What is the film about?
Logline: On Dad's 60th birthday, a young woman attempts to fulfill her late brother’s last wish that will bring their family all together one last time.
The quick pitch: Family birthday parties aren’t always easy or fun, especially since this dysfunctional family hasn’t spent a night together at their vacation home since the death of their beloved brother and son, Derrick. A base jumper and adrenaline junkie, Derrick was someone who lived for the rush and stared death in the face, until it looked right back. His family on the other hand, has since lived conservatively, afraid to remember, afraid to live, and afraid to be together.
On the night of her father’s 60th, Maggie decides to secretly carry out her late brother’s last wish in the form of a chocolate cake. Fortunately, it’s a hit with both the easy going birthday boy and her remiss, younger brother. Her mother on the other hand refuses to take a single bite. This proves to be a nearly impossible feat for Maggie, until the secret ingredient kicks in that is. Little do any of them know just what it’s capable of. As their worst nightmares are brought to life, so is Derrick, pushing them to face their fears and come together again as a family one last time.
The Last Course is a dark family drama. It is also a new take on the classic ghost story. The plot weaves between each character’s individual experiences with fear and loss as tension builds, until the truth is exposed for all to see. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You may turn on the lights and blast David Bowie’s album, Scary Monsters and Super Creeps, but it will not disappoint.
Message from the filmmaker - Marielle Brinda:
To direct, produce and write for the screen is something I’ve been working towards since childhood. I graduated from Columbia College Chicago’s film program in 2007. Since college, I have worked in Hollywood’s post production world as both an assistant picture and assistant sound editor on major theatrical and television marketing campaigns. Now I want to make films of my own and I need your help. Please join our team and be a part of the process. The Last Course is just one of many stories I would love to tell, but it’s a great starting point for me and a vessel into the narrative world that captures my voice and unique style inspired by many, but one I’d like to call my own. It’s also important to me as a woman in film to encourage, support, and strive for our voices to be heard. The intention for this specific project is to not only sell myself as a writer and director, but to also pitch the idea as a feature film project. So come on board! We can't do this without you!
What makes this project different?
This is not your typical low-budget short film. We already have some of our highly skilled crew in place who come with award winning credits and experience. My supportive network of friends, colleagues, and filmmaking professionals are helping to bring this project to life by donating much of their time and skills. This includes Director of Photography Team “The Endless Eye,” sought after Script Analyst and Acting Coach, Jacqueline M. Diamond, Casting Director, Ratidzo Mambo, top of the line post-production facilities for editorial, color, and sound who cater to the major Hollywood studios, and other crew with credits that range from feature length productions to music videos and commercials.
We are also currently in the process of casting. Over 800 actors submitted to our casting call! Many come with extensive credits, and are actors you will recognize from television and film. We had stars from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, to Gone Girl, Magic Mike, and Nightcrawler come out for these roles. We are lucky enough to choose from this amazing talent pool to bring our film family to life.
Inspiration for the film:
Marielle has been inspired by many amazing films over the years. And as we all know, sometimes those images and stories stick with you. Here's some of her favorite scenes that have inspired the look and feel for "The Last Course."
Wide Angle shots help to give a glimpse inside the character's distorted perspective:
Candle light plays a big part in this film.
Fear is a big part of this story and this horror film did a great job evoking fear.
Here's a shot from our marketing shoot. Although it's a drama centered around a family, this isn't your typical birthday party scene.
The team behind The Last Course:
Marielle Brinda (Writer / Director) has had her hands in filmmaking since childhood. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago’s film program with a Bachelor of Arts in 2007. Since college, she has worked in Hollywood’s post production world as both an assistant picture and sound editor for major Theatrical and Television Marketing Campaigns. Some of the campaigns she has worked on include J.J. Abram’s Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, Guardians of the Galaxy, Nebraska, and many more. She has written over ten feature length screenplays and numerous shorts, earning her various awards including Columbia College Chicago’s Alumni Written Image Award. She directed, produced, shot, edited, and facilitated a one hour documentary project and photography exhibition entitled, “Metamorphosis: The Stories of Eight Women in Transition,” that followed once homeless women in Cleveland on their path to starting over. She is now Head of Development and Production of Reconnaissance Pictures in Hollywood.
Rita Baghdadi (Producer / DP) - Rita Baghdadi is a Moroccan/American film director/cinematographer. Rita received the 2013 International Documentary Association Pare Lorentz grant for her upcoming feature documentary MY COUNTRY, NO MORE about farmers in the North Dakota oil boom. Her previous film credits include doc-comedy MORTIFIED NATION and the upcoming LICENSE TO OPERATE where Rita embedded herself with a 16 year-old girl in South Central LA’s infamous ‘Death Alley’. Rita earned a bachelor’s degree in film from Columbia College Chicago. She is an active mentor with GlobalGirl Media, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering girls’ voices. Rita's current projects include genre-bending comedy series #MOMS, official selection of the 2014 Zimbabwe International Film Festival, and several films in development.
Jeremiah Hammerling (DP) - According to Werner Herzog, Jeremiah Hammerling is “truly rogue.” Jeremiah was born in North Dakota and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Film from Columbia College Chicago. He got his start directing music videos for artists such as Mayer Hawthorne. Jeremiah’s directorial debut feature documentary A MESSAGE FROM THE EAST premiered at the Beirut International Film Festival and has since become a staple in Islamic studies programs worldwide. Jeremiah's recent work includes feature documentaries MY COUNTRY, NO MORE and LICENSE TO OPERATE. His cinematography has received several Telly Awards and has aired on ESPN, PBS and in festivals around the world.
Jackie Diamond (Acting Coach) - is coming on board to workshop our cast. She is currently the company manager of the Australian Theatre Company. She also does script/character analysis.
Ratidzo Mambo (Casting Director) - is a Zimbabwean born Australian Actress and casting director. She attended Drama School at the 16th Street Studio in Melbourne, Australia for 2 years and trained with Gregory Berger-Sobeck at Berg Studios for over a year in Los Angeles.
What will the money be going towards?
1) Although some of our crew is in place, we still need to hire essential positions to make this happen. It’s not always possible for skilled professionals to donate their time. 2) We have to follow strict production set guidelines in accordance with the ScreenActorsGuild. In other words, being professional costs money. 3) People need to eat or they will start eating each other. Just kidding. But feeding 20 people for three days is expensive. 4) Some of the equipment will have to be rented or purchased. This includes lenses, lighting, video, and electrical equipment. 5) There are many other miscellaneous expenditures like location and permit costs, props, and wardrobe.
If I raise more than the goal?
$7,500 covers bare bones expenses at the lowest of rates with some of the services, cast and crew positions covered under donations or deferments. Kickstarter also takes a percentage which we have to factor into the budget. Any money that is raised beyond this goal will go towards further production, post production, and marketing costs.
What's in it for you?
By becoming a supporter, you’re also becoming a collaborator for future projects. By donating you will also have the chance to choose from additional perks like a credit in the film, to a screening party, a digital cookbook of “secret family recipes” from the film, digital downloads, and autographed cast photos.
Where are we in the process?
The script is finished. Casting is in process. Part of the crew has been assembled. December is all about fundraising, finalizing cast, and putting the rest of the crew in place. No detail shall be left unturned. Production and principal shooting is scheduled for March 2015. April to July is dedicated to post-production.
We will follow a transparent model that allows you, the backer, to know that your money is going towards the completion of this project. By following updates on my website you can see each phase of the project from start to finish at http://remedy4mercury.com as well as our facebook page: www.facebook.com/thelastcoursemovie.
Risks and challenges
All film projects come with risk. We could lose a location. Crew could be put on higher paying jobs. There could be delays. But my team and I are here to make a quality film. We have experience. We are resourceful. And we are committed to bringing this film to life.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)