This amazing financing news could not have come at a better time. With our scheduled shooting date looming ever closer and us still missing almost half a million dollars from our target (albeit bare-bones) budget, we were facing the very real possibility of me having to rewrite the script yet again - but this time in order to cut characters and whole chunks of story that we would simply not have been able to afford to shoot.
So, I am not overselling our genuine joy and relief when the good news came... And it came, as these things seem wont to do in our project, at an especially banal and yet incredibly serendipitous moment...
Barbara and I had long-ago scheduled a meeting for that afternoon with a gentleman whose house we would very much like to shoot in (as the Gray family's home) here in Montreal. While we waited for Gentleman Tom to arrive at the little café, Barbara told me she'd asked Theresapedia NOT to text or call during lunch if BAD news came in from Shaw. Barbara said she left express instructions that Theresapedia was only to CALL Barbara's cell if GOOD news came in.
I tried my best to put this out of my mind altogether. I hate waiting for the phone to ring.
So, Gentleman Tom arrived and we three started having a convivial meeting with Barbara doing much of the talking - G.T. having professed to being curious as to what an independent film producer actually does.
So, we ordered and ate and turned around several of the many aspects that make up a producer's job description... and as Barbara was detailing the process of raising production money, she mentioned where we were at in our film's budget: "As a matter of fact..." (okay and here I confess I was already hearing bells - but I told myself to chill, that was NOT Barbara's cell phone ringing) "... as a matter of fact", she continued, "we're still trying to raise money to complete ..." (seriously, that ringing sound's coming from inside her bag right beside my feet) "...our target budget, and actually, we're waiting today for an answer from the Shaw Rocket Fu - Is that - ?" (oh God) "- that's my phone!"
Barbara interrupts herself to dive into her bag to get to the phone before it stops ringing and I'm left, frozen-smiling across the table at Gentleman Tom, telling the butterflies in my stomach not to get their hopes up. Just because Barbara's phone's ringing RIGHT at the moment she's talking about getting an answer from the Shaw people in no way means that it IS -
But Barbara's frantically waving her hand up and down, yelling into the phone for Theresapedia to stop screaming, she can't understand her... nonetheless the message soon became loud and clear to the entire café... WE GOT IT!!! They said yes! The Fund's president, Ms. Agnes Augustin herself called the office to say they love the project and to give us the good news. The Godsend.
Amidst some tears and a lot of goosebumps, we eventually learned that we have been granted the amount we asked for, the maximum allocated by the Fund. So in that glorious Friday afternoon, the amount we have been missing to make this film was suddenly cut in half! There are, of course, reader's notes to look at and address in the next rewrite, but the bottom line is that with the generous investment from the Shaw Rocket Fund, we no longer have to cut people or story from our little film - and we are one whole giant step closer to our final destination!