Brooke Tansley launches filmmaking membership club
Northern California is an increasingly popular choice for television and film shoots. In 2017, “13 Reasons Why,”“Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Bumblebee,” among many more, filmed on location in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Now, a new kind of project is in pre-production. But this gig is not backed by any major motion picture studio or online streaming service. You don’t need an agent, and you don’t need to “know” someone to be a part of the production.
Folklight Film Club is a first of its kind “events and engagement filmmaking experience” backed by members.
The club is the brainchild of Brooke Tansley, who is familiar to many as the executive producer of the popular comedy festival “Sonoma Laughfest.”
Tansley’s entertainment career spans 28 years, both on stage and behind the camera. She spent three years on the roster of Amy Poehler’s Upright Citizens Brigade, made numerous acting appearances on TV and film and starred on Broadway in “Beauty and the Beast” and “Hairspray.”
Now, she is using her industry experience to foster alternative, artisan-inspired filmmaking.
Tansley’s Folklight Film Club aims to bring locals together to create a movie from scratch. Members’ ideas will inspire an original film “geared towards the values of Sonoma County.” And, everyone is welcome. (So long as you live in Napa, Sonoma, Marin or Mendocino counties and become a paid member.)
This unique club offers members a chance to be involved in each step of the filmmaking process. Member surveys will determine the film’s content. A screenplay will be written from common themes. Members will even get a say in the film’s casting.
The film will be a SAG-AFTRA production and club members may get a chance to be unpaid extras, if the script they create calls for it.
Tansley said that the films developed will reflect Northern California’s culture and interests. The process will be akin to farm-to-table cooking, she explained.
The Folklight members are the farm. The creative professional team is the chef. “It is a journey we all are going to be taking together,” said Tansley.
The “chefs” that she has assembled for the first Folklight project consist of film and television, events and hospitality, live entertainment, business, education, public relations, management, design and advertising professionals. Together, they have more than 142 years of experience. While the creative team is made up of Sonoma-based artists, others will come to town just for this venture. Team bios are listed on the film club’s website.
Tansley is the film club’s founder and executive artistic director, and she has ambitious plans for this new venture. She says that Sonoma is just the first chapter. Her goal is to bring Folklight to other cities around the country to share the magic of movie-making and take back story telling one community at a time.
Should the film secure distribution and be enjoyed by a wider audience, members choose where their share of the profit goes. Their options will include future club projects, scholarship funds, or other local non-profits organizations.
Just like a movie, the two-year membership has a beginning, middle and end. The first enrollment period closes this fall. The next one won’t be until August 2020.
“People are joining,” confirms Tansley, who said that space will be limited.