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A movie about teen girls who get into fights and post them on the internet. Will our heroine stop them, or become their victim?
A movie about teen girls who get into fights and post them on the internet. Will our heroine stop them, or become their victim?
136 backers pledged $13,060 to help bring this project to life.

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Scene Queen: A Movie About Teen Bullying

$13,060

136

STORY

A video appears on the internet. Two high school girls circle a third with cell phones. They beat her viciously, and post her humiliation for all to see on the internet. Who does this? Why do they do it? What’s going on here?

SCENE QUEEN is a 90-minute movie that explores these questions. Teen bullying is nothing new, but the internet has brought it to a global playground - where the weak get sand kicked in their faces before a worldwide audience.

"Selfies," a much maligned phenomenon, are the other side of the internet coin. Look at them closely. You see a generation of teen girls owning their own images. You see a wide variety of self-expression—fear, confidence, sexuality, joy, love, insecurity, playfulness. There's power there, as well as vulnerability.

I’m interested in exploring both sides of the nature of self-definition on the internet. What kinds of questions do these developments raise about "girl power," bullying, and especially how teenage girls construct their identity around being seen? And around being the SCENE QUEEN?

Our "bad girl," Ashley, has 10,000 internet followers. When a girl from Ashley’s past threatens the construction of her new identity on the internet, Ashley targets her for humiliation and punishment.

Our hero, Jess, has been co-opted into Ashley’s group, and benefits from the internet notoriety if being "in" with Ashley's crowd. But when things get out of hand, Jess needs to stand up to Ashley’s bullying—or become a victim herself. Will she roll over? Stand up for herself? What's important to Jess?

STYLE

I wrote SCENE QUEEN in 2008 with the intention of shooting it on digital video, for little money. I thought the subject lent itself to a "lo fi" treatment - a story that could be told with Youtube footage.  The fight scenes are designed to look like something you'd find on Worldstar. The story itself takes what could be a liability - lack of money - and turrns it into an aesthetic choice. 

The look and palette of the film is influenced by the electro/alternative warehouse club “scene” culture. We're in talks with some very exciting music acts from LA. Watch this space as we announce who will be appearing in the movie and contributing to the soundtrack!

WHAT'S IN PLACE?

We are ready to begin production in Austin Texas in September. We have a fantastic cast of talented actresses in the principal roles (the teen girls), and a solid attachment from fight choreographer Grandmaster Yi, who was the fight choreographer for Robert Rodriguez' SIN CITY. Grandmaster Yi and his students have been working with our actors to choreograph the fights since March, and the results have been terrific!

Grandmaster Yi, the fight choreographer for SIN CITY, is working with us to develop our fights.
Grandmaster Yi, the fight choreographer for SIN CITY, is working with us to develop our fights.

We are also working with Bittorrent to take advantage of their upcoming pay gate bundles to distribute the movie over their peer-to-peer network. I think the nature of this movie lends itself to online distribution, and Bittorrent is excited about the project and eager to work with us. We will, of course, submit the movie to key festivals (Sundance, SXSW, Toronto, Fantastic Fest, Austin Film Fest, LA Film Fest, etc) and seek a distributor for other digital channels (Netflix, Amazon, etc.)

WHAT DO WE STILL NEED?

Some very talented people are donating their time and expertise to this project; I'm humbled by the faith they have put into my little movie!  It's also brought our real production costs down to almost half of my original budget.

What we still need are liquid funds for production expenses that are absolutely non-negotiable. We need to pay the actors a minimum daily rate. (SAG AFTRA rules, even for Ultra-low budget movies, of which this is one, are pretty clear on this point!) We need to feed everybody. And we need to pay key crew like sound guys, script supervisors, and other skilled production personnel who will keep us on time and under budget. And we need water. (Seriously, y'all. This is Texas in the summer. You have no idea how much water we need!)

The amount I'm asking for - $10,200 - is the minimum we will need to make our production days. When you contribute to this movie, know that your dollar is going directly to the production - it's turning into a sandwich that will fuel somebody for a day of shooting, or it's a check cut to an actor who's earning SAG minimum for the first time in their life.  It's paying for equipment that will make this movie look and sound incredible. 

Again, this is the MINIMUM we can get away with for production - if we are able to reach our stretch goals, we will be able to shoot longer (3 weeks would be a luxury!) and make the movie bigger, better, faster and stronger. (And of course, if we don't meet our minimum goal, you won't get charged!)

REWARDS

Swanky!
Swanky!

What's in it for you? Aside from our undying love and gratitude, and the warm feeling you get inside from contributing to a work of art: we have rewards! You can check out the full reward packages on the right (makes Vanna White type motions toward the side of the screen), but here are a few highlights:

$15 and up - You get your very own swankadoo SCENE QUEEN t-shirt (pictured above), which you can wear proudly to school, the club, or just while cleaning the house.

$25 and up - Your choice of the digital download or a DVD of the movie, depending on your preference. (Please note: the delivery dates of the movie depend in large part on when we finish and how it's distributed. If we get a distributor for the DVD, for instance, they may want a later planned window for releasing the DVD. If that happens, we'll be sure to let you know in advance!)

$50 and up - You get the download, the DVD *and* the t-shirt! Plus everybody gets a special thanks on the website, all the updates and a link to the Scene Queen streaming music playlist!

$75 - We throw in a lot of other cool swag, including the new CD from our scathingly talented and creative composer, Kubilay Uner (who also composed the soundtrack for Big Sur!)

It's called INN PARADISO. It is made of awesome, and uses a lot of found instruments. 

INN PARADISO by Kubilay Uner - "Fuzz boxed, steam driven, instrumental music from a tribe not yet discovered."
INN PARADISO by Kubilay Uner - "Fuzz boxed, steam driven, instrumental music from a tribe not yet discovered."
  

We'll put it in your swag bag for free, and it will change your life. (Ok, maybe it won't change your life. Our lawyers say we shouldn't make that claim. But it is definitely awesome.)

$100-200 level - You get all the swag plus tickets to a red-carpet screening in LA, New York or Austin, TX! (We'll ask you which screening you prefer when you choose this level!)

$250 - We'll feature your anti-bullying message on our website, www.scenequeenmovie.com, Twitter, and YouTube channel!

$1500 - We'll put your anti-bullying message IN THE MOVIE! That's right - you can appear in the movie, or we'll have one of our actors read your message for you.

$2000 - We'll give you a credited speaking role in the movie! (It's not a big role, but there are no small roles, right?)

$2500 -5000 - At this level, let's face it, you're getting a producer credit. Thank you for being an indie film hero!

Risks and challenges

Any independent film production is a challenge. Your biggest allies are momentum, and good will. When problems come up, you can't solve them with money, because you don't have any. You need to solve them with creativity (and sometimes, by slipping a case of beer to the right people).

In our case, I’ve been able to gather a team of solid, dependable professionals. We already have commitments from professional editors, a professional stylist, a professional stunt coordinator and fight choreographer, and a professional (and award winning) composer doing the score. Many of us have worked together before, we trust each other, we “get” each other, and we will be able to hit the ground running. Having the right team in place will minimize a lot of the risks involved in low-budget filmmaking before we even turn on a camera. We are working with a very small crew and minimal equipment, which will not only cut costs, it will make us more nimble as a crew and allow us to use our shooting days more productively. I’ve written the script with our budget in mind, so a lot of our problems are solved in the script stage.

Our biggest risk – which you’ve probably already spotted if you’re doing the math – is that we are not asking for our post-production budget. If we don’t get the financing that we are going after, that could be a setback. With a budget as tight as ours, if anything goes over our accounted-for costs – a print ad campaign, an ADR or foley session, a second digital master – we either need to find the money, or do without it.

Our promise to you, the backer, is that even if unplanned for costs do come up - and they will - we will find a way to finish the film and deliver a product to you. Our backers made a commitment to us, and we will honor that commitment with our own: we we won't let you down. You'll get a movie if I have to act it out with shadow puppets and cut it with scissors. (Actually, that might be a good idea for a stretch goal!)

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    We won't beat you up. (Kidding! We will love you forever and give you a special thanks on the website!) Thanks for supporting indie film!

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    BFF! As an official supporter, you get an exclusive SCENE QUEEN t-shirt, all the updates, and a special thanks on our website! Thanks for supporting indie film!

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    IN THE CLIQUE!
    Because you are so awesome, you get an exclusive SCENE QUEEN t-shirt and a digital download of the finished movie! You'll also get a special thanks on the website, all the updates and a link to the Scene Queen streaming music playlist!

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    OLD SCHOOL!
    Don't want to deal with digital downloads? We can send you the DVD when it's ready! (Sorry, no t-shirt with this package).You'll also get all the updates and a link to the Scene Queen streaming music playlist!

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    **NEW REWARD** - BUMP IT UP! Because you demanded it - here's a package with both the DVD *and* the t-shirt! You'll also get all the updates and a link to the Scene Queen streaming music playlist!

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    ON THE LIST!
    As a special supporter of SCENE QUEEN you get the digital download, the DVD, the t-shirt, and special thanks on the website!! Plus, all the updates and links to the streaming playlist. Thanks for supporting indie film!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    ALL THE SWAG! Collectors edition! You will get a signed DVD, a t-shirt, and a CD of our composer's music, INN PARADISO, all in a stylish Variety Photoplays tote. You'll also get a special thanks on the website, all the updates, and links to the streaming playlist. Thanks for being a supporter of indie film!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    PLAYER'S CLUB! You are a player, baby! You get everything at the $75 (ALL THE SWAG!) Level, plus one ticket to an exclusive red carpet screening in Austin, New York, or Los Angeles. You will also get a special "Player's Club" thanks in the movie credits. Hobnob with the stars like the big shot you are, and be among the first to see the movie on the big screen! Transportation, accommodations and Telly Savalas not included!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    PLUS ONES! You get everything at the $75 (ALL THE SWAG!) Level, plus TWO tickets to an exclusive red carpet screening in Austin, New York, or Los Angeles. Bring a date and hobnob with the stars! You both get credit as members of the Player's Club. Transportation and accomodation not included!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    SUPERSTAR! This is a speaking role in the movie! For $2000, we will put YOU in the movie! At the Superstar level, you will get to read a line in the movie, and receive a credit on IMDB. You can do this from home, anywhere in the world. Very limited number of these. You also get ALL THE SWAG and two tickets to one of the red carpet screenings!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    LOCAL HERO! Do you have an anti-bullying message that you want to share with the world? Send us your written or video message, and we will feature the entirety of your message on the Scene Queen website and include it in our Youtube channel (as long as it meets Youtube's terms of service!). You also get ALL THE SWAG and a special thanks in the movie credits as a "Local Hero!"

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    WORLDWIDE HERO! All the same benefits as the LOCAL HERO level, but for $350, we will not only feature the entirety of your message on the Variety Photoplays website and include it in our Youtube channel ($250 level), we will include a 2 second clip of your message IN THE MOVIE, read by you or by one of the actors. **WE WILL ALSO INCLUDE YOUR VIDEO MESSAGE IN THE DVD EXTRAS.** Very limited number of these. You also get ALL THE SWAG! (Sorry, no IMDB credit - but you get special thanks in the credits as a "Worldwide Hero!")

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    DRIVE-ON PASS. Here's your chance to be part of movie magic! Visit the SCENE QUEEN set, meet the cast and have a meal with the director! You also get ALL THE SWAG ($75 level)! And two tickets to the premiere screening of your choice ($200 level!) and a special thanks in the credits as a member of the "Players Club!"

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    BE A SPONSOR! For $1000 we will advertise your product or service by featuring your logo in the end credits crawl. You also get ALL THE SWAG ($75 level)!

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    VIP LOUNGE! Well hello, Hollywood high roller! At the VIP level you receive everything at the $500 level - set visit, dinner with the director, and two tickets to the premiere - PLUS! You will get an associate producer credit on IMDB and in the movie credits, as well as a very special thanks in on the website as a "VIP Lounge" member. Also, you will get personal recognition and thanks from the director at the premiere screening.

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    MOGUL! You are the VIP of all Hollywood VIPS! Seriously, at this level, you're a producer! You literally get a producer credit, and the director can also appear at an exclusive red carpet screening of the movie for you and your friends (transportation, venue rental and refreshments not included). You also get everything at the $500 level - including set visit, a meal with the director, and two tickets to the premiere - plus a producer credit on IMDB and in the movie credits, and personal recognition and thanks from the director at the premiere screening.

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Funding period

- (38 days)