August 2, 2011

The Brave New World of DIY Films

The Summer Program Hosts Micro-budget Filmmakers

Predicting trends in filmmaking is a risky business. For every new craze that hits the entertainment industry, there are dozens if not hundreds of false predictions. One trend that has been on the horizon for years and is starting to shape the way that films are made is “Do it yourself” or DIY filmmaking.

This semester, Jason E. Squire hosted the producers and director/writer/star of the indie film I Am I as part of his class CTPR 428 "Under the Radar: Marketing and Distribution in the DIY Digital World.” They spoke to the class about the new phenomenon of crowd funding and what it takes to get a film made in the world of micro-budget filmmaking.

The filmmakers raised one of the highest amounts on and their solicitation video won the 2010 Kickstarter Award for “Best in Show: Project Video.”

Jason E. Squire's CTPR 428 Class with Olson, Dubin and

“We were originally going to raise the money and make the movie the traditional way. We were finding that the competition for small films was getting greater,” said Cora Olson, the producer of I Am I. “The amount of equity available with the economy was getting smaller. We were hearing a lot about new technologies and new social media efforts and we heard about crowd funding. As we were looking at the project, that was the beginning of the core discussion of how our strategy started to take hold.”

The guests at the class were I Am I producers Olson and Jennifer Dubin and writer/director/star Jocelyn Towne. Although I Am I was a labor of love, it was also a financial decision.

“We looked at the economics of the project as a whole,” said Dubin. “Part of that is based on what you

From Left: Jason E. Squire, I am I producer Jennifer Dubin
and Cora Olson with I am I writer/director Jocelyn Towne

think you can raise and part of it is based on what you think you can make back. We started to think, ‘what’s the least amount we could make this project for.’ That topic was very much a part of the conversation.”

I am I is currently being edited. For more information, please visit –