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A whimsical comedy about a creatively-unfulfilled ghost writer who attempts to expose his "author" as a fraud.
A whimsical comedy about a creatively-unfulfilled ghost writer who attempts to expose his "author" as a fraud.
36 backers pledged $3,500 to help bring this project to life.

About

Ghost Writer in Love -- A Short Film project video thumbnail
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$3,500

36

The Basics

Ghost Writer in Love is a 20-minute comedy that combines whimsical, self-referential elements similar to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World with the "stick-it-to-the-man" themes of Office Space.

The total budget is $12,000. Some of the money has already been raised, and we hope this campaign will cover the rest.

We shoot November 7-17, and we plan to have a finished product by the end of April 2015.

Production Still from Weekend 1 of shooting
Production Still from Weekend 1 of shooting

The Story

Our film centers around Brian Chazwick, a young ghost writer for the popular Clyde Campbell adventure novel series. While the job is stable and high-paying (quite an achievement for a recent college graduate), he can't help but feel unfulfilled as he receives uncreative notes from his unappreciative publishers. 

Brian (Jeremy Gladen)
Brian (Jeremy Gladen)

Today starts out like any other, as he is given short-sighted notes on his newest draft. Only now, he must deliver the revised draft to a book signing, where an exerpt will be read to the fans by Clyde Campbell himself (an author who has never written a book in his life; his goatee just looks really good on a book jacket). 

On his way to deliver the draft, Brian is kidnapped by a team of "ghost" cover illustrators for the book series, spearheaded by Rain, an attractive and confident young designer who has fallen in love with Brian's earlier, more original writing. She informs Brian of their plot to deliver an alternate draft, exposing Campbell as a fraud, and giving unappreciated young creatives their due credit.

But is Brian willing to throw away his job?

The cold open: a scene from within Brian's newest book (director's storyboard scribbles)
The cold open: a scene from within Brian's newest book (director's storyboard scribbles)

Why It Needs to be Told

Anyone who major(ed) in anything arts-related has likely heard one of these:

"That's your major? What do you do with that?"

"It's such a competitive industry"

"Oh, so you're majoring in being a barista."

As a crew made up primarily of film school seniors, we're currently faced with the daunting task of securing a job before we graduate. For those of us lucky enough to land a job in the film business, chances are it's going to be hard, thankless work. The opportunity to actually express ourselves in our work seems like a pipe dream. 

Through the characters of Brian, a young writer who suffers through a job that other writers would kill for, and Rain, an illustrator who has given up her stable life in order to express herself, we feel we can speak for young artists facing the same real-life struggles we are.

One of the many Clyde Campbell novels
One of the many Clyde Campbell novels

Where Your Money Goes

As with any film project, there are a variety of costs associated with our film. This campaign helps raise money for the following areas:

  • Locations/Permitting
  • Production Design
  • Food/Transportation

Who We Are

Sam Schlenker (writer/director) is a filmmaker, musician, and current senior Film Production major at Chapman Universtiy. His first film (two minutes of claymation) he made when he was seven years old, while his last film as writer/director was Slut Cousin (2013, funded successfully through Kickstarter). His recent internships and PA gigs have allowed him to work on new shows by HBO, USA, and Comedy Central as an assistant copy writer and video editor, and he is currently recording an album with his band, Blue Eyed Lucy. Sam firmly believes that the best part of the filmmaking process is the constant access to fruit snacks on set.

Sam and 1st AD MacKenzie
Sam and 1st AD MacKenzie

Lexie Fleischmann (co-producer) grew up in Santa Clarita, California where she spent her time watching Friends, hunting for gluten-free snacks, and NOT going to Six Flags Magic Mountain. As a Dodge student, Lexie has found her passion in television and had the opportunity to intern at a production company in Dublin, Ireland last summer. Other than having a serious travel bug, Lexie has enjoyed giving back to her dream school by being an Orientation Assistant, working for PEER & Health Education, the Career Development Center and being a Chapman Radio DJ.

Josie Gormley (co-producer) is a senior Creative Producing major at Chapman. She grew up in Thousand Oaks, CA where she attended Catholic all-girls school and has understood the plight of our Ghost Writer ever since. She hopes to pursue a career in screenwriting after graduation.

John McGrath (cinematographer) is a senior film production student at Chapman University. He works as a freelance cinematographer and gaffer and has recently found himself heavily involved music videos and fashion content. As he aspires to one day become a cinematographer on feature length films, John is working to expand his cinematic experience in every direction.

John McGrath
John McGrath

Laura Cross (production designer) became interested in film in high school where she was Senior Editor for the Broadcast Journalism team. When she started her education at Chapman University, she assisted in the Art Department and fell in love. She is now a senior Film Production major with an emphasis in Production Design. Through her internships, she also has experience in Development, Production, Acquisitions, and Marketing. She is excited to graduate and start her career in the entertainment industry.

Mike Steele (editor) is a senior Film Production major at Dodge College with an emphasis in Editing. He doesn’t necessarily enjoy pina coladas, but he does like getting caught in the rain from time to time. When he’s not at work editing at a local production company, Mike likes to play guitar, sleep, and sleep more.

MacKenzie Marlowe (1st Assistant Director) is a senior Film Production major at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. She emphasizes in editing but also enjoys production design and storyboarding. After graduation, MacKenzie hopes to pursue work at a production company and continue to develop her own script ideas. She loves reading, playing volleyball, and hiking with her golden retriever Hayley. She does not love paying parking tickets or writing personal biographies.

Tyler Ordenstein(Unit Production Manager) is a Junior Creative Producing major at Chapman University with a minor in Leadership Studies and a minor in French. She enjoys reading, being in book stores, eating, and looking at anything on the internet that has to do with puppies. In her free time she also enjoys making people laugh, telling stories, and making movies! Tyler wanted to be a part of Ghost Writer in Love so badly that she pestered everyone until she was accepted as our production's Unit Production Manager.

Evyn Davis (Location Manager) is a dancer, writer, and senior producing student of Chapman University. Her past film experiences range from horror film grunt work to thesis production teams and documentary directing, although she most recently dipped her toes into talent wrangling with Greenlight Management and Productions.

Risks and challenges

All filmmaking comes with considerable risks, and this is no exception. Technology has a habit of crashing, important collaborators flake out, and sets never seem to run on schedule. That said, we have a dedicated crew, several months of post-production for pick-ups and general tweaking, and a reputable film school that will be keeping tabs on us to ensure that it runs smoothly.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    INTERNSHIP!

    Your journey to being a renowned author is just beginning!

    Receive a private link to the finished film!

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    7 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    BFA CREATIVE WRITING DEGREE!

    You're in the real world now!

    Receive a link, "special thanks" credit, and exclusive DVD with a cover hand-drawn by our director!

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    12 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    PAID INTERNSHIP!

    Much rarer than a college degree, you managed to find work that you actually get paid for!

    You receive all of the above, plus a signed headshot from Clyde Campbell himself.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    GHOST WRITER!

    Yes, we skipped a few important steps, but it looks like you're a ghost writer now! No, you don't get credit, and yes, they mistreat you, but people are reading YOUR words!

    We'll send everything we mentioned earlier, plus an exclusive movie poster signed by the crew and an "Extra Special Thanks" credit.

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    4 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    CLYDE CAMPBELL HIMSELF!

    You made it! You're the face of a cheesy book series! Everything mentioned above is yours, plus a one-of-a-kind prop from the set!

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    1 backer
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  6. Select this reward

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

    THROW IT ALL AWAY AND WRITE SOMETHING ORIGINAL!

    You realized it's about the passion, not the money or the fame. You get all of the rewards above and a personalized thank you song by Sam and his band.

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (35 days)