In Coulrophobia, parents, Emmett and Rhodie, prepare to greet their son Chez after a long absence. Despite Rhodie's admonitions to behave, Emmet grumbles and hopes his son has put his youthful clown-ways behind him.
Instead, Chez shows up with a silent clown, Rumpo, who turns out to be Chez's partner. While Rumpo and Emmet share a military background, they don't communicate on the same level, and nothing Rumpo can do seems to win Emmet's respect or acceptance. A sort of modern 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner,' Coulrophobia examines family dynamics in an original and whimsical way, while still making time to clown around.
The question everyone wants to know: where's the money going?
1. Gear. We have a professional DP, gaffer, director, etc. We need to give them the right tools to work with; from lights and cameras to hard drives and monitors. We can rent much of this for a good price, but that price is still . . . pricey.
2. Food. If you've never been trapped on a set with hungry or coffee-deprived crew members, trust us: it's not pretty! We will ensure no grumbling stomachs disrupt our audio.
3. Wardrobe and Set Dressing. A conceptual piece like this means we can't just go to the department store or thrift store or actor's closets for the wardrobe. We have a seamstress who will be specifically designing and making the clowns's modern clothing, and we have to buy clown shoes, props, set dressing, etc, too.
4. Makeup. We need professional grade makeup that will look good, yet stay on - with plenty of touch-ups - for 12 hours. This is the same sort of makeup Cirque du Soleil performers wear
5. Etceteras. For all the things that pop up during the shoot.
6. Festival Submissions. If we go over our $2,000 goal, we are going to do two things: up the production gear (better cameras and lights! rent a truck to haul all the cameras and lights!) and help pay for festival submissions, which will be numerous.
Producer Justin Lothrop
Justin Lothrop has worked in various roles on shorts, features, TV, and commercials. Some of his experience includes working on big budget sets such as a viral web series for FORD and the feature film HOPE SPRINGS (uncredited). Most recently, the short film he produced for the 48 Hour Film Festival won best picture and best director in Milwaukee. He also spent the summer of 2012 producing a series of web videos for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, while developing Coulrophobia and producing local short films. Justin enjoys projects which allow him to gallivant about the country.
Producer Melanie Killingsworth
Melanie started working for her college publications department as a writer, and quickly learned to edit and produce the videos she was scripting. After college, she spent time at PASTE magazine working with live performance videos, video reviews, and radio broadcasts. She moved on to work in the editing and production departments for everything from feature documentaries (Street Pulse) to web series (Battleground). Most recently, she wrote and directed the modern noir The Lilith Necklace.
Director Vincent Buckley
Vincent Buckley has directed feature film, shorts, music videos, and more. He first met producer Justin when they worked together on a short film Vincent directed. Coulrophobia writer Gary and Vincent met through the site TriggerStreet. After reading Gary's screenplays there - one which Vincent considers the best unproduced script he's read - Justin approached Gary about writing a short film, which Vincent would direct. Vincent also enjoys playing and coaching volleyball. You can visit him at: VBuckley.com
Writer Gary Wright
It was a strong survival instinct that launched Gary’s writing career. In the spring of ‘98, Gary was a resident actor at a small professional theatre company in northern California. One day, he was told that he would have to perform in a Gold Rush play during the following year’s Gold Rush Sesquicentennial Celebration. After reading the handful of Gold Rush plays under consideration, Gary decided he would do whatever it took to avoid having to act in any of them. So he wrote one. Since then, Gary has received various awards for both his stage plays and screenplays, including being a semifinalist in the Nichol and Zoetrope competitions and again at the Austin Film Festival. Currently, Gary is commissioned to write an updated adaptation of Jack London's "Sea Wolf" for Nassar Entertainment.
*designs are conceptual, specifics subject to change.
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Risks and challenges
The biggest risk or challenge we face is getting cast, crew, locations, costumes, equipment, food, and funding to cooperate and be available at the same time! For an ultra-low-budget indie such as this, this means making contingency plans, being willing to be flexible and push dates if needed to make the best final product possible.
Another risk we have already been addressing is making sure the clowning doesn't come across too slapstick. This means ensuring the costumes are to a high level, the actors are well-rehearsed, and the shooting and editing aren't a 'sensational' style with lots of zooms and crazy sound effects. We want to have fun, but treat the issue of prejudice seriously.
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