Quyen Chung joins 'Echo 8 Trilogy' as Associate Producer
In the preceding chapter of the Echo 8 film series, a creative artist from Liverpool fervently contributed to the production, donning various roles as a makeup artist, art director, extra, and even undertaking the cameo role of 'Chau.' Now, transitioning into the position of Associate Producer, Quyen Chung looks back and imparts their insights and experiences in steering this project through the realms of community outreach and fundraising. With a fundraising goal set at $100,000, the question lingers: can they achieve it?
I knew that if she (Maria) and the team were to create an ambitious sequel and prequel, they needed a proper film production budget.
Q1: Can you share your initial impressions and experiences since coming on board as an associate producer for the Echo 8 Trilogy, specifically in the areas of community outreach and fundraising?
I was super excited to come on as an associate producer. I love the movie Echo 8 and am super proud to be a part of it. The story of assassins in Western Sydney brought the creative community in Western Sydney together, as well as the Asian community. It was made on Maria's personal budget of $10,000 AUD. I knew that if she and the team were to create an ambitious sequel and prequel, they needed a proper film production budget. Their writer, Elizabeth H. Vu, has already penned the prequel 'Five By Five' and the sequel 'Echo 8 Beyond,' which had an online reading several months ago with a great response from their local and international cast and crew. The original film itself has won over a dozen film festival awards. The creative team has worked hard and fast, and even though it has been a passion project, it surely has made waves. With a solid idea, credibility, and international recognition, there should be great support.
Q2: How do you find ways to build support for Echo 8, and what strategies have you found effective in engaging with the audience and potential investors?
Any opportunity for me to let people know about our mission to make a movie trilogy, I take it. From friends, families, passersby, local businesses, and companies, a part of my role is to spread the word. If people are interested in supporting us, there are many ways to do so, and the easiest is to help us spread the word that we are making two movies that will need financial backing.
Q3: As someone a part of the fundraising team, what are the key challenges you've encountered in securing financial support for Echo 8, and how do you navigate these challenges?
I found that businesses and companies are not always aware of the film industry and how to leverage it through contribution and participation. Especially when companies and brands want to enter the international arena, movies are one of the most cost-effective ways to get your brands across to audiences. Some may have competing priorities that take precedence over contributing to a movie project, while others may be skeptical about the success of the movie or might not have a personal interest in the genre, theme, or goals of the project. Other times, the whole idea of making movies seems too unreal and potentially a scam. Navigation among these challenges can be tricky, and so far, I've found that it was received much better by established businesses that could see the potential of the Echo 8 trilogy compared to smaller businesses. I've been navigating these issues by conducting meetings to address any concerns or questions and also scheduling meetings with Maria Tran (which is a bonus, considering she is one busy lady).
Q4: In your role, how do you balance the creative aspects of filmmaking with the business side of fundraising, and what skills do you find most valuable in this dynamic role?
Having a corporate background before delving into my creative pursuits significantly aided in striking a balance between the business and creative facets of filmmaking. Establishing rapport was consistently crucial, and possessing administrative skills while staying abreast of the latest technology proved to be invaluable. Utilizing the knowledge and resources acquired from the corporate world, the movie-making business can secure a competitive edge, institute sustainable practices, and adeptly navigate the intricate landscape of the entertainment industry.
Q5: Can you share any successes or milestones in the fundraising process for Echo 8, and how do these achievements contribute to the overall success of the project?
We have secured two sponsors for the project, which we will soon announce in the coming months. Our past backers of the original Echo 8 movie have expressed strong interest in contributing to the next installments.
Q6: How much are you fundraising?
We've got several figures, but from what Maria has conjured up, it is $100,000 for two movies being shot in January 2025. It's still considered a shoestring budget, especially for a cast and crew of over 60+. If 20 businesses/companies support the initiative with $5,000 each, we would have two movies made and a fantastic vehicle to promote the businesses/companies that come on board.
Conclusion: The Echo 8 Trilogy is not just a trilogy; it's a community-driven success story. With a passionate associate producer at the helm, navigating challenges and celebrating triumphs, the Echo 8 Trilogy is on its way to becoming a reality, fueled by the support of a vibrant community and strategic fundraising efforts. The journey continues, and the anticipation for the trilogy's success is palpable.
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