About this project
Courtesy Flush is the story of James and Lexi, a young couple from New York City who accidentally became a fitness sensation when their YouTube series, a campy, comedic erotic exercise spoof titled “F*ck Fitness,” went viral. Riding the coattails of their Internet fame, they created a series of best-selling satirical workout DVDs, shot a pilot for a reality show parody that never got picked up, and spent a few years circulating their absurd fitness phenomenon.
Now washed up in their late twenties, the couple has outgrown their former passion project. In an attempt to outrun their ridiculous image, they move from New York City to a small Hawaiian jungle town on the edge of an active volcano.
Courtesy Flush begins several weeks after the couple arrive on the island. Once there, the pair become entangled with the neighbors living on either side of their property: a mysterious recluse named Hayward, and a young polyamorous throuple made up of the fiery Skunk, the jocular Will, and the headstrong Remy.
The problems that James and Lexi thought they left on the mainland continue to arise on the island, and their interactions with the throuple causes them to take a look at and question their own sexual dynamics.
As their relationship begins to unravel, Lexi holes herself up in the studio while James agrees to help the throuple dig a hole on the edge of their property, a task that proves to be much more complicated than originally expected.
The situation is exacerbated when the group decides to steal a piece of equipment from Hayward's property in the dead of night. Hilarity, murder, and mayhem ensue between the pair and their new circle of friends as they struggle to move forward and ignite a mystery that will challenge and define the virtues of each character.
The setting of this film is the core of the entire project, and a large portion of our budget is going to getting the cast and crew on set. The big island of Hawaii offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the entire United States, and with two active volcanoes, the island naturally provides us with an unpredictable, explosive environment that directly feeds into the mood of the story. In creating this project, we are treating the island like a character itself. Lush, vibrant and tumultuous, Hawaii is the most integral part of this entire story. The characters each have a specific relationship with the island that shapes them as a character and influences how they interact with one another. We absolutely cannot make this film anywhere else, and it is this reason that we need your support! It takes funds to get our talented cast and crew onto our gorgeous set, and without your generous support, we absolutely cannot do it!
Writer and director duo (and romantic compadres) Zoe Eisenberg and Phillips Payson have been friends for over a decade. They have spent most of that time daydreaming about a collaboration. This is their brain child. They think it's pretty cute.
Phillips Payson, Director
Phillips is a filmmaker based out of Brooklyn and Hawaii. The founder of Larkin Pictures, Phillips studied film at Syracuse University. He has been working in the film industry for the past three years. A lover of bears and a collector of vintage cameras, Phillips has directed a variety of shorts, music videos, an instructional yoga video, and a musical. He is excited to be taking on something more ambitious.
Zoe Eisenberg, Writer
Zoe is a writer and editor who focuses on relationships and sexuality, as well as food and health promotion. She studied English and creative writing, and has been published in a variety of print and online mediums. Often raunchy and rarely apologetic, Zoe has been working as a magazine editor and writer for the past three years. Courtesy Flush is her first screenplay.
Shabier Kirchner, Cinematographer
Shabier is a cinematographer with Wadadli Film Studios, an Antiguan production company. Shabier has been shooting commercials, music videos, features and shorts for the past six years. He specializes in island cinematography. View his previous work here.
Diego Siragna, Assistant Director
Diego is a filmmaker and editor based out of Brooklyn and Guadalajara. He has been working in the film industry for the last six years. Previous projects include the short films Wanderer and Some Kind of Love. Diego has also edited three documentaries, all of which made it into the festival circuit.
Allyson Davis, Production Coordinator
Allyson is a New York based stage manager who has had the privilege of working with PigPen Theatre Co., the New York International Fringe Festival and Dorset Theatre Festival and is currently working on David Cromer's production of Nikolai and the Others at Lincoln Center Theater. She holds a BA in Theatre from The University of the Incarnate Word and is a proud member of Actors Equity Association.
Jordan Turchin, “James”
Jordan studied at NYU and is a T. Schreiber Studio alumni. He has performed Off-Broadway in Caligula, and is featured in the upcoming alien abduction horror film Project Blue Book, which will be in theaters nationwide September 2013. His film Straight on Till Morning, a coming of age feature, is hitting the festival circuit this fall and he recently wrapped The Father's Love, a NYC love story.
Ingrid Vollset, "Lexi"
Ingrid is a 2012 graduate of the William Esper Studios. Originally from
Bergen ,Norway, she studied for three years at Acting International in Paris
before moving to New York. Ingrid is mainly a Meisner trained actress with
influences by Stanislavski and Michael Tchekhov. In addition to acting, Ingrid is a singer/song
writer with a love for traveling, vegan cooking, and yoga. One of her
most recent creative endeavors is a "film collective" in which her and a group
of friends make a short film every week inspired by the Dogme rules
of Trier and his "gang" from the nineties.
Ayinde Howell, "Hayward"
Ayinde is an award-winning actor of film and stage. He is a William Esper Studio alumni. Ayinde is not only an actor but also a personality, with appearances on BET’s top rated 106 & Park. Ayinde was the official host of the Red Carpet at the 2010 Urbanworld Film Festival in NYC. A celebrity vegan chef, a well known DJ and the founder of iEatGrass.com, Ayinde wears many (very fashionable) hats. He currently resides in Los Angeles, Calif.
Mikaal Bates, "Will"
Mikaal was born and raised in Los Angeles by a pack of wild Hippies, but was later re-assigned to Kentucky. With a bounty on his head, he fled south to Florida State University where he studied the art of Transcendental Procrastination before escaping to the New York City underground. Today, he survives as a soldier of the William Esper Studio by convincing innocent writers and directors to pay him to weather his artistic malady, both on Film/Television, and in the Theatre.
Caitlin Holcombe, "Skunk"
Caitlin is a southern girl and secret romantic at heart. She made her theatrical debut in the second grade as Mother Goose. She's been twisting her own reality ever since. A William Esper Studio alumni, Caitlin is obsessed with dualism and hedonism. This will be her first feature film!
Todd Litzinger, "Remy"
Todd is a New York City based actor. Born at a very young age in Colorado he has spent most of his 20's aggressively dodging responsibility. He is a William Esper Studio alumni, and has been featured on a variety of television shows, including Mercy and 30 Rock, as well as nine films and several theatre productions. He is currently working on several projects in the Indie film scene. Todd is also a Kendo Master, a good Samaritan, stronger than he looks, smarter than you think, an exceptionally gifted napper, paper-cut survivor, and in love with his sassy girlfriend. He says he feels bad for seedless watermelon because what if they want to have babies?
A Sneak Peek at F*ck Fitness!
A F*ck Fitness informercial, featuring Curtis Gillen from Pig Pen Theatre Co., and Kristin Lajeunesse from Will Travel For Vegan Food.
Risks and challenges
We face the risks any film production team faces, but they are intensified when working on a shoe string budget in a remote location.
We will be planning around the weather, as the rain in the jungle can be swift and unexpected. Luckily, we have worked that into the script, and will be prepped for both daylight and rain scenes so that we can move with the weather.
Additionally, we've assembled a competent team with experience in island production troubleshooting. Both our Cinematographer and Assistant Director have shot on islands, including the big island of Hawaii, as well as Mexico, Antigua, and various locations in the Caribbean.
Shooting a feature length film on such a tight budget is a challenge in and of itself. Luckily, we have a fantastic cast excited to work within a small budget and ready to rough-it at our beachfront campsite, and go beyond the traditional role of a cast member.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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