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Clever Girl is an online thriller unveiling a host of tension and chills. How well do you know your neighbors?
Clever Girl is an online thriller unveiling a host of tension and chills. How well do you know your neighbors?
Clever Girl is an online thriller unveiling a host of tension and chills. How well do you know your neighbors?
66 backers pledged $19,185 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Clever Girl: A Web Series

$19,185

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Clever Girl began as a short film intended to subvert the genre conventions of horror and serial killer media, until through rehearsal and shooting it mushroomed into something more complex, ambitious and intense.

Our website: www.clevergirlwebseries.com

Check out our Series Trailer for a closer look at our slew of colorful characters:

The video below is the mere pilot of what we intend to become a series of scripted videos, to be released online (including mobile access), as part of the newly emerging medium of web television.

 Sometimes, actors will share chemistry that so elevates the dimensions of their characters that one is quick to find a way to broaden the scope of their story to accommodate its potential. Such has been the case with Kip Bennett and Tifani Ahren Davis as Chris and Denise, the dubious figures at the heart of Sahil Sharma's original 13-page screenplay, which has since expanded into 9 subsequent episodes, as well as a fertile creative starting point for a second season.

Tifani Ahren Davis pushing herself to the edge to perform her climactic scene in Clever Girl's pilot webisode, The Petersburg Girl, shot in April 2014.
Tifani Ahren Davis pushing herself to the edge to perform her climactic scene in Clever Girl's pilot webisode, The Petersburg Girl, shot in April 2014.

Throughout the past year, the original story thread, marked by the relationship between unassuming piano teacher Chris Schaefer (Kip Bennett) and struggling pencil pusher Denise Dobkin (Tifani Ahren Davis), has ballooned into a mosaic study of interconnected characters revolving around the twisted secret life of the murderous central couple:

http://www.clevergirlwebseries.com/#identities

Chris Schaefer • KIP BENNETT (also original musical score)

A lifelong pianist, Bennett is also a Cincinnati actor, producer and music composer who has starred in shorts such as A Seat at Milo's, Bandit's Gone and Whisper.

Denise Dobkin • TIFANI AHREN DAVIS

Davis is a leading lady of shorts and features alike, and host of the YouTube series Impulse. Her recent credits include El Camino: A Tale of Brotherly Revenge, Dead for the Holidays and one of the title roles in the Cincinnati-based feature film Wells and Mary.

Sgt. Keenan Albertson • JASON GREEAR

Perhaps best known for his role in the 2013 Christian Bale vehicle Out of the Furnace, Ohio native Greear keeps busy with small productions and Hollywood projects alike, purely guided by his interest in characters.

Shirley Woltz • SHEILA MUDD BAKER

Baker has donned a broad range of looks and characteristics throughout her prolific body of work, which includes Randy Fabert's Psycho Killer, Homefront, TV's Article 17 and Army from Hell, and unsuspecting neighbor Mrs. Woltz is yet another departure in her repertoire.

Det. Gerty Hyde • SHANNON FAITH

A graduate of Cincinnati's prestigious College Conservatory of Music, Shannon is a veteran of the stage whose recent foray into online entertainment is promising to say the least.

Officer James Craig • JIM OWENS

Maryland-born Owens currently has many irons in the fire, including featured roles in Wells and Mary, Todd Haynes' Carol and The Blunderer starring Patrick Wilson. His signature voice and distinguished look are a perfect fit for his role here.

Officer Shelly Newberry • JASON ERVIN (also special make-up effects)

Ervin has been creating scary faces and unthinkable wounds for people at Halloween events, haunted houses and amusement parks for years. He has since become a highly sought-after Northern Kentucky-based make-up artist in regional video production. His acting filmography is growing fast as well.

Gillian Peters • STEPHONIKA W. KAYE (also production designer)

Kaye is a WV-born actress, writer and director of feature films and shorts such as the sci-fi adventure The Nameless Cryst and her recent post-apocalyptic drama Rising Seas. She also has a keen eye for art direction and set detail, and has recently established Bleeding Edge Productions.

Leslie Harris • VICTORIA ELEANOR McDEVITT

A student of musical theater at Northern Kentucky University and a frequent player in horror shorts, McDevitt was hand-picked for the role of Leslie on the set of Grand Film Festival premiere selection Should've Gone to the Concert.

––––––––

JOE ZAPPA • director-writer-editor-producer

I'm an independent writer, director, editor and actor whose work, including the 13-minute thriller Whisper and the chamber drama The Last Checkmate, has been screened at festivals and shown online. Also an actor, I've appeared in Cincinnati-based feature film Act of Contrition and independent short Vinyl.

SAHIL SHARMA • writer-producer

A graduate of Xavier University's Electronic Media, Television and Film Arts program, Sharma has been working independently and professionally on shorts, features, national and local commercials and educational videos for years. His achievements as writer and director are often characterized by an intense collaboration with actor Gregory Patrick Agnew, including the shorts Tough Talk and Bandit's Gone.

DAVID JAMES • director of photography-producer

James is a stylish writer-director of dark, modern dramas such as Conscious, Vinyl and Jacob's Paradox, whose highly anticipated feature debut Signs of Life is slated for production this coming year with Afroman and Joe Estevez attached. As a cinematographer, he also has lensed the films The Last Checkmate, Wells and Mary and False Awakening.

JAMES BAILEY • sound engineer

Writer, editor and director of the Cincinnati-based feature festival favorite Home, Bailey is a veteran in the audio field, having engineered soundtracks for over a dozen major local works. He also served as editor on e.e. Charlton-Trujillo's 2014 documentary At-Risk Summer.

Kip Bennett talking with director and close friend Joe Zappa before the next scene is set up. This is their 3rd actor-director collaboration. Bennett also scores.
Kip Bennett talking with director and close friend Joe Zappa before the next scene is set up. This is their 3rd actor-director collaboration. Bennett also scores.

 We have planned this potboiler around a shooting process spanning from this April to August. Our narrative chronology and the consistency of our continuity depends on facilitating this schedule. We need your help to make this happen.

We hope you're as excited as we are to see this whole bloody mess come together.
We hope you're as excited as we are to see this whole bloody mess come together.

In return, you will have had a personal stake in creating a truly exciting, emotional and exceptionally intense cutting-edge suspense series that will help further pave the way for this new generation's emerging marketplace for original filmmaking, where the relationship between storyteller and audience is closer and more in sync than ever before. 

On fumes in the wee hours with sound engineer James Bailey, known for his 2013 feature film Home.
On fumes in the wee hours with sound engineer James Bailey, known for his 2013 feature film Home.

Along with Austin, New Orleans and Pittsburgh, Cincinnati has rapidly grown as a hub for filmmakers in just the past few years. Not only are major Hollywood movies routinely shot here, the local video production circuit is strong, close-knit and full of people with talent and skill to burn, and our familiarity with this city is our great advantage. We know how to best capture the undulating hills, vintage architecture and contrasting moods. To boot, we are by far one of the most artistic cities in the Midwest.

James and Zappa's previous director-cinematographer collaboration was The Last Checkmate (2013), starring Bob G. Elkins of Coal Miner's Daughter (1981).
James and Zappa's previous director-cinematographer collaboration was The Last Checkmate (2013), starring Bob G. Elkins of Coal Miner's Daughter (1981).

Your support ensures maximum care for this element of our project's production value, and thus empowers our city. Backing us not only gives you a voice in the emerging world of online entertainment, it also gives recognition and exposure to a great city full of history, art and culture, as well as those who continue to invest in it.

Like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/isyourheartracing) and follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, CreativeDistrict and MySpace.

Risks and challenges

For Brand Old Productions and our peers, Clever Girl has been and will continue to be unprecedented in our joint experience, because we have chosen to avoid the conventional avenues upon which we've routinely relied (short films, regional film festivals) to connect as directly as possible with the traffic of viewership most liable to take interest in our product.

Like every important production, it will be an expensive effort, and 100% of your donations go to the cost of insurance, permits, wardrobe, locations, props, quality cameras and lights, visual effects and the people committing their valuable time and passion.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    •your name listed on www.clevergirlwebseries.com in an exclusive special thanks section

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    •special thanks credit (IMDb)

    This creates a page for you on the Internet Movie Database, or if you already have one, this adds to your resume.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    •original Clever Girl soundtrack
    ˙signed by Kip Bennett

    Original music score by composer-star Kip Bennett

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    •original Clever Girl soundtrack
    ˙signed by Kip Bennett

    Original music score by composer-star Kip Bennett

    •season one poster

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    •full Season One Limited Edition DVD/blu ray, featuring:
    ˙audio commentary with cast and crew
    ˙behind-the-scenes footage

    •original Clever Girl soundtrack
    ˙signed by Kip Bennett

    Original music score by composer-star Kip Bennett

    •season one poster

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    •featured extra on set during shooting

    Cincinnati, OH only. Transportation and lodging not included.

    •executive producer credit (IMDb credit)

    •full Season One Limited Edition DVD/blu ray, featuring:
    ˙audio commentary with cast and crew
    ˙behind-the-scenes footage

    •original Clever Girl soundtrack
    ˙signed by Kip Bennett

    Original music score by composer-star Kip Bennett

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    Pledge $1,300 or more About $1,300

    •COME TO OUR WRAP PARTY!
    ˙Meet all of your favorite characters in the flesh!

    Cincinnati, OH only. Transportation and lodging not included.

    •executive producer credit (IMDb credit)

    •full Season One Limited Edition DVD/blu ray, featuring:
    ˙audio commentary with cast and crew
    ˙behind-the-scenes footage

    •original Clever Girl soundtrack
    ˙signed by Kip Bennett

    Original music score by composer-star Kip Bennett

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

    •DINNER WITH THE KILLERS
    ˙Meet the real Chris (Kip Bennett) and Denise (Tifani Ahren Davis) for a lovely, exclusive evening of bloody fine dining and conversation.

    Cincinnati, OH only. Transportation and lodging not included.

    •executive producer credit (IMDb credit)

    •full Season One Limited Edition DVD/blu ray, featuring:
    ˙audio commentary with cast and crew
    ˙behind-the-scenes footage

    •original Clever Girl soundtrack
    ˙signed by Kip Bennett

    Original music score by composer-star Kip Bennett

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    Limited 0 backers
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  9. Select this reward

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

    •DINNER WITH THE KILLERS
    ˙Meet the real Chris (Kip Bennett) and Denise (Tifani Ahren Davis) for a lovely, exclusive evening of bloody fine dining and conversation.

    Cincinnati, OH only. Transportation and lodging not included.

    •COME TO OUR WRAP PARTY!
    ˙Meet all of your favorite characters in the flesh!

    Cincinnati, OH only. Transportation and lodging not included.

    •executive producer credit (IMDb credit)

    •full Season One Limited Edition DVD/blu ray, featuring:
    ˙audio commentary with cast and crew
    ˙behind-the-scenes footage

    •original Clever Girl soundtrack
    ˙signed by Kip Bennett

    Original music score by composer-star Kip Bennett

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
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Funding period

- (27 days)