Filmmaker Offers Aid to Indie Crews
Stu Pollard has been producing indie films in Louisville for decades, including 2018’s horror gem Rust Creek. He knows how much his movies have benefitted from the hard work of crews—often local team members, but just as often, crew members who’ve come from Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee.
They’ve been a huge help to him and right now, what he wants to do is help them back.
“I started off as a writer/director in Louisville, and then I switched that experience to help other people produce their films,” says Pollard, who splits his time between Kentucky and LA. “I’ve been doing that about 22 years, and it’s allowed me to work with a lot of amazing people and a lot of really talented filmmakers.”
Pollard and his team were in the midst of launching their nonprofit Trunacy (truth, transparency and lunacy) when COVID-19 hit.
“We wanted to start a nonprofit to support three different initiatives that were important to us,” he explains. “One was documentary filmmaking, one was education in the film space, and one was archival preservation.”
But, as 2020 bared its ugly teeth, Pollard realized his new organization needed to focus elsewhere for now.
“We were planning our 2020, and before we could really get that out of the gate the Coronavirus hit and we pivoted and said, ‘What can we use this new entity for?’” he says. “We decided to launch this initiative called the Kentucky Film Crew Relief Fund.”
Pollard points out, though, that the initiative is not directed solely at Kentucky filmmakers and crew.
“It’s for folk across the Ohio River in Ohio, Indiana and down south in Tennessee,” he says. “Every time I’ve made a movie, we’ve pulled people from those states in terms of crew.”
According to Pollard, the initiative has gone well so far.
“We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the amount of support we’ve gotten from the community here and we anticipate that continuing,” he says.
The deadline to apply has been extended to June 10.
“We are trying to focus on below the line crew, but anyone can apply,” he says. “It’s a modest grant —$250 for individuals and $500 for families. We’re trying to make it need-based.”
Pollard is optimistic about the future of independent filmmaking, but for the short term, he still sees real need for assistance like this.
“Hopefully if things start to open up we’ll see things start to get going again, but it sounds like crews are going to be a lot smaller,” he says. “We’re just trying to do a little bit to take care of those folks that take care of us.”
Check out the opportunity and apply for relief at Trunacy.org.