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'Jeff' is a feature documentary film that tells the story of the people around Jeffrey Dahmer during the summer of his arrest in 1991.
'Jeff' is a feature documentary film that tells the story of the people around Jeffrey Dahmer during the summer of his arrest in 1991.
177 backers pledged $15,662 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$15,662

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Hello Friends!

I'm Chris James Thompson & I'm raising money to finish my first feature film 'Jeff' which I've been working on for the past 4 years.

In 1991 Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested in Milwaukee and sentenced to 957 years for killing 17 people and dismembering their bodies. 'Jeff' explores the city of Milwaukee by meeting those surrounding Dahmer during and after his hidden spree. Recollections from Milwaukee Medical Examiner Jeffrey Jentzen, Police Detective Patrick Kennedy, and neighbor Pamela Bass are interwoven with archival footage and everyday scenes from Dahmer's life, working collectively to disassemble the facade of an ordinary man leading an ordinary life.

Because Jeff is a completely independent project I've been funding it entirely out of pocket up until now.  While I've been fortunate to receive grants & festival awards that have helped, the time has come where all of my resources have run out!

But the good news is the film is ALMOST DONE!  Like 95% done.  Maybe even 96% done.  And it could be 100% done & ready for it's 2012 release with just a little financial support from stellar stand-up citizens like YOU!

Independent Filmmaking

Although this project would be considered 'low-budget' in the big scary movie world (actually it would be considered 'no-budget', which makes it even funnier considering it's cost everything I have - ha), I've pushed to maintain a high standard of quality by refusing to compromise.  To be shooting & scanning Super-16 film, renting Digital Cinema cameras, researching and licensing footage and music from around the world, feeding an awesome volunteer cast and crew, renting computers - is all expensive, but it's a cost realized in what has evolved into a wonderful film I'm incredibly proud of.

The Backstory, The Team

In 2007 I won the Milwaukee Film Festival for a film called Kyoko Naturally, and they awarded me film-stock & camera to make another movie.  My friend & director Frankie Latina (Modus Operandi) was pushing me to shoot a exploitation version of the Jeffrey Dahmer story which didn't interest me, until I met another director Andrew Swant (What What) and we began brainstorming how to shoot the story while avoiding sensationalism.  After 4 years of shooting under mentors Chris Smith (American Movie), Barry Poltermann (Life of Reilly), and Jack Turner (Racing Dreams), Jeff has now become a feature film combining interviews, archival footage, reenactments, and animation to create a documentary unlike any other.  Noisola (The Yes Men Fix The World) duo Joe Wong (Parts & Labor)  and Didier Leplae (Hard Copy) - who have worked on projects with everyone from The Flaming Lips to Lil John - will be scoring the film to supplement the soundtrack.

Help! Help! Help!

To donate towards this project would mean helping me achieve a dream I have been working towards my entire life - to finish & release my first feature film.

Please check out the videos & the gifts, and donate as you're able.  Thank you and I  love you.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    'Jeff' Poster. 11x17 Official Festival Poster made just for your wall.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Poster & 'Jeff' DVD. Play it for your grandma; mine loved it.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Poster, 'Jeff' DVD, & Your Name in the credits. You'll basically be world famous. For $100. That's less than a years worth of US Magazines.

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    34 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Signed Copy of Dr. Jeffrey Jentzen's book, "Death Investigation in America: Coroners, Medical Examiners, and the Pursuit of Medical Certainty." Jentzen was interviewed for the film talking about his work as the Medical Examiner responsible for extracting and identifying the bodies from Jeffrey Dahmer's apartment.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A copy of Jeffrey Dahmers confession. Nearly 200 pages of explanations, descriptions and accounts of his murders. This confession was extracted largely by MPD Detective Pat Kennedy, who was interviewed for the film talking about his interrogation of Jeffrey Dahmer; it was later used in court to help convict for 957 years without parole.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    (Everything Above)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    "Associate Producer" Credit (& Everything Above)

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    A personal tour of Milwaukee just for You, from Retired MPD Detective Pat Kennedy & the Director. Kennedy met with Dahmer almost every day for 6 weeks to help identify the victims, when he learned more about the murders than anyone else knows.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    "Executive Producer" credit on the film. Your new career starts today! (& Everything Above)

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Funding period

- (40 days)