About this project
As posted on Update #2:
Hello Kickstarter community! As you may or may not know, we snuck a shoot day into our busy schedule - pre-finale of the Kickstarter deadline - due to actor availability, and well, there's no way to say it other than it was an amazing day! Our actor was indeed available and graced us with his presence yesterday afternoon on our set in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Alec Baldwin came in hot and delivered a stunning performance! He played Francis, the capo, out for revenge on Don, the heartbroken celiac who leaves the family to live a cleaner, happier life. The crew watched in amazement as he commanded the scene, reminding us all who's boss.
A very special thanks goes out to our actors, crew members, and a huge thanks to our location hosts, John Boone and Jenny Dixon, for making today a (bread) smashing success. Last, we have 4 more days to go. Please help us make this project a reality by sharing and getting your friends to donate!
A Little Back Story
The Curse of Don Scarducci was born out of a piece of unfortunate news. My wife, Jessie, was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2006, derailing her love of foods containing wheat, rye, barley and oats indefinitely. It was a massive blow to a woman I once considered a connoisseur of anything and everything delicious, delectable — and glutenous. For the past eight years, it has been a long road of back-and-forths to the kitchen with waiters at restaurants, arrangements for "special" airline meals, or struggling to remain true to her zero-tolerance policy of no gluten when she's really down and out. Despite the hardships and her at-times grumpy, starving persona, it's been pretty, pretty, funny. Don't worry — she's laughing with me. (Most of the time.)
After years of watching gluten-free sandwiches disintegrate before our eyes (you'll understand if you've been there), the idea came to me: What would happen if the toughest, ugliest, hard-hitting dude out there in this big, bad world found out he had celiac disease? Who would he be? How would he handle it? Would he take heed and listen to a physician? Would he whine to the waiter repeatedly to check on the crunchy fish to make sure it doesn't have any panko flakes on it? Would he — or could he — stop eating pasta and the other Italian delicacies he loves so much, knowing all too well that they were bad for him?
One day of giving up wheat is doable. Stopping forever will change a man in ways you can't imagine.
This is a comedy inspired by my wife's gluten intolerance, told through the eyes of a mobster. It's a textbook tale of the annoyances and side effects of celiac disease, coupled with a coming-of-age story about Don Scarducci, a mobster's mobster living the high life in New York. After a series of unexplained stomach issues, Don undergoes testing, and his diagnosis leaves him searching for ways to just be human again. This life-changing quest results in him abandoning the lifestyle he knows, and becoming a man he never imagined he could be. After all, is it really fun killing people?
For those of you who have celiac, our hearts go out to you. We want to show the world what a pain it is to deal with this diabolical, one-sided, irksome disease. Ultimately we want to make a comedy, but raising celiac awareness is a secondary goal as well. Jessie still laughs, but she's not over it, and probably never will be. Just look at her staring off into space, wondering when, and if, the next great loaf of gluten-free bread will arrive. (Next Kickstarter campaign?)
Where Your Funds Will Be Going
As you're well aware by now from looking at other Kickstarters, or from just being alive, it takes money to make a film. We want to make this project to the best of our abilities, and the amount we are asking is the bare minimum we feel will make that possible given the size of this short script. There are a good deal of special effects, stunts and locations to be thought out, but it's completely feasible within the budget we are seeking. We enjoy a good challenge! I'm not saying it wouldn't hurt to get a little more than what we're asking, in fact, we hope to stretch our goal during this 30-day fundraiser, but we have looked long and hard at the feat at hand, and are confident we can make this happen. Plain and simple, your contribution — big or small — will be deeply appreciated and we promise to give out good perks in exchange.
About the Director
I've worked in film and television in New York for the past fifteen years, mostly as a boom operator in the sound department. Due to this career decision, and what turned into an incredible seven-year run on NBC's 30 Rock, writing was something that fell into my "spare time" category. By nature of being a boom operator I was always within feet of the action, able to observe, up close and personal, how to direct and pull off a scene.
In between setups, I jotted down notes for screenplays I wanted to write, but then would have to run and hold a microphone over Alec Baldwin (who by the way is a stalwart supporter of our endeavors, and could be making a special visit to set.) When a coworker began talking about sending his own script to a screenwriting contest, the idea dawned on me to do the same. So, in 2011, I shipped my one complete script off to the L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival and won Best Short Screenplay.
The script also made it to the top 100 Round Pick at the Table Read My Screenplay contest at Sundance the same year. I couldn't help but think these were the signs to start following my "risky choice" decisions in life. Switching careers mid-stream? Isn't it bad to "cross the streams?!" Regardless, we all have to start somewhere.
Let's Meet Some of the Crew
Our Storyboard Artist
A Special Thanks
It would be ill-advised not to mention the rest of the promo crew, and everyone else for that matter, who has helped to bring this campaign to light. Without their help, this wouldn't have been possible. So once again, thank you to everyone who has worked with me throughout this campaign. Here's hoping we get to work together again soon.
Risks and challenges
Making a film presents many obstacles, but with your help, we will work together to make sure everything we need to get this project done correctly will be in place. The amount of money we seek is a fair amount of money, yes, but we feel that that amount, based on the script elements and endeavor at hand, is accurately portrayed.
It comes in the form of proper scheduling, anticipating problems before they happen and not treating the crew like animals ... the kind that get overworked, not the cute cuddly ones. Being a crew member now for over a decade, I understand what it takes to get the job done and to make everyone happy. Part of being on a set is getting along with everyone. "Doesn't play well with others" can't exist here ... and when it does, it usually ends up with that person locking themselves in a cube truck and holding the film ransom until they get paid. That really happened once...but don't worry, it wasn't me.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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