About this project
Inside Fighter is a ﬁlm of survival & redemption harnessing boxing as a metaphor for the struggles & challenges that life can present. An aging ex-ﬁghter, Billy “Bomb” Hayes, seemingly discarded by society, ﬁghts to regain his dignity and a relationship with his ten-year old son, Jake. In the process he reluctantly returns to the ring and unexpectedly regains both, as well as the respect of those around him. Inside Fighter is about the human condition - a tale of love, honor and family. It is about getting knocked down and getting back up. And the relationship between Billy and his son is a captivating illustration of a father-son dynamic that will tug at heartstrings and celebrate our hero’s triumph.
Our core production team involves four experienced industry vets who collectively concur that the grotesque level of spending and waste often exhibited in the ﬁlm industry does not usually equate to quality productions. Our SAG indie budget allows us great ﬂexibility while maintaining full compliance with the unions and keeping required costs reasonably low. And we will absolutely utilize the 30% NYS Film Tax Credit program (which we estimate will realize a net savings of approximately 25 cents on the dollar.)
Inside Fighter crosses niche genres -- appealing to men and women, young and old. It will speak to blue collar sports fans as well as art-house audiences. Every element of Inside Fighter is based on real people, places and events, and has been crafted to portray a decidedly harsh and painful side of life. In the same way that Tender Mercies, Cool Hand Luke, The Champ, The Wrestler, & Rocky have crossed genres, so will Inside Fighter.
Edward Burns as Dustin
Chuck Zito as Tony
The Sneak Peak
The Production Team
Jim McMillan - Director / Executive Producer: Accomplished producer, key grip and production insider Jimmy McMillan will foster the project with integrity and knowledge. From the camera packages, the crews and a wealth of resources and relationships, Jimmy brings invaluable production experience, insight & energy to Inside Fighter.
Chance Kelly - “Billy” / Executive Producer : Over twenty years of experience on stage, in TV and in film and has studied the filmmaking process, working with a diverse and expansive list of directors including Alan Pakula, M Night Shyamalan, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Curtis Hanson, Alan Hughes, David Fincher, Joel Shumacher, along with dozens of talented TV directors as well.
Toni D’Antonio - Producer: A passion for all things creative and a career in front of and behind the camera that spans over 20 years, Toni has work as a Producer, Script Supervisor, 1st AD, HMU, Production Coordinator, Location Scout, Script Consultant and an Actor. She has diverse knowledge and immense respect for the collaborative process.
Andrew Fiero - Producer / Assistant Director: With over a hundred film and TV credits and over twenty years in the business, Andrew brings us a wealth of hands-on production intelligence and logistics.
Frank Fortunato - "Guy" / Co-Producer: After graduating from Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx, where he was a starting defensive tackle and competitive martial artist, Frank switched gears from athletics to acting and sought out acting schools in NYC. A graduate of Columbia University, when he is not actively working on a film, TV or theater project, Frank is employed as a NY Firefighter and EMT and moonlights as a Fitness Trainer and Fire Academy PT Instructor. His favorite role is husband to Marisa and Dad to Leonardo and their three family dogs, Millie, Chloe and Sergio.
Edward Lachman - Cinematographer: Nominated for an Academy Award 2003 (Far From Heaven). Winner of, among others - Bogota Film Festival - 1988 (El Dia Que Me Quieras); BSFC Award 2002 (Far From Heaven); Camerimage 2007 (I’m Not There) & 2002 (Far From Heaven); CFCA Award 2003 (Far From Heaven); Independent Spirit Awards 2003 (Far From Heaven); New York Film Critics Circle Award (Far From Heaven); Los Angeles Film Critics Society Award 2002 (Far From Heaven); Seattle Film Critics Award 2002 (Far From Heaven).
Al “Ice” Cole - Boxing Consultant: Former Olympic and IBF World Champion, Ice has worked with Chance and they have been friends for many years, sharing a passion for the sport of boxing.
Nicole Alifante (nicolealifante com) - Music: NYC-based actress and singer-songwriter, currently writing with several established music industry hit-makers, including a solo album with Marissa Pontecorvo, of American Idol. Many of her songs have been picked up by sync houses all over the country. (Rep:Abrams Artists & Essay Management.)
Melissa Hanson, Elizabeth Whittemore, Maruchy LaChance - Marketing: This dedicated team will reach a new audience with both print and online social media.
Paul Schiraldi (paulschiraldi com) - Still Photography
Our 24-day shoot in will be on location in southern Westchester County, New York, including Rye, White Plains, Yonkers and in New York City.
Some locations include: Rye Playland, the Westchester County Center, Central Avenue, as well as Washington Square Park.
We have already done extensive scouting in these locations and have been in close communication with the film permit authorities in these municipalities and have found a remarkable interest in our film, as well as encouragement to come and shoot here. This will be tremendously helpful to our project.
As in the world of entertainment, the world of boxing also has a unique allure -- irrational highs vs unthinkable lows. Inside Fighter will be gritty, hungry, passionate and real.
When Chance Kelly walked into a boxing gym for the first time, he was immediately put in the ring with the top heavyweight in the gym, whom he knocked to the canvas in their first sparring session. The two would soon become good friends, training partners and spiritual motivators.
Starring in the play “Bare Knuckles,” in Philadelphia in 1997, Chance had the good fortune of hosting a performance for Smokin’ Joe Frazier, his family and friends, as well as promoter Russell Peltz. Chance’s boxing education from this Philly assignment was profoundly edifying.
In 2004, Chance starred in “The Jury” (FOX), in an episode about a struggling, journeyman fighter, working with boxing greats Winky Wright & Lennox Lewis. Chance also met a lesser known fighter whom he had admired for years, former Cruiserweight King, Al “Ice” Cole (pictured right) whose crowd pleasing, brawling style had made him a cult-like favorite to boxing insiders. Ice has shared invaluable boxing insider info with Chance ever since.
In 2007, while in Africa shooting “Generation Kill” for HBO, Chance trained a young Namibian fighter, Albino “Danny Boy” Felesianu (pictured below) to his fourth professional win by unanimous decision, before a buoyant crowd of Marines, actors, HBO production staff, and an eclectic array of Namibian folk.
Chance studied the world of boxing from the inside out, observing thousands of rounds, and befriending many fighters. Years ago, Chance watched a fighter suffer what appeared to be a mental breakdown in the ring during a live broadcast -- and it was at that moment that the seed for Inside Fighter was planted. It is with this inside eye and fierce passion, that the story of Inside Fighter has blossomed.
Risks and challenges
Ask Spike Lee, Zach Braff (“Wish I Were Here”) or Kristen Bell (“Veronica Mars”). Not only does Kickstarter offer us an incredible alternative financing option, it also allows us to maintain an unprecedented level of artistic control over the project. There is no easy way to finance an indie film. And twenty years of acting, fighting, sweating, bleeding & dying notwithstanding, few investors are bold enough to take the risk on an unproven “filmmaker”. But talk to any crew in New York today and you will hear that Jimmy McMillan and Chance Kelly are among the hardest workers out there. And we will continue to fight, tooth & nail, to ensure that Inside Fighter is a knockout success.
A key to our success is utilizing the experience and insight of our core team, including Jimmy, our tireless producer / A.D., Andrew Fiero, and our good friends Jon Huertas, Siobhan Fallon, Anthony Mangano, Frank Fortunato & introducing the wonderful Sofia Regan.
Along with others, this team is the driving force and spirit behind this project -- choices about the director, casting choices, director of photography, lighting, art director, set designer, etc -- proven professionals whom my team & I have had the privilege of working with over the past two decades.
We’ve already started contacting several A-list actors, actresses and directors, and are maintaining a master list of others. But, as with any project, the financing is the key.
Our production financing requirement is $1,000,000, which must be committed by March 31, 2014. Our Kickstarter goal is $150,000 and the Kickstarter deadline is March 18, 2014.
Of the TOP TWENTY MONEY MAKING FILMS in history (based on return on investment), only SIX had budgets of $1,000,000 or more (Rocky, Gone With the Wind, Saw, ET, The Full Monty, Star Wars & My Big Fat Greek Wedding.) The other FOURTEEN had budgets under $1,000,000*. Night of the Living Dead ($742,130) is fifth on that list. The Blair Witch Project ($816,900) is third and Paranormal Activity ($16,553) is first.
The divide between the big budget film and the “indie” film has become wider and the two worlds more estranged. The smaller budget films seem to levitate largely on spirit and passion. Kickstarter is the perfect breeding ground for such projects.
Our budgetary strategy is simple, but focused - employ solid, proven character actors in most roles, then seek name talent in only a few select roles -- all roles that can be shot out in ten days or less.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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