Project image
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$13,849
pledged of 35 000 $pledged of 35 000 $ goal
95
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, December 15 2013 6:31 PM UTC +00:00
$13,849
pledged of 35 000 $pledged of 35 000 $ goal
95
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, December 15 2013 6:31 PM UTC +00:00

About

Leif, what kind of film are you making?

I was drawn to Black Friday by the spectacle. Over the years I had seen news reports—like the man who was trampled in Walmart when the doors opened—and I had heard first-hand accounts of “how crazy it was.” It surprised me that no one had made a documentary about the day. 

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day in the world. In 2010, 212 million Americans spent $45 billion during 24 hours of shopping. The day before Black Friday is Thanksgiving, a holiday dedicated to giving. Yet ironically, starting just hours after Thanksgiving dinner, Americans are consumed with trying to get as much as possible. 

I was sure that Black Friday was the villain. But what I ended up with was something completely different….

Shoppers with a new TV in tow...
Shoppers with a new TV in tow...

The story

A compulsive shopper, Heather, sets out to buy her daughter’s affection; and a daring Santa Claus, Richard, leaves the malls so he can stay with his family.

Heather, prepping to take on Black Friday
Heather, prepping to take on Black Friday

Heather's friends say that she's "kinda crazy." She dresses up as homeless person and puts on root hormone to make herself smell like a dead animal. It's all part of her strategy to drive other shoppers away and get the best deal. In Heather's opinion, erratic behavior, questionable choices, and financial risk are all worthwhile in order to make this Christmas special for her 7-year-old daughter. 

Santa's Northshore workshop
Santa's Northshore workshop

 Richard loves being Santa Claus—despite the occasional toddler who pees on his costume or 200lb ladies who want to sit on his lap. For him, Christmas is 365 days a year...and Richard is worn out working for the malls and living on the road every season. This year he has decided to take a big risk so he can stay close to his wife and grandkids for the holidays.

This is not a story about the spectacle of Black Friday or "corporate greed." Instead, this is a story about the perfect Christmas gift— sacrificing our time to be with the people that we love.

What's stopping you from finishing the film?

In 2010 I poured my time into organizing production. I was able to get funding through a Chattanooga arts grant, MakeWork, and the generous donations of film gear and soft support from my Alma Mater. I went to work with a 22-person production team—fielding six crews for the week of Thanksgiving, while shooting in the biggest retail centers in Southeastern Tennessee.

I had enough funding to shoot the film, but not finish it. I need a post-production team to help me complete the movie.

OK Leif, I like what you're saying but what exactly do you need $35,000 for?

Funding would allow me to build a team that includes: An editor, assistant editor, composer, musicians, a colorist and animators.  

$12,000 = 4 months of editing - Imagine 100 hours of random shots. It's like a bad travelog from someone's vacation. Now imagine 60 minutes of your favorite TV show, say BBC's "Sherlock". There are twists and turns, anticipation, and a gasp of horror as Sherlock makes a fatal error in judgement...that is all thanks to the work of the editor. I'm going to bring on an experienced feature film editor for 4 months at well below market rate.

$15,000 = A composer and music licensing - Imagine the main character pausing to look off into the distance. Are they just taking a quiet moment to reflect on how happy they are? Or are they trying to control their anger by focusing their attention on something else? We don't know. The soundtrack is the emotional guide to what we are seeing. With your help we can hire a composer and license some Christmas classics!

I already have on board one amazing musician! Lon Eldridge, a Chattanooga blues musician is joining the soundtrack. Lon will be performing some Christmas classics with his unique arrangement and buttery voice.

Your support will also go to:

  • $6,000 = Illustrating national trends by creating some animated sequences and infographics.

  • $2,000 = Properly polishing the visuals with color grading.

Lon Eldridge
Lon Eldridge

How do we make it happen?

Kickstarter isn’t magic. It’s just a really great tool to organize fundraising.

By reading this far, I know you care enough to give $10. (That's the same that you would pay to watch a movie in the theater—by yourself, without popcorn or a drink). I also know that you care enough to stop reading for a minute and share a link to this page with 2 of your friends. Honestly, it's the same as texting them to say: "Hey, wanna watch a movie?"

Your voice matters and people stop and listen when you say something. Your message could be as simple as, "Hey, my friend is making a movie. It's a documentary about Black Friday. He needs your $10 to make it happen."

If every backer gave $10 we'd need 3,500 people to back the project. I don't know about you, but for me, that's 10x the number of people I have in my network.

When will I get to see the movie?

The film will be finished by December 2014.

What does success look like?

We'll finish the movie, telling our unique "This American Life" style Christmas story. By touring the film in the national festival circuit we can ignite a conversation about how to reclaim the joy of Christmas.

Risks and challenges

This is not our first rodeo in making a film, but when it comes to distribution I'm a novice. Fortunately I have some expert advisors that I'll rely on for guidance. When the movie is done, the plan is to go film festivals, using that distribution platform to build acclaim.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    POST-PRODUCTION DIARY// You'll get to be a part of the movie making club and experience what it's like to make an indie documentary film in post-production. Every two weeks I'll keep you updated with a video memo from me and behind-the-scenes clips with the post-production crew.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    BACKER'S THANK YOU SCREENING + WEBSITE SPECIAL THANKS// Exclusive live movie screening that you can stream from your computer or mobile device. I'll host at least three and hangout after the film to answer questions via online Q&A. Plus, get your name and a link of your choice (website/project/portfolio) on the Special Thanks page of our website.

    You'll also get the Post-Production Diary.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF "BLACK FRIDAY" + FILM CREDITS// Get a digital download of the finished movie and the extras from the making of the film, including outtakes and an interviews with the director and crew about the challenges of filming. Plus, you'll get your name in the film credits.

    You'll also get an invite to our Backer's Thank You Screening, your name and link of choice on our website, and the Post-Production Diary.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    BLACK FRIDAY TEE SHIRT// I'm designing a tee shirt just for our backers. This is not going to be your typical XXL-sized pocket tee with a pharmaceutical company's logo. The tee I'm designing you could wear on a date with a tailored blazer and jeans.

    You'll also get a digital download of "BLACK FRIDAY," your name in the credits of the film, an invite to our Backer's Thank You Screening, your name and link of choice on our website, and the Post-Production Diary.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    DOWNLOAD THE SOUNDTRACK WITH LON ELDRIDGE// Be the first to hear the soundtrack for the film with original arrangements by an amazing old-time blues musician, Lon Eldridge.

    You'll also get our designer tee shirt, a digital download of "BLACK FRIDAY," your name in the credits of the film, an invite to our Backer's Thank You Screening, your name and link of choice on our website, and the Post-Production Diary.

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    PHOTO PACKAGE WITH SANTA RICHARD @ SANTA'S NORTH SHORE WORKSHOP// **Chattanooga only** See Santa's workshop and get your photos taken with Santa Richard from the film. (Reward is available for Christmas 2013! Travel not included.)

    You'll also get a digital download of the soundtrack, our designer tee shirt, a digital download of "BLACK FRIDAY," your name in the credits of the film, an invite to our Backer's Thank You Screening, your name and link of choice on our website, and the Post-Production Diary.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    SIGNED "BLACK FRIDAY" POSTER - ART PRINT// A Chattanooga artist's screen print of the poster signed by me and the principle crew members.

    You'll also get a digital download of the soundtrack, our designer tee shirt, a digital download of "BLACK FRIDAY," your name in the credits of the film, an invite to our Backer's Thank You Screening, your name and link of choice on our website, and the Post-Production Diary.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    HAND-WRITTEN, WAX-SEALED CUSTOM LETTER FROM SANTA /// You provide Santa with a few details about the naughty or nice child in your life and he'll compose a custom letter in calligraphy on beautiful parchment. Each letter will come wax-sealed and "postmarked" from the North Pole.

    You'll also get a signed poster, a digital download of the soundtrack, our designer tee shirt, a digital download of "BLACK FRIDAY," your name in the credits of the film, an invite to our Backer's Thank You Screening, your name and link of choice on our website, and the Post-Production Diary.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    PREMIUM PHOTO PACKAGE WITH SANTA RICHARD @ SANTA'S NORTH SHORE WORKSHOP// **Chattanooga only** See Santa's workshop and get your premium Christmas photos taken with Santa Richard from the film. (Reward is available for Christmas 2013! However, travel not included.)

    You'll also get a signed poster, a digital download of the soundtrack, our designer tee shirt, a digital download of "BLACK FRIDAY," your name in the credits of the film, an invite to our Backer's Thank You Screening, your name and link of choice on our website, and the Post-Production Diary.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SANTA RICHARD READS YOUR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS STORY// Delivered as a special video reading right in your inbox—Santa Richard reads your favorite Christmas story on camera (length limited to 5-minutes).

    You'll also get a signed poster, a digital download of the soundtrack, our designer tee shirt, a digital download of "BLACK FRIDAY," your name in the credits of the film, an invite to our Backer's Thank You Screening, your name and link of choice on our website, and the Post-Production Diary.

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

    A VETTED SANTA CLAUS COMES TO YOUR PARTY OR EVENT (ANYWHERE IN THE U.S.) // This seems crazy, but we can almost *guarantee* that we'll get a Santa Claus vetted by our own Santa Richard, to come out to your party anywhere in the lower 48 United States. (Apparently Santas are a VERY WELL connected group on Facebook) It's Christmas magic even cooler than dropping down a chimney.

    You'll also get a signed poster, a digital download of the soundtrack, our designer tee shirt, a digital download of "BLACK FRIDAY," your name in the credits of the film, an invite to our Backer's Thank You Screening, your name and link of choice on our website, and the Post-Production Diary.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    HOME PREMIERE// **Includes travel to anywhere in the lower 48 United States** I will bring the film to your home (or coffee shop) for a personal screening with you and 25 friends and a special "fireside Q&A" after the film.

    You'll also get a signed poster, a digital download of the soundtrack, our designer tee shirt, a digital download of "BLACK FRIDAY," your name in the credits of the film, an invite to our Backer's Thank You Screening, your name and link of choice on our website, and the Post-Production Diary.

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

    ANIMATION OF YOUR FAVORITE BLACK FRIDAY OR CHRISTMAS STORY + EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT // Tell us your favorite Christmas or Black Friday story. Our animation team will create a 45-second animated retelling of your story to include in the finished film. Plus, you'll get Executive Producer credit for your generous support!

    You'll also get a signed poster, a digital download of the soundtrack, our designer tee shirt, a digital download of "BLACK FRIDAY," your name in the credits of the film, an invite to our Backer's Thank You Screening, your name and link of choice on our website, and the Post-Production Diary.

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Funding period

- (21 days)