GOAL REACHED IN 70 HOURS! Thank you all so much!
Check out Update #11 for a new, tantalizing historical visual treat.
In 1885, three years before the crimes of Jack the Ripper entered modern legend, someone — or someones — stalked the dusty streets of Austin, Texas, a frontier town caught in the throes of transforming into a modern city.
From New Years Eve of 1884, to Christmas 1885, innocent victims — most of them female African-American servants who worked in affluent homes — were savagely killed, and more wounded, in midnight attacks of such brutality they left the entire population in a state of shock and fledgling law enforcement in utter confusion. He came to be called the "Servant Girl Annihilator," and his reign of terror rocked the city to its core. And yet, like the Ripper himself, his identity remains lost to history.
Why were the killer or killers never caught? And what was the impact of these crimes upon race relations in a Reconstruction-era city, and a culture entirely unfamiliar with the modern concept of the serial killer? Why were the killings so completely suppressed in later years, that to this day, few people know they even occurred, and no comprehensive scholarly work to date has chronicled them?
BLOODY WORK is now in production!
Please read Update #1 for information about the first interview shoot conducted May 7, 2013.
BLOODY WORK: THE UNSOLVED MYSTERY OF THE SERVANT GIRL ANNIHILATOR seeks to be the first such comprehensive work. Avoiding cheesy re-enactments and other pitfalls of "docu-fiction," this detailed documentary will cut through the myths and legends to uncover what verifiable facts there are concerning these obscure and heinous crimes. My goal is to make both an entertaining and suspenseful movie for a general audience, as well as a valuable scholarly document that can serve as a legitimate resource for students and historians interested in the period. Interviews with experts on the crimes and the city's history, vintage photos, period music and artwork will all bring the story to life for the audience.
This is a production aiming for the festival circuit and Blu-ray/DVD/VOD (Netflix Instant, iTunes, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and others) distribution market. Interview and other original footage is being shot in 4K using the Red Scarlet. The Blu-ray will contain lossless 5.1 channel audio. All crew will be paid. Prospective donors can read a more detailed breakdown of anticipated production and post-production costs below.
Please join me and embark on this eerie journey into Austin's dark and forgotten past! Who knows what startling revelations may come as we dig deeper into this long-forgotten BLOODY WORK....
This film has been the subject of two excellent articles by Stephen Loaiconi at the Nancy Grace website at HLNTV.com! Click the images to read the original articles.
Also, click the logo for a great write-up in the Austin Chronicle!
If you have other questions that are not addressed in the FAQ below, please message me or ask in the comments section. I will read everything and answer as thoroughly as I can. My boundless gratitude goes out to all who back this film. Please spread the word throughout your own online circles — FB, Twitter, Reddit, G+, etc. — and come be part of this journey!
Risks and challenges
Well, I have already faced one daunting challenge, which is how to promote a project on Kickstarter successfully! This is the second go-round for this movie, and I have endeavored to learn as many positive lessons from the first fundraising attempt so that the film succeeds in overcoming its obstacles this time.
Having worked on the crews of a number of independent films in the Austin and central Texas area, I have experience on both good shoots and bad shoots. The good ones you enjoy, while the bad ones are where you learn. The most common mistakes I see newbie directors make is in lacking a realistic assessment of the scale of the project they have chosen to undertake, in relation to the resources they have at hand to actually make it. I have seen movies with low six-figure budgets trying to pretend they have low million-dollar budgets, and jumping into ambitious shoots for which they lack the money, crew, and sensible scheduling to pull off — only to see everything collapse into chaos. I have worked under smart and brilliant young directors without a dime but with a brave vision about which they are passionate and determined to make happen, and I have worked under bratty rich kids on ego trips who think their parents' money has magically made them Steven Spielberg.
For my own first film as director, I have made an effort to learn the lessons of experience. A documentary like this one offers a way to tell an ambitious story at a period in my filmmaking development where my reach will not exceed my grasp. Also, through Kickstarter updates, I can be in constant communication with you, my backers, keeping you appraised of each stage in the production process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)