Project image
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$15,558
pledged of $60,000pledged of $60,000 goal
209
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, October 23 2013 4:15 PM UTC +00:00
$15,558
pledged of $60,000pledged of $60,000 goal
209
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, October 23 2013 4:15 PM UTC +00:00

About

Objective: 

The opening minutes of “My Manz” takes place ten years before the rest of the film. We will use the money raised to shoot that portion of the movie and then use those scenes to raise the rest of the budget —1 million dollars.

To literally kickstart our feature film “My Manz” based on a novel by JM Benjamin we have to raise $60,000. We are asking everyday people to give $20.00 and thank 20 people who helped them with their particular hustle. Giving is important and thanking helps us share our journey and unifies a community around the film.

The film will be shot on location in Plainfield, NJ. So we will be using streets, homes and buildings in town. A large portion of our budget will go to goods and services from local businesses and vendors. We are also providing casting, mentoring and internship opportunities for the community.

What happens if all the money isn’t raised in time? UNFORTUNATELY, NOTHING. If our entire $60,000 goal isn’t met before the deadline, no money changes hands and getting this film off the ground and made will be all the more challenging.  Please don't let this happen!

Can we exceed the goal? ABSOLUTELY YES! Kickstarter will allow as much money as is given before the deadline. Even though $60,000 is already a lot of money, it is still only a fraction of what we need to make the entire film. The more money we raise the less continued financing we have to seek and the more time we can spend on the creative aspects to make the film even stronger.

Can I increase my pledge once it’s been made? YES! Once you donate to our campaign, you may want to change your incentive reward to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. To do so, go to Kickstarter and sign in. If you go to our campaign page, the green “Back This Project” button has been replaced with a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click it and you can enter a new amount, or choose a new incentive.

Director’s Statement:

“My Manz” is an adaptation of a novel by an Essence magazine best-selling urban literature author JM Benjamin. JM was incarcerated for over twelve years on drug trafficking and racketeering charges. On the inside he found faith, turned his life around and began writing. He has since written ten urban novels, one non-fiction motivational, contributed to five anthologies and spends most of his time giving back to a community he took so much from. Though we grew up in the same town, I only met him a few years ago when this collaboration was proposed.

I thought is was a brilliant idea for the filmmaker/scholar (me) and the former drug dealer now author to come together and create a piece that would have an impact on this community and so many communities like it. I thought of the power of him and I standing side-by-side telling our stories to children to show them the possibilities they have in life. Thus I adapted his 2nd novel, “My Manz And Em”, which tells the story of Malik Jones, a hoodlum, loyal only to the streets until the streets abandon him. He then finds the meaning of love with his mother, two little sisters, and his new girlfriend. After his release from prison, a struggle between his new life and old ensues. It is a story about choices. The choices we make to survive, the choices we make when we think we have no other options, and the choices that can cost us everything. The film also pays homage to the writings of classic urban literature authors like Chester Himes and Donald Goines--authors whose works however sexy, dark or sensational were cautionary tales for the next generation.

JM’s books have an amazing following in urban communities and prisons all around the country and even some places abroad. We are looking to bring that audience into the world of independent film and have the resonance and poetry of movies like Boyz n’ the Hood, Menace to Society and Hustle & Flow. This is an underserved and often misrepresented audience we are trying to reach while inviting other audiences with universal themes and using my signature brand of unflinching humanity and reality to our characters, our setting, the directing and the cinematography.

There are Maliks all over the country and all over the world. From Detroit to Chicago; St. Louis to DC; LA to New York--men and women just trying to survive post incarceration, in a system not designed for them to succeed. Either they play by unfair rules, revert back to a life of crime or change the game. Each choice comes with its own, often heavy price. This movie is for them, for their communities, their families and all those who love them. This movie is for us.

Production:

One of my skills as an independent filmmaker is my efficiency of time and resources. I make my deadlines and my budgets. But I can not do this alone. I work with a world class technical team behind the scenes and because we have worked together on several projects there is a shorthand that allows us to get the job done.

We are planning on shooting the opening pages over the course of 2 nights and 2 days (4 days total) -- a long weekend. Post-production will follow immediately after. We will be able to extract clips or scenes for future promotion and financing.

Risks and challenges

Independent filmmaking poses it's own unique problems. In our case breaking the shoot up raises the possibility of continuity issues of all types: retaining cast, crew, equipment and locations for the full shoot when we are completely funded. For the film's sake we are taking all precautions and measures in this planning stage to address these issues.

Productions can often be adjusted or delayed because of cast, principle crew schedules, weather and a host of other things. As producers we try to plan for everything that we can plan for but some things are beyond our control. However we will not compromise safety, quality or completing the film. It will get done.

Due to this, some rewards will be available only after the entire production and post production, and even distribution is complete.

Transportation is not included for prizes that involve workshops, time on set, and screenings, etc. You have to get here.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    A “Choose Your Hustle” wristband.

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    11 backers
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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    A “Choose Your Hustle” wristband.

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    6 backers
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    A “Choose Your Hustle” wristband. *Look for project updates.

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    37 backers
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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    Autographed official DVD of MY MANZ. (When available)

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    35 backers
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    1 ticket to the local red carpet screening.

    A “Choose Your Hustle” wristband.

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    Limited 23 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    A signed copy of KINYARWANDA, my previous film OR a Signed copy of “My Manz and Em” by JM Benjamin. A “Choose Your Hustle” wristband.

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    Limited 11 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    A book and a film. A signed copy of KINYARWANDA, my previous film AND a signed copy of “My Manz and Em” by JM Benjamin. A “Choose Your Hustle” wristband.

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    Limited 11 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    2 tickets to the local red carpet screening and an autographed DVD of MY MANZ. (When available)

    A “Choose Your Hustle” wristband.

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    Limited 20 backers
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Attend a weekend workshop on filmmaking (screenwriting, directing,) with Alrick Brown

    A “Choose Your Hustle” wristband.

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    Limited 1 backer
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Attend a weekend workshop on writing and self-publishing with JM Benjamin.

    A “Choose Your Hustle” wristband.

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    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Spend a day on set during actual shoot with cast and crew.

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    Limited 2 backers
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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Have a featured extra role in the film.

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    Limited 4 backers
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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Baller’s Package. Get all of the above rewards.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  14. Select this reward

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

    Associate Producer Film Credit.

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Funding period

- (30 days)