Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on July 23, 2013.
About this project
A word from our Consulting Producer
“Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.” - Robert Evans
To the Kickstarter community - family, friends, colleagues – ladies and gentlemen:
We present to you the next Kickstarter sensation, a comedy we all have been waiting for, Christmas in Beverly Hills.
We hope you enjoy your visit!
A close mutual friend of producer Mara Virabov and Paul Sorvino once confided a very personal story of how he was caught in an absurd predicament one night with his wife, lover, and shockingly, his wife’s lover. In an attempt to bring him relief and to thwart his anger and tears, the three friends began painting the painful story into something to laugh about. Thus, a farce comedy was born.
PAUL and MOLLY BOUGOTTI are a wealthy, highly respected Beverly Hills couple. They are envied throughout the community and well known for their lovingness, power, influence, and family values. But, that’s on the outside looking in.
Christmas in Beverly Hills is a comedy that tells the ever-twisting tale of the couple’s well-kept secrets as they unravel in their own home when they accidentally find themselves around the dinner table with their lovers on Christmas Eve.
A wise producer once said, “What I care most about in a script is strong characters. Without them, you’re dead.”
Now read each character’s description. When you’ve finished, close your eyes and imagine this person in your head ... see which character you connect with.
THE MAIN CHARACTERS of Christmas in Beverly Hills:
PAUL – An accomplished Beverly Hills businessman who loves attention, good press, and making magazine covers. He is admired by many and knows public image is everything; he knows who’s who in society and is even running for office in Beverly Hills. Paul loves to show up at premieres and restaurant openings with his wife, Molly, but spend time out of the limelight with his girlfriend, Candy. Who says money can’t buy everything? In Paul’s case, it can, and he is very, very proud of that notion.
MOLLY - Paul’s wife, the typical Beverly Hills housewife with a twist. She’s the boss of all bosses. She didn’t marry for money, but for love. She married Paul when he was just starting up, so they grew rich and became famous together. With time, love turned to respect, and with respect came boredom. When Molly isn’t shopping or entertaining her fabulous Beverly Hills girlfriends, she engages in her other favorite pastime, her hot, young boyfriend, Tony.
CANDY - Candy wants to be Molly when she grows up. She wants to have it all: The mansion, the shoes, the bags, the fame and the glamour. In the meantime, however, she’s faking all that with her sugar daddy, Paul. Candy is a bit naïve, but she’s gorgeous, so her dim-witted behavior is easily forgiven.
TONY - Tony is a boy-toy. He’s tall, handsome, built, and although he probably couldn’t do simple addition, is smart enough to make Molly fall in love with him. And boy, is he reaping the benefits!
JUANITA – If it wasn’t for Jaunita, secrets would have remained just that – secrets. She is nosy, meddling and uses it to her advantage. Juanita has been with Paul and Molly for many years, so she’s almost like family. The only difference is, she gets paid a regular salary at the end of every month plus two bonuses: One from Molly and one from Paul for keeping her mouth shut! If only she kept her end of the bargain.
ANTONIO - Antonio is all about meatballs. Literally and figuratively. Antonio is gay, loud and proud. He’s also very proud of what he does: He owns a meatball shop and does private catering for wealthy families during special events. When Molly hires Antonio to cater dinner on Christmas Eve, Antonio also doubles as the butler and becomes Juanita’s BFF, learning more secrets than he can handle.
OSCAR - Juanita’s one and only boyfriend. Juanita hopes for eternal love. They’ve been together for a whole month, but Oscar seems more like the player type. Oscar is far from faithful and he’s boasts a temper, calling himself “The Mad Mexican.” Poor little Juanie... she doesn’t take it well when her little heart gets broken.
SANTA - The only African-American character, he enjoys doing flower deliveries on Christmas as Santa Claus. But don’t underestimate the man in the red, fuzzy suit as he might be the smartest person in the room. He’s clever, witty and downright funny.
ERIK - Didn’t you watch the video? Go watch the video.
Pictures? We didn’t put up pictures of these characters so they could be left to your imagination. We know Paul Sorvino is going to play Paul but other than that, we are in talks with several great actors for various roles. We will announce them as we ink the deals.
In the meantime, feel free to share your ideas of who you see in this or that role. Your opinion counts, and who knows, maybe we think just like you and will cast your suggested actor to play the part! Hey, it’s moviemaking and rules here are meant to be broken. So go ahead, feel like a producer or a casting director, and make a suggestion! We’ll definitely consider it.
We have been lucky to have the crème de la crème join us in every aspect of this production.
Paul Sorvino - Director, Actor, Writer
Sorvino has appeared in more than 150 films, six television series and more than twenty theatre productions and Broadway musicals. Sorvino has directed seven plays, movies and several episodes of television shows. He is also a best-selling author. Aside from acting and directing, he sculpts, paints, is an opera singer and an outrageous cook. If you're lucky enough to be in Paul's company for dinner, he will make your mouth water from what he serves up and and will also make you laugh so hard you won’t be able to keep it down. He’s got stories and knows how to tell them.
Katt Williams - Consulting Producer, Writer
Known as the King of underground Comedy, Williams discovered at a young age that he had a gift for making people laugh. Inspired by the likes of great humorists like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Whoopi Goldberg and Dave Chappelle (who he calls the Malcolm X of comedy), Williams became one of the hottest stand-up comedians, breaking records and going on several 100+ city tours back-to-back in North America. Williams has also written and produced five comedy specials and his HBO special, “Katt Williams: Pimp Chronicles Pt. 1” became the highest rated comedy special with 3.6 million viewers and has since gone triple platinum in DVD sales. Anything Williams touches turns into gold.
Tara Westwood - Actress
Westwood is best known for her television roles in Blue Bloods, Cashmere Mafia, CSI Miami and Ugly Betty. Her film credits include; Surviving Family, A Haunting At Silver Falls, My Best Friend's Wife and the upcoming Douglas Brown. In the theater she has acted in multiple Off-Broadway productions in New York City and is a member of InViolet Repertory Theater Company.
Mara Virabov - Producer, Writer
Virabov has produced more than 300 music videos, several reality television shows, award shows, concerts and special events. Virabov has worked with such artists as Paul Sorvino, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Brian McKnight and others. Prior to becoming an independent producer, she has worked at MGM Studios for five years, holding various posts.
Dale “Rage” Resteghini - Producer
Resteghini has directed and produced more than 700 music videos. He has worked with an impressive list of diverse artists such as Pitbull, Akon, Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Wayne, The Game, Guns N’ Roses, Flo Rida, Soulja Boy, DMX, Ice Cube, Fall Out Boy, Diddy, Busta Rhymes and Method Man among others. Resteghini has also directed and produced several feature films including the recent My Man Is A Loser with John Stamos, Michael Rapaport and Sean Young as well as the forthcoming Crash the Sky.
Pat McCorkle - Casting Director (C.S.A.)
McCorkle has, for over 30 years, cast memorable Broadway productions, feature films and television shows. Some powerful casting for Broadway include: End of the Rainbow, The Glass Menagerie, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Amadeus and A Few Good Men, and countless others. A partial list of feature film projects include: The Thomas Crown Affair, Die Hard with a Vengeance, My Man Is A Loser, Premium Rush, Ghost Town, Secret Window, Tony and Tina’s Wedding, Basic, The 13th Warrior, Madeline, School Ties. And a few examples of television series include: The humans counterparts for “Sesame Street,” the Emmy-nominated “Californication,” “Strangers with Candy,” “Barbershop,” and “The Chappelle’s Show.”
Alex Khaskin - Composer
Khaskin is a distinguished composer, pianist, orchestrator, arranger and music director for stage, television and films. Khaskin is also a composer of contemporary classical music. Earlier in his career, he composed a symphony, a violin concerto, two cello concertos, concertos for piano, a triple concerto for violin, viola and cello, a string quartet, and other chamber music as well as choral and vocal works. For the last 15 years, Khaskin has been working successfully in the North American film and television industry. To date, Khaskin has composed music for more than 60 feature films and television shows.
The Zoo FX - Post production house
The Zoo FX is a dynamic post production company specializing in motion graphics, title design, editing, poster design, visual effects and more. The Zoo FX is premiere Los Angeles based post house with amazing artists in every aspect of post production.
Once you all chip in and help us reach our goal, we will start the first of the four amazing stages of filmmaking, pre-production.
In pre-production we will put all essential elements together: Hire the crew, lock in the mansion where we will shoot, hire the wonderful actors who will bring our characters to life, and arrange all the technical aspects of production that aren’t as exciting but crucial, like obtaining equipment rentals, production insurance, permits; hiring all department heads so they can hire their crews; have a team of lawyers draft all necessary contracts with cast, crew and unions; hire the post-production team; design and decorate the set; work closely with a costume designer and stylist to make sure everyone looks fabulous in the movie; and hire the catering company, who will provide daily meals to our cast and crew, which is one of the most important elements of production: A happy crew = excellent results. On average, we will require 6 to 8 weeks of pre-production.
At the end of pre-production we will take a few weeks to rehearse. Sure, we are modern day filmmakers but we always follow the footsteps of geniuses and classic filmmakers, and as Paul, our renaissance man, comes from that school, he’s taught us a valuable lesson: “When you rehearse, you save later.” Thank you, Paul, we will rehearse!
Then, the fun begins: The production. This is when everyone will probably take time off from their families as we will have 10 to 12 hour work days, five to six days a week. But don’t worry, they will be with their other family, the CBH family.
After production, the next and most important phase of the filmmaking process begins: The post-production. See, post-production is a whole other entity. Here, things can either be fixed or broken. But, with a professional team of editors, composers, sound mixers, title designers and other post-production artists, we will continue our journey to ensure what we just shot will make its smooth transition to the screen. When the movie is edited, the score is composed, everything is synched and all is done, we will have a cast and crew screening to collect feedback from everyone that worked so hard to make this movie.
The last and final stage is distribution. For that purpose, we want to debut the film at Cannes Film Festival in May 2014. That’s the goal and we’ll stick to it. Regardless of that, we will pursue other avenues of distribution if needed. After all, we are in Beverly Hills, the capital of entertainment, where deals are made and stars are born on daily basis.
Filmmaking can only be compared to having a baby. The planning is always fun and exciting, but the actual process is long and yes, painful. Once the baby is born, however, and all the pain and suffering is forgotten and you are left with only smiles and laughter. That’s what we intend to do with our movie, Christmas in Beverly Hills – bring you, our audience, nothing but smiles and laughter!
So far, the office has been everywhere. We have over 30 devoted filmmakers and supporters on Team CBH. Some have been with us for years, some have just joined. Thus we had to travel everywhere to put various elements of the Kickstarter campaign together. And the CBH sign has been with us everywhere. It’s our lucky charm! Once we get funded, however, we’ll rent the most fabulous mansion in Beverly Hills and shoot the entire movie there.
Rewards, rewards, rewards!!! The biggest reward should be a constant pat on the back for supporting us to make this great movie. You will also become a part of the exclusive CBH Club, which will be our little community put together through Kickstarter. CBH Club will have the weekly updates on various stages of production as well as distribution.
We have a full list of rewards in the Rewards Section that range from a heartfelt thank you in your native language to being the producers’ “sidekick.”
We haven't put up any images yet because we are still working on the designs. We don't want to give you a plain white T-shirt with a logo. We are going to give you rewards that you will be very proud of. So check back for updates.
As a special thank you, you will be thanked in your language (of your choice) in the "Thank you" Credits on our website. No matter if your donation is $1 or $10,000 you will be thanked and we will express our eternal gratitude to you!
We want to thank everyone on board Team CBH for contributing their time, knowledge and talent to this amazing project.
The producers wish to thank the following people and entities for their incredible talent, hard work, dedication and emotional support:
Paul Sorvino, Katt Williams, Tara Westwood, Erik Aslanyan, Pat McCorkle, Joe Lopick, Kim Resteghini, Noune Serobian, Vincent Versher, Lyndsay Bouchal, Timur Civan, Rosa Gasparian, Rick Cook, Tom Wong, Neal Seidman, Mrs. R. (Dale's mom), Elva Rivera, The Zoo FX, Christopher Jarros, Aaron Hummel, Peter Dauscavage, Tim, Bryan, Linus, Alex Khashkin, Richard Vardanyan, Al Vardanyan, Rouben Virabov, Lusy & Natalie, Renae Francis, Sara Hudock, Aram Muradyan, Jason Verdadero, Arman Muradyan, Chuko, Mark Treitel, Shoe Schuster, Hermineh Victoryan, Katrina Green, Sophia Gasparian, Asmaa Suqi, Lika Brutian at Pure Insanity, Donna Moore, Flora Martirosian, Maggie Adams, Dan Wilson, Mikael & Lilya Aslanyans, Joe Rauer at Empire Hotel, Jet Blue Airlines, Maria Elena and Javier at Almost Christmas Prop Shop, mom & dad for eternal love and support, Amy Pascal, my first and life mentor the legendary Elvina Makarian, Brett Ratner, Kirk Kerkorian, Robert Evans and the City of Beverly Hills.
The biggest Thank You goes to YOU, our loyal audience, and to Kickstarter!
After years of preparation, the investor hunts and phony meetings came to a cliff. Kickstarter is allowing us to build the bridge that we need to get to the other side of the mountain. Kickstarter is allowing us to connect directly with you.
We have been preparing for this for five years. This is our opportunity. We just got lucky!
Risks and challenges
Life is a risk. One might walk on the street and get hit by a bus... sad, but you never know. We’ll watch out for the bus, but there are always risks involved that might be out of our control. For instance, a natural disaster or sickness or an unexpected turn of events. We promise you, though, that whatever is in our hands, we have got full control over it.
Once we reach our goal and start pre-production, we will purchase various types of necessary insurances, including a completion bond. A completion bond is the type of insurance that guarantees the movie will be made no matter what. It’s costly, but we budgeted for it. Better safe than sorry.
We don’t have a distribution deal in place and that’s by choice. We know that with the kind of script we have and the kind of people that are involved, we will make a very funny movie. That’s a promise.
As for distribution, once we have the final product ready, we will show it to distributors and make a fair deal.
You have no risks as far as your contribution; what we promise you will be delivered. We have calculated our minimum budget to both produce the movie and distribute everyone their backings: DVDs, T-shirts, special screenings (which will be organized by our marketing team), and all the other rewards.
Your goodies, such as T-shirts, aprons and other Christmas gifts, will be sent out by a professional fulfillment company. Many elements of the rewards will be fulfilled well before December 2014, which is when we hope to release the film and have all of our premieres and screenings. For those of you who are attending an event or joining us on set, we will do our best to keep you in the loop on our schedule. If any of our delivery dates change for physical items, we will notify you via email.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR LAWYERS (the legal disclaimer)
~ You must be 18 and over or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your plus one) to attend the premiere or visit the set.
~ You must be 21 and over to visit the parties where alcohol will be served.
~ If your reward includes a set visit, we anticipate shooting in the Beverly Hills area in October of 2013. However, this may change due to scheduling conflicts with the cast, producers and other unforeseen circumstances. We will do our best to let you know ahead of time so that you can plan everything accordingly.
~ Some rewards may require additional paperwork. If you or your dog are appearing in the film, you will have to sign a release. You must also be 18 or older and either be a permanent U.S. resident, U.S. citizen or have permit to work in the United States to appear in the film or have your dog appear in the film.
~ This fundraising campaign is subject to all applicable Kickstarter rules and regulations, PGA rules, DGA rules, WGA rules, SAG and AFTRA rules as well as state and federal law. If any of this conflicts, we will work with you in good faith to give you a substitute reward.
~ All the content and videos in this Kickstarter campaign is the property of CBH Pictures LLC and has been exclusively produced for the purpose of this campaign.
In other words, as Paul mentioned in the video, moviemaking is a long and difficult process and everyone on the team has to be perfect at what they do. We have put together the perfect team but once in a while, a situation arises when something is out of our control. Thus, whatever we promise you here, we will stick to, unless it is beyond our control. In this case, you will be notified via email or Kickstarter updates.
We want to thank you all for taking your valuable time to check us out and hopefully we have given you a few laughs throughout this process. We hope you will join in and support us to make this incredible Christmas movie. In return, we promise to make you laugh every time you decide to watch Christmas in Beverly Hills.
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Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (33 days)