What Is Shankman’s?
For Garrett, Tim, Baxter, and his girlfriend, Sarah, life is an endless party. Four trustfund kids living on their parents’ dime in the trendy part of a nameless city, fresh out of college, their whole lives ahead of them. They can be writers, entrepreneurs, social butterflies -- at least until their parents cut off their trust funds.
Desperate to maintain their lifestyle, the four are inspired by Garrett’s brutal beef magnate father to open their own artisan butcher and sandwich shop -- which quickly flops in their fickle neighborhood. When the landlord finally comes for his rent, he is accidentally killed. To cover up the crime, Garrett seizes the moment, and disposes of the body the only way he can think of -- as meat for his customers. The friends think they’ve covered up their crime, and can return to their normal lives.
There’s only one problem.
Their ‘special stock’ is a hit.
Shankman’s is a feature-length dark comedy being shot in Brooklyn, NY that follows burgeoning hipsters Garrett, Tim, Baxter and Sarah as they sink deeper and deeper into the moral abyss to cover up a gory, terrible crime -- and inadvertently gentrify their neighborhood in the process. Will their friendship survive? More importantly, will any of their neighbors?
Who is behind Shankman’s?
Inspired by the rapid gentrification of working class neighborhoods throughout their native New York CIty, Shankman’s is the brainchild of Patrick Coker, Michael Paul and Adam Wiesen, graduate candidates at Long Island University’s Media Arts program in Brooklyn, who work collectively as TryBoro Productions.
Director Patrick Coker has been a staple of the Brooklyn arts and poetry scene since the early 1990s. When not directing live television (West Indian Labor Day parade for CaribVision, live concerts at the Seaport, etc), writing for money (while others claim the credit...the checks are big!) directing shorts (4AM , RULE #1, MILK), directing music videos for indie artists (C. Will, DeAchee), and being a cinematographer for others, Patrick spends his free time pining for Brooklyn circa 1998 and writing hate mail to Cablevision execs.
Producer Michael Paul is a writer, journalist and indie filmmaker. He's graduating this summer with an MA in screenwriting and film production and has covered business, health-care and the arts for newspapers in New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. His first short film, EMMY, premiered at the Monster Mania Film Festival in Philadelphia in 2009 and his documentary, LIKE MINDS, premiered at the Big Mini Media Festival in Brooklyn the following year. His most recent short film, TABLE AND CHAIRS, is currently in post production.
Writer Adam Wiesen has spent the last decade as a bouncer, slam poet, hip hop promoter, designer in print, web, and video, husband, father, pop culture critic, and presently, graduate student. His work has been seen in BusinessWeek, The New York Post, and Reuters. Shankman’s is his first feature.
How is the project funded? Where does our money go?
Long Island University isn’t NYU or UCLA. We’ve got great faculty, smart, motivated students, some really great infrastructure, and absolutely no money.
Despite that, we’ve hustled hard and have investors who believe in the project, and have put up some money. We’ve broken the cardinal rule, and put in some of our own money. With those funds, we’ve hired Seth Zwiebel, a great director of photography, who brings years of experience -- and his RED camera -- which we’ll be using for principal photography.
We’ve brought together a cast who -- even by our own bleak, cynical New York standards -- are amazing. Enthusiastic, genuinely talented actors and have breathed life into this project in a way we could never anticipate.
But when we say it’s a ‘dark violent comedy’, really what we mean is that there’s gore. Lots of it. Sometimes with axes. And making that look even reasonably good costs money. We’ve hired Bobby and Cheska Savoca-Guay, a married special effects makeup team, who most recently finished work on the feature film 36 SAINTS. They’ve committed to the project without a penny up front, but making a dismembered landlord costs money.
And as mundane as it sounds, your pledge also goes towards feeding actors, who despite all our best efforts and beatings, still require food and water. It also takes care of our dedicated crew, who we’ve promised citizenship to once the production is complete.
In other words, we’ve got all the assets in place to make a movie that will entertain the Hell out of you. All we need is the funds to move those assets forward.
Your pledge lets us do that.
Why a feature?
When we first started kicking around the idea for Shankman’s, we considered breaking it into a far less daunting web series. Nine or ten 10-minute episodes could very possibly tell the same story -- but it just wouldn’t have the same impact or tension. A single linear narrative gets you much closer to these characters and their world, and really drives the impact of their crimes home.
What’s the status of the productions?
Shankman’s is in pre-production. The script is written. Production is scheduled to begin early May, with the project wrapping by Q3, 2012.
How can I help?
By pledging an amount, you will be eligible to receive rewards exclusive to those pledging through this Kickstarter page. Take a look at the rewards column on the right - you can think of pledging as placing a pre-order for the product once it's done. In addition, we don't let you walk away empty-handed. For even the most modest donation, we have rewards that we're happy share. Shankman's could be great. Come be a part of it.
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