|A Sara Elizabeth Timmins Production
Presented by Life Out Loud Films
Written by Scott Winters
Directed by Michael J. McKay
Life Out Loud Films’ mission is to balance business and art to create inspiring films that present strong female characters while also making a positive impact behind the scenes.
For more information about Life Out Loud Films visit : www.LifeOutLoudFilms.com It all began three years ago when a personal soul-searching journey and a reflective walk along Smith Mountain Lake awakened my soul, inspired my heart and was the catalyst that led to the challenging yet fulfilling journey that bore Lake Effects. So with simply an idea and
location, yet neither script nor money, I committed to starting my own film company and jumped into Lake Effects. How could I make this film different and better than others? How could we position it so investors could actually see a return and get distribution? The answers I found were: “Believe,” and be “Smart,” “Be Fearless,” and “Give Back.”
In producing Lake Effects, I began with a lot of research. I needed to understand what it takes to distribute and sell a film successfully. The keys seemed obvious; keep costs low, production value high and never give up. And so, I decided to not consider any money acquired unless we had the money in the bank (and the check cleared). I vowed to not jeopardize investor’s money by not beginning production until the total for production, post and preliminary marketing was raised, and I would not make it without recognizable talent so it would sell. Once the family genre became a clear fit, every step and decision was made with this in mind and even led to us writing in “Dobie,”the dog since so many distributors joked “it’s so much easier to sell a family film with a dog in it.” Another goal we had was to enroll the community. This gave them ownership in the film, allowing us a “partner” that brought along many in-kind resources and donations. This helped us keep cost low while helping a community in turn promote economic development and tourism.
This journey was anything but easy yet always felt right. The economy tanked just as we set out to gather our investors. I bought a one-way ticket and moved to a town filled with complete strangers to immerse myself in the community and raise the money. All along I was not making a dime and was living on a credit card with the hope I could pay it off once we green-lighted. I left no stone unturned and met with literally hundreds of potential investors and when we did not have enough money to go in the Fall of ’09, I was even more determined no to let Fall of ’10 go by without making a movie. I am grateful for those investors that joined this dream and made Lake Effects happen.
In May 2010, we hit our goal and from that point on, Lake Effects has done nothing but exceed all our expectations. It has been important to our team to never forget those who gave of themselves and their businesses and believed in this film along the way. In watching Lake Effects, you will see places and businesses that really do exist at SML and each who selflessly supported this film. Our goal was to showcase SML in the beauty of the Fall to really highlight this gem in Southwest Virginia in hopes viewers will be drawn to explore this magical place we found. A portion of all proceeds from the film’s sales will be given back to Lake Cleanup efforts. In the spirit of believing in your dreams, being Smart, being Fearless and Giving Back, we look forward to sharing Lake Effects with you.