We got the news on Christmas eve that we hit our 12k goal! I want to thank everyone who helped us get there!
STRETCH GOAL: $13,300
Now that we hit our goal, let's try to get it here! New rewards added!
Join us for the creation of the feature film, WAR PATH, from writer/director Casey de Fremery! We have come to Kickstarter to get your help getting our film made as our film is gaining momentum. We are a Bay Area production looking to do something epic, ambitious, foolhardy, and above our pay grade as we navigate the indie film world with this piece of material.
Why tell when we can show?
Plot: Joel Carrero, late 20's/early 30's, is newly-wed to Sabrina, a former model with a sweet heart. Victims of a troubled economy, they do all they can to make ends meet and find some place in the world. Joel works with his best friend, Eric, at a job he hates with a hardass for a boss, Frank.
That job, of course, being a professional hit man.
One day, Frank asks an unusual favor: beat up, interrogate, and disappear a cop who's been blackmailing them. Joel is reluctant but agrees to the plan. However, Joel gets more than he bargained for when he meets the cop, Mitchell. Secrets are learned that threaten to take down everything that Joel has built but Frank won't let him just walk away. In retaliation for not doing his job, Sabrina is KIDNAPPED and Joel beaten down. He gets away but what else is there to do but revenge?
Back in May 2012, I came across a contest sponsored by Linkin Park via www.genero.tv where you do a music video for their song "Burn It Down." The winner gets prizes and I decided to jump headfirst into the project. I decided to craft a storyline about Joel and his life as a hit man and the revenge that follows after his wife is kidnapped.
After a whirlwind 2 day shoot, we had some amazing footage and worked on it right till the last minute of the deadline.
The video didn't win the contest but got me such a big reaction from friends, collaborators, and new associates that it wasn't something I could just ignore. 3 months later, I decided to start writing a feature length version of the music video and see where it goes. I started getting more and more into it as it started to resemble the types of movies I loved growing up. Looking to finally break into doing feature films after years doing music videos and shorts, I decided to make it my debut film.
All told, it was a music video entry that ultimately didn't win but became the perfect proof that I could pull off a movie like this. Lemons into lemonade!
Conceptual character poster
"WAR PATH" is a film about choices. Secrets. Cause and Effect, the consequences of every action you take and how it impacts the ones you love. It's a film about the economy and how it doesn't just affect "civilized" people. Even more than the rest, it's a film about flawed people trying to find their place in the world and escape the shackles of their lot in life.
Growing up, I (Casey de Fremery) adored gangster and crime films. Goodfellas, The Godfather, Mean Streets, Narc, the movies about guys who made their way by force and not conforming to how society functions. They were on the fringes but they were vicious and the consequences of their actions always left a mark on me, showing that crime doesn't pay.
Even so, I am not approaching this as my attempt to ape Scorsese or tell an Italian Mafia story. I want to make a story that isn't about an ethnic crime syndicate, this is an island of misfit toys. There are brutes who are ruthlessly effective and trainees who basically answered the job ad. They're in an industry that is dying (no pun intended) due to RICO and the crippling effect of the FBI and are trying to make ends meet.
The aim is to make a gritty crime drama but with humor, drama, a bit of action, a fast pace, and to get you thinking when it's over. My aim is to make a movie for the audience by a guy whose been in those same seats before.
Simplified: Breaking Bad meets Killing Them Softly and has a baby with a middle name of Cormac MacCarthy.
You can't make it without the actors. I wanted to put the network of actors I've collected over the years to good use while also including fresh faces. The material has attracted some of the best talent I've seen in the Bay and we've only just started some of the big casting.
GARY NEIL (Our Happy Apocalypse) as JOEL CARRERO
The main character of the film. He's a talented man in a business of death but trying to find his place in the world now that he's married. He is selfish and tries to hide the true extent of what he does to the outside world but doesn't want it to be his legacy.
ERIK SUNDQUIST (Criminal Minds) as ERIC DALEY
One of the lead roles in the film. Eric has been a longtime best friend of Joel and under his father Frank, runs one of Frank's criminal enterprises: hits and extortion. He's got a short temper, he's naturally competitive, and will be the first to hit on your girlfriend but he has a good heart. Unlike the majority of his employees, he actually loves his job and that leaves a lot of very unfortunate victims.
LIZ CLARE as SABRINA CARRERO
Joel's wife Sabrina, a former model Joel met at a bar randomly one night. Like Joel, she's a girl trying to find her place in the world despite there being no clear. She knows her husband is up to no good but she's a woman with secrets of her own and everything collides!
LISSA KEIGWINN as ELENA
An old flame of Joel from life before Sabrina, Elena was previously another killer in the employ of Frank Daley. She was cast out once her relationship was made public and true to form, the boy's club sided with Joel. Things deteriorated between her and Joel but she makes her living selling guns and other weapons of war. Tough but vulnerable, she wants out but things never go according to plan.
MICHAEL UIMARI as FRANK DALEY
Frank is Joel's boss/agent, who runs the overall business and handles the client side of the syndicate. Short tempered, gruff, and to the point, he has high ambitions to retire on a high note but leaves the hit man side of the business to his son, Eric.
COLE PANTHER (Absolution) as MITCHELL
A detective with the local police, Mitchell is one of the few actively assigned to take down Frank's criminal syndicate. That alone could make a career but Mitchell's not in it for the glory. More than just about anyone else, he's playing the long game and poses just as much a threat as anyone in Frank's employ.
DIXON SCOTT PHILLIPS (Hero Punk) as BENOIT
An old associate of Frank, Benoit is a domesticated middle man in a high power law firm. A gambler and routine customer to Frank's debt collection business, he's always on time and prompt. To Frank, he's a gateway to a lucrative contract for higher paying work. To Benoit, Frank's his main connection to his past life and a source for the dirty work of his employers.
JEREMY JONES (Hero Punk, 8: The Movie) as IVAN
Ivan is the de facto bodyguard to Frank and never needs a command repeated when it's time to protect his boss.
JOHNNY GILLIGAN as ABBOT
Abbot is an elite criminal within Frank's employ but puts on his best poker face whenever around social situations. He's calm and collected, follows orders, but is always willing to listen to the highest bidder. A true wild card.
CARL SCHREIBER as DENNIS
Dennis is a relatively new boyfriend for Elena, seen as a rebound by everyone but himself. In a film full of psychos, criminals, and sociopaths, Dennis is one of the more straight-laced guys out there. A banker by day with indoor hobbies, he's one of the few who's shocked at discovering who Elena knows and what she's capable of...
DAWAYNE JORDAN (Fruitvale Station) as WESLEY
In a film full of crazed and skilled hit men, Wesley is more along the lines of the new frat guy, the pledge, who's trying to prove himself and show his superiors what he's made of. But going from 'newbie who is constantly hazed and exploited' to 'respected employee' comes at its own cost.
MYLES WEBER as OWEN
Owen is being portrayed by Myles Weber, noted Buzzfeed writer, actor, and stand-up comedian. Owen is the head of security at the syndicate but can just as easily be found surfing youtube when the others aren't looking. He got into this due to loving the crime films of his youth but this isn't a job for the meek.
Casey de Fremery (Writer/Director)
"Welcome to Jurassic Park."
After that immortal line from Jurassic Park, Casey de Fremery came to the realization of what he wanted to do with his life. Born from a carpenter father and a truck driver mother, films became the highpoint of any week he was able to see them. From seeing his first film Jurassic Parkonward, he delved into any screenwriting or director book he could find and started his career in high school at the birth of the DV camera movement in 2003. Friends and relatives became actors and crew as he continued learning his craft through trial and error. After a number of years, he began to rise up the ranks with standout music videos and developing his own award-winning short films. His work includes elements of comedy, dark satire, and occasion tragedy, never staying within one genre or style of filmmaking. 7-9 years total working in the film business and "War Path" is his feature length debut!
Ferguson Sauve-Rogan (Cinematographer)
Casey's partner in crime on this adventure, Ferguson is an accomplished filmmaker himself. A graduate of SF State, he works on a variety of commercials, music videos, short/feature films, and other ventures. He was also the writer/director of the feature film "Return to Nowhere" and director of "Writer's Cramp."
Chloe Tokuno (Producer)
"War Path" isn't just a boy's club! Chloe is our very talented uber producer hard at work making this film a reality! In her own words:
In 2003, after graduating high school, Chloé followed in her mother’s footsteps and began modeling for prestigious clients such as Sacs Fifth Avenue and Nike. While continuing her education with a degree in English Literature, she found a love for the runway, walking for Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen, and Carolina Herrera, among other courtier designers. Chloé’s modeling career took her from San Francisco to Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. Working with top Photographers and Directors gave her a deep appreciation of advertisings production side. Eventually Chloé began producing still and motion shoots for Monkey and Snake Advertising and Big Buddha Productions. Word traveled of Chloé’s capabilities behind the camera. She has produced fashion, medical and utility campaigns for television, radio and internet. Chloé has supervised and co-produced print and motion advertising campaigns in Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Poland and Korea. Beside producing commercials, small documentaries and music videos, Chloé is also media planning, media buying and Ad Directing for still and motion. Chloé has also co-published a sold out, limited edition fine art book set, printed in Germany by Cantz Printing for her Japan based client, MIKI Foods of Japan. Currently, Chloé is Executive Producer of a San Francisco based full length feature film.
DANIEL KAUTZ (GAFFER)
Daniel Kautz Isaac is a graduate from SF State who specializes in a number of film production roles, some ranging from gaffing, gripping and even the mocking of star wars prequels. Daniel Kautz has worked on 5 feature films including Star Trek Renegades, Return to Nowhere and Prep School. He is currently now in the process of finishing his own short sci-fi epic titled Jalopy.
While the movie was being written, I took the opportunity (given by Syndicate Studios) to craft a short film supporting the film, titled "The Epilogue."
Plot: Joel Carrero wakes up, bloody and dazed, in the middle of a giant desolate landscape. A mysterious TV advertises that he's in Heaven but how could this be? Is this a dream? Is he dead? And why can't he remember how he got there?
This is a very personal film for me and deals with a number of heavy topics. The film utilizes the same characters from the music video and takes place after the feature film. The trailer is embedded so check it out! But keep in mind that just because Joel and Sabrina Carrero play a big part in the short, this by no means implies they survive War Path. Not by a long shot…
The Epilogue is currently in submission for various film festivals and premiered at the San Jose Short Film Festival in October. It was an Audience Favorite and got great responses at the various screenings that took place.
So Why Kickstarter?
Kickstarter has become a valuable resource for filmmakers to reach their audience, draw attention to their work, and get projects made that might've otherwise stayed as a pipe dream. As the cliche goes, it takes a village to raise a child and movies are no different in that regard. I wrote the script and will see it to every stage of production but I'm just one person and need a talented cast/crew to fully realize the film. Less movies than ever are being produced and the ones that do tend to belong to billion dollar toy franchises. Making something different isn't always possible but Kickstarter provides a gateway.
We are asking for your help with this film but feel so confident in it that what you get for donating will feel like a great cause. We are a fully independent crew that is trying to make something with a great story, engaging characters, and leave you feel like you went through an experience.
The kicker is that we must raise the amount in our campaign cycle or else we don't get a dime, endangering the production. It's all or nothing so we want to do all we can to make this a reality!
WHERE'S THE MONEY GOING?
The film is one we are looking to have as $30,000 (or more. More is good) and have raised about $18,000 thus far. We've been budgeting and have a way of doing it for that budget for production and starting it up for post production. We are a lean and pragmatic production with much of the script written based on locations we can get, props we can get for low or no budget, and nothing that is impossible.
We are scheduled for a 20 day shoot but getting more than our target goal will allow us to get more shooting days, get additional gear rentals, help with additional post production costs, and brace us for any left-field emergencies. There are inescapable costs like food for the cast/crew, gear, gas money for the cast/crew, and certain locations. We run a tight ship and we've had dozens of years combined of running low/no budget shoots but not making them feel like their budget.
YAY! You've donated! Charity is awesome but we want to give you a lot for your money no matter what tier you're at for more than just the film. On the right side of this screen is a list of rewards based on how much you donate and the perks of each one. We are a very open group so going as low as $1 grants you access into the production and can follow the progress as we go. One night, I might get the urge to post a clip from the film but only the backers would have the private link to watch what we've put together.
If you go higher up the chain, DVD's, blu rays, and all sorts of ways we want to give back are found. A copy of the film is a given but you can be onboard first hand as a War Path-ian as production and post production continue on for the next year and a half. We have some very unique awards on hand that can't be bought after or replicated, ways to contribute that can find their way into the film beyond just a credit card charge.
NOTE: Every tier has its own designated letter assigned to it, i.e. A, J, M, etc. Each tier you donate at gets you all of the other perks below it as well. So if you donate $100, you will get the $100 prize, plus all the other tiers below it like the DVD, blu ray, shout outs, etc. Exceptions are the times when the quantity is limited.
Risks and challenges
Any independent film carries its own trials and tribulations. By its very nature, the budgets could always be better, the food could taste better, certain locations might try to get you for more money, etc. Pre-production is always tough and main production is always an uphill battle. Thankfully, everyone involved has gone through those trials before on other projects and lived to tell about it with amazing footage to show for it. I (Casey) have a favorite film I directed that had three main actors cancel the day before but made it work due to a lot of quick thinking and improvised methods. There's always trials but our collected experience will allow us to get through it.
The post production will be tricky and lengthy but is where the biggest magic happens. Once the film is done, there never are guarantees about the ultimate fate of it. We will be submitting for film festivals we have connections to, distributors we know, and utilizing a very active online campaign. No matter what happens though, our backers will get what they pay for and if it takes off, everyone can say they had a part in it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)