WHEELS is an indie feature film that follows MAX, a teenager from Brooklyn who wants to be a DJ. As the sole provider for his sick grandmother, Max has dropped out of high school and works at a supermarket to make ends meet.
Max fantasizes about DJ life. He daydreams about rocking parties all over New York and breaking into the underground scene. By night, Max hones his skills under the mentorship of MONTY, a renowned DJ who sees Max's potential but pushes him to take the craft more seriously. Max stashes away every spare cent to buy his own turntables.
When Max's brother, TERRY, shows up after a three-year prison sentence for grand larceny, Max finds himself at a crossroads between trust, obligation, loyalty, and pursuing his dream.
In the early 90s, you could find me doing one of two things, obsessing over movies or wearing out mixtapes I recorded of my favorite NYC hip-hop radio shows. Fast forward to 1995 when I wrote the first draft of WHEELS and was able to marry my two passions — film and music.
It's 20 years later...Oh man, I can't believe it! After working for two decades in the entertainment industry, I feel I am now in a great place, both professionally and artistically, to take WHEELS from the page to the screen. The script has evolved tremendously over the years but the underlying elements and themes remain — a boy who wants to DJ, brothers trying to connect, and a mom-and-pop radio station that’s being left behind by the changing times.
This film takes place in the present, but I want to flavor it with the feel of the past. WHEELS will play on a viewer's nostalgic sensibilities, like when a classic song comes on the radio and for a brief moment it takes you back in time. I've chosen to shoot the movie in black & white and score the soundtrack with early hip hop beats. I want to bring the vibe of old New York to life.
As a former documentary cinematographer and a director of fast-paced competition reality shows, I've learned how to manage a large crew, block scenes quickly, and visually portray the heart of a story. I see WHEELS as a street film about someone who hasn't had the opportunity to go where he sees himself. We all struggle to balance family and financial obligations while remaining true to our personal dreams. WHEELS is a coming of age film about navigating those challenges through passion, love, and taking control of your life.
WHEELS is a labor of love. I hope you see the potential in this project. Thanks for checking us out.
We started this campaign with one goal in mind — creative autonomy. Kickstarter is the perfect platform to help us feasibly make this movie on a low-budget. WHEELS is structured to keep costs to a minimum. For example, many of the scenes will be shot in free public spaces, we are building a small but mighty crew, and we are recruiting friends and family to help support basic needs such as crew lunches (Lookin' at you Mama Starkman). We are taking an "all hands on deck" approach to this project.
We are dedicating our time and personal resources to get the ball rolling. $50,000 from Kickstarter is the bare minimum we need to make this film a reality. Here is the breakdown:
- Prep begins in December 2015
- Production - Summer of 2016
- Post-Production - Fall of 2016
- Enter festivals and seek distribution
Risks and challenges
There are always risks when making a passion project. Currently, our largest challenge is casting. We want to find the right person to play each character, and that takes time. As we begin prep, we will keep all of our backers updated as to who's joined the cast.
While our cast may be up in the air, our crew is set. We have assembled a core production team with a wide breadth of creative and business experience and a common skill — the ability to tell a beautiful story. Every single penny, no matter what the amount, has a significant impact on the overall success of this low-budget feature.
We're here to make the best possible film we can. With your support, we're ready to rock. A BIG THANKS FOR SUPPORTING OUR PROJECT.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)