Whether you’re raising funds for a creative project or a new business idea, running your own crowdfunding campaign is no easy feat. It takes a healthy dose of passion, discipline, and commitment to bring your ideas and concepts to life, and get your backer community excited about them. Ever wondered what a day in the life of a creative entrepreneur on Indiegogo is like? We’re here to give you an exclusive glimpse into 24 hours of their day.
Juggling creative projects, a film production company, and a crowdfunding campaign can be challenging, so we’re always inspired when we encounter a woman can do it all. Meet Montreal-based indie film producer and graphic designer Madysson Bouchard who co-founded Sunday Breakfast Studio.
Together with indie filmmaker Gregory Thomas David, she is running a campaign to fund Portraits of A Family — a film that adapts the true story of a Filipino-Canadian family, spanning over two decades, as they struggle to put the pieces back together after divorce and drug addiction has torn them apart:
“Portraits of a Family is the story of a family of four, including two first generation Filipino-Canadian boys, and the hardships they face within the span of two decades. We see this family at their lowest of lows, struggling through the complexities of divorce and the pain and frustration of drug addiction, but through it all they find a way, as individuals and as a unit, to remain strong, intact and full of love. Although this is a family drama that may sound familiar, and that many people can probably relate to, we are driven to create this film in order to show an authentic Filipino-Canadian experience that the film industry is sorely lacking.”
Your contribution will allow their production to start filming, and get this story out to screens everywhere, in a world where AAPI voices and images are missing some real representation.
Read on to see how Madysson spends 24 hours in her day, working as a creative professional in Montreal. Then scroll down for a brief Q&A to get to know her better, learn more about Portraits of A Family, and get inspired!
6 A.M. As a mom to a two-year-old boy, this is usually where my day begins. I’d love to say that I get up early to do yoga and get a fresh start to my day, but it’s more along the lines of watching cartoons while sharing cereal with my son. Although I could use some extra sleep on most days, this is the hour in my day where I get to spend time alone with him and get a good fix of his tiny cuddles before the day fully begins.
7 A.M. The action begins. It’s time for our little family to get dressed, have breakfast, get ready for the day and leave the house for daycare. As simple as it looks, this takes a full hour for us, because best believe that a pregnant lady and a toddler are not the fastest when it comes to getting ready!
8 A.M. Once I drop off my son at daycare, I switch hats to become both a graphic designer and a producer. Making an independent film is a lot of work, but so is taking care of a family. So, at the same time as being a full-time producer for Portraits of a Family, I also have a full-time job as a graphic designer, which helps us stay afloat and develop my creativity.
9 A.M. The time in my workday where no one is yet active and I get to catch up with the many emails I’ve received since the last time I checked. It’s usually the same: new design projects that need to be finished within the week, or questions from actors, volunteers and sponsors. Answering all of these takes no less than an hour, and it helps set the tone for the day, too.
10 A.M. It’s time to get down to business. As opposed to a producer on a regular production, I have to wear many hats to be able to get things done. That means PR, graphic design, set design, castings, finances, and many, many more! Our team is made of the director, who is also my fiancé, and a handful of volunteers who give a few days a week to the project. When something needs to be done, I usually take care of it! This is the time of the day where I map out the needs of the production for that day and decide what to do and what to delegate.
11 A.M. By that time, I usually have most of our PR needs answered for the day. Emails have been answered and sent, our Inbox is clear, and our volunteers have been reached to know what to work on that day. On busy days, the director and I spend some time watching new auditions and writing notes for potential call-backs. When I have more time, I focus on creating visuals to update the website, our social media platforms, or our Indiegogo campaign.
12 P.M. Did I mention an Indiegogo campaign? That’s right! All of us spend a lot of time sending the campaign to friends and family, as well as posting it on different groups and to communities who can offer support. We also have a newsletter thanking personally all donors which I send from the Sunday Breakfast Studio email at this point of the day, every day.
1 P.M. Time for a well-deserved break. Although working from home allows us to spend time together, my fiancé and I like to put everything aside during lunch time, including work-talk. We fix ourselves a quick meal, share a few thoughts and stories, and go right back to work.
2 P.M. After lunch, I usually have a few meetings scheduled. Some people like to get the day started with meetings, but I’d rather have time to prepare first. As a graphic designer working remotely, zoom meetings are the best way for me to fully understand the client’s needs and get a complete brief. And as a do-it-all producer, I often have to answer questions regarding auditions, funding, pre-production and logistics.
3 P.M. Only one hour left before we have to go get our son. It’s a short 15 minutes from our house, but once he’s home, we put our computers, and the workload that comes with it, aside. So, it’s crunch time to send the last few emails before I go MIA for a few hours. I send draft projects for approval, requests for the next day, update our Excel tables and make sure all the data, information and visuals made during the day are available to everyone on our drive.
4 P.M. Picking up my son has to be one of my favourite moments in a day. Even at his young age, he has loads to tell us; including what he did with his friends, what games he played and where he went. It’s a good reminder that he has his own world, too, filled with just as many adventures as us. We usually play some more once we get home and I get things ready for dinner.
5 P.M. Now that I’m pregnant again, dinner can be tricky. It happens that I can’t stand being in the kitchen, and that’s where my fiancé takes over. The rest of the time, though, I make dinner and the boys (yes, even my son) get involved by mixing, cutting or washing the dishes. Now, just like the morning, this is kind of a hectic time in our house because we also try to fit in a bath and a small story time for our son.
6 P.M. Usually means we’re really close to my son’s bedtime. We tidy up the last few things he might’ve left around, make sure he has everything he needs, and then up in bed. For us this also means we have time to wind down and rest a little bit until he’s 100% asleep.
7 P.M. You’d think that my workday would be done by the time I first put away my laptop, right? Well, it’s not the case! The dishes are down, the little one’s asleep, and we go right back to work. As I said, being a producer is a full-time job, and with another full-time job keeping me busy during the day, I have to find time to work on the film, and that happens to be at night. As exhausting as it sounds, there’s nothing better than working on your own projects.
8 P.M. At night, most of my focus goes towards visuals and logistics. Since everyone is pretty much off the grid, it’s the perfect time to work on the social media calendar, on our budget sheet, our prop list or design the costumes. In this production, I act as pretty much every department’s head, and make sure we’re respecting our tight schedule and budget.
9 P.M. And still going! With the TV on in the background, I write a list of the things that need to be done the next day. It can be hard to balance two full-time jobs as well as being a mom, and keeping a house clean, but this is where my fiancé comes in. As the director of Portraits of a Family, he wears just as many hats as I do and shares the full load.
10 P.M. On most days, this marks the end of our workday. We work until we have to, but seeing how early our son wakes up, it’s safe to say that bedtime shouldn’t be too late. I usually take a few minutes to relax and leave the day behind before going to bed.
11 P.M. And it’s lights out! Although this schedule is pretty packed and often asks us to juggle many things at once, it’s one that I chose and that I’m happy to have. I wouldn’t change one hour of my day, nor would I change any of the many hats I put on.
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what their day is like, get more inspiration in our exclusive Q&A with Madysson below!
INDIEGOGO: How and why did you become a film producer? Was it something you always intended for yourself?
MADYSSON: I studied in fashion marketing and business finances for 3 years. I had many jobs in the fashion industry, including visual merchandising, designer, stylist, etc. When I met Gregory and learnt about his passion and ambitions when it comes to making films, I wanted nothing more than to support him. Throughout the process of helping here and there, I realized that producing a film regroups a lot of the things I am good at and love doing. It was never in my plans, but it all makes sense now.
INDIEGOGO: What makes your Indiegogo film project unique?
MADYSSON: Portraits of a Family is one of the rare Filipino-Canadian stories out there. There are very little films being made in Canada that are made by and showcasing Filipinos and their culture. And because of that, it makes it an important project to a lot of people as it would be a chance for the Filipino community to hold leading roles amongst the cast and the crew. This is definitely something to be a part of.
INDIEGOGO: What’s your biggest piece of advice for women who want to make movies?
MADYSSON: There’s never too much planning. They say you can never make a movie in a cheap, fast and good way. You always have to choose two; it’s either cheap and good, but a slow process, or expensive but you get to do it faster. You will know which one is right for you. We knew that money would be our biggest challenge, and so we’ve scheduled every month for over a year, from development until production and beyond. Make sure you know the schedule by heart, because it’s easy to forget deadlines or important steps when there is so much to do.
INDIEGOGO: What are the film influences behind your movie?
MADYSSON: A lot of the inspiration for Portraits of a Family comes from these films: The Squid and the Whale, Moonlight, After the Storm, A Separation, and Boyhood. From the look to the thematic feel of these five movies, we can find similarities in what we’re trying to create. None of them are Filipino movies, hence why our film is an important one to make.
INDIEGOGO: What tools would you recommend to anyone starting their own business, crowdfunding campaign or project?
MADYSSON: I wouldn’t have been able to learn everything that I know without the book Producer to Producer by Maureen A. Ryan. She’s a genius when it comes to explaining everything a producer has to do in the most efficient way. Every step is described along with the resources to get further help. I would also say to always keep two copies of everything. If you register your IP for a film, make sure to also scan the official paper and keep it on a Drive. Same goes for schedules, contracts, and so on. Anything can happen and some papers are too valuable to lose, such as permits and official documents. Our team shares everything through the same Drive, and communicates using apps like Teams, or Slack.
INDIEGOGO: What’s your favorite Indiegogo campaign?
MADYSSON: I really liked the East West Eats Cookbook campaign by Ellen Lee. It featured many chefs from The Bay Area and helped a student project at the same time, plus the recipes looked great. We have a Filipino recipe book ourselves as a perk and we can never have too many!
To support Madysson and Gregory in making Portraits of A Family happen, check out their Indiegogo campaign page or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. To learn more about her other creative projects, you can follow her on Instagram.