Sunday, November 5, 2017

This Week in Crowdfunding (11/5/17)

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 – Grayscale

Crowdsource Platform: Indiegogo
Director: Nicole Sim Bao Ling
Writer: Nicole Sim Bao Ling
Other Staff: Natalie Balderas, Brielle Biscocho, David Benjamin, Nathan Baldonado, Michelle Cessna
Amount Requested: $2,000
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $415 raised by 25 backers.
Type of Goal: Flexible

This project has a very interesting plot. A world with no color allowed, where people are all forced to be exactly the same. The main character falls into some paint and winds up all different colors.

There are a lot of projects that offer people looking to be themselves something to hold on to. An idea that no matter how different they are, they’re not alone in wanting to be allowed to be their particular version of different.

Grayscale is a dystopian story with a lot to offer. The page is also laid out incredibly well. There’s no question as to where your money’s going or what the people involved are capable of. You even get to see some interesting storyboards in their trailer.

Lowest Fund Reward: $5 – Thank you! – We thank you for your support! It means a great deal to us, really. Every dollar counts.
Highest Fund Reward: $500 – Executive Producer Credit! – You are the bomb dot com. Thank you so much for your generous contribution! * Please note that we do not provide transportation and/or lodging.

4 – Relapse

Crowdsource Platform: Indiegogo
Director: Karl Jackson, Ambreen Razia
Writer: Karl Jackson, Ambreen Razia
Other Staff: No names available at this time
Amount Requested: $3,924
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $4,192 raised by 44 backers.
Type of Goal: Flexible

I studied Criminology and Sociology in university. Naturally, a dramatic film focusing on the rate of recidivism in the UK caught my attention rather quickly.

The prison system isn’t just about locking away criminals, it’s about rehabilitating people who have the capability to be better. A lot of people committing crimes do so out of ignorance or because they just don’t have access to other options in their life. When a person like that is convicted, prison is supposed to sort them out so that they can come back to the world and be functioning members of society.

Unfortunately, that’s not really how it tends to go.

The creators of this film, Karl Jackson and Ambreen Razia, made this film from their own personal knowledge. They’ve seen people have to try to readjust after being released, and they know exactly the kind of challenges those people can face. Furthermore, they want to hold a mirror up to society as they put things in perspective.

“We both have loved ones within our own lives who have been a part of the prison system, and upon release disillusioned with the systems efforts to help them rehabilitate, which is essentially the catalyst for re-offending. Having facilitated workshops in schools, PRU’S and prisons you become exposed to more complex human stories. It’s easy for us to disregard that section of society, especially when you feel that it’s got 'nothing to do with you' through our work we're trying to remind people that prisons are a close reflection of certain people's reality. And that the state of our prisons holds a mirror up to the state of our society and we want to look at that.”

Since this project was chosen for our top five, it has reached its goal.

Lowest Fund Reward: $13 – Password & Film Credit – See the film before it’s released to the public via special password-protected link, and have your name immortalized in the credits!
Highest Fund Reward: $1,308 – Executive Producer! – Legendary status!

3 – Come, Said the Night

Crowdsource Platform: Indiegogo
Director: Andres Rovira
Writer: Andres Rovira
Other Staff: Madeline Berger, James Edmund Datri, Colby Reed Miller, Ali Kazzaz, Amy Geist, Lew Temple, Nicole Sherman, Tate Birchmore, Max Page
Amount Requested: $50,000
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $1,425 raised by 25 backers.
Type of Goal: Flexible

Come, Said the Night is not your typical crowdfunded horror film. The plot runs a lot more in depth than a lot of the projects I come across. Normally, that would already be eye catching – but in this case, you have the added difficulty of working with children.

A lot of directors do believe that working with children can be difficult, especially when there’s some kind of mature content. There are some that won’t even attempt it. In this case, Andres Rovira explained a very different view to Trust the Dice.

“I enjoy working with child actors because they are still at that age where acting is a sort of backyard playtime which leads to a more honest performance. They don’t put on a theatrical song and dance for the audience, rather, treat it like they are method acting as cowboys and Indians and this, I find, is where some of the most natural performances comes from. In the case of our 13-year-old lead, she’s an incredibly well versed and mature actress for her age who knows the script better than I do, so I have no doubt she will handle the mature topics like a pro.”

His argument is a good one, and even makes me want to rethink the way I see child actors.

Come, Said the Night utilizes their child actors to tell a grown-up tale. It’s a horror that is meant to keep you on the edge of your seat right up until the end.

Everything Rovira seems to believe about horror films leads me to understand that his project will benefit from the love he shows in the genre. Even his use of the gorgon known in Greek mythology shows an innate understanding of fear and what best heightens it.

“The Gorgon is a combination of Greek mythology’s version but with my own modern twist. For example, the most popular Gorgon, Medusa, is well known for the snakes in her hair. I wanted to avoid the familiarity of this imagery because to me, fear of the unknown is the greatest fear. My approach to scaring audiences is to bring to life what scares me and I’ve always been disturbed by Bubonic plague doctors and masquerade masks. It’s that long beak-like shape that if caught at the right light and focus, will stay with you. With this new interpretation of the Gorgon, I want to create something iconic that will be remembered.”

Clearly, this is not a project to be missed.

Lowest Fund Reward: $5 – The Hum – You’ve heard the Gorgon’s hum. She has you now. As an inductee of the night, we will send you a personal welcome email, an official shoutout on our social media pages and access to all the behind the scenes updates. You are part of this thing now. No turning back.
Highest Fund Reward: $4,500 – The Never Forget – Receive a poster signed by the full cast, and a thank you video from the cast to you! +1 day on the set, attend the wrap party, 1 ticket to the world premier (food/travel $ not included), and yes, an associate producer credit! We’ll never forget your contribution to our film, and with all this you’ll never forget this amazing experience.

2 – Sober and Stoked

Crowdsource Platform: Indiegogo
Director: Scott French, Eugene Stiltner
Writer: Scott French, Eugene Stiltner
Other Staff: Tyler Valliant, Jenni Carney
Amount Requested: $50,000
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $4,657 raised by 48 backers.
Type of Goal: Flexible

This project looks like incredible fun backed with an important message.

Drugs and alcohol affect a lot of people – if not directly, then through someone they love. Addiction is no joke, and what’s worse is that there’s not often a way to help people who have succumbed to it. Not unless they want to help themselves.

I’ve seen a lot of addicts get pushed to clean up by people they love, and they ask what the point is. Why should they bother?

This film answers that question very simply. It states that the point is to live, to have fun, and to move on.

Getting clean is a huge step for any addict, and the creators of this project are very familiar with that. Together they fell to their darkest, but they were also reborn – phoenixes from the ash.

For a lot of people, getting clean might very well mean leaving behind all those friends that they once hung out with. Mainly because those friends might not ready to pick themselves up yet. A recovering addict can’t be around the same activities and substances that once dragged them down. Scott French and Eugene Stiltner were very lucky. Trust the Dice spoke to Stiltner and asked him about how he and French kicked their habits.

“I got sober a year before Scotty, and during that year I stayed pretty low key. When he had everything go down with him and he had his chance at getting sober, we were fortunate to reconnect and start surfing and riding together again. We always push each other hard when we ride or surf, just like we did partying, and now we get to do that in a way that actually has a positive impact instead of a negative one!”

That was the birth of their understanding on how the best things in life could substitute those things that hade once held them hostage.

Sober and Stoked is an important project, not only for recovering addicts but for the people who love and want to help them as well. If someone is helping a friend recover, they need to understand that their friend can’t just go back to the same habits they once had. Breaking a habit means breaking all habits that could lead to it.

Stiltner offered some advice to our readers.

“If you have to change friends, even if you have to stop talking to family for a while until you get your footing, you have to do it. These are the hard decisions in sobriety. You must remember that it is your life, your freedom, your health on the line. If others can’t be supportive, you must do whatever is necessary to not drink or use. For people who are trying to support someone in recovery, go to a coffee shop!  Go for a walk.  Go to a movie.  Go do whatever, and please, please, please, don’t have a cocktail, joint, line right in front of them while you do it!!”

This film has the potential to help thousands of people, because it’s made by people that understand. No other creators could tell the story as reliably as they will.

Lowest Fund Reward: $5 – Social shout out! – Ok, it’s not a marquee or anything, but you will get a social media shout out from us as a thank you for contributing! Every dollar helps, and we are super grateful for it!
Highest Fund Reward: $10,000 – Presenting Sponsor – The big fish presenting sponsor of the film! If you are a brand looking to get exposure to an exciting market of people who are embracing a positive and active lifestyle, this is the place for you! Gain positive PR in the fight against addiction and create a loyal base of supporters in the process. Contact us for details!

1 – Tales from the Edge

Crowdsource Platform: Kickstarter
Director: Ben Adams, Andrew Shire, David Spearing
Writer: Ben Adams, Andrew Shire, David Spearing
Other Staff: Raffaele Nocerino, Michael Macdermid, Steve Curtis, Charlotte Knight
Amount Requested: $17,873
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $3,605 raised by 56 backers.
Type of Goal: All or nothing

I was instantly drawn in to the well-made trailer for this web series. Even though it was just a description of what they were filming and why they needed the money, it was created like a story all on its own. I love when crowdfunding teams do that. It gives potential investors the ability to see the kind of work those behind the project like to do. It helps people figure out whether or not they are willing to invest in that brand of comedy or attitude.

Personally, morbid comedy is something I’m very much a fan of. When I did some work at the morgue, it was common to get through certain cases by joking. It’s a little odd when you think about cracking jokes about decomposition, but when I saw this trailer it almost made me feel a little nostalgic for that.

I don’t know how that works for most people, but yes, I just compared this project to cracking jokes while surrounded by bodies in varies stages of decomposition. Call me crazy, but I don’t think the creators of Tales from the Edge will mind.

Trust the Dice interviewed the people at Broken Toaster, but the responses were so humorous that I’m just going to copy and paste the whole thing here. It’s a first for this particular article series, but I don’t think anything else will properly prepare people for what kind of humor to expect from this project.

Trust the Dice: Thank you for agreeing to discuss your project, Tales from the Edge. Below are my questions. If you have anything to add, I’ll be happy to read it. I attempted to go to the town’s website you show on your Kickstarter page. Was that an expert fooling or just a broken link? (Judging from the way everything’s written, I can’t tell.)
Broken Toaster: Well that’s part of the mystery isn't it?! Does a magician tell you how a trick is performed...No.  Unless its the Masked Magician.  He's a right spoil sports isn't he?!
TTD: The Kickstarter page highlights your sense of humor very well. It’s easy to imagine what your finished project will be like because of that. What would you say have been the greatest influences on your humor throughout your life?
BT: Thank you very much. Yes we have and are influenced by such legends as Lenny Henry and great comedy duos like Hale & Pace and The Crankies.  However if you enjoy, The League of Gentlemen, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and Murder Most Horrid then this is the viewing for you.
TTD: No one likes to think about coming short of success, but that’s what I’m going to ask you to do here. If your Kickstarter campaign does not reach its goal – will you create another campaign or try to find another way to fund your project?
BT: If this campaign doesn't work, we have a back up plan.  We've hired a farm on the East coast where we intend to meet up and all digest a lovely cocktail of poison and paracitimols, washed down with a nice Herbal Twinings Tea.
TTD: You mention, briefly, the possibility of adding two more episodes (I imagine this is part of your stretch goals). Do you have those two episodes mapped out yet? Would they occur after Dead and Breakfast or before The Aristocrats?
BT: We may top and tail the episodes by having one set in the 1940's and one set in the 2010's. Or we may just not bother and fill out the episodes we already have with filler.  You can never have enough walking shots in a script, a cut away of a flower or bloodied axe.  The possibilities are endless.
TTD: Do you foresee any significant differences between the filming of this series and the filming you’ve done for your YouTube content?
BT: We shall apply our usual strategy which is if you can't plan it well.  Simply throw money at the problem.  The web-series is going to be next level. The money will give us time to rehearse, refine and reward.
TTD: For people who are new to your content, what three videos from your YouTube channel would you suggest to get them started?
BT: The Tooth of Freddie Mercury from Drew, Bodies from Dave and Guess Who from Ben.  But I would say the 24 hour shorts are a great starting point if you want to get started on "The Toast".  

To show our faith in this web series, Trust the Dice has donated a small amount to Tales from the Edge.

Lowest Fund Reward: $1 – Bear Minimum, Fam – The bare minimum, or Bear minimum if you are from Peckham or a Bear. The size of the donation isn’t what counts, it’s what we do with it. Every $1 you give will go towards a part of production that we’d be a pound short for if you hadn’t donated. Mainly this will go on coffee, cigarettes, and renting the James Bond stage at Pinewood.
Highest Fund Reward: $10,503 – Nearly There Person – Because of you, we’re nearly there! We’ll shout you out every week as ‘almost there man/woman’ and you’ll be a part of the team basically, you can come to set, even be in it, we may even give you a line… but you don’t get any creative control of course, that’s just for us and you have to bring your own cigarettes & coffee to set.

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