The Night Guardian is an action--packed, dramatic, superhero short film by Brian Ott. On his deathbed Stanley Simmons reaches out to his estranged grandson Billy by telling him the story of the Night Guardian, a superhero on a mission to prevent criminal mastermind Carter Black from taking over the city. The Night Guardian is the same story Stanley once told Peter, Billy's father, whom he has not seen in over 25 years.
The Night Guardian addresses themes of redemption, reconnection, and family.
The story of The Night Guardian encompasses two worlds: The City and The House.
The City gives a hyper-realistic view of 1970s New York City, filmed with stark contrasts and rich with saturated neon colors.
Cinematography will incorporate fluid camera movements and experimentation with GoPro, Parkour action sequences.
The House is a modern-day home stuck in the 1970s. Full of muted earth tones, The House captures the essence of a space frozen in a happier time. We will be renting, borrowing, and buying many items to help realize the look of the space.
Naturally, every superhero needs his SECRET LAIR:
The workshop and safe haven for the Night Guardian, the Secret Lair is where he creates his weapons and gadgets and prepares for the latest evil of the supercriminal Carter Black.
This movie is an evolution of scripts that Brian has been working on since his undergraduate days at Penn State; he always wanted to tell his own version of a superhero story. He also wanted to tell a story based on the last days he spent with his grandpa so he decided to combine the two. Through countless drafts, Brian finally arrived at what is now The Night Guardian.
The Crew: Assemble!
The Night Guardian is a USC Graduate Thesis Project; the crew is comprised of both USC and CalArts students. Many are in their third year and have worked on dozens of projects individually. These are some of the best students in their respective programs, ready to give their all to make this movie happen!
Brian Ott -- Director
Chicago born and Jersey raised -- Brian grew up involved in many things from playing sports, acting in plays, working as a DJ and even playing sponsored, competitive paintball. He attended Penn State where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film/Video and while there he was involved in THON, a 46-hour dance marathon. THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, raising money for pediatric cancer research and treatment. Brian became the video producer creating dozens of videos used for promos, marketing, morale and just about everything. With this in mind Brian knew he wanted to make not just movies but movies with purpose and heart. He came to USC's School of Cinematic Arts to enhance this craft. At school Brian has worked in many positions on set from Production Designer to Cinematographer and most recently as Editor of a film produced by James Franco. Brian is excited to make The Night Guardian a reality, working with some of the most talented people he has ever met.
Kyle Dare -- Producer
As a 3rd year graduate student at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Kyle Dare has studied directing and producing while working on several projects in nearly every crew position. He grew up in central Illinois where he learned the value of hard work and watching epic movies. After earning his bachelor’s degree he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his film career. Kyle is excited to bring The Night Guardian to life as it is not only a large-scale project with lots of action but it is also a heartfelt story about fathers and sons.
Ruben Contreras -- Director of Photography
Ruben Contreras was born and raised in Sacramento, CA and he attended San Francisco State University (SFSU) where he received his BA in Cinema. While at SFSU he co-directed Backyard Freeways, a documentary short about pollution in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco. Ruben is currently attending USC's School of Cinematic Arts pursuing his MFA. Ruben has collaborated on three dance and musical films in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Francesca Marciano -- Production Designer
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Francesca is an art director and production designer, working primarily on short films and editorial photo shoots. Having earned her BA in creative writing and publishing (Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts) and her MFA in interior architecture and design (Academy of Art, San Francisco, California) she is able to incorporate both of these elements into her designs. Francesca currently attends California Institute of the Arts to earn her second master's in production design, having assisted on two CalArts productions (The Tempest, They Are Dying Out.) Prior to this, she worked as an interior architect at the top architecture firm in Los Angeles, and she has had the opportunity to closely collaborate with various cinematographers (Chris Magorian, Chris Campbell, Edward Tran, John Hawke) allowing her to understand the logistics a set requires from a camera and lighting standpoint in order to help better tell the story. Francesca believes continuously exercising her creative mind will aid in building better design instincts.
Amy Millan-Johnson -- Costume Designer
Amy is a freelance artist, with training in illustration, acting, dance, and costume design. She is a member of the international theatre company The Moving Art Collective. Her collaborations with them have included adaptations of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Carol Churchill's Cloud 9, and a new work entitled Thirteen's Spring, about the life of Anne Frank just prior to her beginning to write in her diary. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine for Drama studies, and is entering her third year of the Master of Fine Arts program in Costume Design at CalArts.
Chelsea Pettit -- Editor
Chelsea was born and raised in the small town of Wadena, Minnesota. She attended undergrad at the College of St. Benedict’s/St. John’s University, in central Minnesota, where she pursued a degree in English. Chelsea has always had a desire and propensity for stories, and this ultimately stimulated an interest in writing, and screenplays in particular. From this pursuit, she garnered interest in other areas of filmmaking, including editing. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in Film and Television Production at USC.
Reese Robinson -- Production Sound
Reese was born and raised near Seattle, WA. She did a number of odd things, including rising quickly to management staff of a large multi-national fried chicken restaurant chain, running a deli in an inner-city Hispanic grocery store, and selling carbon fiber suitcases. After obtaining a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington, she decided to attend graduate school and become a teacher. She visited USC's website, clicked a wrong link, and ended up applying to the School of Cinematic Arts instead. Now entering her third of the film & television production program, Reese aims to focus in post-production -- primarily sound editing. She psychotically loves Star Trek, Pearl Jam, and California strawberries.
Jamari Perry - Associate Producer
Jamari Perry is an emerging filmmaker that hails from the Bay Area, CA. Her films focus on popular culture and community empowerment. She is an advocate for expression through art and she is determined to use film to educate and enhance the underprivileged. She has produced and directed several films that include an array of documentary, experimental and narrative. Her experiences range from CBS as a public relations intern to producing and directing a national media campaign for violence prevention. Jamari is not afraid to be innovative and unique when film making; she believes that if you use your intuition and believe in yourself others will follow. Jamari shares her experiences while collaborating with her esteemed colleagues. She lives by the quote that her father has instilled in her; “Great things can be slowed down but never stopped."
Jamari was approached about working on "The Night Guardian" earlier this year by director Brian Ott and she was initially very interested. She wasn't just interested because of the dynamic and fantastical elements of the superhero story but she immediately connected with the personal nature of the project. Jamari has always been drawn to personal films, in fact she has just finished showing a personal documentary about her mother's battle with lupus at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. "The Night Guardian" is a film that Jamari feels will resonate with superhero enthusiast and anyone that has been influenced by a meaningful family relationships.
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Risks and challenges
One of the challenges of making The Night Guardian is that it is a high-concept movie but we have a talented crew that is doing a lot of planning and pre-production to get ready for the shoot, and we are extremely confident in their ability to have everything ready.
We are casting now and will update our Backers with our choices as they are finalized this month. We are scheduled to shoot at the end of July into early August but if there are any problems such as bad weather, location conflicts, or other issues we have the ability to push the shoot back.
We are students who will also be attending classes in the fall and spring. Following USC's thesis schedule we will edit during the fall semester, August 2013 to December 2013, and finish sound, music and VFX in the spring semester, January 2014 to May 2014. Each element will be finished in order -- editing, VFX, Sound FX -- and we will do our best to have those done in the appropriate time. However, complications can arise in finalizing any one of these elements which means the movie may premiere later than anticipated. We will send out updates and keep all Backers in the loop with any changes or complications.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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