A few years ago, actor and director Zach Braff ran a successful kickstarter campaign for a feature film. After watching his video, I thought... since we were in high school together, I thought, if he can do it... why can't I ?!
The film centers around religion and the part it plays in our lives. It's a passionate topic in the United States, but most awareness in the media surrounds the Abrahamic faiths. (These are the big three you're thinking of: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)
The film looks to counterbalance that.
My last film was about stereotypes, and while making it I confronted a few of my own that I had developed while growing up.
One of those, that was broken early, was seeing a white person practicing Hinduism (and this was way before yoga studios appeared on every block) While being appreciative and surprised, I always thought "What could motivate him to discard his religion of birth and adopt a new one?"
The film takes the childhood thought of mine further by asking the question:
"What if a locally raised Midwestern man and converted Hindu starts a Hinduism-based school in his conservative Christian town?"
At its core, Hinduism's message is one of pluralism, tolerance and acceptance, which is what our lead character wishes to spread.
The story will follow his journey towards the very noble goal of bringing tolerance and acceptance to his town, but at what cost? It digs deeper into the toll unchecked ambition can take, and forces our main character to learn new lessons about sacrifice and family along the way.
Given today's social and political climate, there's no better time for theme of tolerance, acceptance and mutual understanding.
With your help, we can make it happen.
Since 2006, I've been involved in filmmaking, from directing, writing, and editing. Since working on the pilot episode of Mad Men, I've completed two documentary films, Creating Utsava and Not a Feather, but a Dot. These have screened in both film festivals and theatrical venues.
Humor and satire are a big part of of my work, as I believe even serious things have a strain of humor within it.
My last project was a fun tribute to the classic, Reservoir Dogs, called Reservoir Aunties.
Oh, and here's me with someone who's dabbled in satire a little bit also.
... And who else?
Here are some of the other talented people I've worked with, on past projects, and could potentially work with on this project
Alex DePew, a cinematographer that has worked on an assortment of projects ranging from narrative, documentary, short film and commercial. He has worked on projects for LL Bean, Samsung, Corona and New Balance. Alex has been DP on a few of my short films.
Lionel Cohen, a film composer with over 300 IMDb credits, including TV shows such as: American Idol, House, Elementary, The Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, The Mentalist, and others. His commercial works include Sony PSP, Cadillac, Buick, BMW, Mercedes, Adidas, DirectTV, Louis Vuitton, Kohl's and Macy’s. Lionel has scored one of my short films.
Paula Landry, an award-winning writer/producer, whose recent projects include a VR film Abracadabra!, A CAT’S TALE and others; She is the author of the 2nd edition of Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film: A Panic-Free Guide (Focal Press), and The Business of FILM, with Stephen Greenwald (Focal Press). Her clients include Forbes, Pearson Television, Entertainment Weekly, and others. Paula has consulted on my documentary film, Not a Feather, and helped with countless other projects.
What's been done
An initial draft of the script has been written, as well as some preliminary location scouting in India.
108 is an auspicious number in Hinduism. The reality is, it takes more than $108 to make a commercially viable film, so the initial amount we're seeking is $100,108.00.
The initial funding will go towards script rewrites, location scouting, pre-production and production.
If 926.9 people each put in $108, good vibes would be maximized for all, and we'd get to meet nine tenths of a person.
And lastly.. P.S. Zach, if you're reading this, Gaslight or the Gate?
Stuff you can get!
Contribute $50 or higher for the official "I backed..." T-shirt
(Disclaimer: Zach Braff is not officially a part of this campaign)
Risks and challenges
Films are inherently risky and bla bla bla... I'd rather just tell a story here:
For one of my previous projects, I had worked out an agreement with a location to shoot for six hours, we had spent over a month agreeing on a date, crew size, etc...
On the day of the shoot, I show up with the cast and crew for the day, and the business owner says we can't shoot, because ... whatever the reason was. He seemed apologetic but wasn't too concerned about what happened next.
What do I do? Get angry? Demand he let me shoot? Call him names?
Sitting there with actors and equipment on a New York sidewalk, I was scrambling to figure something out. Finally, I asked him if he knew any similar businesses in the area, which he thankfully did. We ended up shooting there but it was certainly not what we had planned!
There's enough uncertainty in filmmaking to last many lifetimes, best rest assured we will tackle those with one goal in mind: successful outcome.
As for challenges that arise, we'll provide steady but not overwhelming updates This means you *won't* be informed what I have for breakfast every other day, sorry to anyone that's actually interested in that.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)