About this project
KILL ME, DEADLY is a labor of love for an intrepid group of theatre and film artists that have collaborated for years. We first brought this story to life on stage with a live theater production in 2009 that played to sold-out houses and rave reviews. The script's subsequent publication has seen it performed on stages all across the US, Canada and Ireland. Now that it's ready for its close up, we're bringing the story to the medium it was always intended for: film. KILL ME, DEADLY is a love letter to the classic Hollywood noirs of the 1940s; full of memorable characters, snappy dialogue and gorgeous black and white cinematography that transports you back to the world of Bogie and Bacall, molls and gangsters, femme fatales and hapless private eyes - all with enough intrigue and action to send Billy Wilder's head spinning. But what makes KILL ME, DEADLY unique are the laughs! We take this beloved genre back to its roots with a razor-sharp comedic spin, concocting a gorgeous cocktail for the eyes and ears that will require the viewer to wear their finest laughing pants. Our top-notch cast of actors and an incredibly talented crew have worked hard to make this a film that will delight cinema lovers all around the world, and with your help we can make it happen.
Kirsten Vangsness as renowned vibraphonist and torch singer, Mona Livingston, Kirsten's performance runs the gamut from mysterious sex kitten to unpredictable psychopath - often within the same scene!
You know and love Kirsten from CBS’s CRIMINAL MINDS where she plays the wacky and lovable techie, Garcia. Kirsten brings all her wonderful charm and range to this fascinating character that will have you laughing and wondering just what lengths Mona will go to achieve her goals.
Joe Mantegna as Bugsy Siegel - the very desperate Las Vegas investor with a deadly attachment to the Bengal Diamond.
Joe is a beloved veteran of stage and screen, best known for his roles in The Godfather Part III, House of Games, Bugsy, Homicide, Three Amigos and the voice of Fat Tony on The Simpsons.
Lesley-Anne Down as Lady Clairmont - the fantastically wealthy, powerful and heartless widow with a passion for coconuts.
Lesley-Anne achieved fame as Georgina Worsley in the English drama series Upstairs, Downstairs (the precursor of today's Downton Abbey). She received further recognition for her performances in the films The Pink Panther Strikes Again , A Little Night Music, The First Great Train Robbery, Hanover Street, Sphinx and Nomads . She is also known as Madeline Fabray LaMotte Main in the miniseries North and South, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. Lesley-Anne also played the role Stephanie Rogers in the series Dallas, Olivia Blake in the NBC series Sunset Beach and most recently she portrayed Jackie Marone Knight in The Bold and the Beautiful. Her incredible charm, grace, beauty and wickedness make her Lady Clairmont a very memorable character that you will love to hate.
Dean Lemont as Charlie Nickels - the slightly clueless private dick, determined to solve the Bengal Diamond case.
Dean channels his inner Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade as he brings Charlie Nickels to the screen - the role he created in the original stage production - bringing a hilariously obtuse blend of old-school cool and naggingly persistent befuddlement.
Comedian Paul F. Tompkins as Jaimie - the highly educated gardner at the Clairmont Mansion.
Paul is best known for his work in television on such programs as Mr. Show with Bob and David, Real Time with Bill Maher and Best Week Ever. He is the host of The Pod F Tompkast, which was ranked #1 by Rolling Stone’s list of “The 10 Best Comedy Podcast of the moment”.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg! This cast is chock-full of super talented actors - both famous and not-so famous - who are doing this movie because THEY BELIEVE IN IT!
As you can see, we already have tons of great footage and stills from our first phase of shooting. We have shot approximately 50% of the film and we will be finishing this summer. We have spent a significant amount of money in laying the groundwork and shooting some of the most complicated scenes, but now we need your help to finish what we started! Bringing a beautiful throwback period film to life complete with gorgeous sets, vintage props and 40s-style costumes on this tight budget takes a lot of hard work and moxie. Most Hollywood movies have a budget 25 to 50 times bigger than ours! Even though much of the film is being financed with private investment we are short of our final goal and this is where YOU can really make a difference in making movie magic.
HALFWAY THERE We have a little more than half of the funding we need to finish principal photography. The money we have in hand covers cast and crew salaries for all the various departments it takes to make a movie of this scale - grips, electric, lighting, set construction, food, props, painters, accounting, insurance, production assistants, etc... You should know that although we run a tight ship, everyone that works on this movie is like a member of our family. The set is a GREAT place to work - and while no one is getting rich, everybody loves being a part of this project! But despite the fact our cast and crew are working at reduced rates, the expenses add up.
The money we receive from Kickstarter will pay for equipment rentals, location fees, prop rental or builds, set building, building materials, wardrobe rentals and construction, and all the other costs associated with shooting a movie. The goal amount allows us to get the whole film in the can. Any money raised above and beyond our goal will be used for post production costs, such as editing, musical score and sound mixing.
We have some great locations to shoot this summer: The Clairmont Mansion, the dark alley behind Tony’s Liquor Lounge, the Laurel Canyon crime scene, rear projection driving sequences with footage of old Hollywood speeding by in the background and other scenes that take place in apartments, flophouses and even a fog-shrouded Echo Park Bridge!
We are an intrepid band of creative souls making a movie on our terms. We want to make this feature without micro-analyzing the demographic marketplace and making deals with the devil. We don’t want naysayers attempting to drown our dreams and steer us away from the way we see it going down (which happens often in mainstream Hollywood ). We know people love film noir and people love to laugh. We are bringing those two loves into one motion picture and we will be damned if anyone will stop us from bringing it to you!
- director - Darrett Sanders
- writer - Bill Robens
- director of photography - Nicolas Trikonis
- production designer - Krystyna Loboda
- costume designer - Kimberly Freed
- art director - Scott Enge
- composer - Bill Newlin
As you can see from the still photos and clips, the film looks amazing, and it’s all due to the intense creativity of our amazing crew! From the director to the production assistants, KILL ME, DEADLY is a true labor of love, brought to life by talented artists of all stripes.
We have some terrific rewards for everyone at all different contribution levels (look over to the right - we've got TONS of them!!). But we know a lot of people will hear of KILL ME, DEADLY because of our lead actress (and one of our producers) Kirsten Vangsness. So we thought it would be fun to come up with some rewards that are uniquely "Kirsten". If for a moment you had any doubt as to Kirsten's dedication to completing this labor of love, take a look a the clips below. These prizes may be a bit ridiculous (perhaps even humiliating) but they will indeed be very unique and lots of fun. (And if you don't want any stuff but would still like to contribute, click on the green pledge button and select any amount you choose to give.) THANKS!
· Travel, lodging and transportation to events and set visits not included in any reward bundle · Must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to attend events (premiere, set visits, special activites) · Some rewards may require additional paperwork (to protect us and you)
We hope you like what you see. And if you would like to be a part of the KMD community we would love to have you. It takes a village to make a film. A dedicated group of artists and technicians start it, but it is the supporters that really bring it into the world. And we are so excited to share our art baby with the world. This film has been years in the making and we want 2014 to be the year everyone gets to see it. With your help we can get it in the can in late summer and onto post-production in the fall. Thanks so much for your time and we hope we get to meet you along the way.
- The KMD Team
- John Money - Kirsten Vangsness - Bill Robens - Darrett Sanders - Wendi West - Dean Lemont - Kelsey Wedeen - Phinneas Kiyomura
and please join us on Facebook
Risks and challenges
KILL ME, DEADLY is an extremely ambitious first movie for a production company to undertake. To make it worse, we compounded the risk by starting filming without all of the money in place. What a bunch of screw-ups! Except we're not. We knew people weren't going to take us seriously since we've never produced a full-length film before, and here we show up with a period piece comedy, played straight and without big-name movie stars. We could not expect outside investors to trust that our outrageous, comedic play would translate to the screen using the visual palette and style of classic noir, so we thought that the only way to prove to others and to ourselves that it worked was to shoot some scenes. We were pleased to discover (and we think you'll agree from the clips provided) that the humor and style really click. Unfortunately, that's not enough. We took the footage to people in the industry and we kept hearing the same things over and over... "it's so funny", I love it", " I can't wait to see it when it's done". So we figured "OK, let's just keep going." It might seem crazy to continue filming knowing we didn't have enough money to complete it, but the other option was to just sit around and hope. Making movies is super hard. Finding money is harder. Even films with A-list stars can take years to find funding. The landscape for financing, foreign pre-sales, etc.. has changed so much in the last few years that small films like ours cannot get gap financing or upfront money within the industry, so all the money has to come from private investors and crowd sourcing. We took the risk. But what the hell? What is life for if you can't put all your energy into something you love, regardless of the consequences? We hope you feel the same way and will join us in our risky endeavor to make a kind of fun, crazy comedy that no one's ever made before . Thank You!!!!
Regarding Legal Stuff:
We have completed the necessary steps and hurdles for any proper film to be picked up for distribution including; Liability Insurance, Copyrights, Production Insurance, Errors & Omissions, Filming Permits, Clearance Reports, SAG / DGA / WGA Contracts, and Title Searches.
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