A lot of people wonder if Lost In Sunshine was written after my life. The short answer is “no,” but it certainly was a response to it.
My life’s been a series of ups and downs, most of which I feel have contributed to the richness of what I am able to bring to the writing table. My losses have taught me there will be light at the end of the tunnel, and to laugh when I feel like crying. I no longer feel the angst I once felt from holding on to my past. I had an epiphany that if I knew how to rewrite my story, then I could somehow do the same for Lyn in Sunshine, in a different way. I felt deeply inspired to tell the story of a woman’s journey – however imperfect, crazy, or deluded she might be. After all, I think there’s a little bit of delusion in all of us.
Two years and 15 drafts later, I contacted script consultant and (my now)
producer, Lorie Marsh, to help me wrestle the story to its essence. With her
help, the full story budded its way to fruition in 6 more drafts. I then felt ready to carry it with me on a trip to LA. I was able to get the script in front of a popular TV actress in Hollywood, who vibed with the story, and was excited at the idea of playing “Lyn.” From that point on, I came back to Austin with a new resolve – I would make this film, no matter what. Lorie, who had been consulting on the project for months, offered to come on board as its producer. We slept on the notion. And the next morning – production-magic began.
We were planning for “action” by the end of 2009, but it hasn’t turned out that way.
We were fortunate to have our first investor early on, who believed in the quality of our business plan, connected to the story, and the message we were trying to tell. And, though we had a fabulous crew committed and interest from actors, too, we needed more money.
We were disappointed and frustrated when things didn’t line up, but it wasn’t in the stars, yet. We’ve never lost hope. We look at our project as a whole, and for every “no” we just say, “no, not that way.” Forward march.
Experimenting: Social Media and Transmedia.
From the time we decided to make LIS, engaging our audience early was always a priority. By creating a blog by our chronically malcontented heroine, Lyn, from the beginning, we hoped to let our audience have a sneak peak at the girl behind small-town Sunshine, Texas.
Soon afterward, I also began writing bits and pieces of a self-help manuscript-in-progress from our hero, Bob, a desperate optimist.
The idea was to create a world around our movie-to-be that would expand upon the narrative as a whole – a transmedia approach. In addition to a Lost in Sunshine Facebook page and several Twitter streams, we wanted to experiment with online fiction and other forms of digital storytelling (videos, short stories, interactive games). Indie movie distribution and consumption paradigms are shifting, thanks to surges in digital media capacities and mobile platforms; we want to have content available wherever our audience wants to consume it.
A year after we launched Lostinsunshine.com, we debuted a redesigned site on February 1, 2011. We learned that we needed to refine our interface and site layout to make it more obvious to visitors that there is a fictional, story-world section and a real-world, behind-the-scenes section. We recognize that our audience doesn’t know the term, “transmedia,” nor do they really care. But, a little interactive quiz on the Home page? That’s fun, and memorable.
We’re further embracing transmedia in our crowdfunding campaign on
IndieGoGo Feb. 1 – March 4th by offering donors opportunities to add content to the online story-world as our Perks.
apart with our website “channel” approach for Lost in Sunshine. But, it’s been something we DO have control over. And, it shows prospective investors or co-production companies what we can do.
Now, about that money to shoot the movie… Read our Filmmakers Blog on
Lostinsunshine.com to keep up with our progress!
Jentri Chancey has a B.S. in Radio, Television and Film degree from the
University of Texas in Austin. She began her long-standing career as a freelance makeup artist in 1998 (jumping off bridges, The Quiet).
In 2006, Jentri produced a wellness and fitness video, 40 Going On 20, which was released online and on Amazon. Since 2007, she’s co-produced, directed, and released a series of feature (Aether Paranormal) documentaries with Paranormal Productions. The group is now in post-production on Aether Paranormal and the Volando Muerte, a mixed-genre narrative feature.
In addition to writing Lost In Sunshine, which she will also direct, alongside producer, Lorie Marsh, she’s written-directed-produced two short films, written multiple features, and is working solo on her first feature documentary, What I Know For Sure (a quest for the cosmos).
Her love for writing, story telling, film, spirituality, life, and inquisitive nature has been the reasoning behind her broad body of work.