The Story So Far
Six years ago, a freshman by the name of Doug Wilson had the crazy idea of writing a musical about his high school.
Six years later, that crazy idea is much more than idea. And that freshman, now a sophomore in college, needs your help to bring it to life.
MSJ: The Musical is a feature-length musical film based on the student culture of Mission San Jose High School. Set in the near future, this version of MSJ is darker. Here, the stereotypes the students are known for are not only true, but taken to their logical extremes. It is at this school two very different students attend: Jeffrey, a smart-mouth, street-savvy transfer from beyond the States, and Rachel, a sleep-deprived, caffeine-chugging studyholic from across Palm Ave.
Together, they must work out their differences as they dodge the ever-growing reaches of the Syndicate, a secret organization built to control every aspect of academia.
MSJTM focuses on the preconceptions of Mission students, and its underlying causes. At this school, racial and cultural expectations and academic success are closely intertwined. It is these core factors that are examined, exaggerated, and ultimately made fun of.
I've always been fascinated by the Mission mentality - the idea of getting straight A's and getting into the best colleges at all costs - and the consequences of that way of thinking on students. Rampant cheating, ruthless competition, and the all-encompassing Mission bubble are all results of this mentality. The question is, what's the cause of this mindset?
I wanted to explore this question and others for both myself and my fellow students and alumni. Four years at this institution helped shape who I am. It's shaped countless others. This film takes a closer look at how.
At the moment, our team is composed of seven individuals:
- Doug Wilson, creator/screenwriter/director, Class of 2011
- Conner Whaley, producer, Class of 2011
- Leila Garcia, co-screenwriter, Class of 2012
- Leena Yin, lyricist, Class of 2013
- Lucy Shen, melodist, Class of 2013
- Allan Ko, lyricist/melodist, Class of 2013
- Daniel Do, composer, Class of 2014
Bringing this story to the big screen requires a whole lot of something we don't have: money. That's why we've turned to Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform used to fund creative projects that you, the audience, find intriguing, interesting, or just flat out awesome. We believe MSJ: The Musical is all of these things, and much, much more.
We're asking for $1,500. Under normal circumstances, it would be considered almost impossible to make a high-quality feature film on such a low budget. Luckily, like MSJ itself, our situation is a bit unique. We are relying on support from the student body and administration alike. Together, a majority of our equipment and locations have been secured, significantly reducing the costs of permit fees, insurance and the like.
The money will go towards:
- Publicity and promotion
- Props/special effects
- Kickstarter rewards
The catch is, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform. Either we raise $1,500 or more, and we get the chance to make the best film possible, or we get nothing. That means that if we don't reach our goal, your card won't be charged and no money will go to us. With your interest and financial support, we will ensure MSJ: The Musical is as amazing as we've dreamed it to be!
We do not plan on making a single cent from this film. Once completed, the film will be given to a student organization on campus we believe will be able to do the most good with it. It will also be uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo, ensuring that past, present and future Mission students will have a chance to watch this film. This film has always been about the students.
Ideally, we'd like students involved at every step of production. If you'd like to get involved with MSJTM, shoot us an email at:
In the meantime, we'd love it if you'd help spread the word about the Musical on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and any other social media sites you can think of. One of the most powerful tools available is word-of-mouth, and we can only talk so much!
Thank you so, so much! We can't wait to make MSJ: The Musical a reality!
Risks and challenges
Every film has potential risks, even ours. We've done our best to consider every possible FUBAR situation, but there is still a very likely chance we will run into many roadblocks along the way. Whether it's unforeseen costs, equipment malfunctions or scheduling conflicts, we will keep everyone in the loop as we take on this massive project, one challenge at a time.
We are heavily relying on the excitement and generosity of others. Students are lending their talents (with their parent's approval, of course) and teachers and faculty are lending their time and energy. And of course, we won't be able to bring this film to the big screen without the help of you, the backers. We promise to keep you up-to-date every step of the way, triumphs and setbacks both.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)