About this project
Stretch Goal #1: $30,035
For money towards top-tier STUNTS and GORE to take White Knuckle to the next level.
Stretch Goal #2: $36,035
For money towards FILM FESTIVALS and TRAVEL to make sure White Knuckle fulfills its potential.
Check out White Knuckle's press thus far! -
When a serial killer begins targeting the gentrifiers of a dwindling, historically Black neighborhood, three young adults attempt to determine the murderer’s identity...before they're next.
Jay and Rich are an early-20s Black American sister and brother duo who recently moved in to a beautiful, Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhood where the film is set. Having been raised in a predominately white, wealthy suburb, the siblings yearn to have their new home provide some insight into their Black cultural identity.
Troy is an early-20s white male, the child of one of the first white families to reside in the neighborhood in decades. Upon returning home from his college studies, Troy discovers that the community has undergone more rapid gentrification than expected, and that his parents have sold their house as a result.
The bulk of the film unfolds over the course of an evening as Troy arrives at Jay and Rich’s new brownstone to view one of the floors up for rent. The meet-and-greet soon turns into an impassioned conversation about the changing neighborhood and the serial killer who’s recently begun stalking it. Unbeknownst to Jay, Rich and Troy, the killer may be closer than they think…
One of the main reasons we're passionate about this project is because our filmmaking team is comprised of mostly women and people of color, two demographics which are rare in the filmmaking industry and we'd love to encourage more of. This is especially true for the horror and thriller genres. And, for this same reason, we're compelled and excited to portray honest and complex female and minority characters in front of the camera.
Beyond representation, we're motivated to spread White Knuckle's themes of gentrification and displacement: two issues that are close to our heart that we intend to create more dialogue about. Specifically, our movie will show the horrors that emerge from a lack of community and cultural diversity.
As White Knuckle's main characters debate the identity of the killer, broader questions are raised about the importance of cultural identity for American minorities. As they discuss what constitutes a psychopath, the notion of inner-city Black and brown pathology is challenged. And as the characters face the threat of murder, the parallel reality of a community and culture which is facing its own demise from gentrification becomes apparent.
But although White Knuckle's addressing some of the more dire social issues of our time, the film will be doing so in a fun and accessible way - in the style of American slashers. The slasher genre, with movies like Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street, has always been used to critique suburbia and American society at large.
In particular, the pacing and dialogue of White Knuckle is inspired by the slasher movie's snappy, self-referential style during the 1990s, where writers like Kevin Williamson (Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Faculty) created characters whose understanding of their own obsessions seemed to predispose them to the scary scenarios they found themselves in.
Like its predecessors, we expect White Knuckle to provide laughs, thrills and chills as we take you on a riveting ride!
Writer/Director/Editor - Xavier Coleman
Honing his story-telling skills primarily through film editing, Xavier has worked post-production for companies including ESPN Films, Netflix Films, OWN, and Google and directors/producers such as Ira Glass, Joe Berlinger and Jon Greenhalgh. Most recently, Xavier wrapped as an editor on Trial By Fury (2016, Official Selection – American Documentary Film Festival), The Best Last Best Plane Ride Ever (2016, Official Selection – Tribeca Film Festival), and New York I Love You (2016, Official Selection – New York African Film Festival; BAM’s New Voices in Black Cinema).
Producer – Miranda Kahn
Miranda has worked on 11 feature films, 6 television programs, two commercials and several music videos for studios such as CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, HBO, Sony, Netflix, and Funny or Die, with names including Lena Dunham, Drew Barrymore, Bradley Cooper, Molly Connors (Birdman) and Marty Bowen (Twilight). At present, Miranda's determined to use her experience to produce projects with socially-impactful content.
Producer and Assistant Director – Tess Raih
Beginning her career studying under filmmakers Laurie Collyer and Caveh Zahedi, Tess graduated from The New School with a BA in Culture and Media Studies. Since then, Tess has been working in the AD department on feature films such as Barry (2016), Monster (2017), Roxanne, Roxanne (2017) and Coin Heist (2016) and alongside actors including Jennifer Hudson, Liv Tyler, Nas, A$AP Rocky and Anya-Taylor Joy.
Associate Producer - Molly Conners
Producer of the Best Picture Academy Award winning feature film Birdman (2014) as well as Killer Joe (2011) and Frozen River (2008).
Producer's Assistants - Chris Williams, Mohammed Rabbani, & Antonio Pinheiro
Director of Photography – Connor Lawson
Connor's developed his cinematography skills working in both the camera and lighting departments over the years. He's recently assisted veteran and up-and-coming filmmakers such as Bob Giraldi, Morgan Spurlock, Neil LaBute, Tom Richmond A.S.C, Jendra Jarnagin and Graham Willoughby. www.connorlawson.com
Production Designer - Suja Ono
Suja began her career at Emerson College where she got her BA in Sound Design while simultaneously designing almost a dozen student projects. Since then, Suja's worked as Production Designer and Prop Master on productions such as Mail.Man (2014 Official Selection - IFFCA Los Angeles), 12 Kilometers (2016 Official Selection - Boston International Film Festival), Chimera (2016), and the upcoming and highly anticipated Super Troopers 2 (2017).
Sound Design & Mix - Danny Rose & Alex Thompson (Rose Studios)
Collectively, Danny and Alex have done audio work with the likes of GUESS, Young M.A, ESPN, Sean C and LV, Morton Subotnick, Plain Dog and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.
Composer - Terence Costello
2nd Assistant Director - Miakoda Gale
Script Supervisors - Violyt Chavis and Janeth Gonda
Additional Art Direction - Christopher Kelley
Set Dresser - Victoria Nadler
Prop Master and Editorial Art Designer (including our project image!) - Lily Raih
HMU - Krystal Michel
Sound Mixer and Boom Operator - Zac Suskevich
1st Assistant Camera - Tom Fenaille
Gaffer - Dave McCabe
Key Grip - Renroy "Royal" Chase
DIT - Grace Raih
Production Assistants - Tom Pedro Rotando, Brendan Cloherty, Oleg Zalman
Set Photographer - Casey Regan
Kendra Holloway as Jay
Aaron Dalla Villa as Troy
Gareth E. Lawson as Newscaster Jim
Our stellar cast also features supporting roles played by Jacob Michael Mason, Mao Hanada, J. Matias Sepulveda and Will Raih.
We are currently casting for the roles of Rich (male, early 20s, Black), and the supporting character, Ms. Horne (female, elderly, Black). To submit talent for these roles, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We've calculated our fundraising goal and budget at $28,535, not including previous expenses.
A primary reason we've set our budget at this amount is to maintain a high production quality, accessing the resources we feel this story needs to reach its full potential.
The second, more crucial factor in our budgeting process, is our priority to take care of our team members and the locations we'll be shooting in. This means paying our cast and crew fair and legal rates and locking down quality insurance.
If we're fortunate enough to receive any additional money over our goal, the extra funds will go directly into White Knuckle! The current budget we have is a bare-minimum budget based on our calculations, so any extra money will go into things like special effects, props, and camera equipment upgrades to make this movie even better.
Check out samples from some of the artists collaborating on White Knuckle who are donating artwork to our campaign - prizes that are just a click away!
The Creators Project, VICE: http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/gentrifiers-get-murdered-white-knuckle-horror-short
NYLON Magazine: http://www.nylon.com/articles/nylon-8-at-8-november-9-2016
Brick Underground: http://www.brickunderground.com/live/Kickstarter-White-Knuckle-movie
Graveyard Shift Sisters: http://www.graveyardshiftsisters.com/2016/11/black-horror-films-slasher-flick-white.html
The Horror Movies Blog: http://paranormalhorror.com/2016/11/18/white-knuckle-xavier-coleman/
Risks and challenges
The primary challenge we'll face with the production of White Knuckle is ensuring that we're making this film honestly and ethically.
As is the case with the production of anything, film production has an environmental and social impact wherever it is done. Ensuring that this impact is as minimal as possible is always more of a challenge than not putting in the extra effort to do so.
Given the themes of community and displacement within our story in particular, we must ensure that we have the full support of the people and places we interact with while shooting the remainder of this film.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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