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After a subpar first year at college, Vince Ford returns home and starts searching for a former classmate who has gone missing.
294 backers pledged $31,339 to help bring this project to life.

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$31,339

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Lil BUB!
Lil BUB!

FIRST THINGS FIRST

The famous talk show host / published author / movie star / intergalactic cat known as Lil BUB is appearing in our film! Lil BUB! She interviewed Michelle Obama! Steve Albini! Whoopi Goldberg! She’s raised well over $300,000 in charity for animals in need! She had a TV show on Animal Planet with Amy Sedaris and Andrew WK! And she will now be playing a very cool role in several quiet, introspective scenes in our film! WE ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!

THE KERNEL

HOO! Alright!  We're going to take a moment to catch our breath.

Alright. We're good. Now, a little bit about the film...

Several years ago, I had an idea for a story about a group of kids who get together and pretend to be one of their parents. They do this as a game. Of course, the kids can’t accurately portray the lives of their parents; that world is too foreign and far from their own. I then asked myself what would happen if a kid never stopped looking at the adult world from the perspective of a kid. "Cooke Concrete" grew from there. The story changed along the way but that kernel question remained: What happens when someone doesn’t assimilate into the adult world?

THE SYNOPSIS

After numerous revisions, "Cooke Concrete" finally took shape as a book and then as a screenplay. Here’s a brief synopsis of the story:

Vince Ford returns home after a less-than-stellar first year at college. On one of his first nights back, Vince goes for a late night drive down a desolate road where he comes to the aid of a hit-and-run victim. The victim is Adam Pazsitsky, a reclusive young man who Vince knew growing up. Saving Adam gives Vince a renewed sense of self-worth. When Adam goes missing a few days later, Vince feels an obligation to find him.

If you’d like to read a brief excerpt from the book, you can click here.

MY BACKGROUND

About ten years ago, I left the USC graduate film program and I came home to the suburbs outside of Chicago. I waited tables and saved up enough money to make a short film. “The European Kid" eventually screened at numerous festivals, including SXSW

The opening titles of 'The European Kid.'
The opening titles of 'The European Kid.'

Here are some of the nice things people had to say about the short:

“A 23 minute comic masterpiece.” - Lya Guerra, SXSW Film Coordinator

“It makes dysfunction seem, well, fun.” - Melanie Haupt, The Austin Chronicle

“…the next cool indie filmmaker…” - Christopher Campbell, Cinematical.com

After the success of the short, I worked to get producers interested in the feature. Alas, I learned that pouring your own money into a passion project is sometimes easier than convincing investors to do the same. After struggling for about a year to get a feature version of "The European Kid" made, I decided to focus on other projects.

Over the next ten years, I honed my skills as a writer. I worked on short stories, novels, and screenplays. I wanted to produce a feature film but I was waiting for the right project. Something that would both connect with a large enough audience and sustain my passion through years of work. I finally found that project in "Cooke Concrete."

THE BUDGET 

Film is a collaborative and time-consuming medium and it costs money to assemble a cast and crew to shoot for the better part of a month. Here are some of the primary expenditures that our budget will go towards.

Production 

A portion of our budget will go towards the audio and visual equipment used on the film and the talented crew who will operate it. With the help of production company Contemporary Creative, our film will likely be shot with a Black Magic camera.

On set of the mock-up trailer for 'Cooke Concrete' with the Black Magic camera.
On set of the mock-up trailer for 'Cooke Concrete' with the Black Magic camera.

Casting & Rehearsal 

Casting is one of the most important parts of making a film. We plan on holding casting sessions in Chicago to find the right actors for the roles. We've also budgeted time for rehearsal.

Food, Transportation, & Location 

For about a month, we'll have to feed a large production family. We also have to provide transportation to various sets and pay to use some locations.

THE REWARDS

Now for the good stuff! We’re fortunate to have some great artists contributing to this project. The soundtrack will feature music from and inspired by the movie, including tracks from Joel Hatstat, Ryan O’Connor, and Mike Bridavsky

Brian McMullen will be designing a limited run poster for the film that will be offered exclusively to contributors. Brian is the founding editor and art director of McSweeney’s McMullens, the kids book department of McSweeney’s. Brian will have free reign to design whatever he likes for the poster. As you can see from his design below, Brian has a singular sensibility and we're all excited to see what he comes up with. 

A cover Brian designed for 'The McSweeney's Book of Politics & Musicals.'
A cover Brian designed for 'The McSweeney's Book of Politics & Musicals.'

That's Brian in the American flag bodysuit and that's his son on his lap. You can read an interview with Brian and see some of the rejected covers for the same book in this Huffington Post article.

There’s also the movie, the book, and the illustrations featured in the book. In addition, we're offering some exceptional experiential rewards, including a thank you in the closing credits of the film, an acknowledgment in the book, a visit to the set for a walk-on role, two tickets to a special Kickstarter screening, and an Executive Producer credit on the film. These rewards are laid out in greater detail on the right side of this page.

An illustration from the book version of 'Cooke Concrete.'
An illustration from the book version of 'Cooke Concrete.'
Tote bag mock-up. Actual tote may vary slightly.
Tote bag mock-up. Actual tote may vary slightly.

THANK YOU

Thanks for taking the time to review this project. Remember, if we don’t meet our goal of $30,000 then we don’t receive any of the funds from Kickstarter, so any amount you can contribute will help!

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge that we face is keeping the quality of the production high enough to do justice to the project. We’re maintaining that quality by giving ourselves time to prepare for the film. We aim to shoot this project in August and we believe we can meet this shoot date but there can be unforeseen challenges in production. If that's the case, we may have to push the shoot date back which might affect rewards dates. Regardless of what obstacles we encounter, we're dedicated to getting the film made and the book published.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    THANK YOU. A personalized thank you email from the writer and director and updates on the project as it progresses.

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    BOOK ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. Before Cooke Concrete was a screenplay, it was a book. Your name will be included in the acknowledgements at the end of the book. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    E-BOOK. A digital download of the Cooke Concrete e-book, including the illustrations. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    CREDIT. A thank you in the closing credits of the film. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    SOUNDTRACK. A digital download of the original Cooke Concrete soundtrack featuring music from and inspired by the movie. Includes the film score and tracks by Joel Hatstat, Ryan O'Connor, and Mike Bridavsky. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD. A digital download of the film. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    PRINT BOOK. A print copy of the Cooke Concrete book, including the illustrations. Signed by the author. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    DVD OR BLU-RAY COPY. A DVD or blu-ray of the final film signed by the writer/director. Includes behind-the-scenes special features and a booklet insert. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    TOTE BAG. A Cooke Concrete tote bag. These things ALWAYS come in handy. Only available to contributors. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    LIMITED EDITION POSTER. The limited edition poster designed by Brian McMullen. This will only be available to contributors. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    TWO PREMIERE TICKETS. Two tickets to a special Kickstarter premiere of the final film. The screening will be in the Chicagoland area. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ILLUSTRATION PRINT. A framed print of one of the five hand-drawn illustrations included in the book. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    ALL ILLUSTRATION PRINTS. Framed prints of all five illustrations from the book. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    IAN WILL EAT HIS SHOE(S). The white shoes that are seen in the mock-up trailer will be cooked and eaten by writer/director Ian Martin at the Chicagoland premiere of the film. This reward is limited to two. If only one reward is claimed then only one shoe will be eaten. If both rewards are claimed then both shoes will be eaten. This reward was inspired by the short film 'Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe.' Martin will eat the same parts of the shoe that Herzog does in the short documentary. This reward was added on Sunday May, 10th and will not be included in the rewards for contributors who gave more than $1,500 prior to the 10th. This reward includes all above rewards. The shoe-eating will be documented on film and a copy of the film will be sent to the contributors who claim this reward.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    WALK-ON ROLE. A visit to the set of the film for a day and a walk-on role. Meet the filmmakers and the actors. See what it's like to make an independent film. This reward is limited to US residents only. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER. A very rare achievement. An Executive Producer credit on a feature film. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    ALL ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATIONS. All five original hand-drawn illustrations featured in the book. Framed. Plus, all rewards listed above.

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Funding period

- (30 days)