UPDATE! MORE COOL STUFF! As the final hour nears, here are some brand new prizes you might want to grab before it's too late:
Behind the scenes documentary on Super 8 film! My creative collaborator Ross Meckfessel will be capturing the production of Uzi's Party in the most thematically appropriate way possible - experimentally, on small gauge film! Donors who pledge $5 will get a private link to stream the documentary.
Possession Scenes risograph prints! I have a small run of 11x17 blow-up prints of the original drawings from Possession Scenes issues 1-3! Donors who pledge $20 may receive a set of three in the mail, hand-numbered and extra disturbing.
Roommate's Guilty Rainbow LP with Plastic Crimewave screen print! I have been granted a few copies of one of my favorite albums to pass on to lucky donors! People who pledge $30 will receive this full-length LP, complete with a limited-edition silkscreened print by Steve Krakow (AKA Plastic Crimewave) and a link to digitally download the album in the format of your choice.
Uzi's Party is a film about a sleepover, a séance, and the singular aesthetic capabilities of 16mm film.
Five girls gather to hang out and commune with a Ouija board. The host, Uzi (short for Fairuza) tries to keep things in order while her party goes awry. After a short session with the Ouija board, one of the girls is no longer herself - or is she?
The girls in Uzi's Party will all be played by the same actress. And the footage will be shot in-camera, via matting, multiple exposure, and body doubles. What will begin as a stylized, strange (and funny) teen drama will eventually become a disturbing, complex inquiry into possession, identity, and the psychology of young women. As the story progresses, the visual logic will slowly fall apart until you, like the girls in the film, are no longer sure what's real and what's not.
I want to shoot Uzi's Party on 16mm because I love film, I am comfortable working with film, and because the restrictions inherent to shooting film are key in creating the right atmosphere. The unavoidable imprecision of in-camera techniques (not to mention natural grain and sensitivity to color) give film footage a vitality impossible to achieve in a digital environment, where everything is under control.
My sister, Johanna Hill, an experienced stage actress, has been my co-writer for this project and will star in all five roles. We've been talking about this movie for three years, and now is our chance to make it happen.
To get a better idea of my previous work and personal aesthetic, check out these clips from my films House Fuck and The Mystic, and the entirety of this intensive in-camera Super8 film: Untitled (Times For).
WHAT'S THE MONEY FOR?
A lot people are working on this movie for free: the actress, crew members, and the wonderful family whose home, for three weeks, will double as the film's location. I'd also like to thank Jeff Perlman, Ryan Gleeson, and Aren Zolninger for shooting my Kickstarter video, Tyson Torstensen for mixing sound, and Christy LeMaster along with everyone at the Nightingale for the generous use of their space.
But film is expensive! By far the largest slice of the handy pie chart below goes towards film stock, film processing, film printing, and film shipping. I'll be cutting and conforming Uzi's Party myself, but there are some steps that require a laboratory touch for best results.
The second largest slice will go towards feeding my cast and crew during production. They might be working for free, but I'm not going to let them starve. I know from experience that a well stocked, quality kitchen is the best way to keep a team upbeat and in good form.
The rest of the pie chart is split between costumes and props, transportation, Kickstarter fees, donor incentives, and air fare to fly Jojo, the star of Uzi's Party, from California to Chicago.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?
Aside from the satisfaction of supporting really, really independent cinema, a donation to Uzi's Party can get you any number of comics, prints, movies, music, and magical objects. (If you're into living free from material possessions, you can also donate without reciprocation.)
The film, of course, is also included! Starting at the $25 level, donors will receive a private link to stream Uzi's Party, and donors at the $50 level and above will receive a DVD in the mail. Especially generous supporters may sign up to receive a film print of the finished product. Additional awards include:
$20: Possession Scenes, issues 1-3
This is a series of mini-comics I started as research for Uzi's Party. Each issue encapsulates a possession scene from a different film or television series. Issues 1-3 are, in order: The Excorcist, Twin Peaks, and Possession. At the same donation level, you may instead receive a self-published, instructional zine on pinhole motion photography by experimental documentarian Thomas Comerford.
$30: Limited edition prints by Lyra Hill and Krystal DiFronzo
You may receive one of three limited edition prints: a three-color offset print called Motion Sickness, a one-color screen print called Mr. Square at the Pit of Despair (not pictured, graphic content), or one of two Wile E. Coyote prints by cartoonist Krystal DiFronzo.
$35: Self-published books, comics, and cassettes
You can choose between a cassette recording and accompanying booklet of Halle Butler's The Restaurant Business, donated by Dikarya Productions and Jenna Caravello; a book of short stories and illustrations by Chicago artist Mike Lopez; or Compiled, a collection of my short comics from 2008-2010.
$40: Independent feature films on DVD
You may choose between a DVD of The Indian Boundary Line, an experimental documentary about the border between Chicago and Evanston by Thomas Comerford, or a DVD of the first feature film by Jerzy Rose, Some Girls Never Learn, an adventure comedy about a psychic veterinarian who follows his girlfriend to the Underworld.
$45: Here Come the Wild Waves LP + booster pack
Tyson Torstensen, who will be scoring Uzi's Party, has generously donated several full-length LPs of Here Come the Wild Waves, by his band Magical Beautiful. This perk comes with a poster, pin, MP3 download and an EP CD release of earlier work.
$60: 2012 CUFF poster, 3D glasses, and pin
At this level you will receive a limited-edition, four-color, giant screen print of the poster I designed for the 2012 Chicago Underground Film Festival. This perk comes with a homemade pair of 3D glasses and a pin featuring the design. When you look through the glasses, the cave pops out and the crystal confounds your vision.
$80: Year pass to Brain Frame + any two posters
Brain Frame is a performative comix reading series that happens every two months in Chicago. It's really fun. If you donate at this level you'll receive free admission to Brain Frame from this September to July 2014 (in the coming year, I'll be touring around the country - so even if you don't live in Chicago you may be able to redeem your entry!) as well as any two screen printed posters from BF5 to BF12. Each of these posters is a limited-edition, high-quality, three-color screen print designed by myself and a different artist.
$200: Sacred objects made by Pagan priestesses
I am blessed to have grown up in a tradition that worships the Earth and the Divine Feminine, and even luckier to have this community donate artwork to Uzi's Party, my own mystical project. You may choose either a necklace featuring a silver Hand of Fatima protection charm, surrounded by amethyst, aquamarine, pearls, and laboradite, created in sacred space by a Pagan priestess skilled in the art of spellwork for protection, or one of two mosaic candleholders, meant to focus intention, call in allies and elements to manifest our greatest hopes and desires, and to strengthen our affirmations and resolve.
$300: I will draw you something
I used to work as a fine portrait artist at conventions. This is a portrait I drew of my sister Jojo (star of Uzi's Party) in 2008. If you donate at this level, I will draw a black and white 8x10 portrait of you, or anything else for which you have a photo reference.
If this campaign succeeds beyond my goal, the funds will help make this project even better. With extra resources, I'll be able to design and print a poster for Uzi's Party. I'll have more time to spend on the edit, color, and sound. I will be able to print multiple distribution copies and apply to film festivals (see below). I might even be able to treat my crew to a wrap party.
A film print is a physical object, and like any thing often handled, it suffers wear and tear. I've budgeted to produce three prints (not including the prints for donors) - one for myself, one to distribute, and one back up in case of damage. If I raise enough funds, I will be able to produce more, which means:
- I can send the film out to different locations at similar times. (This is huge.)
- I can apply for my film to be included in print libraries, like Canyon Cinema.
- I can apply to festivals including the Images Festival, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the Rotterdam International Film Festival.
- I have shown films before at Antimatter, the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, and the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, so application to these festivals will cost nothing - but I'll still need resources to ship my prints, should Uzi's Party be accepted.
Risks and challenges
Every film production is prone to setbacks. And there are unique challenges that come with making a 16mm film. Film stock is expensive and I will have a limited quantity. Equipment is cumbersome, and I'm borrowing mine from a lot of different places. I won't be able to view my footage until I send the negative to the lab and wait for a return print, so reshoots, if necessary, will be delayed.
I have taken these factors into consideration while preparing the budget and schedule for my film. I have enough footage for a 4:1 shooting ratio. I will send my negative out as I shoot the film, so I'll be able to view the results before production wraps and Jojo flies back to California. I have reached out to multiple resources for similar equipment, so I will have back up if something fails or is unavailable.
More than anything, I trust myself as an organizer. I orchestrate complicated productions involving myriad technologies and lots of people all the time. I have an eagle's eye for details and a strong, orderly mind. I am not afraid of double- and triple-checking enormous lists. I can do this, and I will - with your help.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (41 days)