Murphy’s Law is a 15-minute live-action short film about police officer Tim Murphy - a fresh-faced suicide negotiator living in his father's shadow. He would be the department's new golden boy, except everyone he talks to kills themselves. Our story follows Murphy's downfall and journey of redemption as he works to break his bad streak.
This is our take on the classic characters and stories of the 1980's. Taking influence from movies such as Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop, we've set out to create a wacky comedic landscape unlike anything we've found in the genre.
Our comedy is complete with absurdist elements, including Jenkins and Carmine the dynamic duo who rag on Murphy daily, and a sock puppet police chief. That’s right folks. The police chief is a sock puppet, complete with a uniform, bushy eyebrows, and mustache.
Why Murphy’s Law?
Murphy’s Law is slightly different. We’re mixing genres and subjects that are rarely seen together. We’ve taken aspects of the genre and cranked it up to eleven, while avoiding creating a pure parody film in the style of Naked Gun or The Other Guys.
In my experience, comedy functions as an undervalued vehicle for empathy. Laughter is a grand and pleasing force that allows us to explore subjects that might otherwise be painful or taboo. I wish to tackle the dark comedy of this subject matter because I have watched people in my own life affected by suicide and depression, and the discussion surrounding these issues is never pleasant. The ability to laugh at the dark parts of human nature is a powerful tool. I hope this film will help illuminate the shadows.
We understand that you might have some questions about the story. Because we have complete faith in the power of the script, we've put the first few scenes online for you to read. We know that you’ll want to know the ending!
While the script plays with cop movie tropes, we wish to remain faithful to the aesthetic of the genre. In order to do this, we will be relying on wide depth of field and short lenses to immerse the audience in this world.
To achieve this end, we are pursuing a full array of set pieces to bring the vision of the film to life. We have traveled up and down the great state of California looking for city halls, civic buildings, and private properties that can accommodate the requirements of our multiple exterior crowd scenes.
What’s this money for?
The most important thing for a cop movie is an authentic police station set. If we cannot convince the audience that these characters work at a police station, then we might as well pack up and go home. While many of our locations have been secured with the help of donations and student deals, we need additional funds to afford an appropriate standing set. Luckily, we've found one! A standing set that provides us with a full compliment of features, including a 13 hour day, props, and free electricity.
But we need your help. Most of the kickstarter funding will be put towards securing this location. The rest will be split on festival fees:
- Police Station Set - $2500
- Festival Fees - $500
We put aside money for festivals because, frankly, the film does nobody any good without an audience. This is our last chance to show the world our creative and technical expertise before graduating and entering the industry.
Murphy’s Law - The Team
Most of the Murphy’s Law team are veterans from Alexander Fichera’s Junior film, Hawk P.I. Since it’s premiere Hawk P.I. has screened at the 2014 Buzzfeed Student Film Festival, and is currently being developed as a children’s T.V. show, with a showrunner and executive producer attached. Back in action for one last job, the team is ready to build on their previous success with Murphy’s Law.
Check out our previous work on Hawk P.I. bellow. And this time we're aiming for bigger and better!
Director/Co-Writer - Alex Fichera
Alex has been making films for 12 years, and has no plans to stop. This film is his senior thesis, and will be his calling card as he moves forward into his career. He has spent countless hours pouring over 80's cop movies, their satirical counterparts, and otherwise losing sleep to make this film the best it can be. Through blood, sweat, and more blood, Alex is committed to this project.
Co-Writer - Will Levinger
Will has known the director Alex Fichera since their Sophomore year of high school, and managed to avoid him until they wound up at Chapman University together. There, they began a grudging partnership that brought about Hawk P.I., Alex’s Junior Thesis. Will is a screenwriting major. All work inquiries and autograph requests can be referred to his personal e-mail: Rihanna@hotmail.com
Producers - Rita Powers and JJ Englert
Rita and JJ have been a consummate team since day one. Through an immense effort (and conscious abandonment of vitamin D) they are working hard to secure locations, permits, and additional crew.
Rita Powers is a Senior BFA in Creative Producing, working hard to do exactly what we’re doing now - boots-to-the-ground, A-level producing.
JJ Englert has produced two feature films, multiple shorts, owns a small business, and is currently out of town producing a commercial for Ford. Why he has stooped to our level is a testament to the strength of our friendship or the script. Hopefully the latter.
Director of Photography - Dave Cortez, aka Siddhartha the Lord of Light
Dave has been gaffing and shooting for over nine years now. His area of expertise is lighting, lighting, and more lighting. Dave has years of experience on professional sets, working on productions at every budget level. Known for working without food or rest for quasi-illegal periods of time, Dave Cortez is excited to renew his collaboration with Alex that began his previous film, Hawk P.I.
Production Designer - Nicole-Jordan-Webber
Nicole is a Junior in Film Production Major at Chapman University, bringing three years of production design experience and expertise to the project. Nicole is working day and night to perfect the design of the police chief puppet prior to the shoot. Her previous teamwork with Dave Cortez will ensure a cohesive partnership throughout the process.
Editor - Shelby Hall
Shelby Hall began her storytelling career as a theatre director. After discovering an aptitude for film editing, she shifted her focus away from theatre and enrolled at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Since then, she has edited numerous projects including Alex Fichera’s Junior Thesis, Hawk P.I. Last year she interned under award-winning editor Toby Yates. Shelby possess an uncommon understanding of why dramatic moments are compelling and why comedy is uplifting. Given Shelby and Alex’s shared sensibilities on the craft of storytelling, and her deep understanding of character, he feels she is the best person to take the reins of the post-production process. She will also serve as the script supervisor on set, ensuring that continuity and coverage are never lacking.
Sound Designer - Michael Cullen
Over the past three years at Dodge College Chapman University, Michael has recorded and mixed on set for over 20 short films. In addition, he has also foleyed, sound designed, and mixed over a dozen more. One of the films he sound designed, "Green Acres" by director James Beck, has won multiple awards from film festivals around the world. Recently with director Chad King, Michael helped create "Res-Life: The Musical", a ten minute musical short film where he recorded, mixed, and mastered original music for a CD release on iTunes and for the premiere of the short film itself.
He is ecstatic to work on Murphy's Law with Alex and with a fantastic crew of his peers.
Storyboard Artist - Colton Kirkegaard
Because of the project’s scale, Colton has graciously volunteered his services as concept/storyboard artist to the film. The complex nature of the crowd scenes, and the distinctive style of the police chief will be conveyed through his exceptional drawings. Colton is responsible for the artwork you see in this kickstarter, and plenty more to come!
Film is a collaborative medium. We've harnessed a small army to shape this film, foregoing sleep, and otherwise pouring our lives into these 15 minutes of cinema – 15 minutes we know you will enjoy. Contributing to this film is not just an investment in Murphy’s Law. It’s an investment in our ability to do this again. And after watching, we know that’s what you’ll want. Godspeed, God bless, and otherwise, Thank You for your support.
Risks and challenges
Right now the biggest challenge is locations. Without securing the police station set and other exterior locations we cannot move forward with the budget of the remainder of the film. While we are dialing in on several options, there are always risks associated with location filmmaking. To mitigate these risks we are compiling multiple backup locations, both for the police station set and the exterior locations. This will ensure a safety net in the case that a location falls through.
To say that filmmaking is challenging is an understatement. Fortunately, we have a track record. We’ve all done this before, and now we’re ready to do it again - and better than ever.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)