A short film about a man and a missile.
THANK YOU!!! AND WE STILL NEED HELP:
We are beside ourselves with thanks for all the generous support we've gotten here! Our goal was the minimum we needed to make this production a reality, and we're thrilled to have gotten to this point.
There's still room to help! We now need to find funding to finish post-production with a professional colorist and sound designer - the finishing touches on this movie are going to make all the difference, really sculpting the mood since there's no dialogue to carry it. If you donate now, past our goal, your gift will go straight toward that all-important polish (not to mention helping us with any unforeseen, mid-production crises...). I hope you'll consider it!
Paul is the custodian of a nuclear missile silo, living alone in the vast underground structure. More interested in his passion - painting and sculpting the missile - than his duties, he gets a lousy performance review that threatens his job. He attempts to get his act together, but his problems get much worse when the intercontinental ballistic missile inexplicably disappears.
This story came out of a conversation I had with filmmaker Jesse Moss, when he suggested a missile silo as the setting for a short film. At the same time, I had been kicking around this idea for a character who, through anti-realist circumstances, loses something which is at the very center of his life. I was interested in thinking about ineffable loss and profound lack of meaning, but doing it in a fun, playful way - a throwback to the mid-20th century absurdist writing that I love (and still haven't outgrown). When Jesse suggested shooting in a silo, I realized the ideas were a perfect fit together.
Of course the object at the center of this idea should be a missile. Of course it should be set in a silo.
As the story developed and I began brainstorming with producer Andy Widmann how the action might play out, I just became increasingly committed to making this project happen. The main character (named after our art director, Paul Beaudoin) stands in for the beauty and strangeness of human endeavor, attempting to build something real on totally unknowable foundations. Using some of the techniques I picked up while shooting PUPPET - my documentary following an incredible puppet production by Dan Hurlin - we'll keep the characters mute. The action will all be communicated physically, with help from carefully designed foley and an evocative score by Paul Trubachik.
This is an ambitious scale for a short film, but the team that's assembled around it makes me totally confident we'll be able to get it done. In addition to the folks already mentioned, Mark Rasmussen, the finest photographer I know, has volunteered to shoot it. Jared Goldman, whose credits include some of the coolest films from the last few years (MANDA BALA, for instance), is guiding us through as a producer.
All we're missing is the portion of our budget which we can't afford to put in ourselves. We need your help. Keep reading to find out how we'll use it.
The film will be shot entirely in an Atlas F missile silo located in upstate New York. Built in the early 1960’s and decommissioned in 1965, the silo consists of two underground chambers; the 170ft X 60ft missile silo and 2 stories of living and operational space connected by a tunnel. We will be filming throughout both.
In addition to the preparation of the missile silo, we need to supply the missile (the ICBM that originally lived in the silo was, unfortunately, removed by the Air Force when it was decommissioned). So, we're in the process of constructing the top thirty feet of an Atlas-F nuclear missile in a Brooklyn studio. After constructing a temporary floor on the third level down of the silo, the missile will be lowered into place from ground level, one section at a time, using a hoist. The sections should weigh around 175lbs each, so it should be doable to lower them manually. It won't be simple, but at least it should be fun. Once the missile is in place and the sections are secured together, we'll erect some temporary rigging so Paul Beaudoin and his crew can begin scene painting it to match the surroundings - installing rivets, adding rust, etc. That process should take about a week.
Outside of the construction of the missile, significant prep will be put into recreating an operational silo command center using the original control panels, computer banks, and even the launch key locker. Much of the silo has been underwater for years and requires a good deal of rehab. We will be spending a full month at the silo prior to shooting cleaning, de-rusting, and painting.
HOW WILL THE MONEY BE SPENT?
While we have made every effort to keep Silo’s budget low, prepping the missile silo for the shoot, building a false floor 100 feet above the bottom of the silo and constructing our replica missile are production costs that cannot be avoided. Furthermore, due to the remote location of the silo, transportation of crew and equipment to and from the missile silo as well as crew housing during the shoot add significantly to production costs. Money donated through kickstarter will mainly used for the following:
- Materials for the construction of our replica ICBM
- Cleaning and painting of the missile silo
- Materials for construction of a false floor for the missile
- Transportation, housing, and food for our crew on location
- Equipment rental
- Post production services, including effects (we're only building the top 30ft of a 75ft+ missile, so we'll need to add the rest with CG)
- Cast and crew
WHO WE ARE:
David Soll - Writer/Director. David Soll directed the feature documentary PUPPET (trailer below), which premiered in November, 2010 at DOC NYC and has since screened around the country. In 2008, David was a Co-Creative Director on the Obama for America media team, producing and editing national television ads for Dixon/Davis Media Group. He has directed, produced and edited advertising for numerous Democratic candidates and progressive causes around the country. He has worked as an editor for MGM and ABC, an online and effects editor for Sony Pictures Entertainment, and he has collaborated on experimental films with choreographers and theater artists including Victoria Marks, Dan Hurlin, and Alexia Rasmussen. His advertising work has been recognized with numerous Telly and Polly awards, as well as two Cannes Lions grand prix. He was the recipient of a MacDowell fellowship in 2009, an IFP Lab fellowship in 2010, and a Cinereach grant in 2011. David graduated summa cum laude from New York University where he studied political philosophy.
Andy Widmann - Producer. For the last fifteen years, Andy's career has been a hybrid of business consulting and arts administration. Andy founded Wicker Park Studios, a studio complex which became the artistic home to over 800 Chicago-area artists and musicians. While managing Wicker Park, he produced television commercials for the Chicago market and produced the critically acclaimed Roadworks production of David Sedaris's Santaland Diaries. As president of ABW Consulting he has worked with a wide range of clients, from helping startups build operations in emerging markets to developing new strategic initiatives for established multi-national corporations. Andy graduated from Purdue University and he is currently in France, pursuing an MBA at INSEAD.
Jared Ian Goldman - Producer. Jared I. Goldman is a New York-based award-winning independent producer. Mr. Goldman has produced two Sundance award-winning films in 2007 and 2008: The Wackness, starring Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley, won the Audience Award at the 2008 Festival, and Manda Bala (Send A Bullet) won the Grand Jury Prize (Documentary) and Achievement in Cinematography Award in 2007. He is currently in post production onSummer at Dog Dave's, written by Rob Reiner and starring Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen as well as Generation Um, written and directed by Mark Mann and starring Keanu Reeves. In addition, Mr. Goldman was a producer on Solitary Man, starring Michael Douglas and Susan Sarandon as well as Father of Invention, starring Kevin Spacey, Heather Graham, Virginia Madsen and Johnny Knoxville, which is set for release in Fall 2011. Mr. Goldman has also worked on Oscar-nominated projects such as The Visitor and In The Bedroom, as well as Uptown Girls and Robert Altman’s Prairie Home Companion. Mr. Goldman was Manager of the Production Department at GreeneStreet Films for nearly four years where he delivered films to Sony, MGM, Paramount, Fox, Miramax as well as a number of international distributors and prior to that he worked in Business Affairs at Miramax Films. Mr. Goldman is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English and Economics and a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA), the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the National Arts Club.
Mark Rasmussen - Cinematographer. Academy-award nominee Mark Rasmussen was born in Oakland and studied film at the University of Southern California. His career spans award-winning work as a commercial producer/director/director of photography on feature films, television and advertising as well working for clients such as ABC-TV and Discovery Networks. His numerous awards include CLIO’s, EMMY’s and the New York Film Festival. He has DP’d several documentaries, music videos, political ads and also works as a freelance photographer. Currently he is developing a theatrical project centered on the adult film industry.
Paul Beaudoin - Art Director. Paul Beaudoin makes art in New York City. He has collaborated on several large scale art projects including design and construction of "Baby", a 16x scale crawling infant with manipulable limbs and head built on a heavily modified WWII Studebaker Weasel (image below). He draws and paints from studio models and on location in the city's parks and squares. He has studied figure drawing and painting at Pratt and SVA. His work was featured in Sketch at the Brooklyn Artists Gym. He has worked for a number of technology companies including his own. He is currently employed as the Database Programmer for the Brooklyn Museum. He graduated from the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon with a degree in Computer Science where he wrote his thesis on Ajax Design Patterns.
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