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Frank, a man with Muscular Dystrophy, grapples with love, sex, and masculinity in a drama/comedy that does disability differently.
138 backers pledged $26,019 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Hey People...

I'm Bill Crossland -- the guy from the video up there.  I'm a writer, director, actor, producer, and (as I'm sure you can tell) reluctant public speaker.  A little while ago, I wrote and directed a short drama/comedy starring two disabled actors (myself and my good friend Erik O. Mayer), which screened at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Sundance was awesome -- when we weren't freezing our [redacted] off.
Sundance was awesome -- when we weren't freezing our [redacted] off.

That short film, Catching Up, was based on a feature length screenplay of the same name, which is the movie we want to make now.  The idea was to take one small part of the script and create a short as a proof of concept -- and to hopefully get people interested in what we were doing.  At Sundance, the short film screened to an overwhelmingly positive response from audiences who told us they had never seen disabled characters handled this way in a movie before and that they wanted to see more.

Shall we get to it, then?

Catching Up

If you're not into watching Kickstarter videos, then you're probably wondering what this movie is about.  I'm here for ya, babe:

Frank, a high school teacher with Muscular Dystrophy, pretends to be dating his best friend, Lorraine, so her parents won't find out she's gay. But when his childhood crush moves back to town, his desire for a real romantic relationship is unexpectedly awakened.

...and things only get more complicated from there.  Catching Up is a character-driven drama/comedy (terms!) about two friends, Frank and Lorraine, who find acceptance from each other but have a lot of fear about being accepted by other people in their lives.  This relationship is very loosely based on one in my own life, as are some of the romantic misadventures and personal struggles that play out in the story.  I co-wrote the script for this movie and will be producing, directing, and acting once again.  You can't get rid of me that easily.

Bill (yours truly) in the "Catching Up" short film.
Bill (yours truly) in the "Catching Up" short film.

So that's the skinny on what's going on in this movie.  But what's the vibe?  Well, I have a particular fondness for 80s movies.  I love how unpretentious they are, how their main goal is to entertain the audience with a good story.  My aim is to make this sort of an 80s movie that never was, with unconventional leads that never really had a shot at getting a story like this told about them.  Fear not -- when I say "80s movie that never was," I don't mean in any cheesy, overly referential way (it's not actually SET in the 80s), but in spirit.  Kind of like an edgier John Hughes movie where the characters never got their sh-- together after high school.  A "belated coming of age" story, if you will.

Doing Disability Differently

Like I mention in the video, I think if you're going to make a movie in a particular genre or dealing with certain kinds of situations, you might as well do it a bit differently than it's been done in the past, and this works both ways -- we'll not only be shaking up the idea of a relationship drama/comedy by dropping in a not-so-average leading man (in case you haven't noticed, I'm not Ryan Gosling -- much to the chagrin of many people), but we'll also be shaking up the idea of a "disability movie" by stripping away absolutely everything about that idea besides having a physically handicapped character as the lead.

I was told this would work on people.
I was told this would work on people.

What would it look like if we took a character like Frank and dropped him into a romantic story where his disability isn't the main focus or the ultimate obstacle to be overcome?  There are no discussions about medical prognoses or desires to become normal in this story, and [SPOILER ALERT!] Frank will live to see the end of the movie.  Yes, Frank's disability has an impact on the story, but the disability itself is not his greatest challenge -- it's his fear of not being accepted by the woman he loves.  This is just one of the nuances of our script that I'm really pumped about, and that I think are largely missing from movies that treat "Disability" as a genre in and of itself rather than as just one part of a character's life.  So...there.

"So what the heck to you want from us, Bill?"

So here's the plan:  My team and I are very excited to have found an experienced casting director for this project.  Her name is Bess Fifer.  Bess is a New York-based casting director with quite a few movie and television credits to her name, including work on the Netflix shows DareDevil and Stranger Things.  She's going to go out and cast some talented people for several of the lead roles in this project.  Part of the $25,000 will go to her so that she can do her job effectively -- and because it's generally good business to pay the people who are working their butts off for you.  The other part of the money will go to a lawyer who can draft contracts and documents necessary for pitching to investors.  And towards setting up our LLC for the movie so we can operate nice and official-like.  You know, all the sexy stuff.

A blind superhero? Pff. Yeah, okay. Good luck with that, Netflix...
A blind superhero? Pff. Yeah, okay. Good luck with that, Netflix...

If we reach our goal, we can get these things in order, cast some talented actors to do the movie, then use those assets to attract investors so that we can raise our full budget. That's the long game, and we're willing to put in the work to get there.  The thing is, the more people we can get to donate to this campaign, the faster we can get there.  Every dollar that goes over our goal will be put directly into the budget for this movie.  With your help, we could theoretically go way over our goal, meet some of our stretch goals, and go into production much faster than we could have without your support.  And that, it sort of goes without saying, would be awesome.

The Squad

I'm just one member of a ragtag crew of space pirates -- wait, wrong movie -- I mean a loyal team of creative, highly effective professionals (with varying degrees of charm) that are working to make this movie a reality.  This is the Catching Up team so far (in alphabetical order, so they won't know who's my favorite):

  • Mindy Beach:  Producer.  She also worked with me on developing the story for Catching Up, and was one of the producers of the short that screened at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.  Her strengths include scaring you into finishing on time/under budget.
  • Bill Crossland:  Producer.  Writer.  Director.  Actor.  You get it.
  • Patrick Morris:  Producer/Writer.  Patrick and I studied film together at Temple University, receiving our useless arts degrees at the same time.  He also worked on our Sundance-accepted short film, and he's my writing partner on the feature script for Catching Up.
  • Josh Tate:  Producer.  Josh is an experienced line producer (which means he's a logistical mastermind) and has written, directed, produced, and worked on projects featured at Sundance, South By Southwest, and Slamdance.  He's also the nice one.

Those are my people.  It's a good group, and we'll be building out our team further as we raise more of our budget.  I can't tell you how lucky I feel to have a team of friends/collaborators I trust and love working with, and who believe in me and my vision for this project.

There's no "I" in "Team" -- but there is a "me". Hmm.  Forget it.
There's no "I" in "Team" -- but there is a "me". Hmm. Forget it.

My hope is that you will believe in this project as well.  We can't reach our goal without your support, and with your support, we could potentially do so much more.  I think the time is right for a movie like this, and lately I've been hearing more people say that they're tired of seeing disability handled the same way in movies over and over again.  I'm of the mindset that if you want something made a certain way, you should just make it that way.  So instead of shouting into the void, please lend your voices to our campaign and let's make it happen together.  Please donate, share, and harass your rich uncle for me.  He'll break eventually.

Thanks for watching/reading, and thank you for your support.  Follow our new Facebook and Twitter pages for updates on the campaign, casting, the production process, and other assorted shenanigans.

See you at the movies.

Risks and challenges

While the time it takes for us to raise all the money we need and go into production is largely dependent on you guys and how well this campaign performs, in any case we will work our hardest to make this movie happen, and we have specific plans in place for achieving our goals for this project. Our style is to be uber-tactical at every turn, carefully thinking through and planning each stage of the process to maximize quality and minimize the chances of anything slipping through the cracks.

Our previous Kickstarter campaign (the one for our micro-budget short film) was successful, and everyone received their rewards. Not only am I committed to making this movie, but also to properly managing this campaign -- that means keeping you guys informed and making sure you get what's coming to you.

That sounded less threatening in my head. Anyway, this is a team that's used to rolling with the punches and thinking on their feet, and I'm confident that we can tackle any challenges that lie ahead.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    A Meaningful Glance

    Let our love affair begin with a personal "Thank You" shout-out on all of our social media pages. People will know we've got our eye on you.

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    Holding Hands

    Give a little more, get a little more. Relationships are about give and take, after all. Have your name listed on the movie's official website, and receive a special thank you note from Bill.

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    Love Letter

    Your previous reward PLUS (+) We'll show how much we appreciate you by listing your name in the Special Thanks section of the movie's credits. Our bond will be immortalized forever (or until the apocalypse).

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    Going Steady

    + Get a digital copy of the finished movie (when commercially available), so you can stare at your name in the credits and think about our future together. We know waiting is the hardest part, so tell us 3 of your favorite movies and we'll curate a list of 5 movies that you should watch in the meantime.

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    Deep Conversations

    + I think we’ve got a real connection. Get a digital copy of the “Catching Up” screenplay AND a downloadable “Catching Up” movie poster AND a collection of exclusive “Catching Up” desktop wallpapers, just so you know that we’re getting serious about you.

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    Mix Tape

    + Let's get to know each other better -- get 3 Spotify playlists full of awesome 80s tunes curated by Bill to represent 3 of the movie's key characters (so you can have something to listen to while you're spoiling the movie for yourself). One of the playlists -- by Dave the DJ -- will be updated with new jams regularly over the coming months, so it’ll be even easier to keep living in the past! ALSO get a digital copy of the feature screenplay for "Catching Up" SIGNED by the director AND a downloadable list of movies, music, writing, and other things that inspired Bill’s vision for the movie.

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    First Kiss

    + Be one of the first to see the movie before it comes out! We'll send you a private link to the finished movie that can be viewed for a limited time. Get an early access sneak peek of the movie you helped create, and make everyone else jealous. ALSO receive a digital download of "Catching Up" the short film so you can see where it all started.

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    Tough Love

    + (SPECIAL LIMITED REWARD) Get some valuable relationship advice from someone who doesn't care about your feelings! The first 25 people to pledge this amount will get the $100 reward at this discounted price. Read the next reward box to learn more.

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    Tough Love

    + Get some valuable relationship advice from someone who doesn't care about your feelings! In a pivotal scene in the movie, Frank (Bill Crossland) seeks relationship advice from his friend, Dave (Erik O. Mayer), a straight shooter who lays some extremely tough love on our man. Tell us your relationship problems or dating question, and receive some tough love of your own from Bill and Erik. You'll get a video of the guys discussing the topic you've presented to them, so you can treasure their in-fighting for all time. Spoiler Alert: Erik's the nice one.

    (Estimated length of video message: 5-10 minutes; Warning: thick skin may be required)

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    Making Out

    + As you know, Bill is a writer and producer who has experience workshopping other people's projects as well as his own. Share any project idea or piece of writing (a screenplay, short story, potentially life-altering love letter) with Bill and he'll give you detailed notes. You can even workshop it together during a Skype call/Google Hangout session. We can chat about your story ideas, production plans, Kickstarter campaign, etc. That should help with the awkward silences.

    Estimated time of call: 30 minutes (or until you get sick of me).

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    Sharing Our Feelings

    + Let's get intimate. Bill will help you design your very own online dating profile OR edit your existing profile for you (God help you if he finds any typos). And because you’re helping us out, Bill will help you out and advise you on your dating game (for better or worse) for a whole week. If you're feeling particularly adventurous and/or fed up, he'll even take over said profile for the week -- he’ll send and respond to messages (all classy-like, promise), scope out some love interests, and try his best not to scare away your potential soulmate.

    (Disclaimer: All romantic pursuits subject to total and spectacular failure.)

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    Staying the Night

    + (SPECIAL LIMITED REWARD) Invade our personal space--I mean...leave your personal mark on our movie by helping us dress the set! Lorraine, our female lead, works in a local bar -- and we want you to send us a photo that we can put smack dab in the center of the "Employee of the Month" plaque. ALSO, you get to name 5 craft beers that will appear on the draft list hanging on the wall. Make them fun, unique, comical, whatever your heart desires.

    We'll have to reel you in a bit if you get too out of control, but we're pretty sick in the head ourselves, so try us! You'll ALSO get the actual PROPS themselves once we’re done with them -- and a signed photograph of Bill (and whoever else is around) posing next to your creations. Clothing optional.

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    A Loving Embrace

    + We love you too much not to make you an insider. Receive a private link to an EARLY CUT of the movie, then jump on a Skype/Google Hangout call with Bill and the other producers to give them all your valuable feedback. We want to hear what you think -- your notes could help shape the final movie! ALSO, you're invited to participate in a private test screening of the movie, so if you can make it, come out and watch it with an audience, see what's changed, and reiterate your vitriolic comments to Bill and the squad in person.

    (Locations TBD. Travel and accommodations not included. Don't hurt us.)

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    Getting Frisky

    + Come visit the set of "Catching Up"! Get to experience a movie shoot firsthand -- take a tour of the set, sit at the monitor and watch the movie be shot, eat lunch with the crew, and possibly flex your acting muscles as background talent (which totally sounds fancier than "extra"). But wait -- THERE'S MORE. You’re invited to our WRAP PARTY! Eat, drink, and be merry with the cast and crew. I’d say you’ve earned yourself a couple beers (if you’re 21 or over, of course -- nice try). See you there, babe.

    (Locations TBD. Travel and accommodations not included.)

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    Heavy Petting

    + (SPECIAL LIMITED REWARD) Lorraine is a big fan of B-Horror movies, which she and Frank watch regularly during their hangouts. In "Catching Up" they manage to get their hands on a copy of a much sought after shlock-fest entitled "LESBIAN ALTAR GIRLS 5: THE RECKONING". Sounds pretty rad, right? The raddest part is that YOU (or a willing person of your choosing) are going to be an actor in this fictional film within the film. Are you a terrible actor? Even better! You’ll get a digital download of your scene AND (2) TICKETS to a screening of “Catching Up” so you can experience your B-Movie debut on the big screen in all its glory.

    (Locations TBD. Travel and accommodations not included.)

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    Going All The Way

    + Wow. Thank you for believing in our project. There's only one appropriate response to the level of support you've shown us -- and that's to give you an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit on IMDB and in the credits of our movie. Get access to EARLY CUTS of the movie and give your thoughts, come check out the editing process, and get the inside scoop on every step of the movie’s progress. You're part of the squad now. I think this is the beginning of something beautiful...

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Funding period

- (30 days)