Dear Kickstarter, Movie Fans & Internet!
We need your help to raise $35,000 to finish production of our film. We've already shot most of the film but we still need to shoot all the flashbacks in the film this December.
Every penny you contribute will go onto the big screen to film the remaining portion of our movie and then to cover some of our post production costs. We know $40,000 is a lot of money and we humbly need your help. There's a lot of information on this page about us, our cast, our film and why we're making a movie this way. Thank you for taking the time to read everything!
Love - Rod (the guy in the video with the ridiculous beard)
HERE ALONE is the story of a young woman's struggles to survive on her own in the wake of a mysterious epidemic that has decimated society and forced her deep into the unforgiving wilderness.
Ann (LUCY WALTERS from STARZ show POWER, THE BRASS TEAPOT and SHAME) is 28 years old with dirty blond hair and piercing blue eyes. After the mysterious virus decimated society Ann, along with her husband and daughter, fled to the overgrown woods surrounding an abandoned rural community where months later, she's alone, struggling to survive. Isolated and fearful of the mysterious infected that lurk beyond the edge of the wood, she's running out of resources.
Chris (ADAM DAVID THOMPSON from A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES and MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE) is wiry and lean after months on the move and sports a dirty beard that makes his 36 years look even older. He and his step daughter Olivia are headed North to where there may be a sanctuary from the infection. He doesn’t forget that the those remaining need to remember their own humanity.
Olivia (GINA PIERSANTI, star of the 2011 Sundance film IT FELT LIKE LOVE) is a typical 17 year old who lets her emotions and fears get the best of her. She’s riddled with insecurity and dread at the thought of being left alone in a world she doesn’t have the maturity to process. Her youthfulness and naiveté occasionally peek through as she struggles to figure out how she fits into this horrifying world.
Jason (NOT CAST YET) is a pragmatic man of 30 who doesn't say a lot. He settled down to a life with Ann that didn’t always feel right but was expected after she became pregnant. When the virus hits, Jason acts decisively, fleeing with his family in tow to the woods surrounding his small hometown.
We're a group of friends and like minded independent filmmakers. We also happen to be film industry outsiders who recognized that if we wanted to storm the walls and gates of Hollywood, and be able to make movies for the rest of our lives, that we needed to produce our first feature film. So we did just that.
In the fall of 2014, after a few frustrating years trying to find producers to make our film NORTH, David Ebeltoft surprised me with a script for a character-driven narrative that follows in the footsteps of such films as BLUE RUIN, THE ROAD, THE ROVER and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN.
David designed HERE ALONE to be a film that not only expertly weaves horror elements with the thrilling dramatics of human survival and conflict - but to be a film that would appeal to many audiences including fans of horror/infected films and at the same time, fans of dramatic cinema.
David focused the story of HERE ALONE on a strong female character who allows the audience to become attached to her every step and thought of survival, while at the same time being introduced to the nightmarish realities of a post-apocalyptic world. Unlike many 'genre films' that deal with infection, we’ve shifted the focus to the development of our characters, letting their struggles carry the audience in and out of the horrific conflicts the mysterious pandemic creates.
Imagine this. You’re at a dinner party. Someone poses the following scenario. Starting tomorrow a mysterious flu- like virus ravages society, infecting individuals at an alarming rate. The entire energy and communication systems go down. You’re offline. Your radio, cell phone, internet – all dead, nothing works. You don’t know why this is and there is no way to figure out why. There’s no information coming from anywhere, other than what you can learn from the few uninfected people in your immediate vicinity. Things begin to go to hell in a hand basket quickly. Resources dwindle... food, water, and fuel. The infected begin to behave strangely, almost zombielike, acting like animals, savagely attacking anything with a pulse, eating to survive and surviving only to eat. Violence erupts amongst those who aren’t infected. Chaos ensues.
The main question being posed at my all time favorite dinner table conversation is: What do you do?
As a kid growing up in the woods of upstate New York, I nerdishly devoured post-apocalyptic fare like Nevil Shute’s ‘On The Beach’. You could say my affair with the end of world 'matured' into a deep love of books like Peter Heller’s ‘The Dog Stars’ and David Michod’s film THE ROVER. I find myself continually drawn not only to the physical circumstances and realities of these worlds, but also to the psychological and human consequences of those times.
As we've been editing the film I can't stop thinking about the film's inherent themes and questions about what makes us human, how do we forgive, and how do we forget. I return to the dinner table conversation that I've had so many times and wonder 'What would I do in a situation like this? How would I survive? Where would I go? What would be worth fighting for?' I'd like to think we've done a powerful job of examining the circumstances and repercussions of the world we've created and we can't wait to share it with you.
As we mentioned at the top of the page - we need your help to raise $35,000 to finish production of our film. We've already shot most of the film but we still need to shoot all the flashbacks in the film this December.
Every penny you contribute will go onto the big screen to film the remaining portion of our movie and then to cover some of our post production costs.
Here's how we've budgeted for your contributions.
November Production - A large portion of the money we raise here will go towards covering the costs of re-assembling our cast and crew for several days of filming in November. By shooting two production periods (SUMMER + WINTER) we're able to add a lot of visual value to the film because let's get real...how many films get to shoot in two completely different seasons?!!?
VFX - We need more blood! We need some special effects to enhance several key sequences in the film - explosions, gunshots, spraying blood - you know, all those awesome elements to any good genre film.
Post Sound Design + Mix - Our friend Jamey Scott who sound designed and mixed TOTAL RECALL, WHITE HOUSE DOWN, RED 2 and Cameron Crowe's new film ALOHA is going to twiddle the sound knobs on HERE ALONE. We want to pay this man what his talents are worth (and it still won't be enough).
Original Score - Our friend Eric D. Johnson scored the Sundance films SMASHED and CEREMONY. Eric is also an amazing musician (check out the FRUIT BATS!) and we of course want to pay him for the dark ethereal score he's making for the film.
Color Correction - Defining the look and tone of the post apocalyptic landscape in our film is very important. Our colorist Colin Travers makes moving images come alive in the color suite and we want to pay him too for his talents (does anyone detect a theme here?!?!).
DCP - A DCP is the type of digital format that you deliver a 2K feature film in. They cost a lot of money - between 5K and 7K - but they're a necessary evil to deliver the film for screening at a film festival.
Most of you know, but in case you don't, Kickstarter is an 'all or nothing' fundraising site. We need to raise 100% of our goal or we don't receive a penny. If we don't reach our goal all pledges will be cancelled and you will not be charged for your contribution.
We believe in the power of a creative community. We want to connect with folks who support independent filmmaking and fans of infected/post-apocalyptic films. This campaign is a chance for us to find each other and band together to not only make a great film, but to make sure that HERE ALONE can find it's way in the world.
As creative collaborators and friends we want to make movies together for the rest of our lives. With your help, we’ll be able to finishing crafting an amazing and intense tale of survival, fear, and redemption.
A low budget feature like HERE ALONE is only made possible by the talented crew who poured their heart and soul into bringing the film to life.
Writer / Producer - David Ebeltoft | As a screenwriter, David fictionalized his western North Dakota home town into the screenplay YOU WERE ONCE CALLED QUEEN CITY. David wrote the feature length script, NORTH, with acclaimed writer/director Elgin James and HERE ALONE Director / Producer, Rod Blackhurst. David and Rod also made the absurdist short LIFE and the horror short NIGHT SWIM.
Producer - Noah Lang | Noah isn't even 30 yet and he's already made 5 feature films (BAND OF ROBBERS, SUN BELT EXPRESS, HEAVEN ADORES YOU, CRABS, and DIVERGE). Noah loves Taco Bell and a game of throw.
Co-Producer / Assistant Director - Trevor Eiler | Trevor and Rod met on a commercial in Milwaukee and run a boutique agency called We Should Be Working that makes digital content. Technically they just spend a lot of time distracting each other with creative ideas.
Cinematographer - Adam McDaid | Adam lensed Rod and David's short film ALONE TIME which was a Vimeo Staff Pick and a Vimeo Best of 2013. Adam may be a wise cracker from Philly but he makes beautiful images.
Production Designer - Rob Ebeltoft | Rob is David Ebeltoft's older brother. We liken him to a unicorn. He's hard to locate but he's always out there doing something like installing Bjork's MOMA exhibit or making films in Texas.
Costume Designer - Brooke Bennett | We met Brooke through BLUE RUIN writer/director Jeremy Saulnier and then somehow we convinced her to work on our little film. Her smile lights up every room (and the apocalypse).
Key Hair and Make Up Designer - Lisa Forst | Lisa makes things bloody, nuanced. She also thinks farts are funny. What more can you ask for?
Executive Producers - Paul Ebeltoft, Gail Ebeltoft, Sinan Germirli, Leigh Jones, Ian Keiser, Paul Pathikal, Eric Schultz
Producers, Co-Producers & Associate Producers - Arun Kumar, Josh Murphy, Bradley Ross, Brendan Welsh, Michael Gray
Additional Cast - Rebecca Spiro, Jonathan Gundel, Mike Lavarnway, Mary Guzzy, Abel McSurely Bradshaw, Willow Keith, Jeffrey Rinick, Aubrey Hart
Editors - Rod Blackhurst, Bradley Ross, Lauren Long
Location Sound - Creed super fan Nick Bohun
Camera Department - Andrew Juhl, Zach Rubin, Doug Lennox
Grip & Electric Department - Jimi Jones, Josh Batista, John Blazzi, Sam Edgerton, Phil Sangiacomo, Kaity Barnes
Wardrobe Department - Jessica Goldade, Natalie Fragola
Art Department PAs - Kaylara Allington, Karlyn Mizzoni
Location Scout - Joe Grassner
Storyboard Artist - Erik Korsgaard
VFX - Gotham FX, Brandon Grether
PA Department - Jeff Smith (you don't need any other PAs when you have Jeff)
THIS JUST IN - The first 15 supporters who contribute $300 or more will be eligible to attend a 'work in progress' screening of HERE ALONE in NYC on November 5th or 6th. Transportation and accommodations are not included. We will screen the film and run a crowd survey/Q&A. You're going to see how the sausage gets made!
With every reward above $100 each backer will receive a Mystery Science Theatre 3000-esque/'How Did This Get Made-esque' podcast companion piece of absurd commentary track with Rod, Noah, David and Trevor telling stories and jokes and generally peeling back the curtain on how everything got made.
Then with every reward above $1,000 each backer will additionally receive a podcast companion piece that we're calling The Bad Lip Reading Version where we'll overdub the entire film à la the classic YouTube channel.
Here are some other projects we've made together - just so we can reassure you that we can deliver the goods!
ALONE TIME - Vimeo Staff Pick, Best of Vimeo
LIFE - Vimeo Staff Pick, profiled on VICE
Finally, we'd love to hear from you. If you love what you've read about our film and want to talk about movies or how you can help us spread the word about HERE ALONE, write us. We're here and want to talk about our love of movies too.
Risks and challenges
Thank you for taking the time to read this far. We hope some aspect of this madness has you as excited as we are about this film.
Our reputations are everything. The film industry is a relatively small world where our reputations with our actors, our collaborators, our supporters, and even with people we don't know - matter. We couldn't be where we are as professional filmmakers if we weren't doing good honest work - delivering what we said we would. If we had failed to deliver in the past we wouldn't be where we are today.
We want to be making movies for the rest of our lives. We're going to make this film and we're going to deliver on what we say we're going to deliver on. We're those kind of folks and filmmakers.
PS - If it helps put your mind at ease, I've run two small successful Kickstarter campaigns before. One for the film LIFE starring Kevin Heffernan of SUPER TROOPERS and one for the 2012 SXSW short film WOULD YOU starring Dave Franco and Chris Mintz-Plasse WOULD YOU.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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