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A new film by director Todd Stephens starring Udo Kier.
462 backers pledged $76,870 to help bring this project to life.
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$76,870

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I first saw "Mister Pat" Pitsenbarger on the dance floor of The Universal Fruit and Nut Company, flaunting a sequined fedora that would make Bob Fosse blush. 

It was 1984, and I was a petrified 17-year-old, venturing for the first time inside the local gay bar in my hometown of Sandusky, Ohio.

Mister Pat was a revelation; proudly gay in a very different era.

My new film SWAN SONG is a love letter to the man who changed my life by having the courage to be himself. It's the third part of my “Ohio Trilogy” after the films EDGE OF SEVENTEEN and GYPSY 83.    

With your generous support here on Kickstarter we will shoot SWAN SONG on location in Sandusky this May. Our stretch goal of $125,000 will permit us to begin post-production immediately after we wrap.

Finding a lead actor who could do justice to my muse was a massive challenge. I wanted an actor whose own life experience would inhabit the role with authenticity and representation. I am thrilled to announce that Mister Pat will be played by another one of my idols – the fabulous Udo Kier. Udo has starred in such films as ANDY WARHOL’S DRACULA, MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO, and DOWNSIZING. He has worked with Fassbinder, appeared in most of Lars Von Trier’s films, and helped cause a legendary stir in Madonna’s SEX book.  

Along with Udo, I am excited to be working with many cast and crew members from my previous films. Stayed tuned for those announcements!

Both comical and bittersweet, SWAN SONG chronicles Pat’s escape from his nursing home and long walk across Sandusky for his last job – styling the hair of a former high society client for her funeral.  

SWAN SONG is an homage to small-town gay culture, which is rapidly becoming extinct. 

Recently, I discovered Mister Pat’s former salon was finally being renovated after all these years. Unearthed in the demolition was a massive collage of fabulous hairstyles Pat had decoupaged to the plaster. The look of the film is inspired by Mister Pat’s forgotten wall. 

I'm thrilled to be shooting SWAN SONG on location in my hometown. Sandusky has been through a lot over the years – going from thriving seaport to weathered rust belt and now making a big comeback. As my hero comes back to life, so does the color palette, and so does Sandusky.

No matter how lost you get, it’s never too late to remember who you are. 

Costume sketches by Kitty Boots
Costume sketches by Kitty Boots

Risks and challenges

Our cast and crew are excited to begin shooting in Sandusky for three weeks starting on May 20, 2019.

Factors such as weather and actors’ schedules can always affect a film’s start date. However, having successfully produced four feature films, I always have a Plan B waiting in the wings. If necessary, it will be possible to push the shoot back until later in the summer.

We are confident that reaching our fundraising goals will result in the creation of an unforgettable film!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Your name on the film's website

    Your name on the thank you page of the Swan Song website.

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    Digital screener of SWAN SONG

    You'll get access to a sneak-preview digital screener of SWAN SONG in 2020! (After the completed film has been submitted to Sundance, Berlin, and other major film festivals).

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    Digital copy of SWAN SONG script

    You'll get a digital copy of the SWAN SONG screenplay.

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    • Digital screener of SWAN SONG
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    Rough cut screening in NYC

    Get a preview peek at the rough cut of SWAN SONG. Here's your chance to learn about the filmmaking process and give feedback to director Todd Stephens in New York City. Date and location TBA in Fall 2019. (Transportation to the screening room and accommodation not included).

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    • Digital screener of SWAN SONG
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    Your name in the closing credits

    Your name will be listed in the closing credits of SWAN SONG.

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    • Digital screener of SWAN SONG
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    108 backers
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    Signed SWAN SONG screenplay

    Get your own copy of the SWAN SONG shooting script signed by Udo, Todd, and other members of the cast and crew.

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    • Digital screener of SWAN SONG
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Attend the Wrap Party in Sandusky, Ohio

    NEW! TEN MORE CHANCES TO MINGLE AT OUR OHIO WRAP PARTY! You and a guest will have the opportunity to mingle with cast and crew in Ohio as we celebrate wrapping the film. (Transportation and accommodation not included).

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    • Digital screener of SWAN SONG
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    Very Special Thank You in end credits

    Your name will be listed in the Very Special Thanks section of the SWAN SONG credits.

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    • Digital screener of SWAN SONG
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Personal video shoutout from Udo Kier

    Udo Kier will record a personalized video message for just for you.

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    • Digital screener of SWAN SONG
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    VIP Set Visit

    Get a chance to sit with the director and watch Swan Song being shot on location! Meet the cast and crew and spend the day with us on set. (Transportation and accommodation not included and timing is based on the director's discretion).

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    • Digital screener of SWAN SONG
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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    Dine with Udo and Todd

    You and a guest will enjoy a fabulous lunch or dinner with Udo and Todd in Palm Springs, Los Angeles, or on location in Sandusky. (Transportation and lodging are not included but your meals are on us!)

    Includes:
    • Digital screener of SWAN SONG
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    Co-Executive Producer

    Your name in the main front credits and on IMDB!

    Includes:
    • Digital screener of SWAN SONG
    • LA Premiere Tickets OR Sandusky wrap party OR NYC screening
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Attend the Wrap Party

    You and a guest will have the opportunity to mingle with cast and crew in Ohio as we celebrate wrapping the film. (Transportation and accommodation not included).

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    • Digital screener of SWAN SONG
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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Attend the Wrap Party in Sandusky, Ohio

    NEW! FIVE MORE CHANCES TO MINGLE AT OUR OHIO WRAP PARTY! You and a guest will have the opportunity to mingle with cast and crew in Ohio as we celebrate wrapping the film. (Transportation and accommodation not included).

    Includes:
    • Digital screener of SWAN SONG
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Los Angeles Premiere Tickets

    You and a guest will be invited to the Los Angeles Premiere and After Party of SWAN SONG. Get the chance to meet the cast and crew! (Transportation and accommodation not included).

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    • Digital screener of SWAN SONG
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Funding period

- (24 days)