Producer presents avenues to indie film industry


Bridget Cronin and Paul von Stoetzel, executive producer and director of “Inheritance,” a thriller feature poised for filming in Maple Lake, introduced themselves and an assortment of investment opportunities to the Maple Lake City Council Tuesday, Dec. 17.
A community-based business model, Cronin said, creates a win-win scenario for both filmmakers and host cities alike.
“Independent films can be made locally and for less money than a lot of studio films are,” she said. “And so we’ve partnered with communities that are interested in having a film made there.”
A handout distributed to council members listed economic, civic and business reasons for a community-based film, including short- and long-term benefits, such as money injected into a local economy during the shooting period and potential dividends coming back to local investors over a period of many years.
“It’s important to understand that the life of the film is usually 30 to 40 years,” she said. “So, this is not just a short-term investment. It’s a long-term investment.”
Cronin walked the council through a set of sales projections and a comparative chart of continuing financial returns for low-budget classics including “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Halloween.” Distribution, she said, has already been lined up, explaining that theatrical, DVD, video-on-demand, streaming and digital download merchandizing are all in place.
But Cronin was careful not to promise the next indie hit or an instant deluge of profits.
“The chances of a widespread national release on a movie like this are not huge,” she told the council. “I’d say 10 percent. I’d look more at a limited national release. You always have the chance of a breakout film. You always have the chance of a ‘Blair Witch Project,’ or a ‘Paranormal Activity,’ or something like that. But, most of the time, the middle of the road is what’s most likely going to happen.”
Having secured her lead players, she assured the council, “I already know the performances will be good, I already know the script is good, so I think all those pieces are in place.” 
Local residents are offered five avenues to participation: individual or vendor trade-out investment, corporate promotional sponsorship, product placement or a community investment fund for small donors. 
To learn more, visit or contact Cronin at 651-231-3364.
Outlining the movie’s production schedule, Cronin said principal photography in Maple Lake would likely take place Feb. 10-28.
Citing “some great participation already,” she said the Maple Lake Bowl and The V  by HH are both on board with trade-out investments, and that Maple Lake Lumber, the Costume Shoppe, the vet clinic and several individuals have also stepped forward with various offers of support.
“All of these things really help,” Cronin said. “They make a big difference. And I’ve been on the radio a couple of different times now, talking about what a great partner Maple Lake has been so far. Because being able to come home to my home area and make this work – this particular movie, especially – has been a great experience so far, and I hope that we continue it.”
John Barrymore III, Analiese Miller, Timothy Murphy and Lisie Krohn will play the lead parts, and smaller roles are still being cast. Local casting for specific parts will take place in February, said von Stoetzel. 
More information appears in this week's Messenger.