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In the wake of his father's death, 18 year old Lance needs to decide what to do with the ashes amongst his torn family.
In the wake of his father's death, 18 year old Lance needs to decide what to do with the ashes amongst his torn family.
48 backers pledged $4,137 to help bring this project to life.

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Director's Statement

Ashes is a story about an 18 year old kid, Lance, whose father dies. His family needs to decide what to do with the ashes. His mother, Lucy, is stuck in the past and wants to keep them in her room. His older brother, George, is repressing his feelings about his father’s death. He wants to bury the ashes and move on with his life. Lance is very indecisive. He wants to honor his father, but he doesn’t know how. This film is Lance’s journey to bring his family together and honor his father.

I am making this film because it is based on events that have happened to me. Nearly five years ago, my father died. He was cremated, and later, my family discussed what we should do with the ashes. The film deviates from reality here. In real life, my family was not divided or had this much drama, but I molded the situation and characters to make a good story.

While I have few visual references for my film, I have an aesthetic that I am striving for. I am going for a very melancholy look, with a slight blue color temperature throughout most of it. The last scene or two I want to be warmer, as the ending is uplifting and ideally shoot during golden hour. I want to use a lot of grays in the shots for a gloomy atmosphere as well as showing the indecisiveness of Lance.

This is the mood I'm going for
This is the mood I'm going for

The shooting style will mostly utilize still shots and dollies. This will emphasize the melancholy tone. Most of the scenes will only have a few angles. I want the shots to take their time and only cut when necessary. The lighting will be very natural, as I am grounding this film in reality as much as possible. I want people to relate to the situation, and natural lighting will help with that tone.

Logistics

The budget will go toward paying actors, feeding the cast and crew, compensating for transportation, props, and (the big one) renting a sailboat and a dock. Any extra money will go toward post-production and film festivals.

Breakdown:
Out of $4000:
50% - Renting a dock and a boat, as well as a sailor
17.5% - Paying Actors
12.5% - Transportation
12.5% - Catering
5% - Props
2.5% - Miscellaneous

All of the equipment used was free of charge and rented from Temple University. We shot a majority of the film from December 27 - 30, and will shoot another two days in March for the sailboat scenes.

The Crew

Spencer Maxwell (Writer/Director/Editor)

Spencer has spent much of his filmmaking career making backyard, run-and-gun films, starting when he was young. Whether it be action, comedy, or drama, he has always had a passion to see his ideas come to life. He has honed in on his filmmaking skills with formal education in film school at Temple University. Now that Spencer is a senior in college, his thesis project Ashes is the culmination of his film education.

Brian Hall (Cinematography)

Brian Hall is a Philadelphia and New York based cinematographer who has been working professionally behind the camera for two years now, and developing his skills for over five years. He always finds himself stopping to observe natural light, or to capture it in its best moment. Brian frequently shoots narrative films that explore many genres of film, and loves to play with many different styles of lighting and camera perspectives.

Tyler Beck (Producer)

Tyler has completed four years at Temple University in the Film and Media Arts program. He has worked on many of his own projects, ranging through different genres and themes. However, ‘Ashes’ will be one of his first serious dramatic pieces. Tyler has on-set experience as a production assistant, gaffer and director. This summer in Los Angeles he also learned valuable management, marketing and producing skills through  internships.

Dan Cohen (Producer)

Daniel’s passion is in filmmaking. He has made documentaries, music videos, experimental videos, and comedies. This is his first drama specific story. He transferred from Ursinus College, 2 years into school, to pursue his film career at Temple University. He has 2 years of on-set experience as a Script Supervisor, Gaffer, and Assistant Director. He a summer in Los Angeles, California learning ways to improve, market, and sell ideas being a Film & TV Development Intern with Indomitable Entertainment.

J. Malcolm Hill (Producer)

Malcolm transferred to Temple, after two years as a journalism major at St. John’s, to pursue film. He has served as the director/producer for his own smaller student films, but this is his first dramatic piece and his first time working exclusively producing a project not his own. Besides small student films, he has worked on documentaries, collaborated on and written several screenplays.

The Cast

Luke Eddy as Lance

Luke Eddy is a young, up and coming actor in the Philadelphia area. He has done work in theatre, film, and commercials. Luke has been taught at the Philadelphia Improv Theatre, and is currently being educated at the Playhouse West in Philadelphia.

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Sarah Labov as Lucy

Classically trained, Sarah has played roles from Shakespeare to Pinter, working in repertory theaters in Philadelphia and NYC. Currently enjoying her return to theater after 18 years of teaching elementary school, Sarah has been performing in local theaters as well as working on Indie film sets, QVC photo shoots and two web series currently in production. She greatly appreciates the tremendous support from her daughter, family and friends.

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Frank Halbiger as George

Frank is a talented young actor from the Philadelphia area. He brings great chemistry with our lead actor, Luke Eddy.

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Risks and challenges

In terms of challenges, the biggest one would definitely be renting a boat and a dock for the final scenes. We plan on shooting most of the film in late December, and sailing a boat in the dead of winter doesn't look like an option. We plan on shooting these scenes on a weekend in late February or March when more boats will be available. Shooting these scenes a few months away gives us time to look around and find a suitable dock and sailboat to shoot on for a weekend. We will use Kickstarter funds to rent the boat and use the location. Besides this issue, there aren't any other problems. Most of the film takes place in a house, which we have locked down. We have a good crew to work on the project. Once we get our funds from Kickstarter, we can pay those we need to complete the film.

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Support

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    You will get a personal shout out on our Facebook page.

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    We will make a Facebook post in memoriam of a dead loved one of yours.

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    You will get a digital copy of the film before anyone else gets to see it, as well as the soundtrack.

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    You get a "Thank You" in the credits as well as a special section in the credits with a memoriam of a dead loved one of yours.

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    In addition to the film, you will get exclusive bonus features such as a behind the scenes, documentary and bloopers. You will also receive a personal video message from the cast and crew and a Skype session with the director.

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    You will be invited to our wrap party, which will be in the Philadelphia area.

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    You get an Associate Producer credit and will be added to the IMDB page of the film.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Be an extra in our film! We will be shooting in either the Philadelphia area or Chesapeake Bay area. We will compensate you monetarily for your transportation up to $50.

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Funding period

- (30 days)