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A revolutionary design by Nikola Tesla surfaces in Buffalo, NY, sending a Polish detective on a frantic chase to the brink of Niagara.
A revolutionary design by Nikola Tesla surfaces in Buffalo, NY, sending a Polish detective on a frantic chase to the brink of Niagara.
582 backers pledged $89,525 to help bring this project to life.

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THE AMERICAN SIDE - theatrical release of neo-noir mystery

$89,525

582

What was in Room 3327?

On January 7th, 1943, an eighty-six-year-old man died penniless in the New Yorker Hotel. Within hours of his death, government agents seized everything in that room. But multiple accounts suggest a certain notebook, rumored to be there, was missing.    

The occupant of that room... was Nikola Tesla.

Nearly seventy-five years later, in the hard-luck city of Buffalo, NY, a low-rent detective witnesses his partner killed in the crossfire of a blackmail scheme gone bad. Driven to know why, he's led into a twisted conspiracy to possess a world-changing design torn from Tesla's fabled missing notebook... 

That design is the object everyone is after - Hitchcock's 'MacGuffin' - in THE AMERICAN SIDE.

Set against the classic and industrial architectural backdrop of Buffalo and the mesmerizing power of Niagara Falls, THE AMERICAN SIDE is populated with complexly motivated characters played by an eclectic ensemble of actors from Matthew Broderick to Camilla Belle, Janeane Garofalo to Robert Forster, and even the original Man from U.N.C.L.E., Robert Vaughn!

Yes!

Grab your popcorn!                                                                                     

This film has already been made!  

Our campaign isn’t about raising funds to make a film. It’s about making sure we get this film into a theater near you!

When it premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival, THE AMERICAN SIDE was hailed by The Hollywood Reporter as an 'adrenaline-charged, pop-noir mystery' and a festival ‘highlight’, loaded with loving homages to film noir, Hitchcock, and conspiracy films of the '70s. 

It also sent audiences scrambling down the rabbit hole into the wildly intriguing world of Tesla.

Who was Nikola Tesla?

Responsible in whole or in part for almost every significant technological advancement of the 20th century, Tesla was developing wireless devices when people were still getting around on horseback. But eventually the eccentric and paranoid genius was marginalized by his peers and abandoned by the industrialists who made millions from his work.

Still, Tesla continued to invent, obscuring his designs by leaving them unlabeled, unfinished, and even separated into pieces. The later works of his that were recovered, are studied by the U.S. Government to this day.

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We all know countless terrific films are made every year that don’t have a promotional machine behind them, and therefore never make it to the big screen. But there is a growing movement in the indie film world to change the typical model and take charge of the theatrical life of these films. 

For our spring theatrical release, we’re partnering with one of the sharpest, most experienced minds in independent film. Because before you see it someplace like HBO or Netflix, THE AMERICAN SIDE should first live where it was meant to be seen: in movie theaters. 

By raising our own financing for publicists, posters, trailers, ads, and fancy things like digital packages so theaters can project the movie properly, we can reach audiences beyond the initial markets. Every dollar we raise expands our presence. More backing means more theaters and a larger life for the film. 

It also means REWARDS for you! 

THE AMERICAN SIDE is a truly independent endeavor from a filmmaking team without insider connections or piles of dough, just a dogged commitment to the material and the belief that there is an audience for intricate indie films that entertain.

Please take a look at our rewards and back this project with whatever you can, so we may reach that audience - in movie theaters - where films like THE AMERICAN SIDE should be experienced for the first time.

And keep in mind, you can pledge above the price point of the reward you choose, or wave your reward altogether.

So many extraordinary actors, designers, and technicians shared our belief and signed on. We hope you will too.

Join the conspiracy.

Risks and challenges

They say it's a miracle ANY film EVER gets made. So many things have to go right, and you can still lose it all because of three days of rain.

Some people thought making a film this ambitious on a tight budget and an even tighter schedule was crazy. But as Robert Forster's character puts it, 'One man's nuts, is another man's balls.'

We were told on more than one occasion-
'You’ll never be able to shoot that scene on your budget’.
‘You’ll never get that actor’.
‘Greg Stuhr is so handsome he’ll distract from the story’.

And yet, thanks to a lot of grit, determination, an incredible group of artists and technicians (including a makeup team that made Greg look like 'just a guy'), and a heck of a cast, crew, and post-production team, we overcame every one of those challenges to complete THE AMERICAN SIDE.

Still, even after facing down the long odds of getting the film made the way we wanted it made, one huge challenge remained: ensuring THE AMERICAN SIDE had a life in theaters.

*********************************************

Ever stumble across a great film on cable or Netflix and wonder why you’d never heard of it? Too often the answer is simply ‘money’. Major studios control what we see at the movies, even putting out so-called ‘indie’ films that are simply produced by a studio subsidiary. Studios have the resources to promote these films, making them more attractive to theater owners and further limiting the number of screens available for truly independent work.

To compete, indie filmmakers who have already stretched every penny to make their film, are now tasked with raising more to promote their films beyond a limited release in a couple of select markets.

But again, by the nature of producing in the independent realm, we get pretty good at tackling obstacles. And if we've learned anything, it's that for every problem there is a solution.

Part of our goal is to empower you, our audience, to decide if THE AMERICAN SIDE looks like a film you’d like to see in theaters. Your pledge is a 'yes' to that, and to seeing independent films AT THE MOVIES!

********************************************************

*This fundraising campaign is subject to all Kickstarter rules and regulations, movie guild rules, and applicable laws. In the event of difficulties or conflicts regarding reward fulfillment, we pledge to work with you in good faith to resolve the issue or give you a substitute reward.

*For those of you joining us for a premiere, location tour, or on set, we will do our best to keep you informed of our schedule. As stated in the rewards, we are not responsible for transportation or lodging.

*For those of you choosing the glamorous life of a movie extra, you'll have to sign a release for the powers-that-be. And we cannot guarantee you'll end up in the final cut, but we'll sure try. You'll need to be a U.S. citizen or have a U.S. work visa. And you cannot be a member of SAG/AFTRA.

*Though all physical rewards are noted as shipping only within the U.S., we may be able to make exceptions. If you choose a reward that includes a t-shirt or mini-poster and you live outside the U.S., contact us at theamericanside@gmail.com for details.

*Please consider the age appropriateness for rewards. We reserve the right to alter rewards where deemed necessary.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Social media SHOUT-OUT! We'll give you 'props' on our Facebook page. (Not actual movie props. Those are being shipped to the Smithsonian...)

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    The American Side SCREENSAVERS! (Do people still call them 'screensavers'?) You'll get THREE evocative images from the film for digital download!

    Like the low-rent detective, Charlie Paczynski, you too can be throwback cool with your so-called 'screensavers'!

    PLUS access to all our latest posts and updates!

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Social media SHOUT-OUT and a personal 'THANK YOU' VIDEO emailed to you from co-writers - director Jenna Ricker and lead actor Greg Stuhr. (See what Greg looks like without a mustache... maybe.)

    And of course, access to all posts and updates!

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Original shooting script in PDF. Amaze your friends by quoting the movie BEFORE you've seen it, or claim to have 'figured it out' in the first five minutes!

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    From SCRIPT to SCREEN!
    A reward for the aspiring filmmaker or curious viewer!

    The creative team has put together a series of images and notes for three key moments in The American Side.

    You'll see:
    1 - how each scene appeared on the page
    2 - the shot list and storyboard for each scene
    3 - a still of each scene from the finished film

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    *SPECIAL LIMITED OFFER
    A quality S, M, L, or XL t-shirt from Retro Buffalo Prints featuring this quote from the film - that many Buffalonians will recognize:

    'Top shelf... where Mama hides the cookies.'

    Offer expires when the puck drops on the Sabres game Saturday night, November 14th, at 7:00pm!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    Digital download of original 'PROOF OF CONCEPT' trailer. This is where the look and feel of the film was born! See how those conceptualized scenes compare with the finished film when it hits theaters - thanks to YOU!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    Digital download of 'BONUS' FOOTAGE including a deleted scene, outtakes, and a montage of moments before and after director Jenna Ricker yells, 'action!' and 'cut!'

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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    There's an old saying in the t-shirt business: 'you can't wear a digital download'. So we're offering another option for $35 - you guessed it, a T-SHIRT!

    Choose one of four quotes from The American Side to sport on your quality S, M, L, or XL t-shirt from Retro Buffalo Prints:

    'You had me at Death Ray.'
    'One man's nuts is another man's balls.'
    'Don't kid yourself. Tesla IS the outfit.'
    'Ever hear the one about the Polish detective?'

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    He wrote the music for THE CONVERSATION.
    He wrote the music for ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN.
    And now he's written the music for THE AMERICAN SIDE!

    Director Jenna Ricker may shoot, but it's the film's composer who scores! (TOP SHELF - where mama hides the cookies!)

    Download THREE key pieces of music from ACADEMY AWARD WINNER DAVID SHIRE's terrific SCORE for The American Side!

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 55 or more About US$ 55

    The COMPLETE digital package!
    The $25 shooting script.
    The $25 script to screen.
    The $30 'proof of concept' trailer.
    The $35 bonus footage.

    That's like $115 of rewards for not $115!!!
    In other words, less! But MORE!

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 65 or more About US$ 65

    The COMPLETE digital package!
    PLUS...

    The American Side WINDOW CARD! -
    a 14" x 22" mini poster - signed by director Jenna Ricker and lead actor Greg Stuhr!

    This has collector's item potential written all over it! (Not literally, but we could do that too!)

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 65 or more About US$ 65

    The COMPLETE digital package!
    PLUS...
    The American Side T-SHIRT!

    Choose one of four quotes from The American Side to sport on your quality S, M, L, or XL t-shirt from Retro Buffalo Prints:

    'You had me at Death Ray.'
    'One man's nuts is another man's balls.'
    'Don't kid yourself. Tesla IS the outfit.'
    'Ever hear the one about the Polish detective?'

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 65 or more About US$ 65

    The COMPLETE digital package!
    PLUS...

    Download THREE key pieces of music from ACADEMY AWARD WINNER DAVID SHIRE's terrific SCORE for The American Side!

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Academy Award Winner DAVID SHIRE's ENTIRE SCORE for The American Side!!!
    (in downloadable format)

    If you love his music for other twisting conspiracy films, this is where you really start to 'score'!

    PLUS a BONUS TRACK:
    Don Stuhr (aka Mickey the Bartender) fronted a band in the '50s called The Fendermen.
    We'll include their song heard in the film:
    More Than Words Can Tell!

    AND, we'll include the COMPLETE digital package!

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    To paraphrase director Jenna Ricker's childhood idol, Olivia Newton-John: Let's get DIGITAL!

    The COMPLETE digital package!
    PLUS...
    a digital download of Jenna's first film, the award-winning coming-of-age story, BEN'S PLAN, starring Ben Schnetzer (The Book Thief, Pride, Snowden) and Selenis Leyva (Orange Is the New Black).

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 85 or more About US$ 85

    Ok.
    The American Side is meant to be seen in the theaters, on the big screen! That's why we're here, right?!!!

    BUT... for $85 you'll receive a link and password for a ONE-TIME ONLY special screening of the film! (Must supply own popcorn.)
    PLUS...
    You'll enjoy a 15 minute Q&A Skype session with the filmmakers!

    This option WILL EXPIRE like a Mission Impossible assignment!

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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 95 or more About US$ 95

    Wanna kick it up a notch?

    Add just $10 to the ONE-TIME ONLY online screening - and we'll include your choice of any single digital reward or the t-shirt!!!

    That's right!
    You can watch The American Side at home AT THE SAME TIME you follow along with the script OR wear your American (Side) apparel, OR even watch the film and then enjoy the BONUS material!

    The CHOICE is YOURS!

    (This may become known as The American Side nerd package.)

    *NOTE - digital options involve no shipping, so they may be selected outside the U.S.

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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Want the inside scoop on hidden clues and homages?
    Discuss the writing, casting, shooting, editing processes?
    Wanna talk Tesla, beef on weck, or the Buffalo Bills' 3rd down efficiency rating?

    Our first $100 option is a ONE-TIME ONLY online screening of THE AMERICAN SIDE - PLUS a half-hour SKYPE SESSION with co-writers - director Jenna Ricker and lead actor Greg Stuhr - to be scheduled at a mutually convenient time. (Which for Greg, may be 2AM.)

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  20. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    For all the aspiring writers out there! We will READ YOUR SCRIPT and Skype with you to discuss it!

    Yes! You can learn from our experience - the good, the bad, and the ugly! (Great film, by the way.)

    We'll share what we think, what we know, and what we think we know. And how it all applies to YOUR script or story!

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  21. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    First, you'll receive a link and password for a ONE-TIME ONLY special screening of the film!

    Then you can visit many of the key locations with...

    THE AMERICAN SIDE SHOOTING TOUR - NIAGARA FALLS!

    What Mount Rushmore is to North By Northwest, Niagara Falls is to The American Side!

    You'll have to provide your own travel and accommodations if needed, but once you do you'll join the creators at NIAGARA FALLS STATE PARK for a guided tour of shooting locations where pieces of the film's puzzle came to life!

    To be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.
    (Barrel ride NOT included.)

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  22. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    First, you'll receive a link and password for a ONE-TIME ONLY special screening of the film!

    Then you can visit many of the key locations with...

    THE AMERICAN SIDE SHOOTING TOUR - BUFFALO!

    Forget the rust belt reputation, this city has more cool character (and characters!) than Casablanca.

    You'll have to provide your own travel and accommodations, but once you do you'll join the creators for a guided tour of shooting locations in BUFFALO!

    Take in some of the city's great architecture that serves as the backdrop for Paczynski's pursuit - from Kleinhans Music Hall to Silo City and beyond!

    To be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.
    (Hot wings NOT included.)

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  23. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    ROLL OUT THE RED CARPET!!!
    TWO TICKETS to the BIG BUFFALO PREMIERE!!!

    Wear a tux!
    Wear a gown!
    Wear a mismatched tie and shirt - just like Charlie Paczynski!

    You'll be responsible for getting there and accommodations if necessary, but once you're there, you'll be one of the very first to see THE AMERICAN SIDE!

    Plus you'll have a chance to meet director Jenna Ricker and some of the actors in attendance, and maybe even mingle at the after-party!

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    TWO TICKETS to the NYC PREMIERE!!!

    You'll be responsible for getting there and accommodations if necessary, but once you're there, you'll be one of the first to see THE AMERICAN SIDE in the heart of independent cinema - New York City!

    Plus you'll have a chance to meet director Jenna Ricker and some of the actors in attendance, and maybe even mingle at the after-party!

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    We've SOLD OUT our NYC premiere tickets!
    So we are now offering 2 tickets to the OPENING WEEKEND in NYC for $250!

    You'll still be one of the first to see The American Side in NYC the opening weekend!

    You'll be responsible for getting there and accommodations if necessary, but once you're there, you can visit with director Jenna Ricker and the actors in attendance beforehand and take part in the post-screening Q&A!

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    Pledge US$ 450 or more About US$ 450

    First, we'll thank you profusely.

    Then, we'll thank you 'officially' with an IMDb 'special thanks' credit, and you will forever be linked to The American Side! Impress friends at parties by saying, 'I'm in the Internet Movie Database just like Hollywood legend Tom Hanks!'

    Oh, and we'll also include the COMPLETE DIGITAL PACKAGE!
    *the screensaver
    *the script to screen
    *the original shooting script
    *the proof of concept trailer
    *the outtakes and bonus footage
    PLUS
    *three key selections from David Shire's SCORE!
    PLUS
    *Jenna's film BEN'S PLAN
    PLUS
    *the link and password for a ONE-TIME ONLY special screening of THE AMERICAN SIDE!

    On top of all that, we'll include The American Side t-shirt AND window card!

    AND you can talk about all of it in a SKYPE session with the filmmakers!

    Be like Tom Hanks!

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    Pledge US$ 450 or more About US$ 450

    ROLL OUT EVEN MORE RED CARPET!
    FOUR TICKETS to the Buffalo PREMIERE!!!

    You'll be responsible for getting there and accommodations if necessary, but once you're there, you'll be one of the very first to see THE AMERICAN SIDE!

    Plus you'll have a chance to meet director Jenna Ricker and some of the actors in attendance, and maybe even mingle at the after-party!

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    Pledge US$ 450 or more About US$ 450

    FOUR TICKETS to a NYC OPENING WEEKEND SHOW!!!

    With limited seating for our NYC Premiere, we can't promise premiere tix, but we CAN make sure you'll still be one of the first to see The American Side in NYC the opening weekend!

    You'll be responsible for getting there and accommodations if necessary, but once you're there, you can visit with director Jenna Ricker and the actors in attendance beforehand and take part in the post-screening Q&A!

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    Pledge US$ 850 or more About US$ 850

    This one has to be good. After all, we only need 100 folks to ask for this reward to meet our goal!

    So what does $850 get you?
    It gets you EVERYTHING we offer in our FIRST $450 reward, from the IMDb 'special thanks' to the on-line screener and Skype session...
    PLUS
    An ON-SET VISIT for director Jenna Ricker's NEXT FILM!

    You'll have to get yourself there (wherever there may be) and arrange accommodations, but once you do, you'll...

    *Spend the day seeing what it's like to shoot a film up-close and personal!
    *Join the cast and crew for 'lunch'!
    *And maybe even chat with Teamsters!

    Just don't sneeze until Jenna says, 'CUT'!

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

    EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about... YOURSELF!!!

    We'll include EVERYTHING we offer in our FIRST $450 reward, from the IMDb 'special thanks' to the on-line screener and Skype session...
    PLUS
    You'll be an EXTRA in director Jenna Ricker's NEXT FILM!

    You'll have to get yourself there (wherever there may be) and arrange accommodations, but once you do, you'll be one editing room decision away from appearing on the BIG SCREEN!

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    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    EXTRA EXTRAS!

    We'll include EVERYTHING we offer in our FIRST $450 reward...
    PLUS
    You AND A FRIEND can be EXTRAS in director Jenna Ricker's NEXT FILM!

    You'll have to get yourself there (wherever there may be) and arrange accommodations, but once you do, you'll be one editing room decision away from appearing on the BIG SCREEN!

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    WINGS and CAMARADERIE!

    You'll enjoy EVERYTHING we offer in our FIRST $450 reward...
    PLUS
    You AND A FRIEND can be EXTRAS in director Jenna Ricker's NEXT FILM!
    AND...
    You can join Jenna for a post-shooting day meal!

    You'll be responsible for travel and accommodations, but you'll have the unique opportunity to talk about your day on the set and get insight into what you experienced DIRECTLY from YOUR DIRECTOR!

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    IMMORTALITY!

    Well, sort of.
    Pledging at this level not only gets you EVERYTHING we offer in our FIRST $450 reward, as well as TWO PREMIERE TICKETS for NYC or BUFFALO, and an on-set visit to Jenna's next film, but...

    You will also receive an ON-SCREEN 'SPECIAL THANKS' in the end crawl of Jenna's next film!!!

    Your name will go on forever - just like those kids from FAME, Celine Dion's heart, and the FAST & FURIOUS sequels!

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    Pledge US$ 7,500 or more About US$ 7,500

    Take IMMORTALITY to the next level!
    We'll include EVERYTHING in our $5,000 reward...
    PLUS...
    You can NAME A CHARACTER after yourself (or in tribute to someone of your choice) in Greg Stuhr's next produced screenplay!

    Someday, when you're watching the midnight movie, you'll hear YOUR NAME! And that $7,500 will have been worth it!

    (No one named 'Charlie Paczynski' may apply.)

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  35. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    This one seems like it should be negotiable.

    So, if you've got a unique spin on some of our rewards, tell us what you'd like (within the boundaries of taste and reason - which may be looser for Greg than Jenna), and we'll work to make it happen!
    PLUS...
    We'll throw in that SCREENSAVER!

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Funding period

- (30 days)