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A horror-whodunit short film about a serial killer targeting the newcomers of a neighborhood undergoing gentrification.
A horror-whodunit short film about a serial killer targeting the newcomers of a neighborhood undergoing gentrification.
488 backers pledged $34,545 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$34,545

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Click here to view an HD version of our sneak peek scenes.

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Check out the video below from our Writer/Director Xavier about our Stretch Goals
Check out the video below from our Writer/Director Xavier about our Stretch Goals

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.

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Check out White Knuckle's press thus far! -

Scroll down through our project description for links to the articles
Scroll down through our project description for links to the articles

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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!

 

Cold Brass, the last movie many of us collaborated on, is currently being submitted to festivals... and its a film that we successfully funded on Kickstarter!

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.

Our actor, Gareth, getting in character, alongside our producer and AD, Tess, manning the slate like Werner Herzog.
Our actor, Gareth, getting in character, alongside our producer and AD, Tess, manning the slate like Werner Herzog.

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

Connor, our DP, coordinating framing with our Director, Xavier.
Connor, our DP, coordinating framing with our Director, Xavier.

 

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 whiteknucklefilm@gmail.com

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!

James Blagden - Win a drawing from the award-winning illustrator, animator and filmmaker.
James Blagden - Win a drawing from the award-winning illustrator, animator and filmmaker.

 

Jhoanny Mota - Win a piece of White Knuckle memorabilia designed in collaboration with this Brooklyn-based artist and fashion designer.
Jhoanny Mota - Win a piece of White Knuckle memorabilia designed in collaboration with this Brooklyn-based artist and fashion designer.

 

Kate Bigelow - Check out these old school designs our costume consultant did for the brand Vena Cava. Kate is currently the Associate Designer for Lou & Grey – both knit & woven. One of her original White Knuckle character costume designs could be yours!
Kate Bigelow - Check out these old school designs our costume consultant did for the brand Vena Cava. Kate is currently the Associate Designer for Lou & Grey – both knit & woven. One of her original White Knuckle character costume designs could be yours!

PRESS

The Creators Project, VICE: http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/gentrifiers-get-murdered-white-knuckle-horror-short 

The FADER: http://www.thefader.com/2016/11/07/white-knuckle-slasher-movie-kickstarter

PAPER: http://www.papermag.com/theres-a-horror-film-about-brooklyn-gentrification-in-the-works-2084023514.html 

DNA Info: https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20161111/bed-stuy/white-knuckle-horror-film-gentrification 

NYLON Magazine: http://www.nylon.com/articles/nylon-8-at-8-november-9-2016 

Bushwick Daily: http://bushwickdaily.com/bushwick/categories/arts-and-culture/4320-a-short-horror-film-about-gentrification

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 

Our BK Social: https://ourbksocial.com/theres-horror-film-bed-stuy-gentrification-works/ 

The Horror Movies Blog: http://paranormalhorror.com/2016/11/18/white-knuckle-xavier-coleman/  

Super Selected: http://superselected.com/upcoming-slasher-film-white-knuckle-tackles-race-and-gentrification/

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

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Social Justice Shout-Out

    Our deepest appreciation! We’ll give you a shout-out on our website/social media pages to let the world know you’re 'bout it!

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    Part-of-the-Crew Credit

    As filmmakers and collaborators we choose to work with people who believe in awareness, conversation, and community. Become a member of our crew and get your name up on the big screen!

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    Behind the Scenes Access

    Ever wonder what a film set is like? Want us to show you the equipment that we use? Want to ask a crew member a question? Exclusive access to our film's backstage Snapchat account.

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    Pre-Release Digital Download

    We’ll give you an HD copy of White Knuckle with your name in the credits before it's available to the public! Link to the film will be sent out between Spring and Winter 2017, depending on film festival regulations.

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    Ultimate Indie Horror List & Mixtape

    Spooking season is here! If you're into horror, Director Xavier Coleman is the master. Get a list of his Must-Watch Horror Flicks and support the independent arts. Also includes an exclusive, eclectic digital mixtape of music that inspired the motion picture.

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    Pin & Stickers Collectors Gift

    A collection of stickers and pins that feature customized drawings and images from characters, crew members, themes, and influences of White Knuckle. Includes the inspirational sights and sounds collection of music and films curated by our Director.

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    White Knuckle Movie Poster!

    Want to frame your first movie credit? Show off your appreciation for independent film? Get one of our posters designed by Director Xavier Coleman and Costume Designer Jhoanny Mota. Includes the inspirational sights and sounds collection of music and films curated by our Director.

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    White Knuckle T-Shirt

    Rep your passion for independent filmmaking on your sleeve with this custom made White Knuckle T-Shirt designed by Brooklyn-based design and White Knuckle Costume Designer Jhoanny Mota.

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    A White Knuckle Tote Bag!

    Stunt on your coworkers, neighbors, and fellow shoppers with a high-quality canvas tote bag with White Knuckle graphics designed by Brooklyn-based Costume Designer Jhoanny Mota. Includes the pins and stickers collection.

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    Movie Screening Passes

    Two tickets to the exclusive producer's screening of our film before it is released to the public, to take place at a TBD location in New York. Includes the pins and stickers collection as well the inspirational sights and sounds collection of music and films curated by our Director.

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    Costume Design Concept Drawing

    A high-quality concept drawing of our three lead characters’ costume designs, illustrated by fashion designer and White Knuckle costume consultant, Kate Bigelow. And signed by the artist herself! - http://katebigelow.com/ Includes the pins and stickers collection as well the inspirational sights and sounds collection of music and films curated by our Director.

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    ULTIMATE FAN GIFT PACKAGE

    Became an ultimate fan of White Knuckle and receive a special credit on the film. Also includes a White Knuckle tote bag, t-shirt, movie poster, pin & sticker collection, and inspirational mixtape! Become the ultimate fan!

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    Acting Workshop with Industry Manager

    Bronx-born Talent Manager Harold Lewter of Cyd LeVin & Associates, the Talent Consultant for White Knuckle, has over 50 working clients in television, film, and broadway. He is offering a 2-hour acting workshop/Q&A in New York. Normally a $500 value! Includes a White Knuckle T-shirt. http://www.clamgmt.com/new-page/

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    Producer Consultation

    Have a script you want to develop? Need to learn about production insurance and legalities? Our film's producer Miranda Kahn has worked with producers such as Lena Dunham, Bradley Cooper, Drew Barrymore, Molly Connor (BIRDMAN) and Marty Bowen (TWILIGHT). She is offering a 3-hour consultation workshop for whatever projects you might be working on! If you're new to producing, this is an ideal crash course! Includes a White Knuckle T-Shirt!

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    Original Artwork from James Blagden

    White Knuckle is honored to have New York-based Illustrator, Animator, and Filmmaker James Blagden on our team, and for this donation you can get an original drawing (between 8.5x11 - 24x30) incorporating White Knuckle's themes. http://jamesblagden.com/work/work_new.htm

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    Become an Associate Producer!

    For your incredible support, you'll be officially credited as an associate producer on White Knuckle. You are invited to come and visit set with up to two other friends at any given time during production, and you will be invited to all screenings we hold. Includes the Ultimate Fan Gift Package!

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    Become an Executive Producer!

    For being such an integral part of our production, we're happy to credit you as an Executive Producer on White Knuckle. You will be invited to all of our screenings and meetings, you are welcome to come and visit set with up to two other friends at any given time during production, and you will be invited to any of the festivals our film is featured in! Includes all the Ultimate Fan Gift Package!

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Funding period

- (27 days)