*UPDATE: WE'RE GOING FOR A STRETCH GOAL!
On 10/15/16 at approximately 6:30pm, we reached our original funding goal of $19,500! We're now over that! Since we still have time left in our campaign, we're able to go for a stretch goal. It's $24,500+ and any funds we raise towards or above that goal before our end date of 10/26/16 will go towards bettering our production and getting a head start on post production. THANK YOU VERY MUCH to everyone who has so generously supported us!
Because we hit our target goal, Kickstarter will release the funds to us once we reach our campaign end date of 10/26/16. There is no stipulation on our stretch goal like on the original goal...if we don't hit it, we'll still get our original $19,500 which was raised plus any additional funds. The additional funds will enable us to step up the look of the film, secure custom wardrobe and hair pieces, rent a second camera to shoot more efficiently, pay our editor to immediately begin assembling a rough cut and begin work on the film's soundtrack.
REDCOATS is a dramatic short film with a comedic twist.
During the Revolutionary War, Emily, her daughter Sarah and her two young grandchildren, Hannah and William, are left to fend for themselves and care for the farm while the men in the family are off fighting for the Patriot cause. With winter approaching, crops dwindling and food in short supply, the women are forced to face their biggest fears when three lost British soldiers barge into their home demanding food, drink and anything else they can get their hands on. Emily and Sarah rely on their instincts and intelligence to devise a clever way to defend the children and themselves.
My sister Tammy and I (Amy) have been in the Film/TV business for 25 years each! Together we have 50+ years of experience working on documentaries, reality TV, short and feature films.
Here's us as kids. Don't judge the clothes or the hair...it was the 70's.
Our parents are both repressed creatives. Mom is a real estate agent who wanted to be a journalist and played piano and sang as a kid, and Dad was an English teacher who played the trumpet and loved to tell a story. He was really good at it! We gained our love of a great story from both of them and talk movies and stories often in our house. Our younger sister Tricia is also creative and really the best writer we've ever known. She's doing real estate now too. Apparently being creative and selling houses go hand in hand?
Our (Tammy and Amy) career paths have crossed twice. The first time we worked in the same building in Primos, PA called EJ Stewart. This was in the 90's when Tammy was working on a show, "Home Matters," for the Discovery Channel and I (Amy) was working on a series of educational documentaries for a company, Fabian-Baber. This is where we met our talented cinematographer Keith Smith, who now has 50+ feature films under his belt. We honed our skills there then I moved to New York where I worked for HBO on shows such as The Chris Rock Show and the sketch show Exit 57. I also later worked as a post producer on reality TV shows for TLC and the Discovery Channel. Tammy moved to L.A. and attended the American Film Institute. While there, she won an Academy Award for her second year producing project called, "My Mother Dreams The Satan's Disciples In New York," see Oscar win here. She was also a producer on several documentary specials for TLC and The Discovery Channel, but none of the same shows I worked on!
The second time our paths crossed we created a short film together for The 48 Hour Film Festival, Philadelphia, along with our other sister Tricia (a Tiehel trifecta!). The film was called, "Suburban Cowboy," and won the Best Of Fest, Best Acting (I was the female lead), and Audience Award for the Festival.
In the time since, Tammy has been raising her three children, producing short films and recently produced the romantic comedy, "Slow Learners."
I moved to Los Angeles and began an acting career. I did a feature horror film called "Amhurst", along with roles in other indie and short films. Then I got Lyme disease and breast cancer and moved back to Philly. My life was seriously detoured for seven years while I fought to regain my health. It's been a loooooong detour.
While I was sick I focused on writing. I loved to write but didn't think of myself as a writer because my experience and training was in acting. I had taken acting classes in Philly, then in New York at Circle in the Square Theater School, and then more training in Los Angeles. But I couldn't act while I was sick as I didn't have the energy or stamina to audition or be on a set for long days. My body only allowed me to write and thus, with the encouragement of Tammy, emerged the short film REDCOATS.
The Genesis of REDCOATS
I became interested in the stories of women during war, particularly the Revolutionary War. I googled "women in the Revolutionary War." Lots of interesting stories popped up, so many that I was annoyed I hadn't heard of them nor had any films been made about any of these courageous and fascinating women. I read Revolutionary War books such as "Drums Along the Mohawk," "Revolutionary Mothers" and "Liberty's Daughters." Where were these stories when I was learning about the Revolutionary War in school? I was particularly interested in the story of Nancy Hart, a woman who was notorious in Georgia during that time for her bravery. Her story inspired me and a seed grew for my own short film idea.
These women were isolated and lonely, and in my illness I connected deeply to their anxiety, fear and vulnerability. I also connected to and was inspired by their courage as they held on by any means necessary, just like me. This film is the physical representation of all those feelings I held in my soul while sick, and the perseverance it takes to survive.
My sister Tammy/film producer extraordinaire supported me along the way while the film was gestating. She encouraged me to be creative and think outside the box story-wise. With her feedback, I honed the script in my head for months then sat down and wrote it in a couple of days.
Crowdfunding didn't exist when we started our respective Film/TV careers. Now we have the ability, through crowdfunding and the experience after years in the business, to create something that provides opportunities for women in front of and behind the camera and for the many talented Philadelphia production people we know. (That's a long sentence). We are proud to create art that we believe in and that presents a positive, powerful woman's story.
Your contribution will help us defray the costs of pre-production, cover all of our production period and give us a head start on post production. We plan to finance post through personal funds and are hopeful we can secure one or two grants. We are currently applying for grants open to female filmmakers and the creators of short films.
If we are lucky enough to exceed our Kickstarter goal of $19,500, we will use the money to help cover post production costs (video and sound editing, creating a soundtrack, sound effects, credits and output).
August - October 2016
(Below items already completed as of launch of Kickstarter campaign)
- Finalized script
- Created budget
- Created LLC and opened business bank account
- Created logo, crowdfunding site, web-site and social media campaign
- Secured location
- Connected with Revolutionary War reenactors
- Secured film's soundtrack recording artists
- Secured film's audio post production vendor
- Secured Director of Photography
- Identified camera, grip & lighting vendors
- Identified field audio recordist
- Reached out to potential crew members
October - November 2016
- Casting of SAG actors
- Securing crew
- Finalizing wardrobe
- Work with cinematographer to create shot list
Production: November 19th and 20th, 2016
- Filming at Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, Ridley Creek State Park, Media, PA
Post Production: November 2016 - February 2017
- Create rough cut of film
- Refine to create final cut
- Audio, SFX and foley editing
- Create and lay in soundtrack
- Create opening/end credits
- Color grading
- Rendering/data transfer
- First round of deliverables
Marketing/Distribution: February 2017 - Ongoing
- Festival application submissions
We have secured the use of the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, a living history museum which includes a spacious three-story home with three fireplaces, a period accurate garden and a working farm. Every room in the house is authentically dressed with furniture, tools, kitchen items and textiles from the Revolutionary War era which we are permitted to use in the film.
Professional Screen Actor's Guild actors will be cast in the roles of Emily, Sarah, Hannah, William and the three British Redcoat soldiers: Enoch, Lemuel and James.
In addition, we have connected with Pennsylvania Revolutionary War reenactors who will play the role of Continental Army soldiers in one scene in the film. The men and women who dedicate themselves to Revolutionary War reenactment are experts in making sure uniforms, wardrobe and presentation are authentic to the period. Their input and participation is an invaluable addition to our film.
We are currently consulting with reenactors and Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation experts to be certain that all military uniforms and wardrobe will be authentic to the period. We are looking into the possibility of either renting or buying certain wardrobe items but would be immensely grateful if anyone with access to Colonial era clothing would consider loaning us clothing, uniforms and/or shoes for the weekend we are shooting (11/19-11/20/16). We will need to dress two women, a young girl, a young boy and three British Redcoat soldiers. All items will be handled by an experienced wardrobe stylist and will be professionally cleaned and promptly returned.
We consulted with a local historian and Revolutionary War expert, Paul Sanborn, and had him review the screenplay. The script was then rewritten incorporating Paul's notes to ensure historical and military accuracy.
Women In Film
As a female writer/director and a female producer, it is our goal to create well-made, inspiring films featuring strong, smart, cool women. In addition, we would like to provide opportunities for women behind the camera. We have nothing against men...we LOVE men, in fact some of our favorite guys will be working on REDCOATS with us! However, we really want to create a working environment which will allow women, especially female filmmakers who are just starting out, to shine.
So far on our team, we're proud to introduce you to:
Assistant to the Producers: Emilie van Blarcom
Emilie grew up in Ambler, PA and attended high school at Germantown Academy. She is currently a junior at Elon University in North Carolina and is majoring in Film and Television Arts. She hopes to minor in Creative Writing. Emilie worked with us during the development of REDCOATS and was instrumental in helping us brainstorm ideas for our logo. She also scouted locations with us and helped develop the Kickstarter campaign. We're excited to have her on set with us when she's home from school in November.
Production Manager: Devin Wachs
An experienced media professional, Devin has worked on feature film, music video, non-profit video, and television shoots. She also has nine years' experience promoting an art house movie theater, and she brings a keen understanding of the realities of film exhibition as well as marketing and project management techniques to her work. In addition to her film production work, she provides graphic design and marketing services to a diverse slate of clients and was pleased to design the REDCOATS logo.
A Reminder About How KICKSTARTER Works
Kickstarter is an awesome platform for raising funds for any project! Artists and creators share their projects and backers from all over the world can find and support projects they like. Instead of making what can (sometimes) be a risky investment in projects created by people they may not know, patrons donate funds in exchange for tangible rewards. Everybody wins and through the power of crowd-funding, many wonderful projects are brought to fruition.
It's important to note several things:
- Kickstarter is an ALL OR NOTHING PLATFORM, if we only raise $19,000 of our $19,500 goal we get NOTHING! It's motivational for us but whew, that's a bit scary!
- When you contribute to us through our page here on Kickstarter, you will be submitting your credit/debit card information but your card will NOT be charged unless the campaign is successful by the end date. Our campaign end date is Wednesday, October 26, 2016.
Please visit our website for more information and follow us on social media:
Risks and challenges
Making a movie is always a risk and there are never any guarantees. Our greatest challenge, besides all of the crazy things that come up between now and actually shooting the film, will be not meeting our crowdfunding goal. We already have a Colonial era location in place which includes all of the props and set dressing we could possibly need, contacts/connections with crew and Revolutionary War reenactors, plans for post production and festival entries mapped out.
With the experience we both have, we are particularly suited to handle any and all challenges that might arise.
After fighting Lyme disease and breast cancer at the same time...Bring. It. On.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)