Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A family comedy set in 1996 about a boy who can't pronounce his name due to a lisp. He needs a new one. The choice...
A family comedy set in 1996 about a boy who can't pronounce his name due to a lisp. He needs a new one. The choice...
295 backers pledged $17,111 to help bring this project to life.

About

Cecil: A Family Friendly  Feature Film project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Cecil: A Family Friendly Feature Film

$17,111

295

Spenser Fritz (director/writer) and Amanda Dillingham (producer) met at Watkins College of Art & Design. Spenser majored in directing and screenwriting, finding his knack in the world of comedy. Amanda majored in studio art and found the skills she had learned were helpful in production design and producing. After realizing the unstoppable power of their working relationship, Spenser and Amanda decided to embark on the biggest production of their life: marriage.

While courting, Spenser told Amanda stories of his childhood in Indiana. Spenser had unfortunately couldn't correctly pronounce his Rs, which meant he couldn’t pronounce his own name. His middle name was Michael and he always thought it’d be easier to just go by that, plus then he could be more like his role model, Michael Jordan. After all the stories, Spenser set pen to paper (or hand to a keyboard) and began writing the script for Cecil.

After millions, okay maybe 50, different rewrites, lots of feedback, and many days of pitching, we connected with Jay Walters (actor/executive producer). We all worked really well together spit balling stories and concepts, and quickly realized that besides being friends, we could also make great movies together.

Over the last three years, the comedic story has morphed and changed but the plot has stayed the same. The comedy is set in the 90s and is about a boy who has a speech impediment that bars him from being able to correctly pronounce his own name. After being bullied, his best friend and confidant, Tiffany, suggests that the only way for Cecil to save himself from social travesty is to change his name to Michael Jordan.

Spenser directing Sark (Cecil) and Meyrick (Tiffany).
Spenser directing Sark (Cecil) and Meyrick (Tiffany).

Cecil’s character traits start out quiet and shy but as he figures out how to climb the ranks of popularity, he begins to show a more outgoing, confident attitude. Cecil's best friend, Tiffany, is a precocious fourth grader who keeps him in line. She is the school reporter and uses her knowledge to navigate the social stratosphere. She is the ultimate mastermind, sometimes a little too smart for her own good. Between Cecil and Tiffany, life is a fun adventure where anything is possible.

Spenser working with Meyrick (Tiffany) on a scene for the trailer.
Spenser working with Meyrick (Tiffany) on a scene for the trailer.

Overall the film has a strong anti-bully theme. We hope children will walk away with the idea that it is not only okay to be different, but being unique is better!  Having a lisp doesn’t make Cecil a bad person or unpopular. All of us have things we’d like to change about ourselves and only to later realize that those things are what make us stronger, more unique people.

Cecil also lightly touches on ideas of children coping with divorce, as Cecil’s parents are wrapped up in their own world of misfortune. Often for children, divorce is a time of vulnerability, especially when forced to switch schools. We hope this film allows parents and their children to talk more openly about their feelings.

The boys face cuts at the basketball tryouts.
The boys face cuts at the basketball tryouts.

Finally, Cecil above all is a comedy. There will be comedic moments for kids, such as the zany characters and crazy adventure, as well as moments for the parents, such as the 90s pop culture references. We’ve spent the last few years watching great movies of our youth, such as The Sandlot, Goonies, Blank Check, Mighty Ducks, Son of Rambow, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Clueless. These movies serve as our inspiration of films that can be watched by the whole family.

After working on the film for the last three years, we’ve found an investor who will graciously put up $40,000. Our Kickstarter is for $16,000 and we also have an investor who is willing to match our earned funds. Kickstarter takes a 5% fee, and payment processing fees are between 3% and 5%. This means that if we are successful, we will have a final total budget of around $72,000.

This budget will go towards principle and post-production costs. We realize for a feature $72,000 is not a huge budget. We have plans to keep our costs down, such as having a smaller crew, keeping a smaller cast, and shooting in a quicker amount of time. In addition, one part of the budget will go to securing name talent to help with distribution of the film.

This is a passion project for not only Spenser and Amanda but everyone involved. Your donations will make this film a reality!

We are very lucky to have this campaign be matched. Every single dollar matters to this project as if successful it will be doubled. You can help make this film happen!

Risks and challenges

One of our major challenges will be what happens to the film after the post production. Most of the funding from this campaign will go to making sure we are creating a polished film that is as good as it can possibly be to increase our chances of distribution. With the budget we’ve outlined, it will give us enough shooting days to keep the actors fresh, as well as the crew. But that also means that our schedule will have to be tight and we will have to really move as a cohesive unit, cast and crew alike.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    FAN: Each single fan makes a large cheering crowd and we can’t do this without the support of each of you. We want to keep you in the know with our phat email newsletter including release info, set photos and a Behind the Scene Video Diary from the director. All that and a bag of chips… no chips included at this level.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    13 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    CHEERLEADER: Who rocks the house? You do. We will send you a kickin’ Cecil thank you postcard, and give ya’ mad props by putting your name in the end credits of the final film.

    And the above reward as well.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    66 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $23 or more About $23

    MASCOT: You are a leader amping up support at just the right time. Because of that you gotta look good, so your Jordan influenced donation will get you some bling: a 90s Cecil branded slap bracelet. Now you will be slammin’ while leading the crowd.

    And the above rewards as well.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    48 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    SMALL FORWARD: Considered to be perhaps the most versatile of the 5 main basketball positions, and just like you are racking up the points, you are racking up prizes, like the coveted digital download of the film and an exclusive 11x17 Cecil poster.

    And the above rewards as well.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    63 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    POWER FORWARD: You are a super important part of our team! Coming off the rim, rebound your very own 11x17 Cecil Poster signed by our main talent and a digital download of the Cecil script for after the game r&r!

    And the above rewards as well.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    19 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    CENTER: Go up for the jump ball and get it to your team… that’s how you win. For this level, you’ll receive a dope Cecil T-shirt (available in sizes for tall centers) as well as your own DVD of “Cecil” the film.

    And the above rewards as well.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    13 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    SHOOTING GUARD: Walk in the sneakers of MJ, himself, in this important position to the team. Score mega points for our team with this donation and receive a tight 18x24 Cecil poster and a printed script.

    And the above rewards as well.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    POINT GUARD: Dribble down the lane and take it to the house. Score 2 tickets to the premier screening of Cecil in Nashville and the off the heasy after party!

    And the above rewards as well. Travel not included.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    COACH: It’s go time and you are a play maker that’s going to help us get our game on. We also got your back with a printed script signed by the main talent and 4 tickets to the fresh premier screening of Cecil in Nashville and righteous after party

    And the above reward as well. Travel not included.

    And the above rewards as well. Travel not included.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,996 or more About $1,996

    OWNER: It’s 1996 and what team could you possibly own? Our team, playa! The owner is invited to spend a day on Cecil’s set, be a featured extra in a scene in the film, and receives 2 invitations to get jiggy with the cast and crew at the Cecil set wrap party.

    And the above rewards as well. Travel not included.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    ALL PRO LEVEL: Boo-yah! Your support of dead presidents comes with a fly opportunity to be a featured extra in a scene in the film with a line. We will also snatch you a prop from back in the day used in the film and signed by cast!

    And the above rewards as well. Travel not included.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)