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The Badger Game - A Dark Comedy's video poster

Two scorned mistresses team up to extort millions from a chronic philanderer. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on March 26, 2013.

Two scorned mistresses team up to extort millions from a chronic philanderer.

About this project

                                       A BRIEF INTRODUCTION

Admittedly, I’m new to the world of Kickstarter. Sure, once in a while, a friend or cohort will post a link on Facebook, asking for donations to fund their labor of love. Most of the time, I give what I can. Be it a sketchbook, a bra with a pocket built into it, or a statue of Robocop, I respect ambition and love seeing creative ideas to come together. But I’ve never fully explored the Kickstarter site until recently, when someone suggested to me that crowd source funding may be a good way to raise additional capital for a feature film I’m producing. Looking at everything Kickstarter has to offer, one thought comes to mind: there’s a ton of stuff out there. Lots of projects, lots of dreams, lots of strangers trying to make it happen. So…why this project? Why donate to this film? What makes us stand apart from any other endeavor?

The truth is, I’m not sure I can fully answer these questions. But I can give you a simple “5W” breakdown of the project and hopefully spark your interest in the film. I’m really not sure any one project is more noble or worthy than another, but maybe, in the vast marketplace of crowd sourcing, this one is at least  interesting enough to garner some attention…and, really, that’s all we can ask

                              THE "WHAT"

The project is a narrative feature film entitled THE BADGER GAME, a sexy/bloody/violent/comedic thriller that revolves around a botched kidnapping.

Our hero, Liam is a successful advertising executive with money to burn and a healthy appetite for infidelity. Alex is his scorned mistress, hell-bent on revenge against the married man who wronged her. Matched against each other, the two quickly fall into a downward spiral of sex, extortion, and murder.

At first, the plan seemed simple: kidnap Liam and threaten to expose his indiscretion, lest he pays a healthy sum of money. But Alex knows she can’t do it alone. Enter Kip (her unhinged brother), Jane (an exotic dancer), and Shelly (a desperate wallflower). With the table set and the team in place, Liam soon finds himself held against his will - his perfect world about to crumble. But Liam won’t go down without a fight. Forced to recon with four mysterious captors and impossible odds, his only hope is to turn the quartet against each other and make it through the night alive.

Lust, suspense, violence, and cynicism go head-to-head in THE BADGER GAME, crime-comedy in the vein of RESERVOIR DOGS and FARGO.

Intrigued? I hope so. It’s a simple plot, and we're not looking to re-invent the wheel with this one; the aim, is to create a fun, enjoyable film with appeal to a wide audience.

                           THE "WHERE"

We’re shooting the movie primarily in beautiful downtown Burbank* with a handful of scenes peppered around the greater LA area.

                            THE "WHEN"

Production begins March 7th and wraps April 8th, 2013. Between now and then, please check this page for updates – we will be announcing our talented cast and crew very soon

                               THE "WHO"

The film is being co-produced and co-directed by Thomas Zambeck and Josh Wagner. The true definition of those terms:

Co-produced: This is a low budget shoot, which means the two of us are doing everything. If this Kickstarter plan doesn’t work, Josh may even do the cooking…which may make him the first director to ever bark orders in a chef’s hat and apron.

Co-directed: We both have different skill sets. I dwell on the technical side, while Josh is a bit more in tune with characters and performance. Even though there is some crossover, we’ll each be supervising two distinct sides of the equation. And we’ve known each other for twelve years, so no egos are in play.

I (Tom) wrote and directed my first feature film in 2006, a thrilled entitled NEVERMORE with Judd Nelson, Vincent Spano, and Jennifer O’Dell. I have since worked on a handful of projects in a varied capacity, most recently supervising the post workflows of home media through Sony New Media Solutions.

Josh produced his first feature in 2005, a dark comedy called THE SWEEPERS. Recently, Josh co-wrote the screenplay for the horror film MIMESIS, which was just released through Anchor Bay Entertainment.

Details on our cast will be coming soon...

Risks and challenges



Cause we love making movies.

And we’re well into pre-production. Come hell or high water, this flick is filming in March. But as the process goes on, we’re getting more into the nitty gritty of how to tell the story and what we need to really make this movie sing.

As with any low-budget production, certain sacrifices need to be made. BUT some of those sacrifices (like eliminating that one complicated dolly shot, or shooting in Steve’s backyard as opposed to the state park we REALLY want) could be easily mitigated if we had a bit more breathing room in our budget. In specific, these are the additional cost expenditures we’re trying to raise funding for:

1) We found an ideal location for rent in Simi Valley. Unfortunately, it’s marginally outside of our price range. While it’s sometimes necessary to adjust, it becomes more difficult to do so when you finally find the perfect locale that matches the image in your head.

2) We have a scene where a guy gets hit in the face with a weed whacker. Want to see it? So do we! But good special FX are expensive.

3) Food. This seems like a simple item, but it’s important. Catering can make or break a film shoot. A well-fed, healthy crew is a productive crew. And we want all the people who are working for us to be well taken care of.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


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  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    8 backers

    A high-res, printable poster of THE BADGER GAME, delivered directly to you and a special thank you note from Josh.

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    Pledge $25 or more

    21 backers

    A printable poster set, which includes the theatrical teaser poster and and the four individual character posters.

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    Pledge $50 or more

    33 backers

    The printable poster set, and a special shout out in the credits of the film (yes, we realize this could mean a lot of credits…but it’s the least we can do)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    27 backers

    The printable poster set, a shout out in the credits, and a DVD copy of the film, once it becomes commercially available.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer

    The posters, a shout out, a DVD copy of the film, and a t-shirt, featuring the likeness of one of our BADGER GAME villains. Just pick which character you like best: the rabbit, the frog, the squirrel, or the dog.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer

    The posters, a shout out, a DVD, a t-shirt, and an invite to the Los Angeles premier and after party, where you can hob nob with the cast and crew.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers

    The posters, a shout out, a t-shirt, a DVD, and an associate producer credit OR a walk on roll in the film. You can either be one of the behind-the-scenes big dogs or have your face immortalized on camera. Your choice!

    BONUS: if you actively promote this Kickstarter page (through Facebook, Twitter, Etc) and we raise $500 or more from people listing your name in their donation, you will automatically be eligible for the reward package of that dollar amount. Why? Because not all of us have $500 bucks to spare. But even if it isn’t your money, you can still help us earn that same amount through your friends' smaller donations. And we feel that effort should be recognized. Pretty cool, huh?

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (40 days)