UPDATE: Why is this film personal for Matthew?
UPDATE: Why is this film personal for Ben?
ESCAPE THE DARK is a psychological and supernatural horror film following two sets of roommates experiencing mysterious events while battling their own personal demons.
Our story opens on Jackie, an energetic geek with an overactive imagination, and Rachel, her grounded roommate, as they swap scary stories. While their tales are different, they both agree: the best stories start with a mystery. This is put to the test later when an old man suddenly appears and dies in their living room... and all they're left with is a warning: "It sees you...”
Meanwhile, Jon - a young man overwhelmed by his professional life - finds himself out of his depth while caring for his roommate, August, who suffers from depression. August has retreated into their apartment, shutting out the world to feel safe. But once he and Jon become trapped inside, haunted by ghostly figures and a sinister entity, he now wants the one thing he may never get again...to get out.
Garrett Stiger (sound) check out his personal message HERE!
Jackie Paul (casting director) check out her personal message HERE!
Matt Kain (caterer) check out his personal message HERE!
And back to us:
Ben DeLoose (co-writer/director, producer) is me! I make my living as a writers' assistant in television dramas. Prior to this awesome job, I spent several years working at NBCUniversal in television development. I love all things genre, especially Doctor Who, which is basically my religion.
Matthew Chilelli (co-writer/director, editor, composer) is a professional editor and Emmy-winning composer (Pacific Southwest Emmy Awards 2008). He currently edits the popular podcast “Scriptnotes” and contributes re-orchestrations of its theme. Once upon a time he was a PA for Jericho... Nuts!
Matthew and I have collaborated on many projects together since we met in 2009. We started off with YouTube sketches and have since moved on to features and television pilots. We each bring different skills to the table and defer to the other's area of expertise without bruising egos – an essential skill to have in the collaborative world of filmmaking.
For me, this film covers a very personal subject matter: depression. Having suffered from it in the past, I sympathize with depressed characters in fiction. Unfortunately, I have found most stories rely on either the “numb” or “suicidal” portrayal. This is not only repetitive, but also very different from my own experience. So I decided to write a character I could relate to.
It is my hope that through the heightened lens of horror, we can explore the effects of depression on both the depressed and their loved ones. ...and to show how important it is to escape the dark.
Every bit helps, so please check out the sidebar for our breakdown of reward tiers and give today!
You may ask, "what will my contribution fund?" Since we already have our film equipment, our fundraising will go to actors' salaries, production expenses (wardrobe, meals, props, etc.), and festival submission fees.
But most importantly, every dollar you give buys us time.
This is a film with a very particular setting – taking place almost entirely over one night. This means night shoots. A lot of night shoots. And this means asking a lot of our actors. The more we have in our budget to pay our actors and create a comfortable schedule, the better the entire film will be. This allows us to spend more time crafting perfect atmosphere, perfect scares, and perfect performances!
Now that we've launched our Kickstarter campaign, our next step is casting. We will hold auditions in November, followed by table reads and rehearsals in early December. Up next are wardrobe and camera tests, followed by the start of principal photography in mid-January 2015.
Once principal photography wraps, post-production should take about three months. Our goal is to share the project with our backers in May of 2015.
But right now, at this very moment, we need your help! Now is the time for you to help us bring our little character-based horror film to life!
Risks and challenges
All films have a level of uncertainty, but we've done our best to mitigate the usual hurdles facing a production.
Casting is a primary focus of ours. We are currently discussing the film with actors we have a professional relationship with, hoping to land some commitments while the campaign is underway. Thankfully Los Angeles is filled with great actresses and actors, and because of that, we know we will find the best people for our roles. Making sure everyone is able to work on our schedule is another question - we may give some leeway on the start of our shoot, but only by a week or two.
Thanks to advances in file hosting, there should be no delay in digital distribution of the film once we've finished with post. However, certain film festivals will not consider a submission unless the film makes its "world premiere" there. We will keep our backers updated if such a submission will delay distro of the film to them.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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