Sunday, December 11, 2016

This Week in Crowdfunding (12/11)

By: Selina

Through “This Week in Crowdfunding,” you’ll find five of the best projects Trust the Dice found hosted on crowdfunding sights this week. These are Films/Web Series’/Shows of varying lengths and genres that we believe in. If you like any of the projects you see here, donate to them, tell your friends, and/or post it on social media.

These projects don’t just need money, they need people to care and spread the word that they exist.

Support creativity. Support indie artists.

Remember that every actor, director, writer, and movie you have ever fallen in love with had to start somewhere.

Trust the Dice does not, and will not, accept payment from project creators for
appearance on this list. Projects are chosen solely on the merit of the idea,
proposal, and people involved.

5 – On the Nose

Crowdsource Platform: KICKSTARTER
Director: Gilbert Bannerman
Writer: Gilbert Bannerman, Theo Boswell, and Fergus Burnand
Other Staff: Nicholas Ferguson-Lee (Producer/Sound), Rory Mclean (Cinematography/Editor), Frank Lebon (Cinematography), Eliis Kuusk (Associate Producer/Assistant Director), Izabela Swiderska (Costume Design), Tjasha Stroud (Costume Design), Samuel Jones (Second Assistant Director), Lynda Boudjeltia (Art Director), Sabina Claici (Assistant Camera), Julia Hardecks (Sound), Grace Campbell (Script Supervisor)
Amount Requested: $3,143
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $658 raised by 27 backers.
Type of Goal: All or Nothing – This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by the deadline.

On the Nose is described on Kickstarter as “a twist on a cold war spy thriller” and the artwork accompanying the description of the story is very ‘film noir.’ From what I can see in the descriptions and the introduction video, this film will be a throwback to some of the greats from that general genre.

Not exactly a bad thing, if you ask me.

One of the most interesting things I noted about this film was the perspective the script was written from.

On the Nose is about a man trying to figure out why his wife left him. When he finds out she’s joined up with a theater group that performs on a train, he decides to go see what she’s been working on. When he gets there, he finds that the audience are also given costumes. The costume he’s given is just enough to make it impossible for his ex-wife to recognize him. That gives him the chance to find out what she’s been up to and maybe even why she left.

Seeing this story through the man’s eyes would be interesting. The amount of drama and mystery that could accompany his perspective is limitless. If this film is done right, it could do incredibly well at festivals.

There’s the rub with crowdfunding. You can’t really guarantee the success of a film you back… but there are some very important aspects of a campaign that could indicate a greater possibility that things will work out.

One of the most important things a campaign needs to succeed, is to understand exactly just how much Murphy’s Law can fuck with their production. The team working on this film understands that. This is not their first time working together and, from what they posted on their Kickstarter page, they’ve had to deal with a huge amount of Murphy’s Law in the past.

That’s a really good thing. It means that whatever is thrown at them that might cause failure, they’ll be able to meet head on.

Even if you’re not interested in the story or you don’t see the aspects of this campaign that could make it successful, you might want to look at the rewards. If you pledge enough money to the cause, Nicholas Ferguson-Lee, the producer, has promised to tattoo your name on his butt cheek.

So, at the very least, you can say you own someone’s ass.

If I had a reward of the week segment that would definitely be the winner.

Lowest Fund Reward: $1.27 – Huge Thank You – Warm our hearts over the Christmas season with a quid.
Highest Fund Reward: $2,538 – Tattoo On The Producer’s Bottom – Your name permanently tattooed on Nicholas Ferguson-Lee’s left cheek of his bottom.

4 – Drinking Games

Crowdsource Platform: INDIEGOGO
Director: Bradley Neale
Writer: Unknown
Other Staff: Becky Fumagall (Producer), Hannah Smith (Producer), Jack Jeffery (Director of Photography)
Amount Requested: $3,144
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $1,088 raised by 20 backers.
Type of Goal: Flexible (This campaign will receive all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal)

Although no writer is listed on the Indiegogo site, I’d wager a guess that Bradley Neale was responsible for the script. During a portion of the film’s page, there’s a list of cast along with something they’ve said about the film, and you can definitely see the passion behind Neale’s words.

I guess it’s helpful that he actually starts his paragraph off with “I had the idea for Drinking Games…”

Moving on, the story that goes along with Drinking Games is something new that I’ve only started seeing happen in films in the past couple of years. It seems to be along the same lines as something like Nerve (2016). There are just enough differences in the description, however, to make Drinking Games stand on its own.

In many of these films, the victims don’t come face to face with their tormentor until the very end of the story. Such as in the original Saw (2004). In Drinking Games, the antagonist is already mentioned in the description. There’s no “who dun-it” involved.

What I truly love about the way the creators refer to the antagonist, is that they depict him as a psychopath with “a movie star smirk.” I’m a sucker for that evil-behind-beauty thing.

Movies that flip what you expect of the characters just tend to hit a mark that trope-y films don’t. Take, for instance, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010). The entire film was completely based around that tendency people have to judge people by what they look like, or by their caste. That film was awesome because it stuck so true to that.

I believe that Drinking Games has the potential to take their plot and turn it into something significantly worth watching.

For England locals, the Drinking Games team intends to hold some fundraising activities in person. There is no information for that just yet, but donating to the campaign would make it very easy to follow along with updates like that.

Also, I spoke with the director and he wanted to relay the message to everyone that they will begin shooting this thriller in February and that contributors will be invited to their exclusive premiere when the film is complete. Currently, Neale foresees that date as falling somewhere in May 2017.

Lowest Fund Reward: $12.57 – Virtual High-five! – Thanks! Any kind of donation we really appreciate it so have a high five from us! And a digital wrap photo of the cast and crew on set.
Highest Fund Reward: $314.36 – Part of the crew – Be a part of the crew! Have you ever fancied taking part in the film world? Here’s your chance to get that Associate Producer Credit you never knew you wanted. Alongside all the previous perks.

3 – Morning Glory

Crowdsource Platform: KICKSTARTER
Director: Robert Bertrand
Writer: Robert Bertrand
Other Staff: Tim Jolly (Cinematographer), Emmy Anshaw (Assistant Director), John Ryder (Sound Recordist), Jade-Marie Joseph (Cast), Bianca Beckles-Rose (Cast)
Amount Requested: $3,772
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $590 raised by 20 backers.
Type of Goal: All or Nothing (This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by the deadline)

Morning Glory is a film about two best friends that are heading down roads that will undoubtedly separate them.

By this point in my life, I’ve had many different best friends that I have parted ways with. Some of them I miss, others I regret missing with my car. I think by my age, everyone feels the same way. That makes the story of this film incredibly relatable.

Most of the time, in films, when two friends are shown parting ways it’s because of some great betrayal. Sure, sometimes that happens in real life. In fact, it happens much more than it should. However, that’s not what happens the majority of the time. Usually, when two best friends part ways, it’s simply because their lives pull them apart. For most people it’s because they went to different schools, moved out of state, got vastly different jobs with vastly different schedules, or had to dedicate their time to building new families.

In Morning Glory the reason the friends are separating is because their careers are taking them on two separate paths. It seems like a realistic, down-to-earth drama.

A lot of dramas take their plot to the extreme because people believe drama can only come from extremes. That’s not true. When you know something bad is going to happen, or you’re going to lose someone on a specific date, a kind of dread collects in your core and bubbles hotter and hotter until that moment comes.

In films, like the kind Morning Glory seems to be, the burn is slow but effective. When you combine that kind of tried and true set up with an experienced cast and crew, you can wind up with something magnificent.

As good as all that is, there’s another piece of the film’s Kickstarter page that’s understated, but stands out as a beacon of possible success.

The introduction video for Morning Glory starts off very typical. Robert Bertrand, writer/director, is seen in the video simply explaining things. He mentions that they’ve finished casting and started rehearsals. He also introduced the crew in general. Basic stuff, until you get to the middle.

According to the video, they ran out of funding and had to improvise.

The fact that the team ran out of money and still managed to finish the video in an engaging and humorous way is a, very subtle, big deal. It means they likely have plans for when things go wrong. That adds a certain layer of risk protection to investors. In the crowdfunding world, it’s important to not ignore things like that.

Lowest Fund Reward: $12.57 – HIGH FIVE – A ‘thank you’ credit at the end of the film.
Highest Fund Reward: $1,257.45 – A ‘thank you’ credit at the end of the film. One hour skype call with the director and Casper the Cat. Two tickets to the private screening of the film. Original film poster signed by the cast, crew, and Casper the Cat. Original film stills.  Digital Download of the film once the film festival run has finished.

2 – Killing Clarence

Crowdsource Platform: INDIEGOGO
Director: Nicholas Wyatt and Ameen Haddad
Writer: Nicholas Wyatt and Ameen Haddad
Other Staff: Teddy White (Producer/Hype Man)
Amount Requested: $5,000
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $485 raised by 9 backers.
Type of Goal: Flexible (This campaign will receive all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal)

I’ll be honest, I really wanted to make this movie number one on my list. The ONLY reason it’s not, is because the film in the number one spot is socially important. However, I want to sincerely express that in all other ways, Killing Clarence is the best crowdfunded film I found this week.

I have to ignore the fact that they chose an absolutely remarkable hype man. Teddy White is probably the most likable person I’ve seen in any of the introduction videos I’ve ever seen on a crowdfunding site. He’s just adorable.

Oh, don’t think I didn’t catch that short reference to Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), I can quote Cary Elwes’ speech too!

Killing Clarence is a film about one hitman and one somewhat-hitman that arrive at a location to kill a man named Clarence, only to find there’s a party being held for the guy.

I’ve seen a lot of movies. This is the first time I’ve heard that particular plot. Of course, there are a ton of movies I haven’t seen, so I might just not know any other films that have that base storyline… but either way, the idea seems really interesting.

There’s the potential in that plot for action, humor, violence, redemption… and so much more.

According to the Indiegogo site, the two directors, Nicholas Wyatt and Ameen Haddad, met in film school. That’s relatively typical, what I find much more interesting is what Wyatt explained to me when I contacted him.

There’s a certain beauty in the fact that Wyatt is a combat Marine veteran and Haddad fled from the civil war in Syria.

Aside from the poetry involved in that connection, I love the idea that a Marine has had a hand in writing something like this. I have a high respect for anyone in any branch of the armed forces. Out of curiosity, I’ve done a lot of questioning about the training that Marines go through. I’ve always felt knowing the reality of that level of violence would make me a better writer. Wyatt has a much better understanding of that subject than I ever could. On the same subject, Haddad has experienced a civil war. Which means the realism level of any fighting or violence in the film will likely be through the roof.

When you take the script facts and mix it in with the level of passion the crew of this film exhibits, then add a sprinkle of the influences of Quentin Tarantino (which you see a lot of in the introduction video), you have a recipe for something that could truly explode.

For now, Killing Clarence will a short film. Of course, if it does well, it could become much more.

Lowest Fund Reward: $1 – Why not? – This is cool. I’m officially one of the funders of a movie!
Highest Fund Reward: $5,000 – The Godfather – Enough with the games. It’s time to make you an offer you can’t refuse. You’re the type that’s got the cash, got the prestige, and all the power. Welcome to “The Godfather” Package. You will earn the highly coveted Executive Producer Credit, which will be shown on all posters and movie artwork. You will also be invited to every event at each festival we attend with the film as a part of the Killing Clarence team. Plus a trip on set and all the cool perks that other packages offer.

1 – In Praise of Action

Crowdsource Platform: INDIEGOGO
Director: AistÄ— JauraitÄ—
Writer: N/A
Other Staff: David Grant (Stunt-man), Olivia Jackson (Stunt-woman), Jim Dowdall (Stunt-man)
Amount Requested: $1,000
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $40 raised by 3 backers.
Type of Goal: Flexible (This campaign will receive all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal)

This film is extraordinarily important to the entertainment world.

As fans of films, we only get to see the finished product. We stare, transfixed, as burning cars flip over gaps or people. We gasp when our favorite character falls off a cliff. All the while, we commend the actors for their amazing performances… performances that might have been absolutely nothing without the physical aspect.

A lot of the time, the actor’s we’re congratulating weren’t part of that aspect at all.

In Praise of Action is a documentary that calls attention to the unsung heroes of entertainment: stunt-people.

Sure, there have been (very few) other documentaries, in the past, that have shined a light on people in the stunt-performing profession. I reviewed one of those documentaries, Double Dare (2005), VERY early on in my blogging career. My opinion of it would likely be much different now.

At this point, I’ve seen so many movies that I have started seeing ‘behind the veil’, so to speak. I see the effort put in by the people working behind the scenes, and it kills me that most of them will never get recognition.

When it comes to stunt-people, though, things are different. It may be a shame that some makeup, or costume, designers won’t be acknowledged… but it is a crime to not acknowledge stunt-people.

The men and women who work in the stunt profession literally put their lives on the line.

Of course there are safety measures in place, but accidents happen and stunt-people do die on set. On the set of The Expendables 2 (2012) a rogue explosion seriously injured one stunt-person and killed another, Kun Liu. If that had been a cast member, the media would have exploded… but it was a stunt-person.

Stunt-people NEED to be recognized. In Praise of Action is a film that is being used to try to and give people in the stunt profession the recognition they deserve, perhaps even their own award category at the Academy Awards.

When it comes down to it, without stunt-people the films we all know and love would be vastly different, if they existed at all.

In fact, I mentioned Marvel films to my husband earlier in order to make a point on this subject. His response was that it was a bad example because of the CGI used. Well, I’d like to point out that there are just over 700 people listed under “stunts” in the credits for Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

That’s not a typo, there are three digits in that number. Most people couldn’t name a single one of them.

It’s that mindset that makes this movie necessary. 700 people worked on a film seen by millions, and no one will ever know their names because “there weren’t stunt-people, it was CGI.”

Put that into perspective. How many stunt-people must there be if that many of them worked on a single film? How many names have we, as fans, overlooked?

Think about it.

Lowest Fund Reward: $5 – Good Karma – We are very thankful for your support! – Items Included: Good karma!

Highest Fund Reward: $400 – Credit: Executive Producer – This way you will receive the best possibility to meet us, talk about the film, share the ideas, and will be credited as an Executive Producer. – Items Included: Credit: Executive Producer.

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