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Life is good for Don, a rough and tumble mobster, until the day he discovers his intolerance to gluten. #glutenfreemobster Read more

New York, NY Shorts
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This project was successfully funded on March 31, 2014.

Life is good for Don, a rough and tumble mobster, until the day he discovers his intolerance to gluten. #glutenfreemobster

New York, NY Shorts
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About this project

As posted on Update #2:

From left: Jim Canty, Wayne Soares, Neil Parisi (foreground), Chris Fondulas, Alec Baldwin and Matt Garafalo on the set of day one of The Curse of Don Scarducci. [Photo credit: Ali Goldstein]
From left: Jim Canty, Wayne Soares, Neil Parisi (foreground), Chris Fondulas, Alec Baldwin and Matt Garafalo on the set of day one of The Curse of Don Scarducci. [Photo credit: Ali Goldstein]

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 as "Francis", the capo. [Photo credit: Ali Goldstein]
Alec Baldwin as "Francis", the capo. [Photo credit: Ali Goldstein]

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. 

Neil Parisi as "Don Scarducci" [Photo credit: Ali Goldstein]
Neil Parisi as "Don Scarducci" [Photo credit: Ali Goldstein]
Director of Photography, Gregg de Domenico (on left) and Director, Chris Fondulas. [Photo credit: Dean Neistat]
Director of Photography, Gregg de Domenico (on left) and Director, Chris Fondulas. [Photo credit: Dean Neistat]
From left: Wayne Soares, Chris Fondulas and Matt Garafalo. [Photo credit: Dean Neistat]
From left: Wayne Soares, Chris Fondulas and Matt Garafalo. [Photo credit: Dean Neistat]
Robert Lapreta as "Frankie". [Photo credit: Tom Chaves]
Robert Lapreta as "Frankie". [Photo credit: Tom Chaves]

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!

Sincerely,

Team Scarducci

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. 

Aniello (Neil) Parisi, as the impenetrable Don Scarducci. Courtesy of Lloyd Bishop
Aniello (Neil) Parisi, as the impenetrable Don Scarducci. Courtesy of Lloyd Bishop

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? 

From left; Jack McBrayer, Neil Parisi, Jessie Hoyt and Chris Fondulas. Courtesy of Lloyd Bishop
From left; Jack McBrayer, Neil Parisi, Jessie Hoyt and Chris Fondulas. Courtesy of Lloyd Bishop

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?)

Jessie, waiting for the next great loaf. Courtesy of Lloyd Bishop.
Jessie, waiting for the next great loaf. Courtesy of Lloyd Bishop.

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.

You could be sporting this in a few months.
You could be sporting this in a few months.

About the Director

Image courtesy of Lloyd Bishop.
Image courtesy of Lloyd Bishop.

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.

Seen here, in shock, with other winners, LACS 2011.
Seen here, in shock, with other winners, LACS 2011.

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.  

All images courtesy of Lloyd Bishop.
All images courtesy of Lloyd Bishop.

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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Rewards

  • You selected
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    7 backers

    A very special thank you from us here at our virtual production office and the realization that you are making a movie! Plus a special thanks on our Facebook page.

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    11 backers

    CRONY - Welcome to the Scarducci Family! You'll be getting the nod on Facebook + we'll send you a digital download of the full, 24-page script. But, why wait? Like us on Facebook and we'll send you the full 24-page script for you to read right away. Who knows, you may decide to donate more.

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    51 backers

    You're still a CRONY, and there's nothing wrong with that. For this you'll get the nod on Facebook,
    the digital script + a 1080p download of the final cut sent to your inbox upon completion.

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    45 backers

    HENCHMAN - Henchmen are a big part of the Family ... and with that, they need to know what's going on. The nod on Facebook, digital script, the 1080p download + you'll receive updates from our production blog, including news on our filming dates, status, etc. On top of that, you'll receive a physical DVD of the final cut of the film, including a sure-to-be-funny gag reel.

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    1 backer

    HENCHMEN WHO LOVE ART - Most henchmen I know love art - "one dog goes one way and the other dog goes the other way." This reward gets you the nod on Facebook, the digital script, 1080p download, updates from the blog, a DVD of the final cut + take your pick of images from the director's personal photographic archives and get a color or black and white, hi res digital image file for you to print or keep on your desktop. Take a look at the images at www.chrisfondulas.com.

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    35 backers

    SOLDIER. You're a "Soldier" now, so for this you get all the above + a custom Curse of Don Scarducci t-shirt to wear with pride. A t-shirt is the go-to gift on film shoots. It shows that you were there and that you had a hand in making things happen. You'll also receive a high-def, downloadable "thank you" video from the charming and inimitable Jack McBrayer of 30 Rock, who graciously gave his time for this Kickstarter promo. This "thank you" is yours to watch over and over ... until your computer dies.

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    8 backers Limited (42 left of 50)

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER - Become a monumental force behind the making of this film with an "Associate Producer" credit. As an Associate Producer you can expect to receive all the above + two tickets to a premiere screening in either of the two major locations we are shooting - Connecticut or New York. Also, you are invited to a Skype interview with the director to ask any and all questions pertaining to the making of the film, or if you just want to know the reason why the thing on the dolly that you stand on is called a "pork chop." I actually don't know why it's called that. I'll ask.

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    0 backers

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER'S CIRCLE, MOVIE BUFF. Add to your movie poster collection with this one-of-a-kind Curse of Don Scarducci film release poster! Plus all the above.

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    2 backers Limited (38 left of 40)

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER'S CIRCLE, ROUND II -
    Receive a limited edition, 16x20" (or smaller) digital C-print of an image taken on set the day of the promo shoot by our still photographer, Lloyd Bishop, on-staff photographer for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Lloyd gave his time generously to us that day and so this was one way we could think of to pay him back. Check out the rest of his work at www.lloydbishop.com/

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    1 backer Limited (49 left of 50)

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER'S CIRCLE, ROUND III - All the above + be a background extra in a scene. Based on your comfort level, and your location, between New York and Connecticut, there are plenty of options to fold background into the scenes. You might play a dead body, or someone walking their dog. Just depends on the day. Travel and accommodations not included.

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    UNDERBOSS - PRODUCER'S CIRCLE - Along with your success as a background actor, you will receive ALL ACCESS to the set for a day as "Underboss". Walk freely amongst the set (just not into the shot), eat lunch with the actors and the crew, watch and listen to the takes unfold and see what being part of a film set really feels like. We'll even give you your very own set of comteks (lets you listen to the actors do their thing). You've just become a Producer, so you'll also receive an official "TCDS" production jacket - something to keep you warm and remind you of your time on set.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    UNDERBOSS - PRODUCER'S CIRCLE, ROUND II - All the above + your name on the bar sign! The bar where our hero spends some time is an integral part of the film with an establishing shot out front. We reserve some right to alter the name if your name was say..."Squidoo" (what I found when I googled "weirdest name ever", actually "Neotarama" was the #1 hit), but if "Squidoo" wants it bad enough, then come forward "Squidoo." What have I done.

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    CONSIGLIERE. ALL-ACCESS for ALL days of shooting, or for whatever locations you decide to show up at. This means you'll be there to personally watch the work unfold on each day of shooting. It will be four days of excitement, comteks, craft service (snacks), laughs, the stylish producer's jacket and lots of cannoli (gluten-free options will be available of course). Plus all the above. Travel and accommodations not included.

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    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    BOSS. You've just graduated to Boss, a made man, or lady. This makes you an Executive Producer, granting you all of the above, plus, if interested, a chance to take a crack at acting with a featured speaking role in the film. Our casting experts will reserve the right to place you in a scene per your "look", interest, and comfort level, and, if nothing else, we'll write something up for you. Rest assured though, you will officially be a member of the acting department. This includes getting your very own imdb.com page listing you as an actor in the film. On top of that, before it's said and done, our qualified staff will shoot your headshot so you can continue your thespian journey after production is wrapped. Travel and accommodations not included.

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    0 backers

    THE DON. With this title comes nothing but Mafia royalty. We can't thank you enough for this type of donation except to say that you've graduated to a level of mafioso so grand, that you should only be treated like the gold dangling from Sonny Corleone's neck. If you need a ride, we will fly you to New York (domestic, coach), and put you up for two fun-filled days to experience the making of the film for the New York portion. And, we'll have a special dinner for you and a guest, on the last night of your visit, to have a toast and share some stories of the journey.

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Funding period

- (30 days)