We're making a mature, narrative short film called "Drowning in Pennsylvania." It takes place over the span of one night in a small town, and follows one teen’s struggle to deal with a tough situation he’s put himself in. In the course of the night, Jack crosses paths with two other teenagers, Mark and George. As it gets closer to morning, it becomes increasingly clear that nothing will be the same after this night. This story was inspired by coming of age films of the 80’s and our own experiences as teens. To prepare for the summer’s shoot, Caleb has spent the last three months crafting a very personal script, while Ethan handled most of the business and technical aspects.
We spent many late nights, drank cases of Red Bull, and worked countless hours to be able to share this project with you. If you are a teenager or have ever been a teenager, then “Drowning in Pennsylvania” is for you. Our main goal was to keep our characters grounded in realism, through dialogue, clothing, and the situations they find themselves in. This grounding is very important, because when the film dives into its more surreal aspects (and it will), we want you to be involved and connected to our characters and their journey. We aren’t just making this film to tell you a story. We’re making it to tell you our story. A story we feel needs to be heard. We hope you’ll be there to listen.
I'm Caleb Spilios, Director and Writer. I'm 17, and film has been a massive part of my life since I sat down with my father to watch "Night of the Living Dead." From then on I watched anything I could get my hands on, from "Dude Where's my Car" to "The Godfather." It was clear. I had found my passion. When I was nine, I took all the money I'd saved from various holidays and bought myself an iPod Touch. I remember bringing it to school. That week, my friends and I decided to make our first movie. You can guess what happened next. For the next eight years, I made film after film. I taught myself how to edit. I studied cinematography. I wrote scripts and watched countless hours of YouTube tutorials.
Now here we are. You just finished reading my bio. If you're still wondering why I want to do this, it's not that I want to. It's that I need to. I need to tell my stories. I need to tell my stories, and I need people to see them.
I'm Ethan Charles. I'm 18, and there's no way I can follow up the masterpiece that Caleb just wrote, but lucky for you my job isn't to write. It's to get s**t done. I've been doing it all my life. While it hasn't always been as a Producer and an Actor, I've had the same attitude about everything I was interested in: drumming, basketball, and other hobbies.
Caleb and I have been friends for what feels like a lifetime. About three years ago, he invited me over to his house to shoot a film he'd been working on. I'll admit it. I was scared. I had never acted in front of a camera. One time I was peer pressured into a school musical, but we won't talk about how that went. I don't know what happened but I enjoyed acting, a lot. It wasn't just because of Caleb's ability to make me feel comfortable in any scene. It was because I'd found an outlet for expressing my emotions.
I know you're reading to learn about me and to figure out why I'm doing this, so I'll cut to the chase. I graduated high school in June, and when I look back on my favorite memories, I think of those late nights with my friends, on a set, acting. It drives me forward. It keeps me striving to never let those times drift away. There's your answer. That's why I'm doing this.
We have plenty of experience making films together, and we feel ready to take the next step, but we need your help. We're confident about our vision, and we want to share it with the world. With an incredible crew of talented actors, our cinematographer, dedicated audio personnel, and support from friends and family, we know if we hit our goal we can make something special, not just a film but more. An experience.
So, one question: do you want to be part of it?
This is how we intend to use the $7,000 we're trying to raise:
Risks and challenges
The thing we've learned from making movies is that there's a common law that runs deep in the DNA of all film shoots. It's called Murphy's Law. While we've grown accustomed to it, and have taught ourselves to adapt, we've learned not to get hung up on exact deadlines, as there will be many bumps in the road. But, half the fun of making a film is getting over those bumps and showing everyone the finished product. We'd like to have our premiere this Fall (2018). But delays aren't uncommon. They happen. So, just remember, we want to finish the film just as much as you want to see it, and we'll do our best to hit our goal date.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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