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Rogue computer hackers discover a plot to monitor everyone on the Internet. They fight back.

Rogue computer hackers discover a plot to monitor everyone on the Internet. They fight back. Read More
pledged of $50,000 goal
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on December 8, 2012.

About this project


We live in a world so fast paced that it's almost impossible to keep up. We've got a thousand things vying for our attention: Facebook, work, friends, family, bills, the price of milk, wars, the government, the rest of the world, the cold-death of the universe. It's only natural that these things make us worry a little.

A big part of that is technology. In the movie THE ROOT KIT, I talk about the scarier side of technology: computer hackers. Some of these people are so smart, computers meld so easily into their hands, and the power that gives them... it can be very scary at first glance.

But, I'm not making THE ROOT KIT to simply shed light on an otherwise rather secretive and inaccessible subject. Instead, I use technology as a metaphor for the power anyone can have.  

It was a real paradigm shift for me when I realized that we could either view the world as a series of horrors lurking in the dark, on the other side of the world, waiting to devour us. Or, we could see that the power of humanity is increasing so quickly that quite a few people imagine a time when there is nothing we dream of that we can't make a reality.

Just think about it: right now, as you're reading this, there are people in Los Angeles, remotely driving a robot... on Mars! If you own a smart phone, you have access to the entirety of human knowledge and wisdom in your pocket, in a box about the size of a deck of cards. We're on the verge of curing illnesses from Cancer to AIDS. It's an amazing time to be alive.

Can technology be scary? Absolutely. Can a big strong guy be scary? Sure. Until you make friends with him, then you've got a sense of safety that you may never have known before. That's what I want to do with THE ROOT KIT.


I've set an initial goal of $50,000. I'm not a rich man. To me that's a lot of money, as I'm sure it is to you. I've made a movie for $2,000. No one got paid. Heck, I didn't know what I was doing. It was my first time making a movie. I don't want to do things that way. 

So, the first place the money goes is into the hands of the actors. And, I've got to say, the actors I've discovered and incredible. I know that even if THE ROOT KIT doesn't make them famous, they're gonna be stars soon. They're just too good. They are so good that they really deserve to be paid. You won't just be entertained by what they do, they will bring the characters in THE ROOT KIT to life in such a potent way that you'll find yourself believing they're all real. That's the bulk of the money. There are 23 speaking roles. I want to shoot this in 30 days with an average of 4 actors and 4 crew on set each day.

And, that's the next place the money goes. It's not just the actors in front of the camera. It's the people behind the scenes, moving the cameras, setting up lights, answering phones, making sure the place we're filming at the next day is still available, and of course there's makeup.

And, those average of 8 people a day, plus me, need to be fed (Craft Services). They need to know that if they get hurt, their medical bills are covered (insurance).

Finally, there are the places we want to film at. While this is an independent movie, locations usually want to make sure that if we break something, it will be fixed (more insurance). Also, when we ask to use a place, they've got rent to pay. Or, if the place is a park, we need to clear it with the corresponding city (permits). All this stuff adds up.


My name is Jonathan Schiefer. I'm the writer, director, editor, and one of the producers on THE ROOT KIT. I've been writing scripts for 10 years. I've been making movies, short films, commercials, music videos, and industrial videos for the past 3 years. But, that's what I do.

Who am I? I'm a person, like you, trying to make my dreams come true, trying to make a difference. THE ROOT KIT is my best attempt, to date.

Risks and challenges

While $50,000 is a lot of money, it's really just enough for us to complete this project. Everything has to be planned out, with a contingency in case something goes wrong on the day of the shoot.

The Root Kit is very complicated because nearly every single screen that will be visible in the movie is going to be added in post-production. That's really the only way we can make sure all the computer code we show is actually the code we're talking about.

And then there's sound. One of the really quick ways you can tell a low-budget film from a major studio film, other than the logo, is by the sound. We've decided that we're only going to be recording the voice on set. What that means is that all of the other sounds, from footsteps to car engines, from smart-phones buzzing to a fist slapping against skin, all that has to be recorded and synched after the fact. But, it's the only way to do it if you want it just right. And, that's not even including the music.

Is what we're trying to do hard? Yes. Is it possible? That depends on you.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00 USD

    You'll receive updates of where The Root Kit is at, from pre-production all the way through release, including behind-the-scenes videos that won't be available anywhere else until the BlueRay is released.

    Estimated delivery
    19 backers
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $4 or more About $4 USD

    The Luddite perk and a “Thanks” on Twitter and our Facebook page. And, a special thanks in the credits.

    Estimated delivery
    26 backers
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8 USD

    The RTM perk and a high-def image of your name in computer code (hexadecimal) that you can use as your desktop.

    Estimated delivery
    18 backers
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $16 or more About $16 USD

    The Noob perk and a digital download (480p or 1080p) of The Root Kit.

    Estimated delivery
    288 backers
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $32 or more About $32 USD

    The Noob perk and 2 Blu-Ray/dvd .dmg that you can then burn to a disc and a special features .dmg. In case you're wondering, these will be DRM Free.

    Estimated delivery
    168 backers
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $64 or more About $64 USD

    The Script Kiddie perk and you get to submit an object for inclusion into The Root Kit.
    (LEGAL: You must have the legal right to this object: a picture of Grandma you took, a widget you designed, etc. By sending us that object, you give us the right to use it in The Root Kit in any way that helps us better tell our story. And, we must receive the object before the first day of shooting.)

    Estimated delivery
    51 backers
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $128 or more About $128 USD

    The Script Kiddie perk and I provide you with the rough video, including synched audio from a certain scene. Once you’ve downloaded the video, you get to cut it together. Then, you post the video of it and everyone votes on the best cut. The winner receives a free upgrade to the CTO perk.

    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $256 or more About $256 USD

    The Script Kiddie perk and a walk-on role in The Root Kit. This means your name will be on the movie’s IMDB page as part of the cast!
    (LEGAL: Lodging and transportation to and from the set at the specified date not included. You must sign a release so we have the right to use your image in any way that helps us better tell our story, including advertising for The Root Kit).

    Estimated delivery
    16 backers
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $256 or more About $256 USD

    The Script Kiddie perk and "Associate Producer" credit, both in the movie and on Also, you'll get a one hour Post-Screening Google Hangout Q&A with me. Or, you could skip the movie and we can talk about whatever you want.
    (Sorry, no cybersex.)

    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,024 or more About $1,024 USD

    The Script Kiddie perk and a computer Security Consult with a computer security specialist (one of our technical advisors).

    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 backers
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,048 or more About $2,048 USD

    The CTO perk and you get an invitation to the cast & crew screening of The Root Kit in Los Angeles. (Food, transportation, and lodging not included).

    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $4,096 or more About $4,096 USD

    The Script Kiddie perk and I will help you write, shoot and edit a 30 second commercial or short (pending content approval) (LEGAL: Southern California area only. I’ll provide up to seven rough cuts of your video. If you're crazy or unreasonable, or you give off a vibe that bothers me, I reserve the right to stop production of the short at any time and refund your money.)

    Estimated delivery
    Limited 1 backer
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $8,192 or more About $8,192 USD

    The Script Kiddie perk and Lessons in Producing: We will help you select a local theater. Then we will send you all the digital files necessary to help you publicize The Root Kit in your area. Jonathan, and possibly a member of the cast, will fly out to the screening. We’ll watch the movie with you and then we’ll do a post-screening Q&A for as late as the theater permits. Afterwards, or before, depending on the time, we’ll have dinner with you and talk about whatever you’d like. One more thing: your name in the credits as Executive Producer.

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers

Funding period

- (31 days)