About this project
Thanks to all our amazing backers, we reached our initial goal in less than two weeks plus many stretch goals! But we still have a long way to go to actually have enough to MAKE the movie, so there's still lots of opportunities to help us out.
Most notably, our friends at The Film Collaborative have a page where you can donate your tax-deductible contribution long past our Kickstarter deadline! And to invest, donate, do product integration or otherwise contribute, please download our full project plan! And otherwise stay tuned to http://www.BernardAndHueyMovie.com!
For posterity, here's the rest of the old campaign... please enjoy the videos!!
We've added exciting Stretch Goals (so we can afford things like cameras, actors, food, etc.) and some awesome new tax-deductible Rewards, including a one-of-a-kind lens system for only $35 - invented by director and Slamdance Co-founder Dan Mirvish, called appropriately enough MirvishScope. This campaign has already been Kickstarter's own Project of the Day, a Staff Pick, the #1 Comedy Project, and featured in such press as The Hollywood Reporter, Indiewire (Project of the Day), Filmmaker Magazine, The Wrap, Movie City News, No Film School, Dan's Paper (Hamptons weekly paper) and several cool podcasts! In yet another Indiewire article, they wrote, "What makes these lost movie campaigns click with crowdfunders? It might be about realistic expectations (and cool swag, of course)."
The MirvishScope is a two-handed lens system that gives a unique way to add relections, flares, and distortion to any still or moving image. It offers some of the same creative control as tilt-shift, bokeh or lens whacking systems, but gives a totally original look for the final image, as well as a completely unique user experience for the camera operator or photographer. This is also one of the cheapest lenses available and fits any Canon DSLR (from a C300 to a 7D, and even down to a Rebel!). When you get the MirvishScope as a reward, we can help you make your next film, while you help us make ours!
- "This could be the lens you need for dream sequences, flashbacks, hallucinations, or just a cool montage." - IndieWire They've got a great article that goes into much more detail about the MirvishScope and why Dan came up with it.
- "If you're looking for ways to make crazy images, with all sorts of weird flares and reflections, with your Canon DSLR for very little money, MirvishScope might be a great fit for you." - NoFilmSchool
- "The MirvishScope Lens System: A unique two-handed lens system for Canon DSLRs" - ISO1200 Photography Magazine
- "With MirvishScope, Dan Mirvish once again explodes everything we thought we knew about movie making. He has accomplished the impossible - a total redefinition of the term 'lens'." - Sundance Special Jury Award winner Matthew Harrison
To see still images taken with the MirvishScope, and stills of people using it, as well as a full FAQ, go to this gallery page on our website.
Bernard and Huey is an upcoming film with a screenplay by Pulitzer/Oscar/Obie-winner Jules Feiffer, (Village Voice and Playboy cartoons, Carnal Knowledge and Popeye screenplays). Award-winning filmmaker Dan Mirvish (co-founder, Slamdance Film Festival) will direct the movie and produce it with Mike S. Ryan and Dana Altman.
Based on Feiffer's beloved characters, Bernard and Huey is a comedy about two old friends who reconnect after 25 years apart and their complicated relationships with the women in their lives. We will shoot the movie next winter, but we need your help now to kick it off! For further info on the project (synopsis, bios, production plan, and how to invest, underwrite or do product integration), feel free to download our Bernard and Huey Project PDF.
The money we raised thusfar (we hit our initial goal in a record week and a half!) will allow us to do the important first steps for any indie film: hire a casting director, pay for our lawyer (for the three years of work he's done for little more than a chicken sandwich), and file lots of boring forms with the state and feds. But we can't ACTUALLY make this movie for just $10,000, so we need to stretch that goal, to have enough money to set a firm start date and begin casting in earnest: The big Hollywood agencies have already read the screenplay and they've been pitching us some of their biggest A-list actors (we'll name names in the updates), so we're half way there! Now we just need to tell them when we're shooting, and ask if any of their clients have peanut allergies.
We've set a few more specific STRETCH GOALS that will show you how your additional tax-deductible contributions will be used onscreen! We've already met most of our stretch goals, and we're working on the next now:
- $12,500 - DONE!!! - A Visual Extravaganza! We'll be able to afford fancy lenses (that we won't have to build ourselves), the possibility of a second camera for added coverage and efficiency, and maybe even the option to shoot on REAL film! It'll be a feast for your eyes. Speaking of feasts...
- $15,000 - DONE!!! -Food for our crew! Just as a happy spouse makes a happy house, a happy crew makes a happy...film! We don't want a bunch of malnourished PAs lumbering around. Let's add some jelly to their peanut butter sandwiches! (as for the actors, they'll probably be on paleo cleanses anyway - and will politely demure on the jelly)
- $17,500 - DONE!!! - World building! Since this film takes place in two completely different eras, we're going to need added funds so we can really sell it. More exteriors! Period cars! A cool refrigerator (no pun intended)! It's gunna take a (1980's Greenwich) Village to raise Bernard and Huey.
- $20,000 - DONE!!! - C-47s. You know them as clothespins, we know them as lifesavers.
- $25,000 - DONE!!! - Super Stretch Goal - Dinosaurs! If Chris Pratt can have his own raptor gang, then so can Bernard and Huey! If we can't get the real thing, we'll at least get some dino nuggets for our hardworking crew.
- $27,500 - SUPER DUPER STRETCH GOAL - Coffee!!! Now that the crew and cast have bellies full of jellies, it's time to get them nice and caffeinated, so the dialogue is fast and crisp, and the lights are bright and sharp!!!
So don't delay! Jump on board with Bernard and Huey today to make a tax-deductible contribution for as little as a dollar. Thanks to our fiscal sponsors at The Film Collaborative, a California-based 501(c)3 that supports indie-filmmakers, every dollar you donate through Kickstarter is a charitable contribution, as if you were giving to your local public radio station! And like NPR, we've got amazing perks, including tote bags, t-shirts, mugs, and posters with the original, exclusive Jules Feiffer drawings of Bernard and Huey that you see in the video. For just $25, be the first on your block to get a password-encrypted secret early version of the film itself!! And for the right price, get a van ride to Sundance and Slamdance with an Oscar nominee, or a copy of Jules' original hand-written screenplay!
For as little as $10, you'll get early access to our never-before-seen original documentary footage of Jules Feiffer talking about his exploits with such luminaries as Stanley Kubrick, Hugh Hefner, Mike Nichols, Robert Altman, Frederico Fellini, Robin Williams and more! You'll never guess what a young Jack Nicholson said to Feiffer when Jules introduced him to Warren Beatty (see the video below to find out...but remember our backers saw it first!) And just wait til you hear who put Jules on the phone with James Caan! And what was Jules asking Jane Fonda to do in her apartment one night? (It's like watching episodes of American Masters meets Playboy After Dark.)
Oh, wait, and did we tell you about the super-cool video of 2-time Oscar nominee and Feiffer disciple Bill Plympton talking about why Feiffer and Mirvish are a perfect match, and how if it weren't for Jules, Bill never would have been an animator? (say wait a minute... what's Truman Capote doing with them at George Plimpton's house?)
To go along with our Stretch Goals, we've added new reward levels since hitting our initial goal, including the handmade MirvishScope lens system (an unheard-of bargain for any kind of CanonDSLR-compatible lens at just $35!), personal invites and even a chance to sponsor the world-famous Slamdance Hot Tub Summit ("Somewhere between a party and a panel," raved The Wall Street Journal. "Sundance's Most Embarassing Event," declared Vanity Fair), and now a chance to become a background extra in the movie! All current and new backers are eligible for these new rewards.
Jules Feiffer is perhaps best known for his eponymous comic strip he had in The Village Voice for 43 years, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for editorial cartooning. Feiffer is equally regarded as a playwright, novelist and screenwriter. In that last capacity, his script Carnal Knowledge was directed by Mike Nichols in 1971. It starred Jack Nicholson, Art Garfunkel, Candace Bergen and garnered an Oscar for Ann-Margaret. The same year, Alan Arkin directed Elliot Gould in Feiffer’s Little Murders, equally well-regarded. In 1980, Feiffer wrote Popeye for director Robert Altman and producer Robert Evans. Feiffer wrote the screenplay to 1989’s I Want to Go Home, directed by Alain Resnais and starring Gérard Depardieu. Feiffer’s short animated film Munro, won an Oscar in 1961. Feiffer’s plays Little Murders and The White House Murder Case both won Obie and Outer Circle Critics Awards. In 2004, Feiffer received the Writers Guild of America Lifetime Achievement award, and is also a recipient of the Nation Cartoonists Society’s Lifetime Achievement award.
Dan Mirvish is a director, screenwriter, producer and author. Dan was mentored by Robert Altman on his first film, Omaha (the movie), which led him to co-found the upstart Slamdance Film Festival. Dan's film Open House led the Academy Awards® to controversially rewrite their rules on the Best Original Musical category. Dan co-wrote the critically-acclaimed novel I Am Martin Eisenstadt, and his award-winning film Between Us played in 23 festivals, won several awards and was sold to 144 countries. Based on an Off-Broadway play, Between Us starred Julia Stiles, Taye Diggs, Melissa George and David Harbor. It got a 50-city theatrical release in the US, and can be seen now on Showtime, Netflix, Starz, and other digital outlets. A former speechwriter to U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, Dan also has a masters degree from the University of Southern California (USC) Film School.
Dan is still actively involved with Slamdance as the mentor for new filmmakers and host of the annual Hot Tub Summit. Slamdance recently celebrated its 21st year and boasts such alumni directors as Christopher Nolan, Lena Dunham, Rian Johnson, The Russo Brothers, Bong Joon-Ho, Lynn Shelton, Jared Hess, Jeremy Saulnier, Benh Zeitlin, Oren Peli, Jon Bokenkamp and Gina Prince-Bythewood. Combined worldwide grosses for Slamdance alumni are well over $12 billion. Slamdance alumni are a loyal group, and will be counted on to help Dan with recommendations and references on cast, agents, distributors, financiers and other less tangible support.
Dana Altman has carved out a distinct niche as Omaha’s preeminent film producer on such films as Spirit Award Nominee Lovely, Still, and two of Dan Mirvish’s films, Omaha (the movie) and Between Us. Dana is president and founder of North Sea Films, an award-winning production company that has produced five narrative features, three network television specials, seven documentaries and numerous commercials. Dana also worked with his grandfather Robert Altman on a number of his films, dating back to Popeye, where he first met Jules Feiffer.
Another producer from the team that made Between Us, Mike S. Ryan is an Independent Spirit “Producer of the Year Award” Nominee, one of Variety's 2007 “10 Producers to Watch” and an IFP advisory board member. His films have garnered nominations and prizes from the Academy Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, Gotham Awards and many more. Junebug went on to be the lowest-budgeted feature film ever nominated for an Oscar (Best Supporting Actress, Amy Adams). Todd Solondz's Life During Wartime premiered at the Venice, New York and Toronto film festivals. Other credits include Todd Solondz's Palindromes, Clark Gregg's Choke, Kelly Reichardt's Old Joy and Spirit Award-winner Meek’s Cutoff; Ira Sach's 40 Shades of Blue, Hal Hartley's Fay Grim, and The Comedy which premiered at Sundance. Mike started as a location manager on films like Far from Heaven, The Ice Storm, Meet Joe Black and Ride with the Devil – primarily working with legendary independent producer Ted Hope. He is also one of the founding film critics and essayists for the website Hammer to Nail.
The last film that Dan Mirvish, Dana Altman and Mike Ryan made was Between Us, an adaptation of the hit Off-Broadway play by Joe Hortua. The film wound up being an unmitigated success by all indie film standards: We found an amazing cast: Julia Stiles, Taye Diggs, Melissa George and David Harbour, an ASC director of photography, an ACE editor, and shot the film in 16 days in Los Angeles, Omaha and New York. Like with Bernard and Huey, the film got started with a successful Kickstarter campaign that dovetailed our casting momentum. Though the campaign itself only generated about $10,000 directly, indirectly it led to what ultimately became a $200,000 budget.
Critically, the film got an almost unheard-of "A-" average on CriticWire, all the actors got "career best" reviews along the way, and no less than The Hollywood Reporter called Between Us "a sleeper hit"! Here are some other reviews:
- “Between Us is one of most powerfully acted intense and funny dramas I’ve seen in a long time….at once hilarious and devastating.” - Richard Rushfield, BuzzFeed
- “Between Us is an absolutely stunning, darkly comic study of two couples. Paying a curious homage to John Cassavetes, Faces and Robert Altman’s, Short Cuts, Mirvish moves one giant step beyond…. sly and brilliant.” - Amy R. Handler, Film Threat
- “Unlike Carnage, Between Us turns theater into cinema. Mirvish's camera, and editing, are always on the move, so that watching and listening to Between Us brings back the best of Mike Nichols—particularly Carnal Knowledge, which Mirvish visually quotes—and the jangly talkativeness of Tony Scott’s True Romance.” - Robert Koehler, LA Film Critics Association member, ArtsMeme
- “Director Dan Mirvish and his gung-ho cast craft an adult drama that is deliciously dark and complex.” - Ben Umstead, TwitchFilm.com
- “A brilliant movie. All four performances were amazing!” - Chris Gore, PodCrash
- “Razor-sharp performances by a smashing quartet. Beats Polanki’s Carnage at its own game. An incisive parade of mangled relationships exquisitely corralled by Director Mirvish.….preciously diabolical!” - Jake Jacobson, Westwood One
Risks and challenges
Every indie film is a roller coaster ride, with perils and disaster facing the filmmakers if everything isn't completely constructed and executed perfectly. Countless things can and will go wrong at every step of making a movie: Financing will fall through, actors will bail at the last minute to go shoot the pilot for Scandal (yeah, Kerry, like THAT's going anywhere!), locations will drop out, the "free" burritos on set will give everyone on the crew ptomaine poisoning, the hard drives will get mysteriously deleted when your assistant editor demands to get paid, or you've brought flats to Cannes and they won't let you walk down the red carpet without heels!
These are the sorts of disasters that happen every day when you're making a film. But as long as they don't all happen on the SAME day, we'll be fine.
With all of these risks, the team behind Bernard and Huey has enough experience that we've dealt with most of these disasters in the past, and we're resourceful and capable enough to plow through them to find success. And honestly, if it went smoothly, it wouldn't be much fun. Going back to the roller coaster, by climbing on board Bernard and Huey with Kickstarter, or as an investor or donor, you'll strap yourself in and feel the vicarious thrills and G-forces of every hill climb, banked turn and loop-de-loop! Look straight ahead, throw your arms in the air and just scream, "WHEEE!"Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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