the big screen that it will be a very easy sell!
Help support this film by visiting and sharing the Kickstarter page and pledging to the campaign if you can: