About this project
The Life and Death of Tommy Chaos and Stacey Danger is the story of a relationship that was destined to end from day one. Dinosaurs have invaded Earth, but neither Tommy nor Stacey care anymore, now that they’ve met each other. They escape the war, but whether they dive to the bottom of the ocean or fly to Outer Space, Danger always seems to find Stacey, and Chaos always seems to find Tommy, ending in disaster for both of them.
I've been describing it lately as Blue Valentine meets Jurassic Park.
We go to the movies not to just escape, but to confront the dreams and desires that haunt and inspire us.
Grizzly Bears and Astronauts. Deep-sea Divers and Dinosaurs. These are the things that make an amazing Adventure. And in our case, Adventure is a metaphor for Love (with a capital L). Through the literal and symbolic ups and downs, Stacey and Tommy fight to escape the truth: that maybe they just weren’t made for each other. We will be building real trenches, in addition to a Spaceship and Submarine all inside a studio. By combining old school visual effects and stop-motion animation with state of the art technology, an extremely unique mix of live-action and animation will be used to achieve a distinct look that sets us apart from other films.
Michael Lukk Litwak spent his youth making mischief in Venice Beach, California. Trilingual and multi-talented, he graduated early from high school and escaped to New York City where he enrolled in the Film and TV program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
As a Freshman he founded The Tisch 48-Hour Film Festival and was the cinematographer on a feature documentary shot in Istanbul, Turkey. As a sophomore he built a miniature floating city for The Glue King & His Castle and was the cinematographer on short documentary that filmed in Todos Santos, Guatemala.
He then flew to Prague in the Czech Republic to study at the prestigious Film Academy (FAMU) where he proceeded to hang off the side of a speeding garbage truck to film French Quesadillas, which landed an Official Selection at the Seattle International Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Shortsfest, in addition to other film festivals across the US.
After living in Madrid for a semester, Michael returned to New York City to build a giant glowing cardboard spaceship in his basement for Interstellar Intercourse: A Space-Sex Odyssey. Interstellar clinched the Audience Award at Tisch 48 (2012) and continues to play the festival circuit.
The Life and Death of Tommy Chaos and Stacey Danger is Michael’s NYU thesis film and the ultimate expression of everything he’s learned in the last four years. He has plans to conquer the world as soon as he figures out how to turn his surplus of compassion and empathy into some sort of explosive death-ray chainsaw laser.
The number one aim of our production is to have a professional quality piece of work produced at the price of a student film.
We will be shooting for four days in October with the brand new ARRI Alexa--the top-of-the-line in digital motion picture cinema.
The Short Film is a young director’s calling card, a chance to prove a personal style and prowess in the driver’s seat. The format is a perfect showcase for new talent--it's easy for executives, studios and producers to access, and provides great exposure to the filmmaking team.
Despite the fact that our extremely talented crew is all working for free and all of the locations are free, making a movie still requires A LOT of money. We have to pay for props, transportation, camera, insurance, lighting equipment and a hundred other things. More than half of our budget will come from friends and family (that's you!)
The more you donate, the more you're involved! We've set up some great prizes and rewards so check them out and please help us make this crazy dream a reality.
OLIVER ANDERSON - CINEMATOGRAPHER
Oliver Anderson is a New York City based cinematographer and fellow graduate of Tisch School of the Arts. He has a history and reputation of creating dynamic, stunning imagery influenced by a diversity of mediums and personal experiences. He’s shot commercials, music videos, and recently wrapped Principle Photography on his first feature, shot on location in Virginia last Spring. Budgets shrink and grow, but good filmmaking comes down to strong ideas and powerful execution, a motto that he strives to keep in mind.
He’s worked with a wide range of directors in almost every style, from B-movie horror to historical drama to comedy to fashion. While some people think about a production based on camera technology and technical challenges, Oliver carefully approaches each project with a great deal of care, collaborating with directors about the ideas and intentions inherent in the script.
This is Oliver and Michael’s second time working together, the first being Interstellar Intercourse: A Space-Sex Odyssey.
JEAN CLAUDE BILLMAIER - PRODUCER / VFX SUPERVISOR
Born to a Venezuelan mother and German father, Jean Claude was raised around the world until he settled in Spain. He started working as an amateur graphic designer and retouching artist, freelancing with different companies and private clients until he finally found his calling as a producer and visual effects artist. He’s made films on more than four continents and enjoys exploring the merging of cultures through diverse stories.
Majoring in Film, and Minoring in Architecture and Entertainment Business, he currently lives in New York City and attends Tisch School of the Arts. He has produced a countless number of short films, none of which have ever gone over budget.
TAYLOR SHUNG - PRODUCTION DESIGNER
A born and raised New Yorker, Taylor Shung is a senior at NYU’s Tisch School of The Arts. In the last four years, she’s built robots and constructed dungeons, in the forest and the subway. She worked in the art department for Todd Solondz’s recent feature Dark Horse and brings her unique and keen sense of aesthetics to every project she works on.
This is her fourth time working with Michael, as she was previously the cinematographer and production designer for French Quesadillas and the producer of Interstellar Intercourse, in addition to collaborating on other projects.
MADELINE BEARZI & EMMA NOBLE - ANIMATORS
Madeline Bearzi plans to graduate from NYU in 2013 with a BFA in Film & TV Production, and a focus in animation. She grew up in the wilds of Oregon where she learned to embrace her secret love of bears. She likes to make things move. You definitely just pronounced her last name incorrectly.
Originally from Illinois, Emma Noble studies Animation and German Language at NYU. She recently worked in the art department for the most recent season of Louie on FX and as a stop-motion assistant for the Great Googa Mooga ad spots this past spring. Her design work has been selected for inclusion in the 2012 NYU Student Animation Showcase, Hammerkatz NYU’s posters, and Inna City Tanchum’s album art. She currently works as a camera operator on The Chris Gethard Show on public access.
JESSE KRANZLER - COMPOSER
Jesse Kranzler is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer hailing from San Diego, CA, currently based in New York (with a musical cessation in East Africa this spring). Jesse has toured America and Europe in the realms of both experimental music and pop music; with his avant-rock trio WITT, experimental folk band, Snuffaluffagus, and his indie/folk trio Town Hall. He has participated in many other musical projects as a performer, arranger, composer, and guitarist. Jesse also serves as booking agent and manager for many of his bands and is currently working on developing a music curriculum to be taught throughout Kenya as well as a songbook of traditional folk music that he recorded and transcribed while in the country. In addition to scoring this film, Jesse will spend the Fall preparing new music for his instrumental trio Social Meteors and new chamber works to be premiered in Winter 2012. He will also be raising money to produce and release a compilation of traditional Kenyan music.
This will be the fourth project on which Jesse will be collaborating with Michael.
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