A HUGE THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO'S SUPPORTED OUR MOVIE! We literally couldn't do this without your help, and we're so grateful for each of you. We hope you'll SLASH even more knowing that you're an integral part of the team!
Before you read on, take a peek at this final update video:
AND NOW - a bit more detail!
SLASH is a coming-of-age comedy that follows introverted high school freshman Neil, an avid writer of slash fiction. Everything changes when he meets an older student named Julia, who pushes him to publish his own fan fic online. When the website’s moderator takes a special interest in Neil’s work, it opens up a whole new universe.
Erotic fan fiction is not just a funny concept, it's an important part of the fan fiction world, and it’s everywhere in the media these days! For proof check out the new season of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, the many sexually-themed Comic-Con panels, the WB's long-running show SUPERNATURAL and its popular Winchester Brothers, who have fan fiction actually written about them as a subplot inside the show itself.
SLASH is a comedy, and it certainly finds humor in its world, but it does not poke fun, and it fully embraces the community of fan fiction and its writers. At its heart, this is the story of a young man struggling to understand his place in the world, both socially and sexually, and both the stories he writes and the community he finds through sharing his work are an important part of his journey. It's a film that will connect with anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, or struggled to figure out where they fit in.
We’ve done a lot of great work on SLASH, but the movie’s not done yet. We still have more to shoot, and what's left is a really special part of the project. Basically, we've filmed our entire primary story (the story of a high school freshman going on a trip to read his erotic fan fiction at a comic convention), and now we want to actually bring his fan fiction to life. We need to film the sci-fi reenactment scenes depicting the erotic fiction he is writing.
There are only a few scenes to shoot, but they're meant to look like a Hollywood blockbuster, so we've split them off from our primary shoot and are treating them as their own special project. Bringing "slash" fiction to the big screen is an exciting goal, and one that's unique as far as we know, so we felt like offering fans a chance to join us would elevate the potential for the segments. We don't think it's just our team that'll enjoy watching a Hollywood sci-fi epic transform into a teenage boy's sex fantasy, and with the help of a Kickstarter, we can do a bigger and better job of bringing these to life.
We're planning to shoot these sequences by the end of September, and we're actively working on the costumes, locations, effects and casting we'll need to pull it off. This process is expensive, but because we want to make the slickest "slash" we can, we're here on Kickstarter, sharing SLASH with the world and asking you to join us in making one fictional teenage boy's fantasies come true.
UPDATE 9/2/15 - we're already starting to build the costumes for our upcoming shoot, and WE'RE ALSO GETTING FAN ART! Take a peek here, and also note that we've added two new Vanguard rewards:
DONATE! Donations of all shapes and size are greatly appreciated. Also, make sure and take a look at the rewards we're offering - there are a lot of cool ones, even for small pledges. We’ve only got 32 days to raise $45,000…so if you're thinking you'll probably give at some point, please consider just taking care of it today!!
But, if you can’t donate, please SHARE our campaign! Spreading the word through social media and email (and all those other things kids are using these days) is a huge help and will get us that much closer to reaching our goal. Here are THREE EASY WAYS you can help:
1. SHARE and LIKE us on Facebook - you'll help people find the film and get fun updates about the movie!
2. FOLLOW us on Twitter and spread the word - #SLASHTHEMOVIE!
3. EMAIL your friends! A personal message can mean so much, so if you beilieve, please consider sharing. You can find a template below.
In the world of our movie, VANGUARD is a hugely popular young adult sci-fi book series that's also been made into a blockbuster movie franchise - think HARRY POTTER in space.
There are nine VANGUARD volumes in the ongoing series of novels by prolific author, Linus Turko, whose previous work includes the adult fantasy series SWORDHELM and BEYOND SWORDHELM (NYT Bestseller).
VANGUARD is currently on the fourth film adaptation in the series - VANGUARD 4: AT FRONTIER'S RIM (directed by David Lowery), being the most recent.
Vanguard's real name is Jaime Hannard, and he was originally a member of the Pan Galactic Navy, having earned the rank of Lt. Commander before his dishonorable discharge after the 2nd Pellux War. Hannard refused to back the Pan Galactic candidate to Pelluxian succession: a malleable figurehead who would only serve Galactic interests. When Hannard was outed as a guerilla sympathizer he was summarily court-martialed. He only escaped execution out of fear that his popularity with the Pelluxian populace would make him a martyr.
Clay Liford, Writer/Director - Clay is a graduate of the University of Texas film program. He has written and directed three features, including WUSS (SXSW 2011, AFI 2011 Audience Award Winner) and EARTHLING (SXSW 2010). His comedy short, MY MOM SMOKES WEED, has played over forty festivals, including the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. As a director of photography, Clay has shot twenty features, including the award winning films ST. NICK (SXSW 2009) and GAYBY (SXSW 2012). The feature script for SLASH was a participant in the 2013 IFP Emerging Storytellers lab. Clay also recently produced the Sundance 2014 short film RAT PACK RAT, and a segment of the upcoming ABCs OF DEATH 2.
Louis Black, Executive Producer - Louis Black is a co-founder and editor of The Austin Chronicle and co-founder and director of SXSW. Black is also an award-winning producer of documentary films like THE GREAT INVISIBLE, and THE ORDER OF MYTHS (Margaret Brown) and SIR DOUG AND THE GENUINE TEXAS COSMIC GROOVE.
Brock Williams, Producer - Brock founded Boxcar Films in 2005, a production company based in the Midwest. He has produced over a dozen short films, both fiction and documentary, including the Sundance short film ’92 SKYBOX ALONZO MOURNING ROOKIE CARD (2012). In 2008 he produced his first feature film, BOX ELDER, a comedy with a budget of just $70k. In 2011 he was a co-producer on Adam Wingard’s horror/comedy, YOU’RE NEXT, which premiered at TIFF and quickly sold to Lionsgate, receiving a wide release in 2013. Most recently he produced the comedy feature AWFUL NICE (SXSW 2013), and the feature documentary TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RIFLE (Tribeca 2015). Williams was a 2014 Film Independent Producing Lab fellow with SLASH.
Jason Wehling, Producer - Jason’s producing credits include the feature narratives AUGUST EVENING (Spirit Award Winner), THE HAPPY POET (SXSW, Venice), FOURPLAY (Sundance, Cannes Director’s Fortnight), SATURDAY MORNING MASSACRE (LA Film Fest), GOOD NIGHT (SXSW) and THE RETRIEVAL (SXSW Jury Prize Winner) and the documentaries THE JONES FAMILY WILL MAKE A WAY, A PLACE TO DANCE (PBS), OUTSIDE INDUSTRY: THE STORY OF SXSW, AMERICA'S PARKING LOT (ESPN) and AN UNREAL DREAM: THE MICHAEL MORTON STORY (CNN). From 2002–2005, Jason served on the programming team at PBS headquarters, and he recently taught in the Department of Journalism at the University of Texas.
Traci Carlson, Co-Producer - Traci has produced film, commercial and other content all over the world, and her work has featured at top tier festivals including Sundance and SXSW. She is currently in production on Joshua Z Weinstein's new film, a documentary style narrative feature set in the Hasidic community of Borough Park, New York and in post production on Stephanie Ellis' short, BABY TEETH. In 2013, she line produced David Cross’ directorial debut HITS (Sundance 2014). She produced Davis Guggenheim’s interactive documentary, THE DREAM IS NOW. After graduating from the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in 2009, Traci traveled the world and field produced nature documentaries for San Diego based PassmoreLab, often taking crews into remote and difficult environments. Traci is from Portland, Oregon but now lives and works in Los Angeles and New York. She is a Film Independent Producing Fellow.
Morgan Coy, Transmedia Producer - Morgan Coy was a producer on the Sundance award-winning film COMPUTER CHESS, as well as LOVERS OF HATE and SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME. Coy is also in development on television series based on the comic series SHADOW HEALER.
Jeryll Adler, Associate Producer - Since early 2011 Adler has been the Director of Advertising for the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Film Comment Magazine, where she also established and serves as the Associate Publisher for their Custom Publishing Division. In the late nineties she established the marketing department for Indiewire, and more recently established the sales department for on screen national ad network Arthouse Marketing Group. Adler is also the Founder and Executive Director of Pacific Stages, a nonprofit theatre based in El Segundo, CA. On behalf of Pacific Stages Adler produced the Ovation Recommended productions of "Lobby Hero" and "Something Happened." Something Happened was also the recipient of four Ovation nominations, the winner for Best New Play and also the winner of the GLAAD Outstanding Los Angeles Theater Award. In addition to her work in theatre and in film marketing, Adler is currently working as the funding liaison for a documentary on filmmaker Richard Linklater, directed by SXSW founder Louis Black. A New Jersey native, for many years she made her home in Redondo Beach and before that in New York City. Currently she resides in Austin, TX with her dogs Gracie & Stella, and swims about two miles a day at Deep Eddy Pool. Adler attended University of NC School of the Arts and earned her BA at Sarah Lawrence College.
There have been countless coming-of-age stories, but most of them reflect the era in which the filmmaker was raised, and as such they’re basically period pieces. In the majority of them, the internet lies waiting in the future.
This is a coming-of-age story set firmly in the information age: an age when, for the first time ever, kids have more access to information in their own bedrooms than in the greatest of the world’s libraries. This film is about getting your adult information from such a source, and how confusing and misguiding that can be. Especially when it comes to sex. This is about social networking and how even though this technology theoretically brings us closer together, it actually seems to drive us further apart.
Most coming-of-age stories center on the idea of the “outsider,” and the internet has given us unfettered access to the ultimate outsiders (and outsider artists). The writers of slash fiction are below the radar, and as such, their work is often maligned or considered taboo.
The bizarre nature of this story, and the oft-maligned subculture it brings to the fore, provide an opportunity to really explore the notion of being a teenage outsider in a more honest and far less sanitized way than we’re used to seeing. These kids are outsiders amongst outsiders. They have to fend for themselves, and that extends to their sexual awakening. It’s not meant to be explicit, but it’s also not dumbed down. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s movies about kids that are didactic at best, condescending at worst.
I’ve probably devoted way too much time to my research, and I’ve pretty much fallen down the rabbit hole with regards to slash fiction. Initially, I didn’t fully understand what compelled fans to write “dirty” stories based on mainstream characters. But then I kept reading. And I began to read correspondences between authors in this surprisingly tight knit group. And it all started to click.
Sometimes in the most apparently debase or taboo lands, you find an understanding of human nature that's lacking in the sanitized mainstream. It’s something grossly misunderstood, a subject full of humor and pathos, and ultimately one that taps into a universal desire to be a part of something. That’s something I want to introduce evenhandedly to the world.
Money raised here goes straight into the making of the sci-fi "slash" film-within-a-film. Funds pay for equipment rental, cast and crew, and it will also help with costumes, effects and locations that can really elevate our final product. We hope these scenes can be the kind of sexy sci-fi that Hollywood would make if it dared!
We have 32 days to raise the $45,000 goal we've set for production of SLASH. If we don’t meet our goal we don’t get to keep the other contributions — it’s an all or nothing deal!
Crowdfunding is a great way to begin building a larger community for our film. This is a movie made for all ages of the fan fiction community, and we believe that the best way to get people interested in an independent film like this is to start getting the word out now.
Risks and challenges
Our production team is comprised of experts in the field of micro-budget filmmaking, from the director and producers to the below-the-line team (most of whom we’ve worked with for years). Not only has Clay Liford previously directed 3 successful feature films, he has also served as D.P. on over 20 micro-budget films. And the producers on the film have collectively produced over 20 feature films. So, while filmmaking at this level is always challenging, with your help we are confident we will succeed and bring this film to life!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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