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In a bleak future where women are dying rapidly, a female survivor must counsel, interrogate and mother those responsible to get answers.
In a bleak future where women are dying rapidly, a female survivor must counsel, interrogate and mother those responsible to get answers.
36 backers pledged $13,412 to help bring this project to life.

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$13,412

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UPDATE 7/15!  NEW STRETCH $15,000 STRETCH GOAL!  NEW REWARDS ADDED!

Thanks to our INCREDIBLE donors, we have fulfilled our campaign!  And we've gone ahead and added four new amazing rewards to help us reach our $15k stretch goal:

  • $35 - Exclusive On-Set BTS Photos
  • $75 - The Full Midwife Camera Test Footage Reel
  • $400 - Invitation to Final Sound Mix and/or Coloring Session (and sneak peek of the film in near final form!)
  • $750 - Invitation to Set!

Thank you for making Midwife happen!  Help us make our film EVEN better with additional funds... Original campaign below:

Midwife is an audacious, dark female psychological drama in the vein of Children of Men, Ida, and the literature of Margaret Atwood.

 It's about a woman named Tess who works as a clinical psychologist at a detention center. Our camera follows her as she makes her rounds to different inmates - psychotic teenagers, drug addicts, young boys - all being held against their will. And very quickly, we see that both Tess, and the world she inhabits, are not what they seem.

 In the near future, something cataclysmic has happened on the outside. Women are dying rapidly due to a biological attack, causing the government to suspend habeas corpus. Men have been locked away with any connection to the events no matter their age, their well-being, or whether their innocent. And Tess’ role is something much more sinister and tragic - to extract information at any cost. Each of her sessions take on a strange, surreal world of their own as she’s revealed to be a government spy, using both her maternal and feral instincts to gain a larger picture of how the world fell to ruin.

 At it’s core, Midwife is an intimate character study of a woman who’s lost everything, who in fear of her own life must harbor secrets, inhabit multiple characters… Facing the true fringes of evil and abuse. But ultimately, it’s about the love that compels Tess to push back… the same devotion which also might unravel the entire system.

 WHY SUPPORT THIS FILM?  

With your help, we'll create a short film unlike any other.  It's a gritty, shocking, austere experience that will both entertain and challenge audiences. A genre film in it's unflinching brutality as well as an arthouse picture in it's style and sentiment, we believe it will have a mass audience appeal online and at festivals worldwide. It's bold, striking provocation on gender politics will also stir up conversation, as will it's entirely unique, multi-faceted female performance.  Both high concept and utterly simple in it's narrative and scope, Midwife has the potential to be truly special.

We see the film playing to adult audiences worldwide through festival circuits and online distribution, with even possible expansion into a feature length film.

WHAT WE'RE ASKING FOR: 

Short films, above all, are passion projects.  More often than not, they require the same amount of love, time and attention to detail as feature films.  We have called in a TON of favors from both cast and crew, but the hard costs of production remain... Which is why we're asking for the bare minimum amount to make Midwife a reality.

Sybil Brand (Los Angeles, CA), our shooting location, photos by our cinematographer Joshua Lipton!
Sybil Brand (Los Angeles, CA), our shooting location, photos by our cinematographer Joshua Lipton!

Our biggest costs will be going towards our hero location and camera. We'll be shooting at the Sybil Brand Facility in Los Angeles - a beautiful, run down prison that unfortunately require a number of unavoidable fees and personnel involved.  We also will be art directing and carefully designing claustrophobic, abandoned and decrepit interior spaces to hint at the post-apocalyptic world outside.

MIDWIFE will shoot on 16mm courtesy of Panavision's New Filmmaker Program!
MIDWIFE will shoot on 16mm courtesy of Panavision's New Filmmaker Program!

 Midwife is a proud recipient of Panavision's New Filmmakers Grant to shoot on 16mm!

Film is a dying art, and as filmmakers we believe in the power of film over digital formats. Midwife begs to be shot on film - the pronounced grain, the nuanced colors and range, the native 4:3 ratio will all lend itself beautifully to the project.  Normally, film stock and processing, combined with camera rental, lens packages, etc would be too expensive to consider.  Thankfully, Panavision has very graciously donated their services to us to alleviate costs!  We are extremely excited to shoot the film on... actual film!

WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE?!

Blake Salzman (Writer / Director):  A graduate from USC's Cinematic School of Arts, Blake has worked in this industry from the ground up. On top of his own projects, he works freelance as copywriter and graphic design artist for the last three years on world renowned commercials, music videos and feature films. Some directors Blake has worked for include Bryan Singer, Dustin Lance Black, Peter Berg, Spike Lee, Randall Einhorn, Speck/Gordon, Nabil Elderkin and many others. Check out a trailer to his last short film, Chase Me Through above and visit the film's website HERE to see his last directorial effort in full, along with press materials, stills and more!  

Jules Willcox as TESS
Jules Willcox as TESS

Jules Willcox (Actress, Tess):  Having struck such a great working relationship on Blake's previous short, Jules will be staring in Midwife as Tess!  An extremely gifted, versatile actress who's starred on stage and in TV shows such as CSI:NY, Teen Wolfand many more, check out her reel HERE.

Steven Brand as LYLE
Steven Brand as LYLE

Steven Brand (Actor, Lyle):  A veteran actor who's starred on NBC's Secrets and Lies, NCIS, and opposite Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson in the The Scorpion King, Steven will be starring in Midwife as Dr. Gordon Lyle, the chief medical officer at this facility.

Other actors starring in our film include Justin Sorvino, Orson Chaplin (grandson of the great Charlie Chaplin!), Jake Vaughn, Frederic Mays, and many more!

Joshua Lipton (Cinematographer):  Josh is a fantastic DP, also an alumnus of USC's Film School (where he met the director).  His most recent cinematography credits include the feature length documentary Bite Size, which was recently released on Netflix (watch HERE) and awarded Best Documentary at the 2014 Cinequest Film Festival, the short Make Like a Dog (Official 2015 Saratoga Film Festival Selection), and various music videos and commercial projects.  Check out his reel below!

Anthony Estrada & Jona Ward (Producers):  Our amazing producing duo! Tony is a filmmaker in his own right - writing, directing and producing his first short Martha Cook in 2013, which played at the 29th Santa Barbara International Film Festival.  Jona is a seasoned producer in the industry, having produced content for a diverse range of clients such as Mercedes, Hyundai, TNT, Call of Duty, Microsoft, Sony, ABC Family, Focus Features and several others.

Some selections from Tony and Jona's producing work
Some selections from Tony and Jona's producing work

Mariana Castro (Production Design + Costuming):  Mariana is an amazingly talented double threat.  Originally an art director at Estrella TV, she's moved onto freelancing and assistant costume styling various commercials for brands such as Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hilshire Farms and others.

Some selections of Mariana's styling and art direction work
Some selections of Mariana's styling and art direction work

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT:

At the risk of saying too much (if I haven't already!), I'll keep this brief.  

I believe in this film.  The world of it, the many underlying messages and powerful images that have lingered with me as I've developed it.  Stanley Kubrick once said, "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light."  I deeply believe this short speaks to that powerful axiom.

Midwife is a prescient story, told without cinematic tricks or gimmicks.  It's about sacrifice, about motherhood... But more than anything, it's a story about faith and the depths we'll go to hold onto the people we love.  It's a vital, personal story for me that not only do I need to share, but honestly believe will strongly affect those who watch.

I hope to create a purely visceral, gut-wrenching experience that leaves audiences shocked and in tears.  A film that can't be pigeonholed by genre or normal conventions, that holds a mirror up to our contemporary male gaze, in a unique world that speaks to the atrocities and genocides in our near past and still happening across the world.  But in the very least, I hope to make a film that's honest and emotional.  All pretentious ramblings, sure, but the absolute truth.  

We have the cast, the crew and the resources to make this happen.  I've worked with young kids, casts and crews of large and small sizes, and I believe we can make something truly great.  To that end, we'd love to have your support.

Thank you so much for reading this far.  We can't wait to show you Midwife!

Risks and challenges

Filmmaking is a very high risk venture, no matter what the scale, budget or script is. When it comes to scheduling, coordination and execution, there are always new challenges that pop up along the way. Murphy's Law practically foreshadowed film production as a whole.

However! While snafus and mistakes inevitably happen, we are confident no matter what that Midwife will be shot, edited and finished for audiences everywhere to watch. We have a great script, a strong directorial vision and a fantastic, seasoned support team to bring it to life. All we need is your help!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    An OFFICIAL THANK YOU in the credits/shout out on Facebook! Plus exclusive PRODUCTION UPDATES and a secret sun salutation in your honor from the director!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    DIGITAL HD DOWNLOAD of the completed film, along with a copy of the script and official MIDWIFE PRESS KIT!

    Plus OFFICIAL THANK YOU in the credits and PRODUCTION UPDATES and secret sun salutation!

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    7/15 - NEW REWARD! BEHIND-THE-SCENES PHOTO BOOK! Receive exclusive BTS photos taken during the shoot and pre-production!

    Plus DIGITAL HD DOWNLOAD of the film, DIGITAL MIDWIFE PRESS KIT along with copy of the SCRIPT, OFFICIAL THANK YOU in the credits, PRODUCTION UPDATES and secret sun salutation

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    OFFICIAL MIDWIFE POSTER + SIGNED HQ DIGITAL STORYBOARD! Choose one of 10 different key frames from the film, signed by our storyboard artist Brian Essig-Peppard!

    Plus DIGITAL HD DOWNLOAD of the film, DIGITAL MIDWIFE PRESS KIT along with copy of the SCRIPT, OFFICIAL THANK YOU in the credits, PRODUCTION UPDATES and secret sun salutation

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    7/15 - NEW REWARD! THE FULL HQ MIDWIFE TEST FOOTAGE VIDEO! Receive the full camera test footage/mood reel featured in our Kickstarter video, with even more footage not included and never before seen!

    Plus DIGITAL HD DOWNLOAD of the film, DIGITAL SIGNED STORYBOARD + POSTER, DIGITAL MIDWIFE PRESS KIT along with copy of the SCRIPT, OFFICIAL THANK YOU in the credits, PRODUCTION UPDATES, and secret sun salutation!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    OFFICIAL DIRECTORIAL TREATMENT PACKAGE! Go deeper into the filmmaker's pre-production process and overall vision with PERFORMANCE CLIPS, further film references, imagery and clippings that inspired the project!

    Plus DIGITAL HD DOWNLOAD of the film, DIGITAL SIGNED STORYBOARD + POSTER, DIGITAL MIDWIFE PRESS KIT along with copy of the SCRIPT, OFFICIAL THANK YOU in the credits, PRODUCTION UPDATES, and secret sun salutation!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    PERSONAL THANK YOU VIA SKYPE OR PHONE FROM DIRECTOR (and cast/crew upon availbility!) I will even do a sun salutation for you live on camera in your honor if you want :)

    Plus DIGITAL HD DOWNLOAD of the film, DIGITAL SIGNED STORYBOARD + POSTER, DIGITAL MIDWIFE PRESS KIT + DIRECTOR TREATMENT PACKAGE along with copy of the SCRIPT, OFFICIAL THANK YOU in the credits, PRODUCTION UPDATES, and secret sun salutation!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    ALL 10 MIDWIFE SIGNED DIGITAL STORYBOARDS! Receive all beautifully drawn key frames signed by artist Brian Essig-Peppard!

    Plus DIGITAL HD DOWNLOAD of the film, PERSONAL SKYPE/PHONE CALL, DIGITAL POSTER + MIDWIFE PRESS KIT + DIRECTOR TREATMENT PACKAGE along with copy of the SCRIPT, OFFICIAL THANK YOU in the credits, PRODUCTION UPDATES, and secret sun salutation!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    INVITATION TO THE LA PREMIERE! You + 1 guest will be invited to Midwife's Los Angeles premiere (transportation/accomodation not provided), plus a meet and greet with filmmakers if desired! If we happen to screen a film festival near you, we'll also do our darnedest to get you into the screening! :)

    Plus DIGITAL HD DOWNLOAD of the film, PERSONAL SKYPE/PHONE CALL, ALL 10 DIGITAL SIGNED STORYBOARDS + POSTER, DIGITAL MIDWIFE PRESS KIT + DIRECTOR TREATMENT PACKAGE along with copy of the SCRIPT, OFFICIAL THANK YOU in the credits, PRODUCTION UPDATES, and secret sun salutation!

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    Pledge US$ 400 or more About US$ 400

    7/15 - NEW REWARD! INVITATION TO LA SOUND MIX OR COLORING SESSION! You will be invited to sit in and visit either a final sound mix session or our final color grading session, where you'll be one of the first to see the final film in both rough and (nearly) completed form! For post-production buffs or those curious about the final process completing a film, this is a great opportunity! Travel/accommodation not provided.

    Plus DIGITAL HD DOWNLOAD of the film, DIGITAL SIGNED STORYBOARD + POSTER, BTS PHOTOS, MIDWIFE TEST FOOTAGE REEL, DIGITAL MIDWIFE PRESS KIT along with copy of the SCRIPT, OFFICIAL THANK YOU in the credits, PRODUCTION UPDATES, and secret sun salutation!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT! You will be an accredited producer on Midwife, listed on IMDB!

    Plus INVITATION TO LA PREMIERE + 1, DIGITAL HD DOWNLOAD of the film, PERSONAL SKYPE/PHONE CALL, ALL 10 DIGITAL SIGNED STORYBOARDS + POSTER, DIGITAL MIDWIFE PRESS KIT + DIRECTOR TREATMENT PACKAGE along with copy of the SCRIPT, OFFICIAL THANK YOU in the credits, PRODUCTION UPDATES, and secret sun salutation!

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    7/15 - NEW REWARD! VISIT THE SET! You will be invited to our set in LA for one of our shoot days, where you will be able to oversee production and have lunch with the cast/crew (along with a meet/greet with the director!) Travel/accommodation not provided.

    Plus INVITATION TO LA PREMIERE + 1, ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT, DIGITAL HD DOWNLOAD of the film, PERSONAL SKYPE/PHONE CALL, ALL 10 DIGITAL SIGNED STORYBOARDS + POSTER, DIGITAL MIDWIFE PRESS KIT + DIRECTOR TREATMENT PACKAGE along with copy of the SCRIPT, OFFICIAL THANK YOU in the credits, PRODUCTION UPDATES, and secret sun salutation!

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

    EXCLUSIVE 1 HOUR CONSULTATION W/ DIRECTOR! I will take a look at your pitch materials, screenplay, any film related materials of yours in advance and consult you via Skype or in person (if within Greater LA area) on how to best shape and sell your project. Working with some of the top commercial directors today, I've assisted and created sales materials for some of the best directors in the industry. Will happily share some of my secrets and tools of the trade!

    Plus INVITATION TO LA PREMIERE + 1, ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT, DIGITAL HD DOWNLOAD of the film, PERSONAL SKYPE/PHONE CALL, ALL 10 DIGITAL SIGNED STORYBOARDS + POSTER, DIGITAL MIDWIFE PRESS KIT + DIRECTOR TREATMENT PACKAGE along with copy of the SCRIPT, OFFICIAL THANK YOU in the credits, PRODUCTION UPDATES, and secret sun salutation!

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT! Plus all the rewards above!

    Wow... If there are any takers here, just literally ask anything you want (providing it possible) and we will make it happen!

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Funding period

- (30 days)