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A young fashion designer starting her first job in a new city finds herself uninspired and involved with unwanted drama.
A young fashion designer starting her first job in a new city finds herself uninspired and involved with unwanted drama.
86 backers pledged $6,387 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Red Pearl is a feature film written and directed by award-winning filmmakers starring Desira Pesta.

Production Update!! We've got Mondo! Project Runway's Denver native, Mondo Guerra,will be making a cameo appearance in our film. Thanks to Mondo and Remy for your time and support!

About the Movie

Red Pearl tells the story of an aspiring young fashion designer starting her first job in a new city. Struggling to find her place in the world, she becomes involved with unwanted drama and ends up lonely and uninspired. The dramatic comedy has a little bit of everything: fashion, art, romance, jealousy, quirky roadside attractions, and even a bar fight! 

Sketch by Desira Pesta
Sketch by Desira Pesta

Let’s set the scene…. 

Arriving in Denver is young Scarlet, fresh out of fashion school in fabulous Columbus, aspiring to be a successful couture designer. Her confidence is high: she is wide-eyed and prepared for independence in the post-college stage of life. Ready to make her big dreams come true, she takes her first job designing costumes for the world-renowned Central City Opera, a mountain-town establishment nestled between old-west culture and history, and modern-day slot machines. 

Almost immediately Scarlet finds herself immersed in difficult situations where she must decide how to handle the cold, demanding scene shop boss and her snickering, judgmental co-workers. She must choose whether or not to reciprocate a mutual attraction with her neighbor: the gorgeous- but married- Carlos.

While navigating the drama of work and sex, she seeks comfort in her aspiring musician friend Julian and her cynical-but-lovable landlord Dorian. Just when Scarlet is feeling better about the possibilities of her future in this new place, she finds herself shamed by those around her. Spiraling into despair, Scarlet must decide how she will confront disappointment, rejection, and morality-questioning debacles as she seeks to reconfigure her sense of identity.

The Filmmakers 

Jess McGaugh and Stacy Barton have been friends since 2005 when they became roommates during grad school at Syracuse University in New York. We began collaborating immediately on projects while sharing an editing studio in our house off Westcott Street. The snowy winters allowed for an immersion into filmmaking, and it was only a matter of time before we would venture into the world of narrative features. Working together training tomorrow’s filmmakers, we began writing Red Pearl, deeply inspired by the city and mountains surrounding us from our 8th floor, shared downtown office at CU Denver. 

Pre-production started earlier this year and we are shooting the film this June 2014. Distribution and exhibition plans for the project include film festivals, DVD sales, Internet streaming, and VOD markets. 

Follow our production on our blog at: http://redpearlmovie.wordpress.com

The Actor: Scarlet

Desira Pesta is an East Coast-bred visual and performance artist & writer who was raised by two bikers in the woods of Scranton, Pennsylvania. She started acting and writing as a child, finding she preferred perfecting Southern characters, dressing as a male, or taking on the role of an orphan witch in home videos & recordings she created in lieu of "normal" teenager activities.

Desira received a BFA in Fine Art from Syracuse University with a minor in Interior Architecture. After college, Desira moved to NYC and as a self-taught seamstress, she started working as an independent fashion designer, finally producing a small ready-to-wear line she sold throughout the US, Australia, the U.K. & Japan from 2005 to present. Ever a performer, the screen beckoned her back and with tremendous good luck and hard work, she was invited to join The Screen Actors Guild in 2009.

As a fashion & costume designer, Desira's clothing company, started in 2004, has become a favorite amongst indie lovers and Desira was one of the final 25 possible contestants for Project Runway Seasons 7 & 8. With a natural knack for all things creative, she has lived an alternative lifestyle, supporting herself solely through creative hands-on endeavors & projects.

Desira Pesta
Desira Pesta

 Why are we making this movie?

As adventurers ourselves, we closely identify with our lead character Scarlet who is exploring the difficulties of following big dreams. Both of us, as filmmakers and educators, have picked up and moved to brand new cities multiple times throughout our lives in search of our individual paths to success. The overwhelming process of immersing oneself into an unfamiliar environment with no friends or family to fall back on is a life-forming experience like no other. We want to visualize the struggle of a young woman on her quest of learning who she is and what she is capable of in a difficult environment.

Since the fates have brought us, the filmmakers, together once again professionally in such a comforting and positive way, we decided to collaborate to tell a story that takes some of our own lived dramas and puts them on the big screen (with other dramatic, fictional embellishments of course! After all, this is the movies!)

As now residents of Denver, Colorado, we love our city. We also love art and fashion. We are proud of the Denver fashion stars and potential for growth that is coming into its own here, and we feel the up-and-coming fashion scene in Denver is notable and worthy of featuring and promoting in our movie. In Red Pearl, we are collaborating with some up-and-coming local designers as well as established, local fashion publications and entities.

What will the money be used for?

Feature filmmaking is very expensive. We are planning to work with a very low budget while maintaining high production value. Will $6K cover our entire budget? Heck to the NO. We’d love to raise more, much more, but $6K will get us moving forward as we continue to fundraise and get closer to production. Here is how we will be spending the money more specifically:

$1,500 SAG/AFTRA Actor Fee

$500 Travel funds for Lead SAG/AFTRA Actor

$1,200 Additional primary cast Actor Fees

$800 Production Insurance

$1,000 Production Audio Recordist/Engineer

$1,000 Lens’, Dolly Track, Car Mount Rental

Kickstarter Total $6,000

Additional costs included in our production budget but not within our immediate Kickstarter goal:

$2,000 Director of Photography Fee

$500 Hair and Make-Up Stylist

$300 Desira Pesta mini-collection materials & labor

$800 Overnight shoot in Lucas, KS

$600 Props, set dressing, make-up & hair supplies

$200 Grip truck gas & parking

$500 Fashion Show scaffolding, chairs, DJ, etc.

$2,000 Hard drives for media storage

$150 Expendables

Additional Production Budget Total $7,050

And this doesn’t even including our post-production budgetary needs!

Other Ways to Support the Film

If you are unable or unwilling to give cash, and want to help see the film go further, there is plenty you can do to support Red Pearl. We need to feed the crew for over 2 weeks, so in-kind donations of food would be helpful, either in the form of paying for or providing local catering, or through gift cards from Costco, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. We are also in search of donations including sewing busts, fabric, and event chairs and risers, just to name a few. Additionally, we are in need of the temporary use of 2 custom cars: an old, beaten-up pick-up truck, and a work-in-progress, classic, detailed convertible.

Another way you can support Red Pearl is to host a screening of the film in your community. We want the world to see our movie!

Thank you so much for your interest and support in our project, Red Pearl. You are giving us an opportunity to follow our dreams and to advance us to the next important stage in our filmmaking careers!

Love,

Jess and Stacy

Risks and challenges

Risks and challenges associated with this film are standard for every production since the beginning of cinema. Some of these production risks include bad weather, equipment malfunction, actor absence, computer software glitches, and location audio problems.

For those of you who have film experience, you already know that things happen that are out of your control. However, being prepared with a backup plan will help in operating a smooth film set while crafting excellent images, sound and performances.

We have a back-up plan, and a back-up for our back-up.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Personal hand-written thank you postcard, credit on the blog

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Personal hand-written thank you postcard, name in credits of the movie

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Personal hand-written thank you postcard, name in credits of the movie, DVD of finished film

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    15 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Personal hand-written thank you postcard, name in credits of the movie, DVD of finished film, Red Pearl T-shirt

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Personal hand-written thank you postcard, DVD of finished film, Red Pearl T-shirt AND a print of the Red Pearl sketch by our lead actor, Desira Pesta!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Personal hand-written thank you postcard, DVD of finished film, Red Pearl T-shirt, invitation to premiere, credit in the movie as Associate Kickstarter Producer

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

    Personal hand-written thank you postcard, DVD of finished film, Red Pearl T-shirt, Skype or 3-way call with the Directors (your choice), invitation to premiere, Executive Producer credit in the film

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    For $1,500, you get everything from the $1,000 level. PLUS Stacy and Jess will make a 1-minute promotional video for your business, artwork, or whatever you want! What a killer deal!

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Funding period

- (30 days)