A note from Heather on the video: despite my stellar performance in the Kickstarter video above, I will not be acting in the actual film. This is really in the project's and everyone else's best interest. The film itself will have an amazing and very professional cast and crew. I will, however, take credit for the original dry erase masterpieces.
LET'S NOT PANIC
An NYU Grad Film thesis short written and directed by Heather Jack
Oh, hello! And welcome to the Kickstarter for LET'S NOT PANIC. Please, help yourself to the video above, check out some of the enticing rewards on the right, and make yourself at home!
Everyone's got issues.
Yours just happens to be that an asteroid is coming to destroy your city. Terrific.
Sure, you can panic ala most apocalyptic movies, and flee from the inevitable destruction, chaos, and fiery doom...
Or, alternatively, perhaps the end of the world is the perfect opportunity to go find your crush and tell them you're in love with them?
When an asteroid threatens to hit New York, Sadie, a neurotic and anxious 20-something, embarks on a quest from Brooklyn to Manhattan to reunite with her therapist, who she is in love with. She believes they can finally be together in a post-apocalyptic world since all social structures will be broken down and the rules keeping them apart will cease to exist. Along the way, Sadie accrues a small group of other modern, neurotic New York evacuees, Wizard of Oz style. As the group adapts to their new survival needs, looting an upscale restaurant and contending with newly-assembled bicycle gangs, Sadie emerges as their unlikely leader. But will the doctor be the ultimate source of their salvation, and can they reach him before disaster strikes?
LET'S NOT PANIC is an adventuresome comedy set in beautiful New York City. Despite some of the darker comedic elements, the film endeavors to be optimistic, witty, and fun.
As someone who is admittedly slightly (fine, fairly) neurotic, I think it's safe to say that most of us have our own insecurities and issues to deal with. That's one of the reasons I'm really excited about this project. No one is perfect and stressful situations only amplify the crazy. Also, the world can feel like a frightening, messed up place if you've been watching the news, but we can't spend our entire existence being dark. Humor and normalcy creep back in, and sometimes it's the only way to confront otherwise terrifying uncertainty. This film attempts to meet those fears head on, all while having the aforementioned fun.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
Usually, I work as an independent producer and collaborate with other people on their exciting projects. But I also love writing, especially stuff that I think is funny, and after supporting the visions of lots of amazing people, I've long wanted to film my own project.
Not coincidentally, my parents have long wanted me to wrap up my grad school degree. This film, my thesis, will help accomplish both goals! Everybody wins!
WHAT IS KICKSTARTER? OR CROWDFUNDING?
Kickstarter is a website for people to raise money for their independent projects via crowdfunding. The idea behind crowdfunding is that a lot of small contributions can add up in very big ways.
Kickstarter works like this: you become a backer by pledging an amount of money in support of a project. In exchange, you receive exciting rewards! We've got some for you over there on the above right. However, the project only receives it's funding if the goal is met! So for LET'S NOT PANIC, we have 30 days to either raise the entire $15,000 or we get nothing at all. Some high stakes!
We're lucky to have skilled and talented professionals lending their services at greatly reduced or pro bono rates, as well as the support of NYU Grad Film, providing us with a fancy camera and insurance. Everything else needs to be funded, and your support will make this possible!
Our plan is to make the best film possible with your help! You are a crucial part of our team! Your contribution will go directly to the following:
- Sound Design
- Visual Effects
- Festival Submission Fees
- and so much more!
We want to make it a fun journey, we'll keep you involved and updated so you can be a part of the process along the way until the film is done and out in the world. Join us - let's make a movie!
HEATHER JACK - WRITER & DIRECTOR
Heather started her career as an assistant at Metro Goldwyn Mayer, later taking on a role in feature production at Jerry Bruckheimer Films. During over six years in Hollywood, Heather contributed to the development and production of numerous films, including The Pink Panther, The Amityville Horror, National Treasure 2, Confessions of a Shopaholic, G-Force, and Prince of Persia.
In 2008, Heather Jack gained admission to the inaugural class of the dual degree MBA and MFA film producing program at New York University’s Stern School of Business and Tisch School of the Arts. Upon moving to New York, Heather launched her career as an independent writer and producer, collaborating with up-and-coming directors to produce narrative films, online content, and branded entertainment. Heather’s work has appeared in prominent international festivals including Locarno, South by Southwest, and the New York Television Festival. In addition, Heather has produced branded creative works for clients including CollegeHumor, Subway, My Damn Channel, the I Love New York tourism campaign, L’Oreal, Vita Coco, and Cisco. As a producer, Heather was a Student Academy Awards finalist, has won a Golden Cine Eagle Award, and was an AICP Awards finalist. Originally from Northern California, Heather is currently based in New York City, where she continues to independently write and produce narrative projects with an emphasis on comedic material.
MARY ROHLICH - EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Upon graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Mary Rohlich began her career in development at MGM and Columbia Pictures before teaming up with director Seth Gordon on FOUR CHRISTMASES as an Associate Producer. She continued to work with Gordon as Co-Producer on the hit comedy HORRIBLE BOSSES starring Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey. Most recently, Mary Co-Produced IDENTITY THIEF starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. She was an Associate Producer on the award-winning documentary MAKE BELIEVE as well as Segment Producer on FREAKONOMICS based on the New York Times best-selling book. FREAKONOMICS is a collaboration of critically acclaimed documentary filmmakers such as Gordon, Morgan Spurlock, Heidi Ewing, Alex Gibney, Rachel Grady and Eugene Jarecki. She recently Co-Produced the Fox television series BREAKING IN starring Christian Slater and is Co-Producer on the upcoming ABC television comedy THE GOLDBERGS starring Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jeff Garlin and George Segal. In addition to her work in television and features, Mary also produced the short films EXCUSE ME (Duncan Birmingham) which premiered at Sundance, and STORAGE (J. Clay Tweel) which premiered at AFI. Mary continues to team with Gordon producing television and feature films.
MIKE SIMPSON - CINEMATOGRAPHER
Mike Simpson is an award winning cinematographer who actively balances narrative and commercial work. Taiwan Oyster premiered in narrative competition at SXSW 2012 and Variety wrote: "The sheer beauty of Simpson's frames often stands in direct contrast with the delirious indulgence on display." It's In the Blood starring Lance Henriksen: "We are introduced to images that will haunt us… like the rest of the film the cinematography is darkly beautiful." Strings, a thriller with awards including best cinematography: "I think it is safe to say that Mike Simpson’s cinematography is absolutely gorgeous."
Mike's commercial resume includes international TV spots for Nintendo starring Robin Williams as well as beauty and hair spots for Maybelline and Matrix. Other clients include, Budweiser Coach, Seventh Gen., Dell, Whole Foods, and more. Mike's incredible diversity in commercials has produced blogged-about fashion and beauty spots, addy winners and even New York Times write-ups.
Risks and challenges
Like the title of the film implies, disaster can strike. Luckily for us, film is a collaborative effort, and we're surrounding ourselves with the very best. This helps mitigate unanticipated chaos.
Some of the risks that the project faces are production delays, escalating expenses, cast/crew replacements, difficulties with location, inclement weather during our shoot, or other last-minute crises. So many factors go into making a film, and we always have to plan for the worst while hoping for the best. Beyond that, after the film is shot, there is still a lot of work that will go into editing and post-production, and some of the special effects may be prove to be more complicated than we anticipate. Our team has a lot of experience making films, so we've faced these disasters before and come out on the other side with great finished work! There is also terrific support in the NYU Grad Film community, and we have that network to rely on for additional help if we get into a jam.
We are currently aiming to shoot in October, and we are planning accordingly and optimistically. The best defense against unexpected snags is great preparation, and we've got the right team to take these challenges on. Thanks for being a part of it!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)