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Invest in When I Was a Human

Join the exceptional film from a diversified team for worldwide audiences

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Highlights

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🎬 A feature film based on a critically acclaimed short film in worldwide distribution
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🌎 63.4 million U.S. households own a dog. Imagine worldwide. They are our potential customers
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🎩 Our casting director w/access to name-actors ENHANCES COMMERCIAL VALUES of our film
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🌐 Forget time-consuming, costly film festival runs. FAST-TRACKING TO GENERATING REVENUES
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🎞 Access to major studios including Warner Bros, Universal, Sony Pictures, HBO, Netflix
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🏦 Film Financing with the IRS Section 168k Deduction which helps accelerate ROI

Our Team

Executive Producer & Director
Born and raised in Tokyo. After moving to the U.S., Akemi’s been involved in the making of over 100 film/video/TV productions during her 25+ years of industry experience. She's also an MPAA accredited entertainment writer. Loves Star Wars and dogs.
When I Was a Human: the Movie is about empathy and compassion. A good film can truly transform one's mind. People gravitate toward experiences and stories that focus on our positive emotional connections regardless of their race, culture, and political differences and especially during the trying time that we face.
John Hermann Producer (U.S.)
John is a member of DGA and a film producer. He most recently produced the HBO’s acclaimed new documentary series “McMillions” as well as “Standing Up, Falling Down,” starring Billy Crystal that premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.
Jorge Agraz Associate Producer
Jorge grew up in the United States and Europe, holds degrees in Film Studies and History from Yale University. He has worked in production on commercials, feature films, and well-versed in computer science and technology.

WHEN I WAS A HUMAN: THE MOVIE

🐾 LOGLINE (= story in a nutshell)

An ex-shelter dog embarks on a hilarious but heartwarming quest to rediscover his owner's love and his purpose.

🐾 SYNOPSIS

Indy is a pup at the shelter nobody wants. When a beautiful young girl named Kimmy rescues him, Indy thinks he has found his forever home.

When Kimmy begins dating Jared, who secretly hates dogs, Indy panics that he might lose Kimmy and be sent back to the shelter. A mysterious Blue Dog Fairy appears one night and gives Indy a miracle dog biscuit that turns him into a human. Now, all Indy has to do is to find a way to show Kimmy Jared is not the man he pretends to be.

Through Indy's hilarious experiences as a human, he comes to realize he doesn't have to become someone else in order to be loved and that the best way to help Kimmy is to be the loyal friend and companion she misses so much.


WHY INVEST IN OUR PROJECT? 

🐾  WE'VE GOT A PROOF OF CONCEPT (= short film)

The film is based on a popular short film of the same title. The short film is distributed worldwide by Shorts International, the official short film distributor of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences. 

CLICK THIS POSTER TO WATCH THE SHORT

🐾 SUCCESSFUL TOUR

In 2018, the short film received an invite from a touring film festival called Bow Wow Film Festival and selected as an official selection for their 2018-2019 tour. It screened in more than thirty cities across the United States, raising funds for local animal rescues throughout the country.
The short film’s success tour made it clear that it was time to turn “When I Was a Human” into a feature film.

🐾   UNIVERSAL APPEAL = MORE AUDIENCES = SUCCESS

The concept of our feature film shows promising viability. Shorts International selected our proof of concept, the short film "When I Was a Human (short)" to be one of the 40 quality titles to be included in the business expansion proposal to the government of India. 

The selection in such a high-profile presentation in a foreign territory suggests that the movie's concept holds a universal appeal. 

🐾 STUDY SHOWS...

Predicting the independent film market is tricky. However, there is a study done by one of the trusted resources in the film industry called the American Film Market (AFM). AFM conducted the study to find what kind of family films are profitable - in other words, earn enough from the box office, video, TV and ancillaries to make a substantial profit for its investors - using over 3,000 titles from the film data company The Numbers’ financial database. The study indicates the following are the most profitable family film categories.

・Films starring Man’s Best Friends (= Dogs in the leading role(s))
Films with Positive Messages

    Each film genre has its own unique set of characteristics to succeed: Family films rely on positive messages and careful tailoring for their target audience. We believe “When I Was a Human: the Movie” fits the bill.

    DOGS ARE SUPER-STARS! 

    🐾 BUILT-IN AUDIENCE

    According to the National Pet Owners Survey 2019-2020 conducted by American Pet Products Association (APPA), 63.4 million U.S. households own a dog.  They love dogs. They most likely enjoy watching dog video and movies. Imagine the number of "dog fans" worldwide!  They are all potential audience members for our movie.

    🐾 CASE STUDY

    “A humble little movie with no stars, no meaningful IP (intellectual property), little prior audience awareness, a picture that focuses mainly on the thoughts inside the head of a dog”; Doesn’t this sound like a description of our movie? Well, it is actually an excerpt from the Forbes magazine’s article about the hit film “A Dog’s Purpose.” 

    "A Dog's Purpose" earned $88 million in China back in 2017. It became one of China’s 25 top-grossing movies that year. 

    Mind you, the success story of “A Dog’s Purpose” doesn’t have any bearings on how WHEN I WAS A HUMAN: THE MOVIE will perform. But we believe that dogs have built-in audiences.  A good story featuring dogs has great potential to attract many paying customers’ attention.

    WHY NOW? 

    Here are some compelling reasons.

    🐾 SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN CONSUMER BEHAVIORS

    Due to our new environment resulting from the pandemic, more people are on the lookout for something fun to watch online in the safety of their own homes. 

    The theatrical success is no longer a prerequisite to a successful film. We can dramatically reduce reliance on costly theatrical releases and related fees by third-party. Lower expense, higher profit.

    🐾 INCREASING DEMAND FOR QUALITY CONTENT 

    The streaming services are in constant need of original and variety of content more than ever to keep up with their customers' demand. 

    The current surge in demand is predicted to continue beyond the current pandemic.

    https://www.degonline.org/moffettnathanson-u-s-video-consumer-spend-subscription-streaming-will-more...

    It gives a unique and niche project, like WHEN I WAS A HUMAN: THE MOVIE, an unprecedented opportunity to be successful.

    OUR BUSINESS MODEL

    🐾 SPEND LESS, KEEP MORE

    Our production team's vast experience is a significant asset in producing a high-quality movie on a very cost-effective budget. We worked on world-class TV/film productions by Hollywood heavy-hitters like Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Ivan Reitman, to name a few, and collectively over thousands of work hours on and off the sets. (Yes, we eat and breathe filmmaking.) Our accumulated business contacts position us to secure favorable cast, crew, equipment and location rental deals.

    Akemi K. Tosto (Director/Writer) with David Dowell (Director of Photography) on the set

    ACCESS TO KNOWN TALENT

    RECOGNIZABLE ACTORS increase the film's marketability A LOT. This is where we stand out. Because we're working with Scot, our casting director. His filmography contains more than 50 high-profile movies and TV shows, including Jim Carrey's "A Christmas Carol," the director Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Steve Carell starring "Welcome to Marwen" to name a few. 

    Actors are more willing to work for a friendlier rate than their regular rates when they (or their agents) know the movie's casting director and the producer. We've got them both covered. 

    HYBRID DISTRIBUTION MODEL            

    Our business model focuses on self-distribution and reduce costly intermediaries for domestic releases, and we utilize foreign distributors for sales and licensing overseas.

    🐾  DIY LIMITED ENGAGEMENT & VOD MODEL - NORTH AMERICA

    Generally, in the domestic market, producing a high-quality film at a lower cost and the VOD business model combined with self-distribution strategy bypass expensive traditional distribution methods and can eliminate the 35% - 40% fees charged by distributors.

    • Subscription-based Video on Demand (SVOD) Examples you may know of include Netflix, Hulu, and HBO. = A user can access the entire video library for a monthly or annual subscription fee.
    • Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD) examples you may know of include Google Play and iTunes.
    • Ad-based Video on Demand (AVOD) examples you may know of include YouTube, Pluto, and Roku Channel.

    Following our movie's limited release in the domestic targeted area, it can be sold directly to North American consumers via the following avenues. However small the domestic release may be, this practice adds values to the film for foreign sales based on what we have witnessed throughout our film industry career. 

    🌎 WE'RE GLOBAL - OUR INTERNATIONAL ADVANTAGE 🌎

    Our unique advantages is our film industry knowledge and connections to domestic and foreign territories.

    Revenues from foreign territories are essential to a film's financial success, especially in recent years. (See Global Box Office Revenue from 2004 to 2019 below.)

    Our team members have film/TV industry connections in North America, Japan, China, Great Britain, and EU territories. 

    Soon after our principal photography begins, we will carry out our domestic distribution strategy and work with foreign sales agents to get the best possible deal for our film.

    WHAT IS REVENUE PARTICIPATION?

    YES, WE HAVE BACKUP PLAN AS WELL, JUST INCASE

    What happens if we miss the $850k mark? Can we still make the movie? Fear not! We have a plan! Please see our strategy at various levels below.

          • $50k +. Once we hit the minimum goal, we expect to spend the majority of the fund on  “packaging.” It is a crucial step in filmmaking, which means attaching known-talent(s) to the project. Generally, a commercially viable actor generates more financial interest, a higher profile for the film to raise more funds. We also expect to use part of the money for marketing our fundraising campaign to encourage investors to learn of the opportunity.
          • $100k+. The minimum budget to film the movie is $100,000. If we raise more than $100K, but below $300k, we will back into the budget, meaning to make the budget fit into the fund we have raised. The pie-chart below shows where we anticipate the money will be spent. 
                • $100k vs. $850k.... Why such a wide budget range? If we raise $100k, we have budgeted $16,000 to spend on the entire cast, most likely non-union. But if we raise $850k, we have budgeted $136,000 to spend on the talents, which means we'll be able to afford more well-known actors. We believe that will result in more publicity, a higher profile for the film, and higher chances for greater profit.
          • $300k+. In the world of film finance, many films are often made with only part of the budget coming from private investors. There are many sources in the industry who will provide "matching funds" when an indie film, like ours, raises a good portion of the budget, for example, $300K against $850K. With $300k in matching funds, we will then have $600K total. Based on our initial budget, this is sufficient to complete the film shoot and begin post-production. While in post-production, we will contact our connections in foreign distributions with the hope of securing a distribution contract. We will then take a loan from a bank, using that distribution contract as collateral. This gives us enough money for postproduction and marketing, and we are onward and upward!

    (Note: While we expect to use the funds in the manner described above, we cannot specify with certainty the particular uses of the funds. Accordingly, we will have broad discretion in using these proceeds.)

      THE COST TO MAKE "WHEN I WAS A HUMAN: THE MOVIE"

      The capital raised will partially fund the production of WHEN I WAS A HUMAN: THE MOVIE, including and, but not limited to, hiring our staff, actors, location rentals and equipment, and all the costs associated with successfully producing the film. 

















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