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A young trainhopper is arrested in a small southern town and gets creative to avoid jail time.
A young trainhopper is arrested in a small southern town and gets creative to avoid jail time.
127 backers pledged $26,091 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$26,091

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The Movie

A young, abandoned trainhopper (Samuel) spend years aimlessly riding on freight trains across the United States with his old video camera.

One day, our trainhopper rides into a small southern town (Durham) and is arrested. Faced with a hefty fine and potential jail time, Samuel uses his creativity and starts working as a cameraman for the young and ambitious Sarah. Two polar opposite characters, Samuel and Sarah work together in a city-council initiated competition to make the best promotional video for Durham.

Trainhopper is an adventure filled with action, drama, and comedy. An unusual coming-of-age story, Trainhopper deals with themes of attachment and the suffering that comes from those attachments.  

Letter from the Director: Why this film? 

The trainhopping world is a world that you’ve never explored before--picture shots of Samuel riding across the vast expanses of the United States. Even though that is exciting enough, we have three of many reasons as to why this film is different:  

1) There is a story behind the story .

I share many similarities with Samuel's character. 

I grew up moving around quite a bit--by the time I was 18 I had lived in 12 different countries. As a result, like Samuel I am always up for an adventure even if it is stupid/dangerous (sorry mom). But most importantly, I deal with the same conflict that tears Samuel apart: we know that attachments are the source of all our suffering, so then why do we keep creating more attachments. In a certain sense, a big part of who I am today is in Samuel’s characte   

2) Durham is currently erupting with energy and beauty. 

We’re going to capture that. Back when I first got here, I remember Duke students telling me that Durham was a ghetto, somewhere one should never go. However, the first time I walked through it I was amazed. It has an incredibly subtle cinematic quality: picture unique sunsets, old tobacco brick-buildings impregnated with nostalgia, and the unique grittiness of its inhabitants. Durham was previously a big tobacco town, but recently it has become a dynamic hub for the arts in North Carolina.  

3) We are the first students to make a full-length feature film at Duke University.  

Making a feature film is challenging enough. Making one while your whole team has a full Duke course-load is much more challenging. As far as we know, no students have ever undertaken a project of this scale at Duke and we are extremely excited to set a precedent. The advantage of being at Duke is that we are surrounded with talented people—which made getting a dream team together very easy.

Best,

Tristan

Why do you need funding?

Making a film is expensive. While our team is fortunate to be able to use many of Duke's outstanding resources (mainly talent), there are still many expenses to handle.

Your support will help us with crucial equipment, crew, post-production costs, film festival fees, and legal fees. Every single cent makes a difference, and will be carefully used. 

How much funding do you need?

The director and producers have crunched the numbers, and they need approximately $32,000 to allow the film to reach its full potential. They have already raised close to $15,000 from individual donors in LA over the summer, but this Kickstarter would elevate the quality of the film to a whole new level. That's where we're looking for your collaboration!

 

Budget Breakdown
Budget Breakdown

What's your timeline?

Now --> Nov. 12th 

Running the Kickstarter campaign is a full-time job. 

Nov. 12th --> January 2018

Getting ready for production, organizing the schedule, the crew... oh, and taking our exams too!

January 2018 --> May 2018

We shoot Trainhopper during the spring semester! Tristan will also go on a road-trip with his actor far away from Durham to shoot some Trainhopping scenes that need to take place out of state.

May 2018 --> July 2018

Continuously editing as we shoot, Tristan will then drive across the country to Los Angeles to complete the final rounds of post-production (sound editing, color correction, etc.).

July 2018 -- > August 2018

Submit Trainhopper to film festivals!

August 2018 --> Film festivals

Tristan will go travel somewhere (most probably either Iran or SE-Asia and develop a new screenplay set in either of those regions).

Film festivals --> Who knows?

WE DID IT!

Want to see what the final project will look like?

Here is some test footage that we shot with our lead actor the past summer: https://vimeo.com/233597348

Relevant links:

Website: www.trainhopperthemovie.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/trainhopperthemovie/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/trainhopperthemovie/

Our interview in the Duke Chronicle: 
http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2017/10/seniors-take-on-ambitious-film-project-cast-duke-football-player-as-lead 

Risks and challenges

Just like a Train going full speed, nothing can stop Trainhopper. We have faced many obstacles, and will keep facing many more, but every time we overpower them with pure determination.

Trainhopper faces two principal challenges.

1) Because we are all students, we can't just drop everything and shoot for 25 days and be done. Instead we have to account for many moving parts and rotating schedules. But with meticulous planning and over six months until graduating, we will be fine.

2) We don't have any network or studio backing us so our plan for profiting through film festival distribution is much less structured than your typical Hollywood movie. One might see that as a risk, we see it as freedom.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Personalized thank you!

    You will received a personalized email from the director and producers thanking you for your contribution!

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    Watch the film!

    You will receive a link to watch the film once it is done!

    Includes:
    • Personalized thank you!
    • Production diary
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    Get your ticket for the premiere!

    The premiere for Trainhopper will take place during the 2018 Duke homecoming. Buy your ticket now for a chance to walk the red carpet!

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    Production Diary!

    You will receive an invite to follow us on Instagram where you will be able to follow the behind the scenes just as if you were there!

    Additionally, you will receive a weekly update video with everything that happened. Everything.

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    • Personalized thank you!
    • Watch the film!
    • Production diary
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    Soundtrack and signed poster+screenplay!

    In addition to the film's soundtrack, you will receive a screenplay and the film's poster signed by the whole cast and crew!

    Includes:
    • Personalized thank you!
    • Watch the film!
    • Production diary
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Be an extra!

    You will get the chance to appear in the film!

    If you are outside of North Carolina you will have to provide your own travel and accomodation.

    Includes:
    • Personalized thank you!
    • Watch the film!
    • Production diary
    • Soundtrack and signed poster+screenplay!
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Your name will make it into the film!

    A character/company/anything in the film will carry the name of your choice!

    Vulgar or inappropriate names will not be accepted.

    Includes:
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    • Watch the film!
    • Production diary
    • Soundtrack and signed poster+screenplay!
    • Be an extra!
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    Product placement

    Your company and/or product will be featured for a total of at least ten seconds.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Associate Producer

    You will get a credit in the film as Associate Producer!

    Includes:
    • Personalized thank you!
    • Production diary
    • Watch the film!
    • Soundtrack and signed poster+screenplay!
    • Be an extra!
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    VIP Experience

    (US only) Get flown to the premiere in Durham next year and walk the red carpet. Hotel and airfare included, plus you get dinner with the director and producer.

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    Executive Producer

    You will become an executive producer of Trainhopper!

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    Our first born children

    Cheaper than adoption!

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Funding period

- (31 days)