A night club preps a final show, a director suffers a health scare & creativity bleeds into life. Debut feature by a writer from HEROES
WHAT IS 'AT THE MAPLE GROVE'?
"At The Maple Grove" is an independent dramatic feature that has just completed production and is now in post-production.
The film is about a renowned night club called The Maple Grove, and the performers that work there, as it preps for what might be its final show. Interwoven with this is the story of a young filmmaker who suffers a health scare, and how his creativity bleeds into life.
Inspired by the work of John Cassavetes & Bob Fosse, as well as the film-within-a-film genre seen in Francois Truffaut's "Day For Night" and Federico Fellini's "8 1/2," "At The Maple Grove" slowly blends “the real world” of our young director– his life, his relationships and his friends– with the “movie world” of his imagination when he ultimately begins making his film.
And though much of the film draws heavily on its cinematic influences, the story is also based on the filmmaker behind the project.
In January of 2012, writer/director Christopher Zatta began sitting in on acting classes at the Stephanie Feury Studio in Hollywood. While watching various actors perform a variety of scenes from plays, the idea behind "At The Maple Grove" began to grow, with a storyline borrowing from Christopher’s own personal and career experiences, and characters written specifically for the actors from the acting studio.
OKAY, BUT WHAT’S THE HEART OF THE STORY?
At its core this is a story about pursuing your dreams. No matter the risk, regardless of who tells you it’ll never happen or says it’s a mistake or tries to make you compromise yourself instead. A story about sacrificing everything to make your dream a reality and maintain your ideals, before it’s too late.
WHO’S MAKING THIS FILM?
Writer/Director Christopher Zatta was previously a TV writer for NBC’s “Heroes,” where he wrote the Season 1 episode “Parasite,” and co-wrote the Season 3 episodes “Dying Of The Light” and “Cold Wars.”
He’s also written and directed two short films, the psychological horror “Harvey’s Dream,” which he adapted from a story by Stephen King, and the neo-noir “Ambition Of Love,” which played several festivals, won a couple awards and was selected for exhibition in Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School Seminar.
Actor/Producer Alison Zatta is an actress, writer, producer, and lyricist (and also Christopher's sister!). She attended Georgetown University in Washington DC, where her theater credits included the title role in the DC area premiere of Sarah Ruhl's "Eurydice."
In 2009, Alison moved to Los Angeles, where she has appeared in a number of short films and theatrical productions, including "Ambition of Love," "Harvey's Dream," and the music video for P!nk's hit single "Perfect." She wrote, starred in, and, with her brother Christopher, co-directed the web series "Molly Gordon Has No Friends," due out this fall; and she is currently co-writing a comedic holiday musical. "At The Maple Grove" is her first feature.
Producer Lyman Creason has been working in film since 2003, both in New York, Kentucky and Los Angeles. He recently produced the romantic bowling comedy "Split," in addition to making an award winning documentary on horse racing and their owners.
Producer Michel DeAscentiis immediately moved to NYC after graduating from the University of Scranton to jump start his professional career on the Academy Award nominated film, "Rachel Getting Married." He quickly found his way to the producer's discipline after exploring different departments spanning from the editing room to the art department, on several projects, including, "The Road," and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."
Over the last few years DeAscentiis' credit's include work on "Cowboys and Aliens," "Man of Steel," and associate producing the independent feature "Occupied." In 2012, DeAscentiis settled full time in Los Angeles as Creative Producer at Fullscreen, a global digital network for creators and brands. He is thrilled to continue his independent credits with "At The Maple Grove."
At the end of the day, everyone in the cast and crew purely aimed to make a film that we were passionate about, to have a fun time doing it, and then to share it with people. But finishing the film and getting it out into the world doesn’t happen for free.
WHERE WILL THE DONATED MONEY GO?
Every dollar successfully raised (minus the Kickstarter & Amazon fees) will go towards post-production. The campaign goal of $20,000 is the bare minimum required to complete the film on a shoestring, ultra low budget where every dollar is stretched as far as it can go.
It’ll pay for: Editing, Sound Design, Visual Effects, Color Correction, Music, Film Festival Submissions & even the hard drives to store all the footage. Sounds like a lot to pay for?
We agree. Certainly too much without help. Which is why we’re using Kickstarter.
WHAT IS KICKSTARTER?
Kickstarter provides a way to raise funds as well as grow a community of supporters and participators in the process of making a film. And for every amount that you donate, you also get some fun rewards as a “Thank You.” The bigger the pledge, the bigger the reward. It’s an all-or-nothing method though, meaning that if this campaign doesn’t raise $20,000 from donations by October 11th 2013, the film won’t receive any money and you won’t be charged a penny. Unfortunately you also won’t get the rewards.
The rewards are listed along the right side of this page. Things like a DVD copy of the film, the screenplay, a poster created by our production designers Jill Bencsits & Nico Guidote, plus exclusive looks behind the scenes and plenty more. And every dollar we raise that exceeds our goal will only increase the resources and production value of the finished product. Every bit counts!
HOW DO YOU DONATE, SUPPORT & PARTICIPATE?
By clicking the “Back This Project” button at the top of this page you’ll be asked to sign up for a free account; then input your donation amount, any amount you can, and choose a reward. Easy Peasy. From there, you’ll be taken to the Amazon.com checkout page to complete the donation process.
HOW ELSE CAN YOU HELP?
Besides making a donation, and even if you can’t donate, please spread the word! ‘Like’ the film on Facebook, share the link on Twitter, tell your friends and family about it. Exercise that tried-and-true method known as word-of-mouth! This film absolutely needs your help to get finished and released.
Thank you so much for visiting this page and considering making a donation. If you have any questions or just want to say hello, please feel free to contact us. We love to hear from any supporters and prospective supporters!
CHRISTOPHER ZATTA: Writer/Director/Producer
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Our biggest challenge - actually filming the movie - is already done. We've managed to overcome the difficulties of completing production, with a large page count in our script, a big ensemble cast, several locations and an ultra low budget. This was a challenging project that we were able to accomplish through the team effort made by our hard-working, passionate and dedicated cast and crew.
But post-production brings all new challenges and there are several steps still ahead in the process of making the movie before we can get it to an audience. Editing, sound design, color correction, music… But we already have the team members in place to handle each stage. All we need is the financial support.
Our goal is to complete the film as soon as possible to submit for major festival deadlines, to premiere the film and secure distribution. There are also various platforms for self-distribution, such as contacting movie theaters directly, using the website Tugg to raise local interest in seeing our film and selling the film directly to an audience.
One way or another we’ll get it out there!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
Thank you! Every amount pledged helps our film get made. As a “Patron Of The Maple Grove” you will get a shout-out on our Facebook page, plus have your name listed as a “Patron” on the film’s official website.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus a personalized postcard from one of our main cast members with a photo from the shoot and a shout out & follow from “At The Maple Grove” on Twitter.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $15 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus exclusive access to behind-the-scenes photos and production stills from the shoot, documenting how we brought the story from script to screen, along with a personalized digital “Thank You” video from the writer/director and main cast members.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus you’ll get a Digital Download of the film upon its release. We’ll also put your name on the “Special Thanks” list in the film’s closing credits and on IMDb.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus you’ll get a DVD copy of the film upon its release, signed by the writer/director and main cast members (upon your request). You’ll also receive a PDF download of the screenplay.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (18 left of 20)
All of the above, plus your choice from one of the four 20” x 30” prints of our official character posters featured in the film, signed by the writer/director and cast member(s) featuring in your selection (all signatures based upon your request). Check out the sample images of the posters in our Kickstarter Profile.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $80 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus a digital download of writer/director Christopher Zatta’s first short film “Ambition of Love” featuring cast members from “At The Maple Grove.”Estimated delivery:
Pledge $80 or moreYou selected
5 backers All gone!
All of the above, plus a character named after you (or a name you choose) in the upcoming project from writer/director Christopher Zatta.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
3 backers All gone!
NEW REWARD! All of the available above, plus a hand-crafted Kazoo made by our lead actor Matt Micucci at the Offerman Woodshop. Check out the video of Matt & the kazoo posted in our Kickstarter Profile!Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus a digital download of a video featuring one of our main cast members reading a poem of your choice, or upon your request, an original poem written just for you!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
NEW REWARD! Because the Kazoos donated by the Offerman Woodshop have all been claimed, we’re adding more due to popular demand – now with CUSTOM INITIALS INCLUDED! At this reward level, you get all of the available above, plus a hand-crafted Kazoo with custom initials made by our lead actor Matt Micucci at the Offerman Woodshop! Check out the video of Matt & the kazoo posted in our Kickstarter Profile!Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $175 or moreYou selected
5 backers Limited (15 left of 20)
All of the above, plus a digital download of a song & dance number written, performed, recorded and filmed just for you by cast members and performers from The Maple Grove. You’ll also receive the official Maple Grove hat. Check out the photos of our cast wearing the hat in our Kickstarter Profile. Quantity for the hats is limited!Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus exclusive access to a highlight reel of outtakes, bloopers and deleted scenes from the film, as well as (2) tickets to a show at The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, which served as our filming location for The Maple Grove (travel and lodging expenses for both not provided).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus dinner with the writer/director, producers and main cast at Dominick's in West Hollywood, the restaurant featured in the film (travel and lodging expenses for both not provided).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus an Associate Producer credit in the film and (2) invitations to a private “Work-In-Progress” test screening in Los Angeles (travel and lodging expenses not provided). If you can’t attend the private screening, you can participate in an online focus group screening for the rough cut of the film.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus (2) tickets to any festival where the film plays and (2) invitations to any cast and crew events, including the private Cast & Crew Screening & After Party in Los Angeles. (travel and lodging expenses not provided)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus an Executive Producer credit in the film and attend a show at the Maple Grove! With this donation level, the performers from the Maple Grove will put on a full show for you and your guests at The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. (travel and lodging expenses not provided)Estimated delivery:
- (32 days)