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In our modern, urban Western, ex-cons Marty, Frank and Chico find reasons to stay out of prison on a desolate night too close to home.
In our modern, urban Western, ex-cons Marty, Frank and Chico find reasons to stay out of prison on a desolate night too close to home.
65 backers pledged $2,680 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$2,680

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THE STORY

Three men. One diner. A finite drip of batter. An endless supply of trouble. 

While Marty waits for his ex-wife to arrive at their usual meeting place, he runs into two others like him who have different ideas about how to spend the night. Three ex-cons meet randomly and end up being responsible for each other's futures -- and, perhaps more importantly, aware of their influence.

THE PLAYERS

Played with empathy and humor by Burton Tedesco, Dan Skelly, and Jerry Lopez, and supported by Tony Fennelly, Katherine Loyacano and New Orleans legend Michael Martin, we shot over four nights, using a 7D and a 60D, both lent to us graciously. (Thanks, Josh Huval & Jeff Bruno!) 

IN POST NOW...

We wrapped late in the am Thursday, December 1 and now have a rough cut we plan to test screen January 28, with the hope of public release sometime before February ends, hopefully. We realize we're gambling with Mardi Gras when we say that, a season during which most work stops. So it goes.

THE PITCH

Our budget, originally $5000, shrank in the most pleasant way: Instead of securing a prison facility for an exterior location and buying insurance, we set the 17 page film in one location and really worked with the relationship between the space and the dialogue. We found a great DP, a very decent non-union gaffer, an absolutely kick-ass newbie production designer -- watch out world, here comes Cassie Giveans! -- and we made a movie.

Essentially, this is an experiment: Can a writer/director/producer invest hard earned money from something as off the wall (and demanding) as cab driving and expect to be reimbursed enough to continue? Since I still feel like I'm not "there" yet, I'm maintaining my bid to be a partial investor in my own film. Our new budget's $3350 so far, not including color correction, music, or the cost of promotional items, such as are found in our rewards. But we have factored Kickstarter and Amazon's fees into our fundraising goal of $2500.

All in all, we're looking at a $4200 - $4500 film, and that doesn't include income lost taking time off from the cab. You don't want to know that number. 

To reiterate what I stated in the video: I've guaranteed pay for all my people no matter what (and several have received full or partial payment already), but we'd be heart warmed to accept anything you are willing and able to give. It provides really great moral support for people who spent whole nights on their knees on a cold concrete floor just to bring a small short film into the world.

Honestly, we need your support. Without it, we have too much down time.

If this campaign succeeds, we'll be making a new film at a comparable or lower cost again in May. We're looking forward to learning and growing more with these characters. We're also hiring. I feel like I've come a long way professionally since my last film, shot over a year ago. If you're curious, you can watch that film, TOLL ROAD, on my YouTube channel. We'll be launching the HOTCAKES test screening there too, so don't be shy: Subscribe.

Thank you so much for your time. Here are some numbers:

COST OF MAKING HOTCAKES: ($3342.90)

Human Resources: $1875.00*

Set Design:  $880.32

Crafty: $305.35

Location(s) Rental: $200.00

Transportation (U-Haul): $168.23

Accident with U-Haul truck: $84.00

Tetanus Shot after DP stepped on a rusty nail: $30.00

*Gracias to Melissa Franklin, Steph Novakov and Katherine Loyacano for donating their pay back to the production. It's helping with further HR costs:

ESTIMATED TOTAL COST: ( ~ $4342.90)

Color Correction (Ryan Shovey): $200 - $300

Music Composition (TBA): $200 - $300

Promotional Materials (Four Winds): $250 - $400

FAQ

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    Thanks for supporting us! Updates, along with a hug, handshake or smile!

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    Above plus your Name listed in Special Thanks on the Hotcakes website.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Above plus your Name, Pic & Bio listed in Special Thanks gallery on both the Hotcakes website and the Director's website AND a copy of the menu from Hotcakes' fictional restaurant, Jailbirds.

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    Above plus an emailed invitation to an early (digital or live) screening as a test audience member.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Above plus 2 free tickets to the premiere, where you can pick up a free Hotcakes t-shirt featuring Melissa Franklin's sweet artwork. Or we can mail it to you with a rain check. Your choice.

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    Above plus copy of DVD with artwork print insert, personalized by cast & crew.

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    Above plus digital copy of original score/soundtrack for your iTunes collection, along with a fancy, personalized poster.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Above plus 3 free lessons in acting or dance from instructor Dan Skelly at Avancez Studio in Metairie.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    First lovely person to pledge at this special level receives above PLUS a signed copy of Bruce Campbell's "If Chins Could Kill..." Up to 4 more can dine with her or him and cast & crew, ordering from the fabled Jailbirds menu. (Might we recommend trying "The Recidivist"? People tend to, again and again.)

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    First 5 fantastically crazy people to pledge receive all of the above and a free copy of "Western Pennsylvania Reflections," signed and personalized by Hotcakes screenwriter Jules Alder AND a 10-15 page "sequel" script to Hotcakes describing how your real life persona meets Marty and influences his life.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Above PLUS an Associate Producer closing credit, and on iMBD; Your Name on the Hotcakes t-shirt in title lettering underneath Your Credit; AND up to a 3 hour free cab tour of New Orleans for up to 4 people (typically a $90 value per person) OR up to 5 free hours sound design or 2 production days by Jonathan Berguno.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Above PLUS an Executive Producer opening credit, and on iMDB AND your choice of: Something written, directed or produced (up to 30 pages) by Director Jo Custer AND 10 hours free editing by Editor Bob Krieger. Also: Your Name on the Hotcakes t-shirt underneath Your Credit in title lettering and our eternal gratitude.

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Funding period

- (37 days)