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THIS IS MARTIN BONNER - A Feature Film's video poster

A film about two men at opposite ends of the social spectrum, starting new lives in the same town and forming an unlikely friendship. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on August 14, 2011.

A film about two men at opposite ends of the social spectrum, starting new lives in the same town and forming an unlikely friendship.

About this project


We made it! Thank you so much to everyone who donated, large amounts and small. We still have three days to go and we'd love to encourage you to still donate if you think the project sounds worthwhile. Every dollar improves our chances of making a great film with better equipment, more time and higher production value. We're very encouraged by this whole Kickstarter campaign and the support you've shown so thank you and let's cross the finish line in style!


Hey! Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at our project.

THIS IS MARTIN BONNER is an independent feature film, scheduled to shoot in Reno, Nevada this Fall. We've been working hard to make sure we meet that deadline but we're asking for some help getting there. We're operating on a bare minimum type of budget and are hoping that this Kickstarter can give us enough supplemental cash to pay, feed and house the amazing cast and crew.


I'm Chad Hartigan and I'm the writer/director. I previously wrote and directed a feature in 2008 called LUKE AND BRIE ARE ON A FIRST DATE, which is currently available on DVD and streaming sites, if you want to check it out.

My producer is Cherie Saulter and she previously produced MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY, which played the Toronto Film Festival, was distributed by IFC Films and earned Cherie an NAACP Image Award Nomination. She also just finished writing and directing her first feature, NO MATTER WHAT, which premiered at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival. Triple threat!

We've also got cinematographer Sean McElwee (DANCE PARTY USA, LUKE AND BRIE ARE ON A FIRST DATE), editor Julio Perez (THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER) and composer Keegan DeWitt (QUIET CITY, COLD WEATHER) so the rest of the cast and crew are all spectacularly talented and generous, committed to making as great a film as possible. so I wouldn't feel right if they weren't rewarded for that talent, generosity and commitment.

The lead roles will be played brilliantly by Paul Eenhoorn and Richmond Arquette.


Martin Bonner is a 58-year-old man in the first week of a new job. He is the volunteer coordinator for a non-profit organization that helps guide a prisoner’s transition from incarceration to the outside world. It's Martin's first job in three years and he’s desperate to make a good impression as he slowly climbs out of bankruptcy. A stranger in a new town, Martin lets his personal life take a back seat as the challenge of making new friends and finding new hobbies proves overwhelming to a man of his age. Occasionally, he speaks to his daughter by phone and leaves messages for his son, who has not spoken to him in years, but he mostly focuses on his work.

Through this, he finds himself coming to the aid of Travis Holloway, a participant in the program who has just been released after serving twelve years for involuntary manslaughter/DUI. As Travis sets out to find a job, rent an apartment and fulfill the mundane tasks of everyday life that are taken for granted by most, Martin serves as an unofficial mentor and the two find that they have much in common. Travis slowly draws Martin out of his shell as an unlikely friendship blossoms and Martin risks his job by opening up to Travis about his recent crisis of faith and his struggles finding any work outside of the church, with which he has long been associated. Things take a turn when Travis manipulates Martin into playing an unwanted role in his attempts to rekindle a relationship with his estranged daughter, which despite straining this new friendship, forces Martin to confront his own connection with his son.


We'll be making this film on a bare-bones budget that will require a lot of compromise, creativity and sacrifice. We do not want it, however, to require people not being paid or fed so the money pledged here will go towards the minimal wages, meals and shelter for cast and crew while we shoot for 16 days in Reno. Check out our website at to learn more about the film and the people involved, but trust me, none of them are schlubs. We greatly appreciate your support and hope to come back with the best movie possible to prove it.


Between the main cast and crew, our films have played at Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Los Angeles, South by Southwest, Hamptons and countless other film festivals worldwide. Our goal for THIS IS MARTIN BONNER is to premiere at one of these major film events and secure a distribution deal for theatrical release. This is, of course, no guarantee, but we believe strongly that the project has all the right ingredients to succeed in that environment.


If you've got a question about the project, the Kickstarter, the people, the plan or anything else, feel free to drop me a line at



If you prefer to go through our Fiscal Sponsor with a tax-deductible donation, please visit IFP ( and select THIS IS MARTIN BONNER.


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    A thank you e-mail from me (and then you can spam me for life!)

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    Download link for all of the music that has inspired the writing of the film. Be a super hipster by saying you liked the soundtrack before the movie was made! + all of the above

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    Special thanks in the film's credits + all of the above

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    79 backers

    A member of the cast or crew will send you a handwritten postcard from Reno during the shoot + all of the above

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    35 backers

    I will personally film myself on the phone with you, playing $1 at a slot machine in Reno and give you whatever we win or don't win + all of the above

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    18 backers

    Signed copy of the shooting script by cast and crew, personalized mix CD of tracks that inspired the film + all of the above

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    2 backers

    DVD of my previous film, LUKE AND BRIE ARE ON A FIRST DATE with personalized menu screen and special features and I'll personally use a whole roll of film on a disposable camera on set and send you the results + all of the above

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    You are welcome to spend some time with us on the set in Reno. Provided you can get there and everything on your own. Can't make it to set? Then the next best thing is a framed, original print of a behind the scenes photo, taken on 35mm film by the amazing Stephanie Gonot (like this one of me- and also a framed copy of the original teaser poster (seen here - + all of the above

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    Associate Producer credit, invitation to the LA cast & crew screening and party + all of the above

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    Executive Producer credit, baller status + all of the above

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    Your own commentary track on the DVD, provided DVDs still exist then. If multiple rich and generous people choose this pledge, then you will all do the commentary together. Bad mouth us. Bad mouth the movie. Pimp your own projects. Snore. Whatever you like. + all of the above

Funding period

- (63 days)