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The live-action feature film adaptation of Graham Salisbury's best-selling young adult book. How far would you go to defend your honor?
The feature film adaptation of Graham Salisbury's best-selling young adult novel. How far would you go to defend your honor?
The feature film adaptation of Graham Salisbury's best-selling young adult novel. How far would you go to defend your honor?
268 backers pledged $52,035 to help bring this project to life.

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Under the Blood-Red Sun

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“We are what we choose to be. Fortunate kids learn this truth early on – from a parent, a mentor, a committed teacher, a friend. But not all are so fortunate as to have such guides. This is where stories can make a real difference."  -- Graham Salisbury, author of Under the Blood-Red Sun

UPDATE: A MESSAGE FROM GRAHAM

Graham Salisbury shares a special message about what being a writer means to him:

Hi Kickstarter:

Kids have been writing to author Graham Salisbury for the last twenty years about his book, Under the Blood-Red Sun-- are the characters real? Did you ever have a best friend like Billy? When does Tomi’s dad come home? When is it going to be a movie?

We are excited to finally announce that a live-action feature film of Under the Blood-Red Sun has been in development for some time.

20 years of letters from fans of Under the Blood-Red Sun
20 years of letters from fans of Under the Blood-Red Sun

For the past year our team has been in pre-production on Under the Blood-Red Sun, planning and pulling together all of the resources required to make a movie that will do the book-- and its millions of fans-- justice.

We’re nearly there, but now we need your support to make Under the Blood-Red Sun a reality.

The book’s author, Graham Salisbury, has even written the screenplay. It captures the essence of the book and adds several new scenes to bring the story to life like never before.

All of the pieces to make this film are coming together, including an amazingly talented cast, a crew that can do anything, incredible locations, authentic period wardrobe, and much of the funding. Our Kickstarter goal represents the final push we need to be able to start shooting this November.

Please help us say “Action” this November by backing this project and joining us in bringing the world of Under the Blood-Red Sun to life.

THE STORY

December 7, 1941 — thirteen-year-old Tomikazu Nakaji and his best friend, Billy Davis, are playing baseball in a field near their homes when Japan launches a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

As Tomi looks up at the sky and recognizes the Blood-Red Sun emblem on the amber fighter planes, he knows that his life has changed forever.

His father and grandfather, both Japanese Americans, are quickly arrested and taken to internment camps. His mother loses her job just because she is Japanese.

With the absence of his father, Tomi must quickly learn to provide for his family while also dealing with the increased scrutiny he and his family receive simply due to the color of their skin.

Loyalties are questioned, friendships are strained, and Tomi's strong sense of duty and honor is put to the biggest test of his life.

THE CAST

We are excited to have a talented all-star cast ready to bring your favorite characters from Under the Blood-Red Sun to life:

  • Kyler Shim Sakamoto as Tomikazu “Tomi” Nakaji
  • Kalama Epstein as Billy Davis
  • Academy Award-Winner, Chris Tashima as Papa Taro Nakaji - He
  • Autumn Ogawa as Mama Nakaji
  • Dann Seki as Grampa (Ojii-chan)
  • Wil Kahele as Charlie
  •  Bryce Lee Moore as Keet Wilson
  • Benen Weir as Jake Davis
  • Shiro Kawai as Sanji the fisherman
  • Ming Kay Miyamoto as Reiko, Sanji’s wife
  • Mina Kohara as Kimi Nakaji
  • Aidan James & Marco Lopez as Mose and Rico

THE FACTS

Under the Blood-Red Sun is loved by millions of readers of all ages. Here are just some of the book’s many accolades:

  • Estimated total readership of over 3 million
  • Over 655,000 copies sold
  • Required reading in middle schools across the nation
  • 20th Anniversary Edition to be published in 2014 by Random House
  • Phoenix Honor Book Award from the Children's Literature Association for "high literary merit and lasting significance" (2014)
  • American Library Association - Best Books for Young Adults
  • Parent's Choice Honor Award 
  • Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
  • Library of Congress: Notable Children's Book of the Year

THE TEAM

At the helm, we have a veritable dream team of people who are all passionate about making Under the Blood-Red Sun:

GRAHAM SALISBURY - AUTHOR/SCREENWRITER

Graham is the author of 18 award-winning young-adult novels, including Night of the Howling Dogs, Eyes of the Emperor, House of the Red Fish, and the popular Calvin Coconut series.

Graham grew up in Kona, Hawaii, surfed with a shark, got stung by a Portuguese man o’ war, swam for his life from a moray eel, didn’t wear shoes until the 6th grade, didn’t see snow until he was 19, and was the lead singer in a rock band called The Millennium. Yup, all true.

TIM SAVAGE - DIRECTOR

Director of critically acclaimed productions such as Goodbye Paradise,numerous TV programs, specials, and films including award-winning The Lemon Tree Billiards House about a young guy who thinks a curse at birth is holding him back from living a good life.

Tim has directed over 100 TV commercials, received at least 12 awards, 1 wife, 2 kids, 2 yappy dogs, and a genuinely great guy with a bazillion friends - everyone knows Tim. Yup, all true.

DANA SATLER HANKINS - PRODUCER

Over 30 years in the film industry with production credits in films such as The Tempest (directed Julie Taymor, starring Helen Mirren), Chief (Official Sundance Selection), Picture Bride (Official Sundance and Cannes Film Festival Selections), Bird On A Wire, Stakeout, Short Circuit, American Flyers, WarGames, Blue Thunder, 4 more short films, over 100 TV commercials.

She is married to 1 retired USN submarine captain husband, has twin 23 year-old redheaded daughters, and is great at multitasking and carrying on two conversations at once. Yup, all true.

THE MISSION

We shoot in November. We're prepped, we're ready, we've called in all the favors we've amassed over many years in the industry working on everything from feature films to commercials.

We've raised funds from grants, foundations, non-profit organizations, corporations, and wealthy aunts/uncles.

We have a great cast, terrific locations, MacGyver-trained crew, period props (real baseball gloves from the 1940s - phew!), Lucky the dog, and the support from family and friends.

Now we're reaching out to ask for your support during this final stage to raise the remaining funds we'll need to begin shooting in November.

What we need (hint: it’s YOU)

Please join us on this journey. We need your help in reaching out to everyone who's ever read the book in school, or read it by choice, and has been moved by young Tomi's courage.

We're offering some great rewards for backers. Your contribution will go toward paying our talented actors and seasoned crew of MacGuyver-trained pros, location fees, and for renting period vehicles, props, and wardrobe.

Graham, Dana, and Tim have deferred all fees and expenses so that every pledge goes directly to making the film.

Why we need it

It's tough to find funding for an exciting, dramatic film with a great story and terrific characters if it doesn't also have sex, drugs, violence, wizards with flying broomsticks, or an apocalyptic end to the world as we know it.

Your support will bring a unique character-driven story that is perfect for the entire family with strong values and colorful characters to life.

Why you should join us

The experiences of characters like Tomi and Billy will shape young people’s ideas of how other people ought to be treated.

Under the Blood-Red Sun is a film that helps young people learn tolerance and respect for others’ differences. Tolerance is a way of thinking and feeling — but most importantly, of acting — that gives us peace in our individuality, respect for those unlike us, the wisdom to discern humane values, and the courage to act upon them.

Many thanks and much aloha for joining us on this journey,

-- Graham, Tim and Dana

Join us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about Under the Blood-Red Sun and for exclusive information and updates!

Music: "Don't Close Your Eyes" by Josh Woodward

Risks and challenges

As with any feature film production, there are inherent risks, but we have actively taken steps to offset many of these risks through contingency plans and a seasoned team of professionals with decades of experience in the film and television industry.

Regarding reward fulfillment to backers, we have already set up an infrastructure for handling fulfillment, including making arrangements with suppliers to accommodate the production and distribution of rewards to backers in a timely manner.

At the end of the day though, we are so passionate about Under the Blood-Red Sun that we will plow through any obstacles that threaten to keep us from bringing this powerful story to you, our wonderful fans.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    EARLY BIRD BACKER: For being our first backers, you get access to exclusive video updates from the set every day during filming in addition to the advanced HD digital download of the film.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    ADVANCED DIGITAL SCREENING: HD digital download of the film. See the finished film before anyone else in full 1080p DRM-free glory.

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    8 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ADVANCED DVD: The film on DVD well before the official release. See the finished film before anyone else in the comfort of your living room. Includes advanced HD digital download.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    ADVANCED BLU-RAY: HD 1080p Blu-ray of the film well before the official release. See the finished film before anyone else in the comfort of your living room. Includes advanced HD digital download.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    CREW GEAR: SHIRT: Join our crew as an honorary member and receive the same limited edition t-shirt that only you and the members of the crew will ever own. Includes Blu-ray (or DVD) and HD digital download of the film.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    CREW GEAR: SHIRT & HAT: Just like the director, you get a limited edition t-shirt and snazzy baseball cap that only you and the members of the crew will ever own. Includes Blu-ray (or DVD) and HD digital download of the film.

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    AUTOGRAPHED BOOK: The perfect gift for a fan of the book. Get a paperback copy of Under the Blood-Red Sun signed by author Graham Salisbury with a personal message to you or anyone you choose. Includes Blu-ray (or DVD), HD digital download, and limited edition crew gear.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    AUTOGRAPHED SCREENPLAY: Uber-fan special. Get a copy of the screenplay for Under the Blood-Red Sun signed by writer Graham Salisbury with a personal message to you or anyone you choose. Includes Blu-ray (or DVD), HD digital download, and limited edition crew gear.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    DIRECTOR'S TREASURE BOX: See what it's like to sit in the director's chair. You get a full-color replica of director Tim Savage's notebook for Under the Blood-Red Sun, containing years of notes, reference photos, and drawings that inspired the making of the film. In addition you get a copy of the screenplay signed by Graham and Tim as well as copies of actual production materials such as daily call sheets, shooting schedules, and storyboards. Includes Blu-ray (or DVD), HD digital download, and limited edition crew gear.

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

    OWN A PIECE OF THE FILM: Keep everything in sync with an authentic slate (clapper board) that was used on set during production of the film. The slate will have the actual details from the last scene in the film that it was used on and will be signed by director Tim Savage and author Graham Salisbury. Includes all non-limited rewards.

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

    VIP SET VISIT: You and a guest are invited to the set as VIP guests of author Graham Salisbury and director Tim Savage. Schmooze and enjoy lunch with cast and crew as you get a behind the scenes look at the making of the film. Perfect for father & son visits. (Travel and lodging not included) Includes all non-limited rewards.

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

    BE IN THE FILM: Step into the world of Under the Blood-Red Sun as a featured Extra in the film. You will be in a scene featuring Tomi and Billy. (Must be available in Honolulu, Hawaii during filming in November. Travel and lodging not included) Includes all non-limited rewards.

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

    SKYPE VIDEO CHAT WITH GRAHAM: Live 45 minute video chat with author Graham Salisbury. This is your chance to talk to the author himself and ask all of your burning questions about Under the Blood-Red Sun or any of Graham's 17 other books! The video chat can also be held with an entire classroom of students. Includes all non-limited rewards.

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

    DINNER WITH TIM AND GRAHAM: You and a guest are invited to have dinner with director Tim Savage and author Graham Salisbury in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii. Spend an evening discussing the book, the film, and more! (Travel and lodging not included) Includes all non-limited rewards.

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

    PRIVATE SCREENING FOR YOUR SCHOOL: A private screening of the film just for your school or or book club or organization followed by Q&A with author Graham Salisbury himself! You provide the auditorium and we'll bring the popcorn. Open to any school in the USA. Includes all non-limited rewards.

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Funding period

- (30 days)