He's a genius, you idiot.
What's this movie about?
Monty Comes Back is an independent feature-length film following a writer and actor, Monty, whose early success has gone to his head, causing him to push away his friends and family in a pursuit to regain his notoriety.
Shot on location in Bradenton and Anna Maria Island, Florida, this story is as much about Monty as it is about the location: warm beaches, glistening waves, the large elderly population and endless sunshine that defines the region--what may be paradise to some can be purgatory for others.
When the film begins, Monty still holds a job at a Michigan Community Theater--then his ego rears its ugly face. Following, we find Monty without a job and with a fresh black-eye, then watch his life quickly fall apart before resorting to a move back to his hometown in Florida to live with his parents, under the guise that he is on a "creative hiatus."
What follows is Monty's coping with his big head in a very small town, and his journey discovering what makes his own life meaningful, outside of the glory that was once bestowed on him.
A modern-day You Can't Go Home Again for the Silver Screen, following a representative of an escapist generation who find notoriety quick, yet lack the basic human qualities to deal with it.
Who's making it?
This is the first feature film from writer and director Thomas John Nudi, a recent graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film & Media Arts, and a Florida native. This is not the first "Floridian film" for the young filmmaker; during his graduate residency he began work on a series of conversation-based short films, the first being Urgent Care and the second, Greetings from Florida! which is set in his hometown of Bradenton, Florida and a meditation on retirement, human purpose, and the fickle nature of Florida, from the weather to its infamy as "paradise." Thomas is also a founding editor of Blacktop Passages, a literary magazine publishing poetry, fiction and non-fiction of the open road.
This is also the first feature film for producer Vincent Dale whose previous short films as writer and director, No Real Than You Are and Paris Love Conspiracy, have found great acclaim from Sarasota, Florida all the way to Morocco. Vincent is a graduate of Florida State University where he met Thomas Nudi working together on independent magazine, The Yeti (now The Last Word) and the two quickly found great respect for each other. After juggling a residency as an au pair, a student of French, and being an independent filmmaker in The City of Light, he returned to his home of Sarasota to continue his craft and most recently directed a short film on Audrey Scherer, a local hula-hooper and model.
Reed Choinski, Monty Comes Back's cinematographer, started making movies in his youth and has always been fascinated by the ability of cinema to immerse an audience in another world. He is passionate about the use of light, composition, and movement to tell visual stories as both a cinematographer and photographer. He is currently finishing his MFA in Cinematography at Chapman University. His work spans both documentary and fiction and includes the award-winning short film Man in the Moon.
Our production designer, Joshua Steward, is a St. Petersburg, Florida native and all-around artist/craftsman. He began work as an illustrator and graphic designer, working with University of Tampa Press and Tampa Books Art Studio, and perhaps by chance, but more likely by destiny, found his "other home" as a production designer for film. In fact, before meeting Thomas Nudi and working together on Greetings from Florida! Joshua worked as art director for Vincent Dale's No Real Than You Are; it is a wonderful happenstance that this team has crossed paths and united together to make a new film.
Jon Milano, our 1st Assistant Director, met Thomas Nudi at Chapman University's MFA program and they hit off because they both Italian and like to eat. They also love movies too, so they had that in common. A California resident by way of New Jersey, Jon originally studied film at William Paterson University. At Chapman, Jon studied directing under the mentorship of John Badham and Martha Coolidge. He is an advocate of collaboration, for without it a great film cannot be made.
Ashley Pawelczyk is Monty Come Back's lead makeup and hair stylist. She is salon manager and lead makeup artist for Cutting Loose Salon in Sarasota, Florida. She moved from Nashua, New Hampshire with her family as a child and has since been pursuing jobs and careers in all things creative including receiving a degree in Culinary Arts. Ashley has always had a passion for photography and film whether she's holding the camera or an eyeshadow palette. She's been in the hair and makeup industry for five years and has studied under numerous artists including celebrity makeup artist, Helen Andersson. Ashley's passions include stage makeup, boudoir makeup and special effects. She worked previously on Greetings from Florida!
Roger Bacon is our Editor andfostered an early love for film in his hometown of North Providence, Rhode Island, where his babysitters consisted of giant man-eating dinosaurs, whip-cracking archeologists, and shoeless NYPD cops stuck in air vents. He has an intense passion for filmmaking and loves editing material that is divisive, thought provoking, and powerful. He has worked on a wide array of projects since moving to Los Angeles in 2012 but his focus is the pursuit of feature work. As of May 2015 he will have completed his degree requirements and gain an MFA in Film Editing from Chapman University’s prestigious Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Monty Comes Back will be his first feature.
John C. Fisher II, in charge of all things marketing, is a writer, advertiser, and best friend to Thomas Nudi. If it weren't for him everything you're reading right now would be boring, and Thomas would be in the nut house. An incredible mind and one of the funniest men alive, John brings years of experience in communication, writing and advertising, as well as knowing how to deal with the director. He holds bachelors degrees from The University of South Florida and received his MFA from Antioch University and currently is an editor for Blacktop Passages.
Who's acting in it?
While Thomas Nudi played Monty in the proof-of-concept-trailer we shot, he (hopefully) won't be playing him in the feature. We can't speak on any of the prospective actors we're looking at by name currently, but we can say they all are originally from Florida, or are locals to the South Florida region.
Believing in casting locally, we will be holding auditions throughout the area looking to fill any and all roles--as small as a customer at a grocery store, to as large as Monty's father and his friends.
We will be updating this page with any casting decisions made while we work towards production, so keep your eyes peeled.
Where will your money go?
Some of you are looking at the amount and surely thinking, "They're going to make a feature film on that small of a budget?"
The answer is: "Yes. Yes we are."
The cost of making a feature film can be very high, but we're being as pragmatic and creative as we can to bring the cost down to a more reasonable place.
While we will be working with many local actors and crew members, and many are volunteering their time, we still need to take care of them as much as we can. Hot meals, at the beginning and the middle of a work day; constant beverages, snacks and caffeine to keep everyone happy, energetic and focused; basic necessities to make sure human beings are healthy and not overworked.
Another end is equipment, and while the cinematographers and crew we are looking to work with are known for their excellent work with very little set up, there still is a set up. Equipment can be very expensive, depending on what you get and use, but in keeping with the spirit of independent film, we will make do with what we can, and lucky for us there's a great community in our area who have a desire to help and support local filmmakers.
Of course there are production necessities, such as insurance, travel, and numerous other things especially in the post-production phase. We don't believe micro-budget filmmaking means cutting corners at all.
So, when is this thing getting done?
We're looking at a late April shoot, trailing into the beginning of May, then it's straight to post-production. We hope there's a short turn around, and we can't foresee anything that can keep us from getting the film done and ready for a Fall/Winter premiere.
Who sings that catchy song in the trailer?
Ladies and Gentlemen, that song is called "Prolly" and it's by the one and only Shelby Baldock, from his 2014 album Butch Americana.
Shelby and Thomas Nudi met while graduates at Chapman University. As Thomas was about to drive back to Florida after graduation, Shelby had just finished his album Butch Americana. Shelby gave a copy to Thomas before he left and it became a part of the soundtrack to his journey home, and one song "Prolly" seemed to ring close to things Thomas thinks about often and the major themes of Monty Comes Back.
We're very happy for Shelby's approval to use the song in the trailer and offer it as a digital reward for any $1 or more donation!
Rewards, rewards, rewards!
We love the support you are giving us, and we want to make sure that the return is worth your consideration and, most importantly, is exciting!
So we have a plethora of things to offer!
Of course, with any Kickstarter for a film, comes the end product. So we are offering Digital Downloads of the feature film, Blu-rays and DVDs, posters, t-shirts and Special Thanks credits (and more.) That just comes with the territory. If you're donating to this film, we can only assume you love movies, or at the very least stories. So we want the film community to have a part of making the film, and then a piece of it when it's done.
One of the more interesting rewards is a playbill for Everything and Everyone is Gonna Be Great, Monty's one-man, very abstract play within the film itself. While you only see a piece of the performance in the trailer, and ultimately the film, the playbill will shed light on the rest of it and maybe even insight into what the hell Monty was thinking. It did get him a Genius Grant though...
Another of our offers is Thomas Nudi's previous two short films, Urgent Care and Greetings from Florida! on DVD or Blu-ray. Hand-made by the director, these usually only go to the cast, crew, family and friends who were involved with the projects. Filled with special features and archives from the inception of the films to the very end of production, they offer a light into the process of filmmaking and the filmmakers.
We're also offering visits to the filming of Monty Comes Back where you can see what a working film set is like and how ever intricacy works into the equation; or, you can even be an Associate or Executive Producer for the film yourself, and we'd love to bring you on as a part of our crew!
Risks and challenges
The cast and crew of Monty Comes Back knows all too well the risks and challenges that can occur when filming an independent movie. We already faced a hurdles already, and--well--we just deal with them, and jump as high as we can to clear them. We persevere and have already started assembling a crew and finding equipment to rent in his absence.
There are many other challenges we could face: the unpredictable Florida weather, cast or crew quitting the project for a multitude of reasons and of course the constant threat of a space alien attacks is ever looming over our heads. However, we've faced challenges in the past and with help from our friends and a lot of hard work we've conquered those obstacles and moved on.
We're not just a group of kids with an idea for a movie, we're aspiring film makers and artists, and this isn't just a hobby--it's our passion; our work. Regardless of the challenges we face we will overcome them, and come rain, sleet, snow, death or alien enslavement, this film will be completed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)