THE DARE PROJECT
In 2003, David Brind and Adam Salky were classmates in the Graduate Film Program at Columbia University in New York. Their first-year assignment was to pair up to create an 8-12 minute short film—the caveat being that you could not direct your own script.
Adam took his own personal dare when he went out of his comfort zone to take on David's story of two very different high school boys who come unexpectedly together one night in a confluence of champagne, a swimming pool and adolescent bravado.
The end result, the short film, DARE, began its life on set in the suburbs of Philadelphia, with two young up-and-coming actors, Michael Cassidy and Adam Fleming. None of us had any idea that the story of their two characters, Johnny and Ben, would end up connecting with millions of fans around the world.
The Original Dare
DARE debuted on the film festivals circuit in 2005, playing over 50 festivals globally, and was a sought-after title by distributors— DARE became the lead-off and cover image short for Strand Releasing’s BOYS’ LIFE 5, the fifth edition in their popular and critically acclaimed “Boys Life” short film series. DARE screened frequently on the Logo network as one of its most popular gay-themed shorts.
We never expected that Ben and Johnny’s escapades in the swimming pool would touch so many of you. It was your interest that inspired David to turn the DARE story into a feature screenplay, also directed by Adam, that starred Emmy Rossum, Zach Gilford, Ashley Springer and Rooney Mara. The DARE feature premiered in Dramatic Competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and went on to screen in theaters, on VOD, Blu-Ray and DVD internationally.
A New Dare
10 years after Adam and David first came together to create DARE, the original team from the short are all getting back in the pool.
David has written a continuation of Ben and Johnny’s story, inspired by images of the two boys meeting years later, as grown men, for the first time since high school. Set in Los Angeles, this new short will surprise you, provoke you, maybe make you feel a little uncomfortable, and very definitely take you into some new terrain.
And most importantly, the original boys are back.
Michael Cassidy went on from DARE to roles in movies like "Batman Vs. Superman" and stints on television’s “The O.C.,” “Smallville,” “Privileged,” “Men at Work,” and now the hit TBS series "People of Earth." Adam Fleming has appeared on Broadway in the blockbuster “Wicked,” and toured the U.S. with the show for ten years. We asked them to come back and get in the water with us—they’re in.
We’ve assembled much of the original DARE short team, including Director of Photography Rick Siegel, Costume Designer Caroline Duncan, and Composer Holcombe Waller.
Now we need your help.
We are making this new iteration of DARE because of your views on YouTube, your posts online, your continued questions about what happened to Ben and Johnny that night after the pool, and the way you’ve told us this story affected your lives.
There are an assortment of kick-ass rewards to the right. Most importantly, know that this new story is your movie.
Every dollar contributed will go on the screen to create a new DARE short that lives up in story, imagery, sexiness, and production value to the original.
We wouldn’t be where we are today without you. So help us get this done, and be part of THE DARE PROJECT team.
SO WHERE IS THAT MONEY GOING ANYWAY?!
We come from the world of independent film, which means we have learned to be scrappy and very cost conscious so you can know that not ONE dollar of this kickstarter will be wasted or frivolously spent.
The money will go to hiring the crew - artists and technicians who will bring the script alive and create a film that will draw us back in to Ben and Johnny's world.
It will go to feeding that crew as they work 10, 12, 14 (!) hr days.
It will go to renting equipment, a camera (definitely need one of those), and a location.
Did we mention that location has to have a pool that rivals the original? And shooting in the water requires some special gear!
One of the most exciting aspects of this project to us is that we're getting the brain trust from the original film back together, and at least one of those people needs to be flown to LA. TOTALLY WORTH IT, but there's that.
Your $10 donation feeds one crew member dinner.
Your $100 donation fills our cargo van with gas, ensuring the gear and people get safely to and from set each day.
Your $1000 donation will allow us to complete the sound mix so you hear every line spoken, and every note of music in perfect harmony!
Every penny goes towards putting this film onscreen!
MEET THE TEAM
David Brind - Screenwriter & Creator of Dare
David wrote the short and feature films DARE, the latter a Grand Jury Prize Nominee at Sundance. More recently, David completed the screenplay adaptation of LEVERAGE for Academy- Award winning producer Stanley Jaffe (“Kramer vs. Kramer.”) David’s play I Want to Be Evil has had readings in New York featuring Alan Cumming, Sandra Bernhard, and Jonathan Groff. David currently teaches screenwriting at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Adam Salky - Director & Co-Creator of Dare
Well isn't THAT a very serious director pic! Since the Dare short film Adam has gone on to direct indie features (Dare & I Smile Back, both Sundance grand jury prize nominees), as well as episodic television (Blindspot on NBC). But mostly he just cares about making this sequel to Dare!
Michael Cassidy - "Johnny"
Michael Cassidy currently plays Jonathan Walsh in the TBS show People of Earth. Prior television credits include Men at Work, Masters of Sex, Scandal, Castle, Smallville and The OC. Film credits include Batman versus Superman, Argo, Zoom, The Girl from Monday. Additionally, he produced and starred in the zombie romantic comedy, Night of the Living Deb.
Adam Fleming - "Ben"
After Adam tried his “first" cigarette in a pool he continued his adventures performing on Broadway, in various venues throughout NYC and traveling the country. More recently, he's been creating theatre choreographing and directing in the woods of Maine. Of Dare he says, “It's the gift that keeps on giving - both to me and to young adults around the world. I feel a responsibility to see this story continue and look forward to reuniting with the team to make that happen. LET’S DO THIS!"
Felecia Hunter - Producer
Felecia is an award-winning screenwriter and producer based in Los Angeles whose films have premiered at festivals worldwide. Her credits include Nocturne in Black, winner of the 2016 Student Academy Award and 2017 BAFTA Student Film Award; and Gladys Brown, recipient of the Caucus Foundation Producers Grant. A native New Yorker, Felecia holds a BA and an MFA from Columbia University where she was won the Entertainment Partners Producing Award.
Rick Siegel - Cinematographer
Rick Siegel is an EMMY award-winning Director of Photography who has worked in the film and television business for over thirty years. Siegel was DP on the Emmy-nominated HBO Special Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill starring Audra McDonald. His narrative film work includes the feature films Bomber directed by Paul Cotter, Trust, Greed, Bourbon & Bullets directed by Scott Kawczynski, and the short films The Shovel, dare and 20 Dollar Drinks. Siegel’s most recent work includes the last three Kanye West Yeezy shows and the last five years of Barbara Walter’s Ten Most Fascinating People specials. He has designed and photographed over 100 televised music and comedy shows.
Caroline Duncan - Costume Designer
Caroline Duncan has designed multiple televisions series, including Rescue Me, Royal Pains, NYC22, Falling Water, American Odyssey, and 666 Park Avenue. Caroline’s film credits include J.C Chandor’s Oscar®-nominated film, Margin Call, James Ponsoldt’s Off the Black, and closest to her heart, Dare, directed by Adam Salky and written by David Brind. Recently, Caroline has designed the pilot for the popular Showtime series Masters of Sex, as well as all seasons of the critically acclaimed drama The Affair. She could not be more thrilled to continue this journey with her Dare family!
Holcombe Waller - Composer
Holcombe Waller is a singer, composer and performance artist known for his interdisciplinary theater and community-engagement projects as well as his commissions for dance and film. A 2012 USA Fellow in music, he is a board member of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art and an active part of the arts community in his home town of Portland, Oregon, USA.
Risks and challenges
Every film comes with some risks involved. Probably the biggest risk to this shoot happening in a timely manner is the schedules of the actors, and key crew like the cinematographer, director, and writer. If one of those people books a life changing (or bank account changing) job then they will have to do it. The good news is IF that happens, and it does happen on occasion, most showbiz jobs are short term, so they will do the job, and then come back from... don't know... let's say Star Wars just for fun, and then they will go right into shooting The Dare Project! We will of course be sending regular updates so you will know everything that's going on. Just know that we WILL make this film, and hopefully in 2017. That is the plan. But we will also roll with the punches as they come along.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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