Jocelyn Towne is the Writer/Director/Producer/Star of upcoming independent film, “I Am I”. Jocelyn is producing and starring in the film with her husband, Simon Helberg (“The Big Bang Theory”). Jocelyn is working with the website, Kickstarter, in order to help fund the movie. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Jocelyn about the film. What is really cool is that, she actually reached her donation goal from Kickstarter during our interview.
Mike Gencarelli: How did you originally find out about the website Kickstarter?
Jocelyn Towne: I had found out about it through my producers. There is a guy by the name of Peter Broderick who does a lot of talks about indie filmmaking and hybrid distribution. In one of his lectures he mentioned the Kickstarter site and my producers then mentioned it to me. I thought it was something that was a really good option being I was a first time filmmaker.
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MG: Do you think that this is the future of raising money for filmmaking?
JT: I think it’s going to be huge. There will probably be different models of it starting up. Kickstarter is a donation based site. The down fall with that is that you can’t legally invest in a project through that site. I believe though that as these sites start to grow and be developed more possibilities and options will become available.
MG: Tell us about how you came up with the idea for “I Am I”?
JT: As a child my father often played the music from “Man of La Mancha” and I really loved the story. As I was developing this project I had the idea what if Don Quixote was a more modern character. I also added that he was Vietnam veteran. The other thing I did was I took the character of Aldonza/Dulcinea who is normally a stranger and made her the daughter. The big thing however is that the father doesn’t remember his daughter. He only is able to vision his daughter as his wife who has passed away. Sancho Panza was also re-imaged into a friend that also lives at the assisted living facility. I was always a fan of unconventional love stories. This one is more of a platonic love story but more so a story of a woman getting to know her father for the first time.
MG: Besides writing, how did you come to directing “I Am I” as well?
JT: I hadn’t originally intended to direct the picture. I had been meeting with my producers about the story and at one of those meetings the idea was presented for me to direct the film. I had never really considered doing both. After thinking about the idea for around two months it became clear to me that because of my passion for the project that I should go ahead and take the director role on. I am really happy that the producers had such faith in me to do both the writing and the directing.
MG: Are you looking forward to working with your husband, Simon Helberg?
JT: I am really excited! We actually have worked together before on some theater projects which were always a joy. At first I was really nervous but over time it really turning into a wonderful experience.
MG: Did you always want to get into film making?
JT: Yes. It’s actually a love hate relationship with writing. I love being able to tell a story. I had always wanted to be an actor and I have been doing it since High School. Lately things have really come together and this will be my first screen play. It took about two years to get this far.
MG: Congratulations on reaching your funding goal, so what is the next step for “I Am I?”
JT: Thank you, well the next step is for us to start on the casting. Simon, Jason Ritter and I are going to be in it but we still have to round out the rest of the cast. I will do a final polish on the script to make sure everything is in line and then pre-production will start. It really is mind blowing that this has become a reality.