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A straight-laced law student struggles to keep his gangster brother out of trouble before the biggest court date of his life.
381 backers pledged $35,650 to help bring this project to life.
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Then There Was Joe - A Comedy Feature Film project video thumbnail
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$35,650

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My brother is the most complex person I've ever met. He's a hardcore thug one minute, kicking it in the streets with America's most wanted, then ten minutes later, he could shake hands with the President...and totally fit in. He's absolutely brilliant. But he does dumb things. We were raised by the same parents, but came out opposites. He's a walking paradox. An oxymoron. You know, like "jumbo shrimp." He's the inspiration for this film, "Then There Was Joe." And my brother supports this film 100%.

Me as a baby and my brother. He was sweet and innocent.
Me as a baby and my brother. He was sweet and innocent.
Then he went CRAY. This mugshot was seen by over 20 million people when my family was featured on CNN's Black in America.
Then he went CRAY. This mugshot was seen by over 20 million people when my family was featured on CNN's Black in America.

This film is a feature-length comedy dealing with family issues. The only way I know how to deal with conflict is through laughter, because if I don't laugh, I will bawl my eyes out like a small child who spilled his Capri Sun. The relationship between Joe and his younger brother, Ben, is the heart of the movie. They begin the movie as strangers and, through the crazy journey, they finally become brothers. I wrote this movie because my relationship with my brother is next to nonexistent. It's my attempt to understand him, to make sense of our broken relationship, and to help heal other broken families.

Warren brother sandwich (1988)
Warren brother sandwich (1988)

WHY NOW?

Making a feature film has been a dream of mine since I was nine years old, when I first starting writing and starring in my own movies. I have been acting on stage since I was three years old, and later graduated from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas with a bachelors degree in Theatre Arts and Dance. Last year, I finished USC film school, and after having made numerous short films, editing and sound mixing various projects professionally, I've finally reached a skill level where I'm confident I can deliver professional results for very little money. I've never been more excited to put all of my knowledge together.

Justin struts 'cross 'dat stage at USC.
Justin struts 'cross 'dat stage at USC.
Justin being dramatic on stage at Hendrix College.
Justin being dramatic on stage at Hendrix College.
Justin acting on stage at Hendrix College.
Justin acting on stage at Hendrix College.
Justin doing sound on set!
Justin doing sound on set!

Tell me more, J-Dub. Tell me more. 

Sure, no problem. I've met some amazingly talented friends in film school who are committed to helping me get this film made.

Charles Leisenring, fellow Trojan and our Director of Photography, crushin' it in Guatemala!
Charles Leisenring, fellow Trojan and our Director of Photography, crushin' it in Guatemala!
We're lucky to have one of USC's brightest, Neil Kimball, on our crew!
We're lucky to have one of USC's brightest, Neil Kimball, on our crew!

And my family is going to help me make it.

James "Butch" Warren, my father, is Executive Producer.
James "Butch" Warren, my father, is Executive Producer.
My wife, Heather, is one of the producers. She purdy.
My wife, Heather, is one of the producers. She purdy.

The only way this movie will happen is through the generosity of our friends, family, and complete strangers. The odds of success are really slim for independent filmmakers, but by God's grace, I've somehow always been able to beat the odds. I was blessed with parents who have always pushed me to pursue my dreams, no matter what. Big dreams only happen when you have faith in the impossible. My faith has brought me this far, and I have no intention of shrinking the size of my dreams. I believe the world needs this film because it will positively impact the lives of others. I'm all-in with this film. I have no plan B.

Your donations will help us: 

  • Pay and feed our tiny crew (12 hour work days for 20 + days) 
  • Hire a professional actor to play Joe 
  • Equipment Rental 
  • Post Production (Editing, Sound, Color)

This movie will contain strong language. 

Most people who know me will find that shocking. I mainly write PG-rated family films. But this is an R-rated family film. Yes, I know that sounds weird. The theme of family runs strong through every page of the script, but it is not possible to accurately portray my brother without depicting some of his character flaws. All of this subject matter will be dealt with comedically. 

 

Risks and challenges

$33,000 may sound like a lot of money, but for a feature film it is very little. The biggest risks and challenges will stem from constantly striving to put the most value on the screen while spending the money as wisely as possible. This movie will be achieved by working harder than we've ever worked and striving higher than we have ever dreamed. It will test us and it will stretch us. But we have a brilliant team and I'm absolutely confident that we can achieve this. To take potential errors into account, we have planned for three extra days for filming, in the event that the shooting schedule changes due to something unforeseen. In Arkansas it's called "weather."

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    Justin will publicly THANK YOU on social media and you'll receive email updates on the progress of the film

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You'll receive a digital download of Justin's newest EP, "Of Our Own Design (part 1)," before it's available anywhere else!

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    -Justin will publicly THANK YOU on social media and you'll receive email updates on the progress of the film

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    You'll receive a digital HD download of the finished film

    Plus:
    -public THANK YOU on social media
    -email updates on the progress of the film

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    49 backers
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    You'll receive a PDF copy of the shooting script once the film is finished filming.

    Plus:
    -digital HD download of the finished film
    -public THANK YOU on social media
    -email updates on the progress of the film

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You'll receive a digital download of EXCLUSIVE behind the scenes photos of the movie in production and a download of the movie poster!

    Plus:
    -PDF copy of the shooting script
    -digital HD download of the finished film
    -public THANK YOU on social media
    -email updates on the progress of the film

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    78 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    You'll receive an HD download of a blooper reel along with a special thanks in the end credits of the film!

    Plus:
    -digital download of EXCLUSIVE behind the scenes photos of the movie in production
    -digital download of the movie poster
    -PDF copy of the shooting script
    -digital HD download of the finished film
    -public THANK YOU on social media
    -email updates on the progress of the film

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You'll receive a 20 minute live stream from the set while the film is in production!

    Plus:
    -HD download of a blooper reel
    -special thanks in the end credits of the film
    -digital download of EXCLUSIVE behind the scenes photos of the movie in production
    -digital download of the movie poster
    -PDF copy of the shooting script
    -digital HD download of the finished film
    -public THANK YOU on social media
    -email updates on the progress of the film

    *Must be available during live stream broadcast*

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You'll receive a digital HD download of the film with the director's commentary discussing the making of the film!

    Plus:
    -20 min live stream from the set of the movie
    -HD download of a blooper reel
    -special thanks in the end credits of the film
    -digital download of EXCLUSIVE behind the scenes photos of the movie in production
    -digital download of the movie poster
    -PDF copy of the shooting script
    -digital HD download of the finished film
    -public THANK YOU on social media
    -email updates on the progress of the film

    *Must be available during live stream broadcast*

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    61 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A video of the cast and crew having a dance party in your honor!

    Plus:
    -HD download of the film with the director's commentary
    -20 min live stream from the set of the movie
    -HD download of a blooper reel
    -special thanks in the end credits of the film
    -digital download of EXCLUSIVE behind the scenes photos of the movie in production
    -digital download of the movie poster
    -PDF copy of the shooting script
    -digital HD download of the finished film
    -public THANK YOU on social media
    -email updates on the progress of the film

    *Must be available during live stream broadcast*

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Come and be an extra in the film!

    Plus:
    -video of the cast and crew having a dance party in your honor
    -HD download of the film with the director's commentary
    -20 min live stream from the set of the movie
    -HD download of a blooper reel
    -special thanks in the end credits of the film
    -digital download of EXCLUSIVE behind the scenes photos of the movie in production
    -digital download of the movie poster
    -PDF copy of the shooting script
    -digital HD download of the finished film
    -public THANK YOU on social media
    -email updates on the progress of the film

    *Must be available during live stream broadcast*

    *Travel and accommodations not included*

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Watch an early cut of the film and give Justin your feedback!

    Plus:
    -be an extra in the film
    -video of the cast and crew having a dance party in your honor
    -HD download of the film with the director's commentary
    -20 min live stream from the set of the movie
    -HD download of a blooper reel
    -special thanks in the end credits of the film
    -digital download of EXCLUSIVE behind the scenes photos of the movie in production
    -digital download of the movie poster
    -PDF copy of the shooting script
    -digital HD download of the finished film
    -public THANK YOU on social media
    -email updates on the progress of the film

    *Must be available during live stream broadcast*

    *Travel and accommodations not included*

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Justin will take you out for dinner in Los Angeles or Arkansas at the restaurant of your choosing.

    Plus:
    -watch an early cut of the film and give Justin your feedback
    -be an extra in the film
    -video of the cast and crew having a dance party in your honor
    -HD download of the film with the director's commentary
    -20 min live stream from the set of the movie
    -HD download of a blooper reel
    -special thanks in the end credits of the film
    -digital download of EXCLUSIVE behind the scenes photos of the movie in production
    -digital download of the movie poster
    -PDF copy of the shooting script
    -digital HD download of the finished film
    -public THANK YOU on social media
    -email updates on the progress of the film

    *Must be available during live stream broadcast*

    *Travel and accommodations not included*

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
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  13. Select this reward

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

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT! In other words, you're a total boss player. See your name in the movie along with an official credit on IMDB.com!

    Plus:
    -Justin will take you out for dinner in Los Angeles or Arkansas at the restaurant of your choosing
    -watch an early cut of the film and give Justin your feedback
    -be an extra in the film
    -video of the cast and crew having a dance party in your honor
    -HD download of the film with the director's commentary
    -20 min live stream from the set of the movie
    -HD download of a blooper reel
    -special thanks in the end credits of the film
    -digital download of EXCLUSIVE behind the scenes photos of the movie in production
    -digital download of the movie poster
    -PDF copy of the shooting script
    -digital HD download of the finished film
    -public THANK YOU on social media
    -email updates on the progress of the film

    *Must be available during live stream broadcast*

    *Travel and accommodations not included*

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    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)