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The Creative Spark: Tom Durham, Indie Filmmaker

with Tom Durham

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How do you produce an epic sci-fi film on an indie budget? Tom Durham talks about the six-year journey of making his first feature film, <em>95ers</em>.
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The Creative Spark: Tom Durham, Indie Filmmaker
Video Duration: 0s 18m 27s Appropriate for all


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Tom Durham didn't start out naïve or inexperienced. As the head of a media department responsible for creating commercial advertisements and other videos, he had legitimate production skills. He was also ready and willing to devote all his waking time and money to a side project. But into his fifth year of making his first feature-length movie, 95ers, Tom realized he might be in over his head. This sci-fi epic required a full crew, not to mention elaborate sets, miniatures, and intense visual effects and compositing work. Just when it seemed like he might never be able to release a complete version of the movie, he turned to Kickstarter. There he found an unexpected outpouring of financial support and an entirely new audience for his film. Listen to Tom tell his story and see exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from 95ers in this installment of The Creative Spark.

Visit and to learn more about 95ers and Tom's latest projects.



Male 1: I learned the hard way, how to make a film. 95ers is a crazily epic, sci-fi flick. Given the budget that I had and the experience that I had, I choose a Ludacris film to make. Male 2: Re-acquire the Male 1: This is sound stage 1. This is my, my living here. And so we did a lot of pickups here, insert shots here, and some actually significant green screens. It was way, way beyond what I had any business attempting in the first place.

But through that process, my visual effect skills went way up. As I got better, it was like okay, let me write an expression for this. I'm going to put a controller here. Do this and unlock the power of these tools. Male 3: This is going to take some time. Male 1: Most indi films are not successful because they don't get finished. We were out of money for the millionth time, completely broke. What Kickstarter is it gave us that impetus. That feeling of we have to finish this. What I really want to do is tell cool stories.

For me, I have learned that there's a way to make that world come to life.

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