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A new feature film about two people engaging in a desperate act of togetherness.

  Hello, my name is Chris Hefner.

  First of all, thank you very kindly for having a look at the Kickstarter page for my new feature film, The Poisoner!  I do appreciate your interest very much, and I'd love to tell you a bit more about my work, the film we're making and what we hope to accomplish should our campaign here be a successful one.

  The Poisoner is my second feature-length film.  It is the story of a woman who enters into a contract authored by a man who asks her to both be his wife and to slowly poison him over the course of his remaining years.  They never speak of the contract after it is signed, but nevertheless develop a deepening connection in their time together.  It is a story of the lengths to which we will go to simply find a moment of togetherness in a vast and indifferent world.

   My first film was called The Pink Hotel and was completed and premiered at the Music Box Theatre here in Chicago in the spring of 2010.   I took the next year to focus more heavily on visual art and to write this new picture, which went into pre-production in the Autumn of last year.  Since then I have been greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm, skill and generosity from my all-volunteer cast and crew, and our momentum is ever-building! 

  I am proud to say that the film stars mesmerizing Chicago chanteuse Meredith Miller, who is renowned for her inventive fusion of cabaret and object theatre, and visual artist/musician R.K. Shuquem.  Shuquem's enthralling visual art has historically run hand in hand with his prolific musical efforts, which have included Loto Ball Show, The Phantom Limbs, Mucca Pazza and, most recently, The Arts of Life Band.   In addition to a fine volunteer crew, I have also had the honor of working together with Arts Alive 45, a local arts advocacy program run by Cyd Smillie and the office of Alderman John Arena in Chicago's lovely 45th Ward.  The Poisoner's adherence to my shoestring, ultra-low-budget approach to film making simply would not be possible without the astonishing generosity of these people.  Thanks to Cyd and Arts Alive 45, our production space was donated for the span of principal photography, and my company and I are now making full use of a wonderful building previously vacant for nearly 25 years at no cost to our production!  We have found a warm and welcoming home in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighborhood, and are devoted to giving back by playing an important part in the revitalization of this up-and-coming neighborhood.  This has truly been a labor of love, generosity and community. 

  We began principal photography in April and are scheduled to finish shooting by July 1st.  We are approximately one third of the way through photography, and now must address the remaining expenses of production as well as our post-production concerns.  Once photography has wrapped, I will begin editing the film, renting recording space and working with sound engineers to record all of our foley sound and voice-overs, and, most excitingly, working with the brilliant Daniel Knox who will be composing our score and whose music you hear in our Kickstarter Project Video.  Even though we are certainly a volunteer-based production of extremely modest means, I can say from experience that doing all of these things the right way and subsequently giving the film proper visibility still takes time and money, even on the lowest budget.

  Our $15,000 goal will facilitate the completion and exhibition of The Poisoner in many ways.  This money will provide us with the resources, equipment and time we need to finish shooting, it will allow us to rent sound recording space and technicians, and finally to promote and submit the film to festivals.  Naturally, the more money we get, the better we will be able to achieve these goals.  More money means more and better construction and lighting materials, and, during post-production, more recording and engineering time with our talented sound crew in better facilities.  Once the film is completed, it means the ability to submit to more and larger festivals as well as invest in further-reaching and higher quality promotion materials.  More money buys us the ability to give this film, with which we have already come so far, the visibility and support we feel it very much deserves.  

  We are working hard because we believe in this film, and in a larger sense, because we believe in the notion that we all deserve new, honest and original cinema not only to be shown in our theatres, but to be produced within our own communities.  I hope you will have a look at our many fine incentive rewards as well as learn more about our production at the tumblr and facebook links below, and consider donating to The Poisoner!  Your support is deeply appreciated. 

  Warmest gratitude,

  -Chris Hefner

  www.cmhefner.com

  Tumblr

  Facebook

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    12 backers

    Your own personal piece of MYSTERY MAIL! Handcrafted by Chris Hefner, director of The Poisoner, and delivered TO YOUR HOME by the United States Postal Service. Don't forget to include your address! Shhhhhh....

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  • Pledge $20 or more
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    12 backers

    $20 gets you a signed dvd of The Pink Hotel, Hefner's first feature film. A limited number of these also come with a handset letterpress print inside. Pretty snappy! first come, first served!

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  • Pledge $40 or more
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    12 backers

    Here we have one signed copy of The Pink Hotel AND a very limited edition 11x17 poster from The Pink Hotel's 2010 world premiere at The Music Box Theatre in Chicago! The poster is designed by legendary Chicago artist Tony Fitzpatrick, and each is signed by both Fitzpatrick and Hefner.

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    6 backers

    A hand-printed, signed & numbered screen print by Chris Hefner from his "Sister I - IV" series. Choose from four different designs, each derived from one of Hefner's original charcoal drawings.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    6 backers

    The $100 mark gets you one of everything: An original screen print, one Pink Hotel world premiere poster signed by Tony Fitzpatrick and Chris Hefner and a Pink Hotel DVD!

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    6 backers

    All of the above plus two tickets to the premiere of The Poisoner at the Portage Theatre in Chicago this winter!

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    0 backers

    Rewards #1 - #6 (to recap: Pink Hotel dvd, Pink Hotel signed poster, original screen print, 2 tickets to the premiere) AND one original, unframed charcoal drawing by Chris Hefner.

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  • Pledge $2,000 or more
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    1 backer

    Rewards #1 - #6 plus a mid-sized, framed, original drawing of your choice by Chris Hefner and special mention in the credits of the film.

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers

    Rewards #1 - #6, FOUR passes to the premiere, a large, framed, original drawing of your choice by Chris Hefner and special mention in the credits of the film.

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Funding period

- (30 days)