Hard work, inspiration, dedication, perseverance, technical mastery — these are all the things it takes to make a movie, right?

In a perfect world, maybe.

But in this world, filmmakers need money, and as they’ve proven over the years, they’ll do frighteningly close to anything to get it. Robert Townsend and Kevin Smith famously risked debtor’s prison, maxing out a deck of credit cards. Robert Rodriguez actually sold his body (for medical experiments, but still) to raise the seven grand to make “El Mariachi.” For the indie director with a dream, it’s literally “beg, borrow or steal.”

Or if you’re Gary Hauger of Maine’s Clockwork Pirate Productions, you just ask the Internet.

Alongside writing partners Dana Sonnie, Andrew Hercock and T.J. Burgess, Hauger has been writing scripts for 15 years. He recently started a fundraising effort on the online “crowdsourcing” site Indiegogo with the goal of raising $2,000. From strangers. (As of this writing, the campaign has raised $465 of the $2,000 goal, with 54 days left.)

So, apart from some traditional promo swag (T-shirts, tote bags etc.), what do potential donors get by helping?

Describing Clockwork Pirate as a “screenwriting think tank,” Hauger explains that the money will be used primarily for the start-up costs (the company recently registered as an LLC with the state) and for, frankly, a little breathing room.

“We are writers, focusing on developing the art of screenwriting,” he said. “Our goal is to perfect our craft and keep our focus tight and sharp. At the same time, all of us have full-time jobs, mortgages, families. Our expenses for the new film company — to set up the LLC, Internet, phone, Web, screenwriting software. When the money starts coming in, we can use it for the more creative side.”

Lest anyone think this is just some pipe dream, Clockwork Pirate Productions recently announced that its feature film, “Spirit Island” (a “smart horror film,” according to Hauger, about researchers running afoul of an ancient Native American entity) is scheduled to begin filming next fall, and has already lined up some recognizable faces to star.

Hauger says letters of intent have been received from genre vets Patricia Tallman (1990’s “Night of the Living Dead”), Julia and Peter Benson (“Stargate Universe,” “Reaper,” “The Killing”) and the acclaimed Native American character actor Graham Greene (“Thunderheart,” “Dances with Wolves”).

Hauger is excited about the prospects for Clockwork Pirate, and thankful for all the support thus far.

“Even with times as tough as they are,” he said, “Maine, and Portland in particular, is a very supportive community.”

Like all indie filmmakers, Hauger advises: “Work the day-to-day job, but you have to have a dream too.”

Anyone interested in funding that dream should check out: indiegogo.com/Help-Make-Our-Film-Company-a-Reality

Dennis Perkins is a freelance writer.



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