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This documentary follows Chris Lopes, a young actor with Down syndrome, as he takes on an industry that is based on looks and ability.
83 backers pledged $9,009 to help bring this project to life.

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A Different Script: A Documentary [Second Kickstarter] project video thumbnail
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$9,009

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A Different Script 

Chris Lopes during one of his interviews
Chris Lopes during one of his interviews

A Different Script is a 30-minute documentary explores the intersection of the worlds of disability and the entertainment industry through the eyes of Chris Lopes, a 20-year-old actor with Down syndrome. We follow Chris as he lands a Hollywood agent and auditions for one big role that he hopes will be his big ticket to fame. All the while, his family worries about the practicality of his dreams and his desire to move to LA and live on his own. This documentary captures the heart of a young man who never gives up and reveals how acting has not only changed Chris’ life but is giving him an unexpected path toward independence. Through Chris’ journey, you will meet his agent, Gail Williamson, who will give a larger and deeper understanding of the fight and movement to change the way actors with disabilities are represented in Hollywood.

Kathy and Chris Lopes
Kathy and Chris Lopes

Our Film's Journey So Far 

Eva Andersen and Chris Lopes during a Q & A at Columbia University's Doc Fest 2017 after a private screening
Eva Andersen and Chris Lopes during a Q & A at Columbia University's Doc Fest 2017 after a private screening

A Different Script began production over a year ago. Back in January of 2017, we met Chris Lopes and his family and our journey together created an emotionally moving film filling audiences with laughter and tears. We completed post-production at the end of August 2017. We have so far only been able to show the film through private screening with a few hundred people in attendance but the feedback has been astounding. We have had comments ranging from, “I don’t know how you made me cry one second and laugh the next,” to “You did such a great job - and you in no way created ‘disability porn.’,” to “I loved it so much how can I help get this film out there.”

Steve, Kathy Chris, and Francesca at Fairfield University in CT after a private screening
Steve, Kathy Chris, and Francesca at Fairfield University in CT after a private screening

While we are ready for the world to watch and embrace Chris’ story, we have run up into a few obstacles which is why we have decided to create a second Kickstarter.

What Will My Contribution Do? 

The good news is thanks to many generous donations, our film is complete! But in the process of submitting to film festivals, we’ve come to a halt. In order to legally screen our film, we need to buy the rights to several clips used in the film, that demonstrate Chris’ acting ability.

Since September, we have been working to secure legal rights (through a clearinghouse) to a variety of video clips and songs used in the documentary, which include Chris’s performance in High School Musical and Orange is the New Black, along with a few other media clips.

This is a necessary step to take to ensure that the film can be screened publicly and legally at film festivals.

Chris Lopes acting in Orange is the New Black
Chris Lopes acting in Orange is the New Black

We have been working with a legal clearinghouse to secure the rights. This entails speaking with the production companies, actors, writers, directors, etc. to create contracts for us to have the rights to the media for 1-2 years. The contract for each clip will cost us anywhere between $150 to $2,500 and this does not include our fee for hiring the clearinghouse.

Our previous Kickstarter helped to pay for travel/lodging to Los Angeles, Connecticut, and New York City, film equipment such as SD cards and hard drives, a composer who created a beautiful original film score, costs for hiring a legal firm, postage and DVDs and a small part of the legal fees, - and we are very grateful for all the support we have received. We wouldn’t have made it this far without it.

We are now hoping to raise at minimum another $5,571 dollars ($8,871 being our "reach" goal) to not only help pay for our legal fees which will cost roughly between $3,000 - $6,000 (we break down the costs below) but to also help pay for submissions to film festivals. Each festival submission cost anywhere between $30 and $100. We hope to at minimum apply to 30 film festivals across the country--and perhaps, around the world. Of course, the more places we are able to screen our film the more audiences can be taken on Chris’ journey.

Chris performing in High School Musical On Stage!
Chris performing in High School Musical On Stage!

Break Down of Costs

Below is a breakdown of costs. You will see our goal and our reach goal. If we do not raise enough money to meet our goal by March 11th  according to Kickstarter rules we will not receive any of the funds.

Minimum Goal: $5,571

Our minimum goal covers the cost of our “media contracts” so that we can legally screen our film at festivals for TWO years but ONLY in North America. Our minimum goal also covers the cost of applying to 30 film festivals in North America.

  • Orange is the New Black media clip: $1,200 
  • Songs from Disney’s High School Musical clips: $150.00 
  • The Guardian (starring Blair Williamson): $350.00 
  • Kickstarter takes 8% of the funds: $413
  • Expanding our licensing contracts to be able to screen our documentary for two years: $2258
  •  Apply to 30 film festivals in North America (the average festival being around $40.00): $1,200.00 (the more money we receive the more festivals we can apply to).

TOTAL of Minimum Goal: $5,571

___________________________________________________________________

TOTAL GOAL: $8,871 

Our total goal of $8,871 will provide us with the ability to apply to more festivals, which increases the likelihood of actually screening our film in more venus and it also helps us apply to film festivals internationally.

Reaching our "reach goal" or total goal helps cover the cost of expanding our “media licensing contracts” to be able to screen A Different Script internationally. At this point, our minimum goal would only allow us to screen and share Chris’ story in North America and we hope we can take this story abroad. 

  • Expanding our licensing contracts to be able to screen A Different Script worldwide: $2,500 
  • 10 International film festivals. We hope to apply in Australia and Europe. We believe Chris’ story deserves to be shared around the world and we hope to have the opportunity to screen A Different Script in communities around the world: $400.00
  • 10 More N. American film festivals (which brings the total to 50 film festivals we will apply to): $400.00

TOTAL GOAL (minimum plus our reach goal): $8,871

Please know that any amount helps, no matter the size - it gets us one step closer to our goal of sharing Chris' story with the world. 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!! 

Eva, Chris and Francesca in NY before the first private screening of A Different Script
Eva, Chris and Francesca in NY before the first private screening of A Different Script

 

Risks and challenges

If we are unable to raise the funds mentioned above we will be unable to screen "A Different Script" at film festivals because of the lack of legal rights. In addition, we will not have the financial ability to apply to film festivals. The biggest risk is that A Different Script will not have the opportunity to be shared with audiences around the world!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    The Red Carpet: HD link

    Why wait for it to hit a film festival in your area, when you can view it from the comfort of your own home? Receive an HD link to a download of the film.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    The Emmy: Special Thanks on our Website

    Someday, Chris will see his name in lights -- and YOU will see your name listed as a donor on our film’s official website! Receive this and all previous rewards.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    The Tony: A Different Script Magnet

    Whether you place it on your filing cabinet or your fridge, this special donor magnet is a way for you to remember how you have connected with Chris’ journey. Receive this and all previous rewards.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    The Grammy: Director's Commentary

    After nine months of working on a film, you bet we have some behind-the-scenes stories to tell! Hear them all on the special director’s cut HD download link of the film, where Francesca and Eva will comment on specific scenes and tell you about the filmmaking process. Receive this and all previous rewards.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    The Oscar: Video message from Chris

    Receive a personalized thank you video from the star himself - Chris Lopes! Receive this and all previous rewards.

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    Pledge US$ 350 or more About US$ 350

    The EGOT:

    See the hidden gems that didn’t make it into the final film! In this video just for top donors, you’ll get an exclusive look at some of the other moments in the lives of those with disabilities who we filmed. Receive this and all previous rewards.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    The Director’s Chair:

    You are sitting at the top! You will receive a signed poster by Chris, and be able to pick any city in the US you want us to apply to a film festival. Last but not least, you’ll receive a phone call from one of our directors so we can personally thank you. Receive all previous rewards.

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Funding period

- (35 days)