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A conflicted young couple, a polyamorous trio trying to dig a hole, and a mysterious recluse spin a tale of love, murder and madness.
A conflicted young couple, a polyamorous trio trying to dig a hole, and a mysterious recluse spin a tale of love, murder and madness.
A conflicted young couple, a polyamorous trio trying to dig a hole, and a mysterious recluse spin a tale of love, murder and madness.
143 backers pledged $30,234 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Courtesy Flush, a Feature Film Set in Hawaii

$30,234

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The 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 Island
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!

The Team

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.

Get this BPA-free water bottle as a backer reward!
Get this BPA-free water bottle as a backer reward!

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.

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About $5

    TOURIST STATUS. Internet thank you! We will give you an individual shout out on Twitter, Facebook, and on our website.

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    WISH YOU WERE HERE STATUS. Internet thank you plus a personalized postcard from set signed by cast and crew.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About $25

    VACATIONLAND STATUS. Everything from Wish You Were Here status, plus a thank you on our IMDB page and an exclusive digital download of the thirty minute F*ck Fitness workout video that you can follow along with at home. Mustache not included.

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    HAOLE STATUS. Everything from Vacationland status, plus a ticket to our launch party in Brooklyn on May 18, which includes a musical performance.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    TIME SHARE STATUS. Everything from Vacationland status, plus an exclusive DVD copy of the finished film. (Vacationland status rewards available August 2013. DVD available upon release of film, estimated August 2014)

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    F*CK FITNESS Package. Digital download of the 30 minute F*ck Fitness workout video and a BPA-free F*ck Fitness water bottle (image of product here http://bit.ly/10cHWov ).

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    PHOTO BOMBER STATUS. Everything from Beach Bum status, the F*ck Fitness water bottle, and the opportunity to have a framed photo of yourself featured in the set background. See your face on film!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    TRANSPLANT STATUS. Everything from Volcano status, plus a signed print of the official Courtesy Flush poster.

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    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    BEACH BLING 1. Everything from VACATIONLAND Status plus an exclusive jewelry piece designed by Courtesy Flush costume designer Sarah Andrie, similar to jewelry worn in film. Set of 3 sterling silver handmade bangles with genuine seashells from Hawai'i. Photo here: http://bit.ly/YHIdA1

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    BEACH BUM STATUS. Everything from Time Share status, plus a special on-screen thank you in the credits. (On-screen thanks deliverable upon film's post-production completion.)

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    BEACH BLING 2. Everything from VACATIONLAND Status plus an exclusive jewelry piece designed by Courtesy Flush costume designer Sarah Andrie, similar to jewelry worn on set. Set of 3 14K gold fill handmade bangles with genuine seashells from Hawai'i. Photo here: http://bit.ly/1747neX

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    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    BEACH BLING 3. Everything from VACATIONLAND Status plus an exclusive jewelry piece designed by Courtesy Flush costume designer Sarah Andrie, similar to jewelry worn in film. Genuine tahitian pearl on a light 18" sterling silver chain, pearl measures about 8mm and grey in color . Photo here: http://bit.ly/13jXKFN

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    Pledge $185 or more About $185

    BEACH BLING 4. Everything from VACATIONLAND Status, plus an exclusive jewelry piece designed by Courtesy Flush costume designer Sarah Andrie, similar to jewelry worn in film. Gold plated amethyst slice on a long 28" 14K gold fill necklace chain. Photo here: http://bit.ly/11mNaQA

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    LOCAL STATUS. Everything from Beach Bum status, the F*ck Fitness water bottle, and the opportunity to appear as an extra in a F*ck Fitness informercial which will be featured in the film. Must live in traveling distance to NYC and available May 25 for filming. Travel costs not included.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    MAHALO STATUS - Everything from Beach Bum status, the F*ck Fitness water bottle, plus a care package from set including Hawaiian keepsakes, a hand written letter from the director, homemade banana jerky from bananas grown on set, and more.

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER TITLE. Everything from Beach Bum status, and a producer credit both on-screen and on IMDB. (On-screen credit reward deliverable upon film's post-production completion.)

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    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER TITLE. On-screen and IMDB credits, and we will fly you out to visit the set. Includes 5 nights of camping with the cast, and participation in the filming process. (On-screen credit reward deliverable upon film's post-production completion.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)