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!
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?
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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