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Three strange and comedic short films examining the perils of artistic expression Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on August 17, 2012.

Three strange and comedic short films examining the perils of artistic expression

About this project

INTIMATE SEMAPHORES is a collection of three short films, written/directed/produced by T.J. Misny.  The three films are separate stories, much like a collection of short fiction, however they have some connective tissue that would make them ideal to watch together.  The dramatic/comedic stories explore the lives of artistic young New Yorkers who find their creative pursuits coming into direct conflict with other aspects of their lives.  These characters each encounter strange and surreal obstacles, both internal and external while striving to actualize their true selves.  

All three short films were shot in the summer of 2012 over the course of an eleven day shoot in New York.  The running time of all three films together will likely be 50+ minutes, around the length of an hour long TV show.

Jocelin Donahue and Chioke Nassor in "Cake"
Jocelin Donahue and Chioke Nassor in "Cake"

HOW WAS THE PROJECT FINANCED IN THE FIRST PLACE?

The lions share of the funds for INTIMATE SEMAPHORES were self-raised by T.J. Misny over the previous 18 months by taking as much freelance filmmaking work as humanly possible as a cameraman, director, editor or sometimes all three.  T.J. shot everything from web spots and in-house content for Fortune 500 companies, to web series episodes, short films, a low-budget feature film, music videos, documentaries, weddings, concerts, runway shows, fashion editorials, performances, conferences, EPK material, parties, exercise videos, product demos, focus groups, nightclub promos, a clam chowder eating competition, a demo reel for a grade school basketball referee and almost everything in between.  The temporary motto of Never Turn Down Work has taken his lens from inside maximum security prisons to billion dollar hedge fund managers offices to backstage at New York Fashion Week and has given him glimpses into hundreds of worlds.

However, even though INTIMATE SEMAPHORES is finished with our eleven days of Principal Photography, there is much more work that needs to be done. 

Ariane Labed in "High and Dry"
Ariane Labed in "High and Dry"
Kate Lyn Sheil and Musto Pelinkovicci in "Helberger in Paradise"
Kate Lyn Sheil and Musto Pelinkovicci in "Helberger in Paradise"

WHAT DO YOU NEED THIS MONEY FOR?

One of the major expenses is a day of additional shooting.  Inclement weather kept us from getting two important exterior scenes in two of the different films and an additional shoot date is essential to tell these stories completely.

The second major expense is post production.  We need to hire a sound mixer and dialogue editor to make sure the film sounds dynamic and fully realized with crisp sound effects, rich atmosphere and properly layered music.  We also will need some graphic retouching to correct small mistakes, from a stain on a shirt to lettering on a car. 

T.J. will continue to raise money via freelance work to pay for color correction, film festival submission fees, commissioning the musical score, building a website for the film and other expenses.  

Kate Lyn Sheil in "Helberger in Paradise"
Kate Lyn Sheil in "Helberger in Paradise"

WHAT ARE THESE THREE FILMS ABOUT AND WHO IS IN THEM?

HELBERGER IN PARADISE: A New York City DJ (Kate Lyn Sheil, "Sun Don't Shine") stealthily returns to her suburban home town to attend her first love's funeral and make good on a bizarre promise.  All that stands in her way is an obsessively moralistic cab driver (Musto Pelinkovicci, "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby").

CAKE: When a stand-up comic (Jocelin Donahue, "House of the Devil") begins dating a successful pastry chef (Chioke Nassor, "Minor/Major"), she doggedly attempts to conquer her long-held, irrational phobia of cake.

HIGH AND DRY: A privileged photographer (Ariane Labed, "Alps", "Attenberg") learns that she needs to cry genuine, cathartic tears in order to keep from going blind, a pursuit which alienates and upsets those around her including her musician boyfriend (Keith Poulson, "Somebody Up There Likes Me") who is grappling with depression.

Ali Michael in "High and Dry"
Ali Michael in "High and Dry"
Ariane Labed and Keith Poulson in "High and Dry"
Ariane Labed and Keith Poulson in "High and Dry"

KEY CREW MEMBERS

Producer, Ryan Lavalette:  Ryan Lavalette has logged over a dozen credits working in production on shows such as The Whitest Kids U’ Know, Onion Sports Dome, Onion News Network and Cinema Verite in addition to the feature films This Must Be the Place and Wanderlust.  He recently wrapped work on the critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated FX series Louie, having just finished production on its third season. 

Producer, Feifei Ling: Chinese born producer Feifei Ling has worked on a variety of production teams, from the satirical Onion news & sports programs, to network dramas such as JJ Abrams’ Person of Interest, to the critically acclaimed series Louie on FX.  She has also worked on the Untitled Eugene Mirman Project for Comedy Central, as well as numerous comedy pilots, where she has teamed up with the Gregory Brothers, Armando Iannucci and Andrew Gurland.

Director of Photography, Adam Newport-Berra: Adam Newport-Berra has earned dozens of credits around the globe for award winning narrative short and feature films, music videos, documentaries, and commercials.  He recently shot the feature film FIRST WINTER which premiered in competition at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.  His work on the short film GABI was awarded Best Cinematography at the 2012 First Run Film Festival; the film is also an official selection at Tribeca.  His work can be seen at www.adamnewportberra.com

Jocelin Donahue in "Cake"
Jocelin Donahue in "Cake"

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THESE FILMS?  HOW WILL PEOPLE SEE THEM?

The goal is to distribute the films online in 2013, while playing the film festival circuit and possibly booking a small theatrical run in New York City, giving T.J. the momentum to shoot his first feature film later in 2013.

Ariane Labed and Keith Poulson in "High and Dry"
Ariane Labed and Keith Poulson in "High and Dry"
Musto Pelinkovicci in "Helberger in Paradise"
Musto Pelinkovicci in "Helberger in Paradise"
Kate Lyn Sheil in "Helberger in Paradise"
Kate Lyn Sheil in "Helberger in Paradise"
Jocelin Donahue in "Cake"
Jocelin Donahue in "Cake"

Thank you for your consideration and support in the completion of this project!  I look forward to sharing the final films with you later in the year!

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Rewards

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    8 backers

    Handwritten thank you note from T.J. Misny and also a drawing of an animal of your choice.

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    13 backers

    Your name in the ending credits of each of the three INTIMATE SEMAPHORES short films plus the above.

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    37 backers

    First edition DVD copy of INTIMATE SEMAPHORES signed by T.J. Misny plus all of the ahove

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    20 backers

    First edition Blu-ray copy of INTIMATE SEMAPHORES signed by T.J. Misny plus the above rewards (excluding DVD)

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    20 backers Limited (10 left of 30)

    2 tickets to the New York City cast and crew screening of INTIMATE SEMAPHORES. Meet the cast and crew, attend an exciting Q&A session! Plus all of the above (your choice of DVD or Blu-ray)

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    3 backers Limited (17 left of 20)

    For New York City backers, T.J. will take you to lunch, give you a high-five and discuss filmmaking, writing or anything else! For other backers, video chat or Face Time is an option. You can eat a sandwich during the video chat as an additional option to make it feel like a restaurant if that's something you want to do. Plus all of the above (your choice of DVD or Blu-ray)

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    0 backers Limited (12 left of 12)

    A limited edition poster for the fake film-within-a-film THE LEADING MAN (seen in "High and Dry") signed by T.J. Misny. Poster has images of characters played by Ali Michael and Michael Osborn. Only 12 of these will ever exist! Plus all of the above (your choice of DVD or Blu-ray)

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    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    You can have a walk-on cameo in the INTIMATE SEMAPHORES pickup shoot day. See yourself on the big screen shot on an Arri Alexa by our cinematographer Adam Newport-Berra! Plus a DVD or Blu-ray of the finished project!

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Sit in on a sound mixing session or a color correcting session with our post-production team and with T.J. Learn hands on what goes into finishing a film and making it look + sound its best! Post production will be in New York City. Plus a DVD or Blu-ray of the finished project!

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    T.J. will shoot and edit something customized for you! This could be a personal event: a party, ceremony, concert, performance, etc. Or it could be something fun like a wedding announcement or a sketch comedy video. Or advertise for your business and shoot a commercial! He'll be using his Sony F3 camera package with lighting and sound for Broadcast quality. (Max 5 hours of shooting). Plus a DVD or Blu-ray of INTIMATE SEMAPHORES!

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    T.J. will shoot a larger scaled project for you. (2) 8 hour days of filming and a more involved edit. Shoot a short film, web series episode, documentary project or commercial! Let your imagination go wild! Plus a DVD or Blu-ray of INTIMATE SEMAPHORES!

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    T.J. will organize a special screening of INTIMATE SEMAPHORES in your town including booking a venue and will do a Q&A session after the screening. If the screening is in the 48 contiguous states, T.J. will fly there in person to be a part of the screening. If the screening is elsewhere, T.J. will do a Q&A via videochat. Plus a DVD or Blu-ray of INTIMATE SEMAPHORES!

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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    Become a Producer on one of the INTIMATE SEMAPHORES short films -- your pick! Your name will be on all promotional materials and in the film's credits. You can join us on set during our pickup day and participate in the post production process. You will be invited to all screenings and events. Become an essential part of the INTIMATE SEMAPHORES family! You will also get the option to participate in T.J.'s first feature film, which will be shot in 2013.

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Funding period

- (17 days)