NEW STRETCH GOAL: $7500
Thanks to the fantastic and generous support shown to us already, we're getting a little bit ambitious and setting a stretch goal for $7500. This will specifically go for 3 things:
1.) Covering Kickstarter costs and fees (which amount to roughly 10%)
2.) Allowing us to shoot for an additional day
3.) Augmenting our camera and production design departments
Importantly, all of this goes directly to things you will see on screen. It means we'll truly have $5,000 to put into the film's budget, that we can spend more time to get it right and that we can augment these two specific areas of the production to make the film look even better.
The Eternal is an existential ghost story about a pizza delivery driver who receives a cryptic transmission from beyond the grave, imploring her for help. Help only she can provide.
For me, the most interesting films are those that can’t be pegged as just one thing. It's not just a musical, or just a drama, or just a comedy -- but something combining different, often times disparate, parts to make a final product that isn't incredibly easy to classify. And that philosophy informs The Eternal, which is a film that fires on multiple cylinders. It’s a ghost story, but it's ambiguous and mysterious and suggestive, in a similar fashion to my favorite films of Val Lewton, eschewing traditional jump scares and gore effects in favor of a deeper sense of enveloping dread and unease. There are elements of experimental films in The Eternal – specifically trance and flicker films – though they're married to a narrative structure that has a traditional beginning, middle and end. It has the minimalist, trance-inducing vibes of Krautrock bands like Can or Neu!, but those rhythmic formalist qualities are also offset with a hearty dose of paranoid dark humor.
It’s not any one thing – other than a movie. One that is unique and different than everything else that is out there competing for your limited time and attention. More than anything else, something that is cinematic.
We have a fantastic opportunity given to us already: The Eternal is part of Fandor’s FIXshorts program. Fandor – the great VOD site which specializes in bringing independent, experimental and all-around top-notch films into your living room – has already given us a large part of our budget, with the only caveat that we have to raise an additional $5,000 to supplement what they have already put in. Otherwise, we have complete control, so it's a very nice situation to be in.
There’s another great benefit to this partnership as well: Fandor will be distributing the film once it’s finished. Which is a huge thing, since the #1 challenge every short film faces in the end is the issue of distribution. Who will see it? How will they see it?
Will it just end up on a hard drive, stuffed in the filmmakers’ closet for eternity, all the blood, sweat and tears shed for naught? And, by extension, will your contribution go to waste? The answer to these last two questions is simple: no.
With Fandor’s participation, it means that any help you can provide will go to a film that will be seen, which will be publicly available and distributed, and won’t simply disappear after you’ve contributed. Your help will make a serious impact.
And specifically, where does your contribution go to?
To very important things like:
•FEEDING THE CAST & CREW
•PRODUCTION DESIGN, PROPS & VEHICLES
•LOCATION PERMITS & FEES
•EQUIPMENT RENTALS to make this movie!
The Look & Feel
The film is going to be shot in high-contrast black & white. Touchstone films are Chris Petit’s RADIO ON, Wim Wenders’ ALICE IN THE CITIES, KINGS OF THE ROAD and THE STATE OF THINGS, and Pedro Costa’s THE BLOOD (O SANGUE). Films that were, for the most part, shot by either Robby Muller or Martin Schafer (himself Muller's long-time assistant).
It's a very specific look, and so we've already started working on how best to achieve it with the means at our disposal. The camera tests in the pitch video and additional stills dotted on this page help convey the overall mood of the film.
The B&W is deliberate: it adds an abstract, heightened feel to the film, something not in the present tense in the way that shooting in color would create. B&W helps create a world where all of the fantastic elements of the story emerge realistically from the mundane surroundings, where the natural and supernatural merge seamlessly -- something absolutely essential for any ghost story to be believable and effective.
We’re assembling a crack team of good folks.
DANIEL STUYCK - DIRECTOR/WRITER
I, Dan, am a colorist and title designer by day – I’ve color graded three films that played at Cannes, graded both Grand Jury prize winning features at this year’s SXSW, and have had my color and title work play at a gang of places (Cannes, Sundance, Venice, Berlin, Toronto, Telluride, SXSW, Tribeca, et al). I designed the titles for an Oscar-nominated film by the also Oscar-nominated Richard Linklater (BEFORE MIDNIGHT) and hand-painted -- then drove over in my car for added texture -- titles for a Nicolas Cage movie directed by David Gordon Green (JOE).
My own movies are available on Fandor, coincidentally. And my most recent film, ENVY, which was shot by this film’s cinematographer E.J. Enriquez, premiered this year simultaneously at the Ann Arbor Film Festival and streaming online on Fandor.
I've also written about movies, for publications such as Film Comment, Cinema Scope and Vertigo, among others.
I like movies.
CHRIS OHLSON - PRODUCER
Chris Ohlson recently produced KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER, which had its world premiere in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was released in 2015 by Amplify Releasing. Ohlson’s other credits include THANK YOU A LOT, which premiered at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival and was released by Gravitas Ventures, Bryan Poyser’s LOVERS OF HATE, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, and 2009’s THE OVERBROOK BROTHERS, which premiered in the narrative competition at SXSW and was acquired by IFC Films. Chris was the recipient of the 2015 Independent Spirit Piaget Producing Award and was previously a Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow, as well as an alum of Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) Narrative Lab Program and the Rotterdam Labs.
JONNY MARS – PRODUCER
Some of Jonny Mars’s producing credits include Kat Candler’s BLACK METAL in 2013 (Sundance), distributed by Fandor; Sean Gallagher’s GOOD NIGHT in 2013 (SXSW/Busan) called "lovely and devastating" by Indiewire, distributed by Devolver Digital; Spencer Parson’s thriller SATURDAY MORNING MASSACRE in 2012 (LAFF) distributed by Xlerator Media Group; and Jonny’s own documentary AMERICA’S PARKING LOT in 2012 (SXSW) which NPR listed as “10 Films Worth Going Out Of Your Way For in 2012”, distributed by Film Buff and broadcast on ESPN.
E.J. ENRIQUEZ – CINEMATOGRAPHER
E.J. Enriquez’s experiences behind the camera range from international documentaries, commercial fashion spots, and narrative shorts and features that have screened at festivals around the world including Sundance, Berlinale, LAFF and SXSW, among others. Commercial clients include Macy’s, Allstate, HP, Shiner Beer, Lennox, Samsung, Rackspace and more. He has filmed in locations ranging from the coastal hubs of India to the Himalayas of Nepal and the bustling metropolises of Japan. He also was nominated for the American Society of Cinematographers’ Student Heritage Award.
TOM HAMMOND - SOUND DESIGNER
Owner of the Austin-based post sound facility, Soundcrafter, Inc., Tom Hammond has supervised the sound and been the sound designer and re-recording mixer on numerous award winning features, documentaries and television series, including 10 features by director Richard Linklater. He has created everything from the iconic "scramble suit” voice effect for A SCANNER DARKLY, to the dynamic party scenes of the soon-to-be-released EVERYBODY WANTS SOME, to the harmonically-enhanced windscapes of the Robert Redford produced, THE UNFORESEEN. Tom received a BFA and MFA in film/video production at the California Institute of the Arts and studied physics and music composition at Whitman College.
...WITH MORE TO COME
Risks and challenges
One of the biggest challenges with independent films – and independent short films in particular – is the uncertainty of what will happen to it, once all the blood, sweat and tears have been shed in the process of physically making it. On that front, the great thing about Fandor and the FIXshorts program is that distribution is guaranteed through their VOD service. So, no matter what happens upon venturing into the murky waters of film festivals and premieres, the film will be seen and be available. It will be seen, period.
The other risks of production – the sheer act of getting everyone together and making this thing – we’re mitigating by getting a lot of A+ folks who have the experience and background to make this happen, and using their expertise to guide the process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)