Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 10, 2013.

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Open House is a murder mystery whodunit set in a dark world full of deceit, treachery, and danger: a high school party.

A short film collaboration by 30 students from the University of Michigan in Screen Arts & Culture's Screenwriting Practicum.  Students from the School of Art & Design, School of Music, Business School and Literature, Science, & Arts will work together in order to produce a 20 - 30 minute short film which will premiere at the Traverse City Film Festival in August 2013.

Open House is a murder mystery whodunit set in a dark world full of deceit, treachery, and danger: a high school party. Our wallflower of a protagonist, Luke, gets drawn into a half-baked homicide investigation when his best friend, Jonah—the Sherlock to his Watson—finds that a guest has been murdered upstairs. The only clue points to the girl Luke’s loved from afar since middle school, who he knows couldn’t possibly be a killer. Everyone at the party is a suspect and no one can be trusted—because this is high school, where everyone is hiding who they really are. Like anyone who’s ever survived adolescence, Luke must learn to separate truth from image and to see past the false fronts his peers have put up. 

But he must grow up quickly, in order to find the killer lurking among the guests before the night is out.

Starring Nick Skardarasy as Luke, Philip Maxwell as Jonah, Quinn Scillian as Edie and Ashley Park as Stacy.

Directed by Dustin Alpern

Screenplay by Brad Schwartz

Produced by Nick Inchaustegui, Dakota Hadfield, Brian Van Timmeren, JD Biskner and HY Fong

Cinematography by John Fisher

Production Design by Layne Simescu & Anna Baumgarten

Assistant Director: Raj Sosale

Sound Design by Thomas Halpin

Composer: Simon Alexander-Adams

Recordist: Summer Krinsky

Boom Operator/Mixer: Drew Elder

Gaffer: Kenny Moffitt

Camera Operator: Jackie Vresics

1st Assistant Camera: Kasey Cox

Art Directors: Lindsey Hepworth, Katie Parks, Alex Gardner, and Paige Pfleger

Supervising Editor: Kevin Birou

Continuity & Editing : Payton Halbeison

Key Grip: Julie Vis

To keep up with us during production, check out our facebook page!  Thank you so much for your time and help!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Funding our project is just the beginning. After we fill out our budget we can start shooting our film. In a collaborative project of this magnitude, a variety of challenges can arise during filming. The main sequence of Open House is a high school party that takes place in a large suburban home. This will require organizing over fifty extras on top of a twenty person crew. We will need to orchestrate transportation for this amount of people, and since the shoot will take some time - provide food and refreshments. We will need to act relatively quickly and be extremely careful on location as this is someones suburban home.
Furthermore, deadlines pose very real challenges. Since this project is for a class, we need to finish this project by the end of the semester. More specifically, we need to have a cut ready for the University of Michigan student film showcase (Lightworks) in mid-April, meaning filming must wrap roughly three weeks prior. After Lightworks, this summer we will work tirelessly in order to touch up and color correct a final cut to premier at the Traverse City FIlm Festival.
Finally, after filming has wrapped and editing approaches a close, we will submit Open House to other film festivals. This will take research, time, and what little money we have left in order to register for other film expositions.
Setbacks can occur any step of the way on this production, but luckily we have a dedicated team filled with experienced film students, business students, art students and more who all bring unique and valuable attributes to the table. If we lose a location, we have a list of backups and act immediately to secure another. If extras cannot drive to the location, producers and production assistants will act as chauffeurs transporting actors to and from set. If we cannot find ample food donations, we will cook food ourselves to bring on set. Intricate collaborate projects such as films have many unforeseen problems, but our team communicates so well that we can act rapidly in the event an obstacle arises.

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    High Five! You're invited to see our debut free of charge at Lightworks! (Ann Arbor, MI)

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    Digital Download of Open House.

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    Special Thanks in our Credits and Digital Download.

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    DVD copy of Open House, Personal Thank You Letter or Phone Call, Special Thanks, and Digital Download.

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    Special Thanks, Digital Download, DVD, Soundtrack, and Company Logo added to credits. Additionally, you will be a featured extra in our party scene! (dependent on availability)

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    Signed Movie Poster, Special & Personal Thanks, Digital Download, DVD, Soundtrack, and Company Logo added to credits. Additionally, you have the option to play a featured extra in the scene of your choosing! (dependent on availability)

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    Associate Producer credit in addition to Signed Movie Poster, Special & Personal Thanks, Digital Download, DVD, Soundtrack, and Company Logo, and featured extra.

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    Invitation to watch the premiere of Open House at the Traverse City Film Festival with the cast & crew as well as after party! (conditions apply - optional dinner with writer & director) In addition to Associate Producer credit, Signed Movie Poster, Special & Personal Thanks, Digital Download, DVD, Soundtrack, and Company Logo.

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Funding period

- (30 days)