Sunday, February 19, 2017

This Week in Crowdfunding (2-19)

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 – Beautiful Things

Crowdsource Platform: KICKSTARTER
Director: Paige Polk
Writer: Paige Polk
Other Staff: Carla Tramullas (Director of Photography), Nneka Njoku (Production), Katherine Fana (Production)
Amount Requested: $24,953
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $2,158 raised by 61 backers.
Type of Goal: All or Nothing

I think, as children, we can’t really see our parents as real people because they’re more than that. They’re the ones that give us life and we’re not really old enough at that point to understand that they have the same emotions we will when we grow up.

My mother raised me on her own because my father was a prick. As a result she worked damn near constantly. She opted not to make many friends at all and never once went on a date. So I probably didn’t realize she had the same emotions I did until I was older than most others. Instead of figuring it out as a pre-teen, I was a teenager before that realization hit me. Later than I’d care to admit.

It’s because of that truth that I tend to get really happy when I see projects being made that remind people that being a parent doesn’t mean a person has stopped being human.

Yes, a great mother would put her child first in all things, but she still her own needs and desires to look after. Even if those emotions are put on the backburner.

The love story being showcased in Beautiful Things is between two women, one of them just happens to be a mom. It’s a project being made by experienced people with a significant interest in the story being told. One of those experienced people, Carla Tramullas, also has an Emmy credited to her name. As a result, regardless of people’s opinions of the subject or finished product, there is pretty much a guarantee that the creation will be handled professionally.

I’m also very impressed that the makers of this film have opted to keep their budget available to the public. That means that, whether or not you donate, you can see how the budget for the film is being handled.

Transparency is an idea I can get behind.

Lowest Fund Reward: $5 – I’m Your Fan! – A public shoutout on the Beautiful Things Facebook Page!
Highest Fund Reward: $8,000 – Juju on That Beat – We’ll fly you out to the wrap party where you can meet the cast and crew. – Includes: Public shoutout, Name in the credits, Link to the original soundtrack, Link to the finished film, Signed copy of the script, Be an extra, Executive Producer credit.

4 – Holiday Hostage

Crowdsource Platform: INDIEGOGO
Director: D.W. Moffett
Writer: David Storch, Abby Walla
Other Staff: Sawyer Williams (Producer), Phil Parmet (Director of Photography), Aida Lembo (Line Producer), Tiffany Berube (Associate Producer), Kerry Carroll (Associate Producer), Erin Coleman (Associate Producer), Thomas Ochoa (Associate Producer), Alisha Ricardi (Associate Producer), Julian Ricardo (Associate Producer), K.C. Wolf (Associate Producer)
Amount Requested: $40,000
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $28,158 raised by 402 backers.
Type of Goal: Flexible

I grew up in a Jewish family. Not the kind that did Shabbat every Friday or celebrated Passover together, but Jewish none-the-less. So, when I saw the trailer posted on this Indiegogo page, I totally got it.

Even if my mom didn’t have the kind of neurotic tendencies displayed (she still calls me up the moment anything happens in the news anywhere and tells me to look out for monsters in the dark), I’d still have my childhood friend’s families to compare too, my Jewish summer camp, and every other cultural aspect I grew up around. I even grew up in a Hasidic Jewish neighborhood.

Generally, the really stereotypical projects don’t tend to catch my interest at all. When people overdo the cultural references, you just know it’s not going to speak to everyone because not everyone is going to relate. Holiday Hostage, however, doesn’t quite travel that route.

Sure, it focuses on the culture of a Jewish family specifically, but mostly it seems to focus on crazy families in general. You don’t need to be Jewish to have one of those. We don’t have a monopoly on it.

It seems like Holiday Hostage is going to have more of a widespread likeability to it despite the cultural references because of the addition of the hostage storyline.

The writers also seem to have great comedic timing. Since they’re also acting in the film (under the direction of a well-known professional actor), that really elevates my expectations for the final product.

Lowest Fund Reward: $10 – Thank You Turkey! – A hand-turkey drawn in your honor and put up on our wall of gratitude, plus a social media shout-out.
Highest Fund Reward: $3,500 – Executive Producer – All hail the King/Queen! You are the top of the top when it comes to producers. Everyone else bows down before you. (Like, Abby & David will literally send you a video bowing down before you.) Come visit the set via a personal driver to see what you helped make happen and meet the cast & crew. (Travel to Los Angeles & Accommodations not included.) – Items Included: Hand Turkey & Shout-Out, Download of Holiday Hostage, Blooper Reel, Awkward Family Photo, Original Puppet Show, Name in Credits, Behind the Scenes Camera, Executive Producer Credit

3 – Trapper

Crowdsource Platform: INDIEGOGO
Director: Oskar Brockbank
Writer: Oskar Brockbank
Other Staff: Alex Starr (Producer), Nicolo Biarrise (Cinematographer), Jonna Laitinen (Art Director), Ruaridh Turner (Assistant Director), Ruth Hope (Costume Designer), Elley Lewis (Costume Designer)
Amount Requested: $2,119
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $155 raised by 8 backers.
Type of Goal: Flexible

The creators of this film did an amazing job of making the story seem absolutely harrowing in the trailer. The combination of visuals and audio during the parts where they’re discussing the plot give a base taste of what to expect of the finished film. Even the trailer itself is shot well.

Although I thought the trailer was well done, it has almost nothing to do with why Trapper made this list.

I’m absolutely entranced by the story they’ve decided to work with.

While writing for Trust the Dice I have watched hundreds of movies. I did the math in a previous article, though I couldn’t even begin to tell you which one, so I’m not going to do it again. Before the blog, I was a movie lover, so I watched a ton of films before I ever started the site. As a result, I’m always incredibly impressed when I find a film that has a unique subject. There aren’t many of those left except for historically accurate ones about events that haven’t happened yet.

Plainly put, Trapper takes a story I’ve never seen told in a film and expands upon it.

That, alone, is what got this project on the list. The trailer and information available on the Indiegogo site are the reasons the film wound up as high as it did.

I’m also a big fan of supporting students for their graduation projects. You never know which among them will be our next legend.

Lowest Fund Reward: $12 – Trapper – You get a link to the film upon completion, thank you so much for your support!
Highest Fund Reward: $310 – A Prop from the Set – This is the largest perk available, thank you so much for your generousity! For this, you receive everything listed above, but we will also send you a prop from the film. This could include anything from a lantern, helmet, piece of the set, or costume item! You will also be granted the opportunity to visit the set and meet the director, as a personal thank you for your donation!

2 – Forget Me Not

Crowdsource Platform: INDIEGOGO
Director: Ryan Love
Writer: Zackery Alexander
Other Staff: Manuel Sherbakoff (Producer), Emily Reas (Producer), Romas Usakovas (Director of Photography)
Amount Requested: $3,000
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $260 raised by 6 backers.
Type of Goal: Flexible

Forget Me Not struck me because of how important the subject matter is.

I have a lot of friends that have served in various branches of the military. Although most of them seemed fine when they returned home – not all of them were. In fact, almost all of them had trouble adjusting back to a civilian lifestyle.

One of those friends once said that nothing since returning home has felt as real as his time overseas. I’m not going to reveal his name because I don’t remember if he told it to me or allowed me to read it in his private journal, so I don’t really want to overstep bounds. However, this guy is a good friend, a good father to his daughter, and a good person in general. His heart and mind seem to almost always be in the right place, so when I heard that sentence from him, it shocked me.

You don’t have to agree with war or violence in order to support the people that make up our troops. These people join the military for many different reasons and it’s not usually because they’ve decided they want to do something violent. Sometimes it’s for college money, sometimes it’s to escape a bad situation, sometimes it’s because they don’t know what they want to do with their lives, sometimes it’s because they feel it will help them fix a part of them, sometimes it’s out of loyalty for the country; the list could really go on forever.

Forget Me Not delves into the subject of a veteran’s mental health. It follows a former Air Force member as he battles dementia in his civilian life.

Anything that raises awareness for a subject of this importance, can’t be ignored. In this case, the film is done and the funding being requested by those involved is for post-production and the ability to submit it to film festivals. The makers are also donating part of what they raise to the California Mental Health Connection.

This film has an important subject mixed with a talented and experienced cast and crew. I truly believe that, if it is funded, it will not fail.

Lowest Fund Reward: $1 – Thank You! – Thank you for donating! A contribution of any size makes a difference. You’re helping to finish Forget Me Not and raise mental health awareness!
Highest Fund Reward: $750 – Executive Producer – Be the sole Executive Producer of Forget Me Not! You will have your name listed as an Executive Producer in the film’s credits, on IMDB, in all future marketing material, at film festivals, and more! You’ll be thanked on our Facebook Page, emailed a link to watch the film as soon as we finish editing, and you’ll be sent a copy of the film poster. – Items Include: Facebook shout-out, Personal Link to the film, Forget Me Not poster, Executive Producer Credit

1 – Skywatch

Crowdsource Platform: KICKSTARTER
Director: Colin Levy
Writer: Colin Levy, Mike Sundy
Other Staff: Uriah Shelton (Actor), Zach Callison (Actor), Andre Danylevich (Producer), Sandro Blattner (VFX Supervisor), Adam Habib (Director of Photography), Julie Chen (Production Design), Morgan Johnson (Sound Supervisor), Jasper Blunk (Composer)
Amount Requested: $35,000
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $25,407 raised by 196 backers.
Type of Goal: All or Nothing

This film looks outstanding.

Colin Levy is familiar with the workings of Kickstarted projects, so he likely has plenty of plans to back-up his ideas. That means Murphy’s Law might not have as much of an effect on him and his team. Things go wrong in filming all the time, experience helps people sort that out.

Not only is Levy experienced, but he chose two very talented and experienced teens to play his leads. Uriah Shelton has a longer IMDb page than some adult actors do. He’s been acting since 2007 and has almost 30 credits to his name. More impressively, the productions he’s credited in aren’t really on the “B” level. I’ve heard of, or seen, almost everything he’s been in.

If you can believe it, Zach Callison’s IMDb page is even longer – with 45 acting credits since his start in 2007. His most popular project by far is Steven Universe, which has a cult following that includes a ridiculous amount of people my age or older, but his credits are also full of legitimately great projects that would impress any skeptic.

These are definitely the kind of teen actors that will make you wonder what the fuck you’ve been doing with your life.

Even if this short film didn’t boast such an experienced and talented cast/crew, the trailer speaks for itself. It looks like something that could easily expand beyond a ‘short’ into either a feature film, or a television series. In fact, I’d love to see it expand. I’d watch the hell out of it.

Trust the Dice has donated a small amount to Skywatch to back up our belief that it is the top crowdfunded project for the week.

Lowest Fund Reward: $1 – Join the Team – Every dollar counts. Get a warm fuzzy feeling for chipping in to make this film a reality! Also get access to exclusive updates on Kickstarter.

Highest Fund Reward: $10,000 – Co-Executive Producer – In addition to the 3D print and above reward, receive a Co-Executive Producer Credit in the main titles of the film and we will invite you and a guest to an exclusive screening of the proof of concept in Los Angeles before its premiere. You will be responsible for you travel and lodging. – Includes: Co-Executive Producer Credit, Exclusive Screening Invite for you and a guest, All above rewards.

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