Who we are:
Makeshift Media Group is led by writer, filmmaker and videographer Ben Wydeven, who has been making independent films since 1997. A Hot Summer Chill is being produced by Ben Wydeven, Adam Williams, and John Gordon, and directed by Ben Wydeven. The screenplay was written by Ben Wydeven & John Gordon based on a short story by Wydeven. Ben has previous directed The Medium in 2007 and Quantum of Vengeance which was completed in June 2013. A Hot Summer Chill is scheduled to begin production in August 2013, and continue through the fall.
What our film is about:
The RAVEN JAMES Chronicles: A Hot Summer Chill follows the struggles of an alcoholic spiritual medium, named Raven James who unintentionally gets mixed up with a family's poltergeist problems. With A Hot Summer Chill we are introduced to the title character, a spiritual medium who deflects the presence of ghosts with alcohol. The story is meant as a pitch for Ben’s novel, “Drowning Demons,” which Ben plans to eventually turn into a feature film.
The Story Behind The Story:
The idea behind Raven James began in 2006 when filmmakers Ben Wydeven and Jarrod Crooks secured permission to shoot a feature film in the Rogers Theater in Wausau, Wisconsin. The story featured Raven James, a troubled spiritual medium who drinks alcohol to keep the ghosts from constantly bothering him, and his colleague and bartender Benny, who helps him stay intoxicated.
Together they investigate a haunting at the old movie theater. When Wydeven and Crooks decided to do a short instead, with Crooks in the starring role, the story was simplified and the alcoholism aspect of the character was removed... and the result was The Medium, which premiered in 2007 at the Wausau Film Festival and went on to receive several awards and critical acclaim.
Why adapt a short story as a film? Why not make a feature?
There are few reasons why we’ve chosen to adapt a short first. A feature film takes a lot more resources and time than a short. The novel has some pretty expensive situations, such as a car accident, several elaborate fight scenes and an exorcism in the back of a van.
With a short, we can introduce the characters and the tone, as established in the novel without committing to a large production. This will also give viewers as well as potential investors an idea of what we want to achieve with the feature. That way when we are ready to produce the feature film, we'll have the funding and the resources to do it right.
Why is this story so important?
We believe this is a story that many people can relate to. Not only is it a paranormal thriller, but it also addresses the struggles of alcoholism and social struggles to fit into society and appear perfect.
Risks and challenges
With your generous help, we can achieve a quality film that stands up against professional film. After over ten years of making films we are confident that our solid background in independent film making and theater will prepare us any factors that may arise such as rain days, extra shooting time, budget constraints and any other unexpected issues that could compromise our film's progression to completion.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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