Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 7, 2013.

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A funny and dramatic look at disability, sex, and love.

Let me just slip into something less revealing.  There we go.

Bill Crossland here.  I'm the guy in the video.  So how did we get here, you may be wondering.  The truth is, it all started with the dinosaurs.  Well not literally.  When I was about six years old I got my hands on a VHS copy of Jurassic Park, and it changed my life.  Now, that sounds a little dramatic, even silly perhaps, but I had always been a fan of stories -- whether they came from the books my parents read to me or the vivid imagination of my grandfather (a.k.a. Pop Pop), who would often make me a character in his amazing tales.  He also introduced me to a wide variety of movies that I might have missed out on otherwise -- everything from Indiana Jones to Orca: The Killer Whale.  

Back to the dinosaurs.  When I watched that film, it was the first time I truly felt the power of what movies could do.  They can excite, terrify, enlighten.  But most of all, movies can make you feel.

You feel that?  That's called "terror"
You feel that? That's called "terror"

Coincidentally, my first experience with Jurassic Park happened during the period of my life when I started to feel the effects of my disease (Muscular Dystrophy), which brings us to my short film, Catching Up.

I don't think any kid, disabled or not, grows up dreaming about making a film about disability and sexuality.  I was a kid obsessed with fantasy, horror, science fiction, and adventure movies.  These are the kinds of stories I planned to tell, and I still have them in me.  But during my time studying film at college, I became increasingly aware that most cinematic stories about disabled characters were simply too sentimental, or patronizing, or so focused on politics that the personal, human side of the characters got lost in the shuffle.  Basically, they were either nauseating or boring.

That's not to say the filmmakers had bad intentions -- it's just that a majority of these stories are ABOUT the disability.  The disease or injury takes center stage and drives the narrative.  The focus is usually on a disabled character overcoming some physical limitation or accomplishing some life goal before tragically passing away.  But what happens if the person's physical limitations are here to stay and he/she isn't going anywhere?

"Don't worry, Timmy.  You'll be less pathetic by the end of Act Three."
"Don't worry, Timmy. You'll be less pathetic by the end of Act Three."

I knew that I planned on writing more screenplays after graduating, so I decided to try and create a story about a particular kind of character with a disability -- a high school teacher in his 20s who lived and worked in the mainstream -- and explore the professional, emotional, and interpersonal challenges present in his life in a dramatic yet very down to Earth way.  No inspirational music swells, just life.

This story developed over the course of a year and eventually became my Epic of the Outsiders, if you will.  The short film is based on that script, which I hope you'll get to see as its own movie someday.  With your help, it just might happen.

So I've brought you up to speed about how the film was conceived, but a well thought-out idea does not a movie make.  Or something.  So how did we get to the point where we are prepared to actually make this thing happen?  

"Calm down.  I'll tell you."
"Calm down. I'll tell you."

In the Spring of 2011, I found myself working on a Neil Patrick Harris film with my dear friend and longtime collaborator Mindy Beach -- who is serving as Associate Producer on Catching Up and helped me launch this Kickstarter campaign.  Our job was to promote the film and coordinate sneak preview screenings in Philly, and I was also brought on to edit special features for the DVD (e.g. cast interviews, audition footage, Q&A's).  This put us in touch with Jill Gray Savarese, Director of Publicity and Promotions for the NPH movie.

Long story short, after the film's run concluded, the conversation continued, friendship blossomed, and professional partnerships were born.  Jill Gray Savarese -- an actress, writer, and producer with nearly 20 years of experience in the film industry -- signed on to be our producer.  

After that, things started moving pretty quickly.  Mindy and I pitched the project to some of our filmmaker friends -- including Ian Gillies, our very skilled and knowledgeable Director of Photography (check out his music videos) and Erik Mayer, another talented guy with a disability, who agreed to act in the film alongside me.  And the rest is recent history.

So we have the script.  We have the team.  We will be casting additional roles this month and plan to shoot the film in late July.  

The only thing still missing (besides my car keys) is the rest of the money we need to complete production and get the film into festivals.  I've put some of my own money into this project already, but it's not quite enough.  In order to make the movie all it can be, we need more funds to use for things like:

    - Lenses
    - Lights and Other Camera Equipment
    - Food
    - Festival Fees and DVD Screeners

Basically, we need that extra push from people who believe in this concept and want to see something new and different.  $3,500 is the minimum amount we need to make it work.  More is great, but less means we don't meet our goal, which means we get nothing, which means everyone goes home sobbing.  Bummer.  

Once we reach our goal, any additional funds we receive will go towards developing the feature film version of Catching Up.  So maybe consider checking out that list of rewards I've typed up over there, and for those who decide to contribute -- we owe everything to you.  Thank you.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Oh, right. I almost forgot the fun stuff: Risks and Challenges.

Every movie production, regardless of scale, has its challenges, setbacks, and occasional bare-knuckle boxing matches. But we assure you we will do everything we can to make the film go smoothly. The people working on this project are part of a close-knit circle of friends and colleagues who will treat the project and each other with respect, care, and professionalism.

Whatever challenges the universe throws at us, we will use a lethal combination of critical thinking and blind faith to defeat them. All while keeping you updated on our progress every step of the way.

Thank you for your support!

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    Have you ever wanted to be loved and appreciated? Now's your chance! Pledge $1 to our project, and not only will you be added to our mailing list so that you can receive updates on the film, but we'll also think of you fondly before falling asleep each night.

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    Did we just become best friends? Well, no...but you did just take up residence in a special place deep within our hearts. And we'll prove it, too. Pledge $5 and we will craft you a personalized shout-out on our Facebook page so that everyone will know just how generous, caring, and ruggedly handsome you are.

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    Many thanks, comrade! How can we ever repay you? Hmm...how about access to a downloadable collection of production photos? That means you get the eternal gratitude, the Facebook shout-out, and a bunch of behind the scenes photos of all the beautiful people (also the ugly ones) on the set of our film. Let us know how our hair looks.

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    It would be kind of cool to be able to watch the film that you're supporting with your hard-earned cash, don't you think? Pledge $25 and you will receive your very own DVD copy of "Catching Up" -- but wait, there's more! In addition to the limited edition DVD which won't be released anywhere else, you'll also get a digital copy of the script. Use your keen observational skills to track what changed from script to screen, or, if you're not into that, print out the script and use it as a coaster! (NOTE: Paper coasters may not be moisture resistant.) You also get the rewards from the $1, $5, and $10 pledge levels.

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    9 backers All gone!

    Want to roll like a VIP? Well too bad -- you're doing it anyway. Receive all of the above rewards, plus a swag bundle from our sponsors! A stylish t-shirt, one seriously funky hat, and a killer pair of shades will add that extra touch to your already decently attractive wardrobe. Only 20 swag bundles available, so get'em while you can! (Now if you'll excuse us, we need to go take a shower after using the word "swag" so many times...)

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    SPECIAL OFFER: The first 10 people to pledge $100 will receive the $250 reward for $150 less (Mathematics!). See the $250 reward for more details.

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    You. You. Are just...so beautiful. Seriously, you deserve a special kind of "thank you" -- which is why we're giving you a Special Thanks in our film's credits. Your name will forever be attached to the project you helped make possible, commemorating your awesomeness for all eternity (or until the film disintegrates). You will also get a HARD COPY of the script signed by the director. Naturally, you'll also receive the $1, $5, $10, and $25 rewards (and the $50 reward while supplies last.)

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    1 backer

    We sincerely thank you for your generosity. Hey, are you a fan of movie memorabilia? (Please say yes, please say yes...) Pledge $250 and you will be the proud owner of a limited edition "Catching Up" movie poster signed by our grateful cast and crew. One day those signatures could belong to famous people! Hey, stop laughing. You will also receive all previous rewards.

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    That's it. We HAVE to party together. You've played such a big part in getting our film made, you deserve an invitation to our premiere/after party in Philadelphia! Come eat, drink, and be merry with the cast, crew, and other supporters who are almost as loveable as yourself. (Sadly, we can not pay for travel or your swanky hotel room.) You also get all previous rewards.

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    Wow! Thank you so much. You are obviously a true lover of movies. You've played a crucial role in getting our project made -- now let us help you with yours. To show his appreciation, director Bill Crossland will read your script, or watch your short film, or look at your story idea and workshop it with you during a one hour Skype session. Bill has written several screenplays and has also worked as an EPK editor on the Neil Patrick Harris film "The Best and the Brightest." Let him share his filmmaking stories with you! And if you aren't working on a project, you still get the one hour Skype session, so feel free to talk to him about whatever you like. Possible conversation topics include but are not limited to: the weather, your top five celebrity crushes, and "why does your eye do that?" You also get all previous rewards.

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    Our love for you has now transcended the usefulness of words. You deserve to have your own creative influence stamped on our movie for all to see. The main dramatic conflict of our film takes place in a diner between two old friends, so here's what we want to do: we'll send you a diner menu (signed by cast and crew), and you tell us what one of the characters will be eating during the scene. Then, when you receive your DVD copy of the film, you can pop it in and eagerly await the appearance of the three cheese omelet you personally ordered for the main character! Perfect for cinephiles and control freaks. You also get all previous rewards.

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    1 backer All gone!

    Okay, this is just getting ridiculous. You've brought us so much closer to our goal that it's literally hard to process our level of pure, awestruck gratitude. We want you to be even more involved in the filmmaking process, so we're going to have you name an important supporting character in our film. The character is female -- so if you're a girl, you could give her your name, and if you're a guy, you could bestow her with a feminized version of your own name or name her after a loved one. Or make up a name. We reserve the right to veto names at our discretion, but we're pretty adventurous, so try us. The character's first name will be spoken in the film, and her first AND last name listed in the credits. And, as always, you get all previous rewards.

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    I sure hope you aren't a diva -- because we want you to be in the movie! Come to the set when we film in July and be an extra while getting a firsthand look at what it's like to shoot a short film. Unfortunately, we can't afford to pay for travel or that swanky hotel room we mentioned before (we are on Kickstarter after all), but we will feed you, list you in the credits, and blow you kisses between takes. You also get all previous rewards.

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    Receive all the previous rewards and also walk away from the set with the DIRECTOR'S COPY of the script (w/production notes) AND the slate used on the film. Remember, we plan to use the short to promote the feature film version of "Catching Up" -- so collect these cinematic mementos now and be able to say you were there when it all started! Also, have we told you that we love you today?

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    I'm sorry that we can't look you in the eye, but we're too busy bowing at your feet. Would it be okay if we kissed them, too? You, my dear friend, are more than a fan and supporter -- you are our much adored EXECUTIVE PRODUCER. That's right, you have gone above and beyond to make someone's artistic dream become reality, and we can never thank you enough (I mean we'll have to stop at SOME point, but it'll go on for quite awhile, probably until you're sick of hearing it.) You will receive IMDB credit, a heaping pile of hero worship, and many heartfelt pats on the back when you attend our premiere/wrap party. And, of course, you will get all the previous rewards. We are insanely grateful for what you've done for us. Thank you.

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