I'm thrilled to announce today's exclusive interview with Enjoli Corréa, one of the Corréa sisters. Enjoli and her sister, Sophie, are in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to fund their first movie, The Man of the Orchestra. What does this have to do with dolls? So glad you asked! Part of the rewards from this campaign, starting at just $250, is to receive preorder one of the two exclusive Tonner Dolls that will be offered with this new film! It's pretty cool. Plus, all backers will have a vote on casting, costumes, and more! It's a pretty special and unique opportunity--keep reading to find out more, and discover how you can be a part!
What can you tell me about your background?
I've always been a story teller. I remember in grade school a teacher asked us to write about our summer vacation. I didn't go anywhere for the summer, and I heard everyone talk about these family trips, so I came up with my own. Said I went swimming with sharks, got swallowed and came out a blow whole. She wrote on my paper, "Great imagination!" I felt offended because she didn't believe me, lol. Today, my sister Sophia and I have written a screenplay to break into entertainment like many of the greats have done for themselves, Tyler Perry, Woody Allen… Most of our colleagues are in college or graduated, and we're at home trying to make a two million dollar movie! My mother is about ready to have us evaluated, I just know it. I'll be directing, Sophia is one of the four leading characters, the other three are still to be casted with the help of our audience.
You and your sister work as a team, right?
Yup. We do everything together! I tell everybody Sophie and I are like an old couple. We take long walks together, argue about nothing, sleep in different beds, and we don't have sex.
Does that work well? Feel free to give me a background for both of you, if you like!
We're twins, and we don't always see things eye to eye, but we balance each other out, and we never allow each other to feel discouraged at the same time. For the past few years we've pretty much been locked up in a room coming up with how to execute this Kickstarter campaign successfully once and for all. There's no backup plan for this gamble, making it all adventurous, for better or worse. Our bond has always been inseparable, but this movie venture has definitely tested our friendship and strengthened our bond as creators and sisters.
Why are you considering film noir for your first full-length feature? Are you a life-long fan?
Classic movies just have these full sweeping story lines. The characters are memorable decades later and we dare to challenge ourselves to make a film of that caliber. The era feels like home to us. Sometime's I think we're Lucy & Ethel reborn. Other times, Timmy and Lassie. I'm not Lassie, lol!
How did you come up with including Tonner Dolls as part of your Kickstarter campaign? (Genius idea, by the way--you're getting your name out there to doll collectors before your film is even produced--an untapped and very loyal audience, if I dare say so!)
We wanted to create rewards that could be collected and increase in value with the production. Robert has some of the most elegant doll designs we've seen. It was a no-brainer. The scary part was contacting them.
May I ask about the process of character licensing? I didn't know it could start even before the film was made, frankly, and I think it's a great thing! How does it work? How much say do you have in the doll produced?
Soph had the guts to call them and explain our situation. She explained how the movie isn't made or casted just yet but the dolls would help to create the movie, you know, giving people something of value and also bringing in a nice order from our end to them through the campaign. We didn't know what the outcome would be, I just ate my pancakes, waiting anxiously. She hung up smiling and I couldn't believe it! Our first movie has TWO collectible Tonner Dolls! Afterwards the vice president emailed her wishing us luck with our movie campaign and gave us permission to add them to our Kickstarter project. That was surreal. We have a pretty good deal of say in the production of our dolls. They'll be lifelike replicas of the leading lady and man. So, one is Soph and the other is whoever the backers help us to cast.
Specifically, why do you think Tonner Doll fans might be interested in sponsoring your campaign?
Tonner fans already understand the elegance and quality of a Tonner Doll, and here's something extremely unique and exciting for them to have fun with. We're also limiting the first run of dolls to campaign supporters until the movie lands distribution, so collectors are getting in super early. All campaign supporters will vote on the characters costumes and the cast. As you know, Soph will be one of the dolls which is pretty funny, but the other doll will be of the leading male. So whichever hottie you guys pick out, you'll have him as a Tonner designed doll, and they'll both be wearing the costumes that you all vote on! How cool is that?! Oh, and our costume designer is a Goya Award winner, which is like an Oscar Winner, in American terms. I couldn't think of anything cooler than mixing that up!
Besides being able to preorder a character doll, what other options might be interesting to doll collectors?
We have plenty of options and gifts to help make the movie. One of my favorites is the Luxe clamshelled collector's script and storyboard book. It's a premium cloth covered case-box holding a book with the shooting script and some storyboards. There's a hidden board in the case, hiding four signed head shots from the leading cast and a certificate of authenticity. Pretty shnazzy. Other gifts include a character coin set of four half-ounce coins of pure silver and celebratory production coin in either 24k gold or silver with us sisters on it. All coins are limited mintage as well. There's also a limited funder's premiere in NYC and the option to bundle gifts of more than one item! Character coins feature the actors casted by our supporters.
Are you a doll collector yourself? Do you collect anything else? How did you hear about Tonner Doll?
I'm not--however, my lovely cousin Tasha introduced us to the amazing world of dolls and Tonner. She's a HUGE doll fan. Sophie and I went to a doll convention with her in New York, and the doll world is limitless! From tiny to small, some people create their own, customize them, tell stories with them, collectors keep in touch with one another. Doll collectors are very passionate to say the very least. My personal holy grail of dolls would be the Avatar doll set by Tonner. Hubba Hubba! The production and body sculpture is perfect! Gotta get the set one day!
Can you give me a breakdown of your movie production timeline--at least, as you'd ideally see it unfold, assuming you meet your Kickstarter goal and everything runs smoothly?
Sure! We'll begin casting with a Casting Director as soon as the campaign is over which is September 15. Backers can throw us some suggestions, too, and when we find the actors who stand out best we'll invite you all to suggest who you'd like to see in these roles. Final selection will depend on chemistry, pay and scheduling, boring stuff. Then we'll move onto filming and post production for a total of nine weeks. Then we submit the movie to major film festivals like Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Toronto in hopes for a distribution deal with theater release. Having a successful campaign would mean there's some proven value in picking up the movie. The project is the same size as some celebrity projects on Kickstarter, but unlike those we're not releasing the movie prior to its store release, so no one is losing value from the backers all the way to the distributor. If after the festival run there's no distribution deal, we will release it ourselves. All backers will see the finished movie no matter what.
What excites you most about this project? What are you most looking forward to, as you complete the project?
The first thought that comes to mind is seeing my sister's dream come to pass. It's my dream, too, but I can't see myself while I'm working; I see her. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it. Second best is to see the movie come to life onscreen! And the casting process! That's going to be so fun.
What are you least excited about? Is there anything in the production process that scares you--even a little? (I can think of so many, many things!)
I think what scares me the most is the thought of failing again. We've launched this project nine times! We didn't know how to use Kickstarter at all, but then we learned you can't erase them from the web so we had to continue. We muscled up some guts and secured some strong crew members plus one of just 19 coin designers from the US Mint and Tonner Dolls! It was because we failed so many times, those major perks we've got now.
Crowd sourcing is a great alternative to funding from studios, which might reign in the creative process. Has this crossed your mind? Have you tried other sources for funding for your script in the past, say, by pitching your script to studios?
We never tried pitching it to studios because of the horror stories. Someone sells this amazing script to a studio who just holds onto it and the script is shelved in the back room and you have no rights to the movie any longer. We're not willing to take that risk. And we tried so many random things to fund this project. Called dentists to be producers, contacted lottery winners, tried to become lotto winners lol. Hey, you never know.
There's a note in your campaign about letting members vote for costumes, for example. How does this work, and will this be an option for every contributor? What if your crowd votes on something that conflicts with your creative process? (Or, have you taken those decisions into consideration already, and taken them off the table?)
Yes, Sophie and I have decided that every single person who supports our campaign shall have say in the art & casting department. Why not, it's fun, exciting and most of all it's interactive. We'll reveal our favorite spec designs from the designer and from there it shall be the peoples choice! Same with the movie poster art and casting.
How are you promoting your project? Do you have a Facebook page? Website? Tumblr blog? How can my readers stay up-to-date with you and the progress you're making?
We don't have any social media for the movie yet, however you can visit the movie's website to see the crew gallery pics and videos and a preview of the script! Have fun at www.correapictures.com! Kickstarter also allows us to keep in touch with backers through the comment section on the campaign. All backers will be notified of all movie updates via Kickstarter as well.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about this project?
To anyone who has even the smallest temptation to support the campaign, hop in the water's fine! But you may get swallowed by a shark and come out through a blow hole, so wear your floaties! ;) If you buy a doll or anything else from the campaign today, you will not be charged until September 15, 2014, and only if the project is successful! Checkout is done safely through Amazon payments.
If anyone else would like to interview us, we're open. Send all messages to firstname.lastname@example.org. And a special warmest bear-hugging thank you to the readers.