If you've been considering backing this project, or you're a first time visitor - please contribute!
Become a backer of the film that will change the way we think about addiction.
We are overwhelmed by the amazing outpouring of support for our film! But the funding drive is still open until Saturday at 3:45pm Eastern! We’re still seeking funding for distribution costs and events to get the film in front of as many people as possible, so if you haven’t had a chance to contribute yet, please kick in and be a part of getting this story out there! Large or small - anything helps!
Additional funding will be used for the following:
• Music composed specifically for this film
• A feature-quality title sequence and graphics package
• An additional shoot in Wisconsin in the winter
• Marketing, distribution, film festival entries and screenings
• Extending the reach of the film
In the United States, prescriptions for opioids (synthetic opiates) have nearly tripled in the last 25 years and overdose deaths have quadrupled. We consume nearly 100% of the world's hydrocodone (Vicodin) and 81% of oxycodone (Percocet). Everyday 2,500 young people abuse prescription pain relievers for the first time. Deaths from opioids/opiates exceed those from all other drugs combined.
Opiate addiction is fueled by legitimate prescriptions for addictive pain medications, but addicts routinely turn to heroin as a cheaper, easier to get substitute. Most long-term users have no choice - they need the fix to avoid the wrenching symptoms of withdrawal. They need it to function. Rehab is an option for some but opiates rewire your brain - going off them brings on depression and relapse is common.
Anyone you ask in the US will be able to come up with someone they know who has died or is struggling with opiate addiction. The film's director, Molly Hermann, lost her first cousin to heroin at the age of 20. And the losses only continue - the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, the kid next door, the captain of the high school football team - it's everywhere.
Check out our interview in the HUFFINGTON POST
Matt Edwards grew up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, where the winters are long, they call the mosquito the state bird, and his hometown was so small that it didn't have a single store. His first high came from pills prescribed by a doctor for a botched toe surgery.
He got in deep and never got out; for ten years he sweat out shift after shift in restaurant kitchens, working twice as many hours as anyone else so he could pay rent and feed his addiction.
Matt was driven by a desperate need to get a fix – more often to avoid withdrawal than to get “high” in a recreational sense. To get what he needed he lied constantly. He was a magnificent liar - smart, creative, persuasive - his lies fed his addiction as much as the actual drugs did.
But for the last two years of his life, Matt told the truth to himself, in two spiral bound journals. He chronicled his daily drug use - sort of like the Bridget Jones of addicts - and his countless attempts to quit.
The media is covering this issue. Everyday there is another front page tragedy detailing another spectacular fall from grace. But there is no real understanding of the complicated personal experience. All at once, Matt was lovable and despicable, funny and pathetic, young and old, destructive and aware of his failings. We know his story, in his own words, will shift the way people think.
Addiction = shame. This needs to change. Recently, we interviewed a man in South Africa who told us that his four daughters died of "the shameful disease," meaning AIDS. In the US, we are way past placing blame for HIV infection, yet we still do it with addiction.
To explain his drug use, Matt told people he had cancer. That was a lie, but he did have a disease that, for him, was fatal. Out of shame, he kept it a secret and faced his illness alone without sympathy or treatment.
We want WRITTEN OFF to shine a light on the experience of addiction from the inside. Matt Edwards was a self-described junkie, but he wasn't depraved or living in a dumpster - he was smart, responsible, friendly, fun. He was a writer and he was loved. He was Jane's son, he was Rose's best friend, he was the love of Paula's life. His story challenges the old stigma and will reveal the man behind the drugs. Opiates are a bona fide crisis in America - but this one story will help you understand the problem more than any statistic.
We have already financed the production of this film ourselves, but we can't finish it on our own. We can only do this story justice with your help. And it's not just about raising funds - just by reading this project description you are helping us challenge the lack of understanding addicts face.
Please help us by spreading the word about this project, sharing the video, and/or making a financial commitment to the film. Your help really can make a difference.
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Every cent raised on this campaign will go toward the costs of finishing this film; the chart below shows the percentage breakdown of the funding goal we are hoping to achieve.
Editing is the most time consuming and demanding aspect of post-production followed by the audio design and mix. Other costs include music, color correcting, and online. “WRITTEN OFF” is poised to start editing in January 2015 – help us make it happen!
The Biscuit Factory, LLC is a full service documentary production company with over 40 collective years of experience producing long-form factual programming for broadcasting clients like National Geographic Television, Discovery Channel, The History Channel, Smithsonian Networks, and PBS.
Founded in 2007 by Molly Hermann (Producer/Director/Writer) and Rob Lyall (Cinematographer), the Biscuit’s work has garnered numerous accolades, including the CINE Awards Special Jury Prize, for “9/11: Stories in Fragments” and an Emmy nomination for “Jefferson’s Secret Bible.”
We specialize in history, science, and culture emphasizing the human stories behind the events. We bring a unique fusion of innovative, compelling storytelling, and dynamic imagery to each of our projects.
WRITTEN OFF is our first independent feature documentary.
Award-winning Director of Photography Rob Lyall creates compelling and stunning images in film and high-definition formats. His signature visual storytelling emphasizes a fusion of slick, high-end, commercial production with the organic and innovative world of documentary filmmaking. With over twenty years of experience in feature film, commercial, documentary, and broadcast production, Rob is a seasoned, dynamic, and innovative cinematographer, having worked in all corners and environments of the world. Rob has worked on series such as National Geographic’s Explorer, Discovery Channel’s Extreme Engineering, PBS’ NOVA, and specials such as The History Channel’s Sherman’s March and The Duel, with Richard Dreyfuss, as well as short form and feature length projects like the Academy Award-nominated film Spellbound.
Molly Hermann is a filmmaker with a deep interest in the human experience and documentary storytelling. Molly creatively draws on a background in theater to elicit great performances from professionals and real people, alike. Technically conversant from field to final finishing, Molly is a decision-maker who prioritizes onscreen bang-for-the-buck. A skilled post-producer and writer, she offers a deft touch for tone and a persistent desire to get the details right. Broadcast credits include the highly rated Smithsonian Networks program “9/11: Stories in Fragments” in collaboration with the National Museum of American History and “Winged Seduction” for National Geographic, shot in the jungles of Papua New Guinea.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading and considering backing this project.
--Molly, Rob and all The Biscuits
Risks and challenges
This is our first independent feature project but we are experienced filmmakers with a solid track record of awards and television ratings. We can't wait to do this story justice and bring it to a wide audience. Help us do it!!!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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