A feature length documentary about my father, who passed away from AIDS in 1997, and his life of drug addiction and crime in NYC.
Thank you so much for visiting my Kickstarter campaign. I appreciate your time and consideration in helping make this film a reality. It's an extremely personal story to me, and one I very much want to share with you. Please visit GettingOverFilm.com for more information as production progresses.
We're at a time in history where the bonds of the American family are weaker than ever. The increasing marriage failure rate, combined with the continuing issues of drugs, crime, and even the AIDS crisis have made it extremely difficult for our families to flourish. My own family has been affected by all these issues, and my entire life has been spent trying to alter our legacy. Now is the time to turn toward the past while continuing to forge my family's future in an attempt to understand why these issues have affected us so deeply, and to find ways to create a better life for the generations to come.
Who are you and who is Ray Charnick?
My name is Jason Charnick, and I’m a filmmaker in Los Angeles, California. Ray Charnick was my father. He was also a criminal, and a cocaine & heroin addict who died of AIDS in 1997. He spent the majority of his life either in prison, or on the streets of New York City as a petty thief, always looking for a way to "get over," to scam someone, even his own family, to get his daily drug of choice.
Why are you making this movie?
I can count on both hands the number of times I’ve seen my father during the course of my lifetime. My mother did one hell of a job shielding me from ever learning the truth of his exploits on the streets on New York. Whether by accident or by design, she made sure I didn’t know too much about my father’s life.
Back in 1997, only months before he passed away, my father recorded 18 hours of interviews with my uncle and cousin as a means of documenting his lifelong struggle with crime, addiction and sickness. I want to make this movie as a means of telling his story, exploring my family’s legacy, and in turn, learning more about him and myself.
Why should I care?
The journey is an important one: for myself, for my family, and for the audience. Everyone and every family has their own demons. My generation's relationship with their fathers is one of the worst in history. My goal is to look deep inside my own family and deep inside myself, in order to find out why my father decided on this path in his life. By rediscovering my father as a grown man, perhaps I will find the truth behind this and behind our family's history. By documenting the process, I will be able to share my story with others, who hopefully can then find some truth in their own lives.
What’s your next step? How will you use these funds?
I spent the last three months meticulously watching through these tapes for the first time, converting them to digital format, and painstakingly transcribing each tape by hand. It wasn’t always easy, and it wasn’t always fun, but I have already learned a wealth of new information about my father, had some of my own memories redefined by the truth, and discovered a wide variety of characters (some famous, some infamous) whose paths cross with my father’s along the way.
Now that the important first step has been completed, I need to call upon you, my Kickstarter patrons, for help. I have identified a few people from my father’s past that I'd like to interview. It’s going to require traveling to various parts of country.
I would like return to New York City and visit some of the various prisons he used to call home. Many of my earliest memories of him involved visiting him in prison, and I want to see if the reality matches how I remember it. It also costs a surprisingly large amount of money to order official records from the city. I need these to help establish a timeline for his crimes, and by extension, his entire adult life.
I’ve always prided myself on stretching a dollar as far as it can go and further when it comes to independent film production, and I feel that with the modest amount that we’re hoping to raise that we can make the best film that we possibly can, and be true to Ray’s story. Any additional funds that we raise will go toward music rights that I hope to obtain, and additional production costs that may arise along the way. Rest assured, every dollar we raise through Kickstarter will find it's way directly to the screen.
Tell me a little bit about your rewards.
I know that the process of making this film will take a great deal of time and right now I've scheduled completion for about 1 year from now. In order to show my appreciation for your support, I don't want to keep you waiting until the completion of the film for you to collect some fun rewards now. As thanks for your support of $50 or more, in addition to the finished film on DVD or Blu-ray when the project is completed, if we reach our funding goal, you'll also receive an 11" x 14" limited edition, hand-numbered promotional mini-poster, shortly after we receive our funds.
With your generous support of $75 or more, you will receive the mini-poster, and as a bonus, you can own prints and/or posters of some of renowned New York City muralist Arnie Charnick's most well-known works.
Arnie Charnick is my uncle, my father's brother. He is well-known in the NYC art community, and chances are, if you been out and about in New York (or more recently, Santa Monica, CA), you've seen his work. Take a look at the link below to see the artworks we're offering, and hopefully you'll feel you'll be getting your money's worth when you support the production of GETTING OVER.
Who are you again?
A native of the Bronx, New York and graduate of Boston University, I moved to Los Angeles 12 years ago to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. A partner in the post-production team known as Upstart Film Collective, I am also an accomplished editor, producer and graphic designer. I have been involved in multiple award-winning projects, including Stephen King’s Night Surf and the wildly successful Grindhouse parody, Expiration Date. My last documentary film and directorial debut, 5:19 To Molina, chronicles my attempt to beat major-leaguer Bengie Molina in a race to first base.
Is anybody helping you?
Known for his viral video campaigns, which often break traditional genre boundaries, Nathan Oliver (writer, producer) has wowed audiences with his work, been nominated for numerous awards and caused huge media interest. He is the director of numerous award winning short films and a pioneer in the digital space. Nathan began his career under Academy Award nominated director Spike Jonze’s tutelage, honing his directing skills while assisting on a number of music videos and commercials, as well as the feature film, Adaptation. He also helped create Ashton Kutcher’s & Katalyst Films’ internet division, K-Labs, where he directed many viral video advertising campaigns and branded entertainment for clients such as Dell, Burger King, and Electronic Arts. In 2007, Nathan co-founded the filmmaking collective, Team Awesome, where he produces and directs viral videos. Nathan also co-wrote the feature film, The Last Resort, which was released by Lionsgate in 2009.
My dad was only 9 days into being 47 when he passed away, so he was 46 when he recorded these videos. As you can see, years of drug abuse and AIDS have taken their toll, making him appear to be years older than he actually was.
While no particular plans have yet been made regarding the distribution of the film, we definitely plan to screen it locally and at film festivals around the country. And although the film is specifically about my family and my journey, we most certainly hope it can hold education value for others as well. As such, we would like to build partnerships with various public health organizations who might stand to benefit from screening the film.
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Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
Your name listed as a donor on our web site, a web link to the completed documentary when it’s released, and my sincere thanks for your support.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
Same as $1, PLUS a personalized e-mail thank you, and also with your name in the credits of the documentary with our special thanks.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Same as $10, PLUS a Kickstarter limited edition, hand-numbered copy of the completed film on DVD.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $30 or moreYou selected
Same as $10, PLUS a Kickstarter limited edition, hand-numbered copy of the completed film on Blu-ray.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Same as $25/$30 (your choice of format), PLUS a copy of the Kickstarter limited edition 11” x 14” promotional mini-poster (also hand numbered).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
Same as $50, PLUS a 10” x 5” print of famous New York artist (and my uncle, Ray’s brother) Arnie Charnick’s “Veselkaos #2” mural, suitable for framing.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $85 or moreYou selected
Same as $75, except a 20" x 10" poster of "Veselkaos #2."Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Same as $75, PLUS a set of (12) 5" x 7" prints of Arnie Charnick's "Keys To The City" series.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $110 or moreYou selected
Same as $85, PLUS a set of (12) 5" x 7" prints of Arnie Charnick's "Keys To The City" series.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
Same as $100/$110, (your choice of "Veselkaos #2" size), PLUS Associate Producer credit, and a signed copy of the DVD/Blu-ray (again, your choice) & promotional mini-poster by the filmmakers.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
Same as $250, PLUS 2 tickets to the Los Angeles premiere screening of the film. (travel & accomodations not included)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
Same as $500, PLUS 2 more tickets to the Los Angeles-area film festival premiere of the film, and a signed theatrical poster when it's completed. (travel & accomodations not included)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
Same as $1000, with Executive Producer credit, personal e-mail updates during production, and an opportunity to screen extended rough cuts during post-production. (travel & accomodations not included)Estimated delivery:
- (32 days)