Leo is in training to be an international superstar, but since he works in a fish cannery in Alaska his dreams are hard fought.
Update June 1 --
I spent the morning scouring the internet for reference materials to show my DP, Production Designer, Costume Designer and crew - I was looking for visual representations of fish cannery life, iconic drag superstars and the greatest fight scenes in film.
I landed on Laurie Anderson speaking to a group of young art student graduation where she sings with a mouth pillow microphone - http://youtu.be/Ul25TPz0fGE - she ends this phenomenal performance with "Welcome to the Art World!"
I think I better understand how all these worlds ended up colliding in my film - besides my parents - the biggest influences on my life are - in no particular order - Laurie Anderson, David Lynch, Sandra Bernard, Aki Kaurismaki, Bruce Lee, Cher and Muhammad Ali with a dash of Darcel from Solid Gold.
Welcome to my world!
Pass this link on to a friend, post an update on Facebook, Tweet, Google Plus, Pin, Path - help me in this final push.Thank you!
Dear Friends, Family, Colleagues and Film Lovers,
I was just accepted into the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women. If you’re not familiar with this program - it's an incredible non-profit program that gives women who've established themselves in the entertainment industry a chance to develop and direct their own short films. I’m joining into a group of extraordinary American Women -- I’ll definitely be standing on the shoulders of some awesome women in film including Maya Angelou, Patty Jenkins, Ellen Burstyn, Anne Bancroft, Cicely Tyson, Moon Zappa, Kristina Robbins, Sian Heder, just to name a few – but now I’ve got to raise money to make a great short film!
While AFI does provide an inordinate amount of support from industry experts to help mentor and guide us, as well as access to their film equipment, each woman in the program is expected to raise their own funds to make their film.
That's where you come in. I need to raise $5000 by the start of the workshop in May and can raise up to $25,000 to cover production and post production in July and August respectively. There are some ambitious elements in my short including a dream sequence in a working fish cannery, to do this right with high production value we need your help! (think HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH or DANCER IN THE DARK - not in tone but for the song sequences in an industrial setting) In short the more money we raise the more glamourous these sequences will be -- every dollar counts.
All contributions will go directly toward the production and post-productions costs - including costumes, hair & make-up, location rentals, props, picture car rentals, equipment truck rentals, a generator and catering for the cast and crew for 5 nights of shooting.
No donation is too small. If 400 people can spare $25, that would make a big dent and you'll be playing a pivotal role in this production. Please help me make the most of this incredible opportunity and make the bestest mostest glamtastic film I can. Thank you!
*If you would like a thank you letter from AFI for tax purposes, please contact me BEFORE making your donation on this page by clicking the "Send Message" link at the top of this page.
About this project
ALASKA IS A DRAG tells the story of an aspiring teenage dragqueen who dreams of International Superstardom. Leo stands out in a crowd and that's not always a good thing in the fish canneries. In order to survive, our hero strikes up a friendship with a co-worker and they learn to fight back. It might be more apt to describe his journey as BILLY ELLIOT in reverse or ROCKY in drag.
I sincerely believe that this character and this film will touch audiences and open minds in a meaningful way, and I hope you’ll be a part of helping me make it happen.
The short is based on a feature that I wrote that was recently brought to life through a staged reading for Naked Angels this past fall. My heart and soul has been in the independent film world since I was 15 years old. And making this film is a dream come true and the first manifestation in bringing this character to the big screen.
So I’m reaching out to you!
I know it sounds corny, but the power really is in your hands, and you can make a huge difference in the life and success of this film no matter what your contribution level. Your voice counts and your support of this film matters. Thank you for supporting ALASKA IS A DRAG and thank you for being a part of bringing this story to the big screen.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THIS MOVIE ALL ABOUT?
An aspiring teenage draqueen’s dreams of diva fabulousness are hard fought working at a fish cannery in Anchorage, Alaska. His absent father works on fishing boat, leaving Leo stranded alone to fend for himself. Leo gets beat up a lot because he stands out in a crowd – he strikes up a friendship with a co-worker and they learn to fight back.
Set to go into production in July, ALASKA IS A DRAG will be shot in San Pedro and Los Angeles by a group of hard working and talented individuals. This project is a labor of love, none of the cast and crew will be paid – so every dollar goes toward equipment, feeding our cast & crew and to take our film through post-production. We cannot do this without your support. And what will you get in return? Check the column at the right to find out all the rewards we will bestow upon you... not to mention... love, hugs, kisses and plenty of big sloppy virtual kisses! Yow! WE'RE MAKING A MOVIE!
CAN I INCREASE MY PLEDGE ONCE IT'S BEEN MADE? YES! Once you donate to our campaign, you may want to change your incentive reward to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. To do so, go to Kickstarter and sign in. If you go to our campaign page, the green “Back This Project” button has been replaced with a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click it and you can enter a new amount, or choose a new incentive.
CAN WE EXCEED THE GOAL? Yes! Exceeding the goal would help us pay for more of the costs to finish the film. I need to raise at least $5000 by the beginning of May and can raise up to $25,000 to cover all of production and post production (not including the fees from Amazon & Kickstarter and rewards costs.)
IS MY PLEDGE AMOUNT PUBLICLY DISPLAYED? No. Only you and the project owner will be able to see your pledge amount.
I'M NOT IN THE US, CAN I STILL PLEDGE? Yes, you can pledge from anywhere.
CAN I GIFT AN INCENTIVE? Yes, it's always the giving season! To "gift" your reward to someone else, please follow the normal process with the pledge and payment in your name. Once we've reached the deadline, we'll send you an email requesting the information we need to fulfill the reward (address, etc.) At that time, please reply with the contact info for the person that is to receive the reward and we'll follow through!
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE MONEY ISN'T RAISED IN TIME? If our goal isn’t met before the deadline, we don't receive any of the pledges. Your credit or debit card will not be charged. But we won't be able to make the movie - so please help me spread the word!
ALASKA IS A DRAG
Written & Directed by Shaz Bennett
AFI Directing Workshop for Women 2012
Need to raise $5000 by May 7th
And up to $25,000 in total - excluding fees from Amazon & Kickstarter.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
BIG HUGE THANKS! Every dollar helps! And as a bonus a big sloppy virtual kiss from Shaz!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Along with a big virtual kiss, I'll send you a photo from the film electronically mailed to you with a personalized thank you message with a digital download of the finished film. And as a bonus you’ll get your very own 2 inch disco ball.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
Along with a big virtual kiss and photo and digital download. As a bonus you'll receive an assortment of custom made buttons that you can wear out proudly to show your support! Plus your NAME ON THE BIG SCREEN in the Special Thanks section.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Along with the kiss, photo, digital download & your name on the big screen - you'll receive a custom made Can Coozie so the next time you drink you can proudly show your support.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Along with the kiss, photo, digital download & your name on the big screen - you’ll receive a custom made shot glass that you can bring to the the exclusive CAST & CREW SCREENING & DANCE PARTY in Los Angeles (transportation not included), where a Cast or Crewmember may serenade you via the magic of KARAOKE!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
Along with all of the above - you’ll receive TWO customized shot glasses signed with a personalized dedication from director. A wonderful keepsake to pass on to your grandchildren.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
3 backers Limited (17 left of 20)
Along with ALL OF THE ABOVE - you’ll also receive NEVER ENDING FRIENDSHIP FOR LIFE guaranteed with Shaz. Upon completion of the film, you will receive a signed DVD of ALASKA IS A DRAG with DVD bonuses. Plus if you're interested Shaz (AFI FEST, LA Film Festival, Sundance) will watch your film and give you or a friend a half hour of festival strategy advice on your film..Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
Along with ALL OF THE ABOVE rewards – Shaz will teach you how to do a ONE HANDED CLAP. PHENOMENAL, right? Plus if you're interested Shaz (AFI FEST, LA Film Festival, Sundance) will watch your film and give you or a friend an hour of festival strategy advice on your film.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)
In addition to ALL OF THE ABOVE you'll be listed as the “EXECUTIVE PRODUCER” in the credits, but that’s not all - THE BIG PERK – my husband Jean-Pierre will DJ a party for you (At your house in the Los Angeles area for 3 hours – turntables, music & 2 speakers included) And I (Writer / Director Shaz) will get the dance floor started if you like. Plus you'll get your very own 8 in. Disco Ball.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)
Along with everything above. You'll be listed as the “THE MOST AWESOMEST EXECUTIVE PRODUCER” in the credits, AND – my husband Jean-Pierre will DJ a party for you (At your house in the Los Angeles area for 3 hours – turntables, music & 2 speakers included) And I (Writer / Director Shaz) will get the dance floor started if you like. Plus you'll get your very own 12 in. Disco Ball.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
Along with everything above. You'll be listed as the “THE BESTEST MOST AWESOMEST EXECUTIVE PRODUCER EVER: in the film credits, PLUS you'll receive EVERYTHING ABOVE and a 12 inch Disco Ball with Motor.Estimated delivery:
- (45 days)