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A quirky, character-driven indie comedy that slows down the rapid-fire gentrification in Washington Heights, New York City.
A quirky, character-driven indie comedy that slows down the rapid-fire gentrification in Washington Heights, New York City.
329 backers pledged $23,161 to help bring this project to life.

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Guap: A Comedy. About Gentrification.

$23,161

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Thanks to our amazing supporters, with three days to spare, we hit our Kickstarter goal! But that goal only represented the minimum required to make GUAP. With more donations, we can create an even better show by upgrading our camera package, paying actors higher wages, or even adding a day of production! As a gift for your exceedingly generous support, we'll prepare extra media for everyones enjoyment! Learn more below:

+ $500 = “What is Gentrification” Mini-Documentary, built from actual GUAP-fan testimonials (**UNLOCKED! Click here or scroll down**)
+ $1,000 = "Migration & Money" Op-Ed by Writer/Producer Chris Myers
+ $1,500 = Daily Facebook Live On-Set Q&A's with Cast & Crew
+ $2,000 = ???

At the heart of GUAP is a simple question: “Who has the right to live in a neighborhood?”

When Pedro, an unsuccessful drug dealer, is forced to use his hidden culinary talents to unite his family against the gentrification threatening their humble Washington Heights neighborhood, he has to make a decision about what matters most to him in order galvanize his community. Multi-generational, bi-lingual, and full of surprising laughs, GUAP (slang for 'a lot of money’) is a unique comedy about food, family, and the value of things we love.

GUAP is a comedy with serious social and cultural implications. We’ve written a pilot that is fun and watchable, but also grounded in truth. This is the story of now, the story of millions of Americans, and we want everyone to see it... but we can’t do it without your financial help!

 

Your money is being put directly toward hiring professional actors and an experienced crew, renting top-notch gear, securing authentic locations, and covering other essentials like transportation, meals, and contingency costs (see below for more details). We’ve shaved our budget down to only the essential nuts & bolts, but nuts and bolts still come with a price tag. We take this subject seriously, we take our craft seriously, and we want to do this right. Kickstarter, being about community, is the perfect place to launch a show about community. After a year of development by ourselves, we’re asking you to join our family. 

Simple! Serialized storytelling allows viewers to fall in love with characters. In facing an issue as complicated as gentrification, we found it important to create a fully realized family, living within a vibrant community, so that our topic can be thoroughly explored without being preachy.

We want our viewers to experience what the Diaz family experiences, as people, not political objects. Only a series provides the moment-to-moment reality we need to accomplish our goal.

Truthfully, not enough exists in the way of our subject matter: be it stories about gentrification, Washington Heights, or Dominican-Americans. GUAP is a unique opportunity to create not just a show, but provide a platform for these severely underrepresented topics.

 

Aside from being an urgent issue in its own right, gentrification is also a nexus of the various social issues that face America, and its very existence gives us reason to question our national fortitude.

Our research has shown us that gentrification is a complex and often misunderstood topic that affects us all. We’re asking questions and giving you the cast of a family to come up with your own answers. GUAP seeks to enlighten, entertain, and inform audiences about one of the most pressing issues of our day in a way that journalism or scholarship simply cannot.

 

Note that on top of our production budget, we've included an extra 10% for the various fees Kickstarter takes out, as well as the cost of creating and fulfilling your well deserved rewards :)
Note that on top of our production budget, we've included an extra 10% for the various fees Kickstarter takes out, as well as the cost of creating and fulfilling your well deserved rewards :)

 

We are currently in the casting and pre-production phase. To submit talent for the below roles (and others), please visit our website.

PEDRO: male, early 20s, Dominican (second generation). Slacker with a heart of gold. Smart, but his quiet charm is what's mostly kept him afloat. A certain greatness lies inside his soul.

JOSEPHINE: female, early 20s, Dominican (second generation). Pedro's sister. Artist-intellectual, fiery and outspoken. Could play the game but chooses not to.

LETICIA: female, 50-60s, Dominican (first generation). Pedro & Josephine's extremely motherly single mother, almost to a fault; she spoils. Small business owner who caters to her community out of undying love.

ERIC: male, mid/late 20s, white. Newly arrived transplant working for a tech startup. Big fish in an even bigger pond. Committed to not being the fool, but everyone has to start somewhere...

FELIX: male, 50s, Dominican (first generation). Bodega owner. Grounded, slyly playful, driven, paternal. Smarter than he appears.

RORY: female, early 20s, white. Eric's sister, visiting town to lock down a summer internship. Half ‘Teach For America’, half ‘Do you have any Molly?’ and all pride about the juxtaposition.

 

Chris Myers (Writer/Producer/Co-Director) is an NYC born and based artist, the recipient of a 2014 Obie Award for his performance in “An Octoroon.” He has worked on new plays & classics, feature film, TV, and commercials with industry icons such as Woody Harrelson, Phylicia Rashad, and Frank Langella. Chris received a BFA from The Juilliard School. Having written and produced his first short, “Post-Emma” (which received support from Ava DuVernay), he is currently expanding into writing for film, theater, and the web. His writing is a major component of the upcoming feature “Scenes From The Underground.” He also works as a teacher in settings as varied as the NYC juvenile system and the Harlem School for the Arts.

Patrick Letterii (Producer/Co-Director) is a director and producer, and the co-founder of Vacation Pictures, a film production company based in Brooklyn. Patrick has directed music videos for SOS and Amir Obé, and his commercial work has won Cannes Lions awards. Vacation has recently created content for Food 52, J.Lindeberg and Refinery 29, and has several creative narrative projects in post-production.

Haley Rawson (Producer) is an actor and producer based in NY and LA. Producing credits include the upcoming short films “Daykwon” and “July” (both currently in post-production), and Chloe Sanders’ comedy series “SNAFU”. As an actress, Haley has appeared on TV in: “Broad City,” “The Affair,” “The Blacklist,” in a recurring role on NBC’s “The Slap,” and will be seen in HBO’s upcoming series “The Deuce” (opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal). Film credits include: Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies” and the upcoming feature films “10 Things We Should Do Before We Break Up” (opposite Christina Ricci), “Humor Me” (opposite Jemaine Clement), and “We Only Know So Much” (with Jeanne Tripplehorn & Damian Young). She is also known for her series regular role on Adam Goldman’s hit series “Whatever this is.”, and a recurring role on Elite Daily’s “5 Stages” (dir. Lauren Ireland).

Jill Hamburgo (Associate Producer/Casting) is a first generation Dominican-American raised in New York City. Studying Drama at LaGuardia High School gave her a keen eye for talent. She received her degree in Radio & TV Production from SUNY New Paltz and hit the ground running. Jill got her start interning for an Extras Casting company working on a Tyler Perry film which led to work on other features including the remake of "Sparkle" with Whitney Houston. This led to inroads in television, where she worked casting diverse talent for major cable networks including VH1, MTV, AMC, Bravo and many more, in both the scripted and reality TV genres. Jill continues to work on a variety of projects and strives to promote diversity the media.

Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes (Composer) is a world-renowned pianist and composer. Samora has performed in venues including the White House, the Blue Note, MoMA, the Sundance Film Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, and Carnegie Hall, and has toured internationally with artists including Branford Marsalis, Christian Scott, Jose James, Harvey Mason, and Emily King. Samora was raised in the Bay Area and moved to New York to study jazz at The Juilliard School. He is the director and creator of The Transformations Suite, an acclaimed project combining music, theatre, and poetry to examine the radical history of resistance within the communities of the African Diaspora. A composer for film and theatre, Samora is the music director for an upcoming play at Soho Rep and is a Sundance Composers Lab fellow for film scoring. He is also a member of Blackout for Human Rights, and was musical director for their 2016 #MLKNow and #JusticeForFlint events.

Vibe Magazine / "This Guy Raised $13K For Comedy Series On Washington Heights Gentrification"
DNA Info / "$13K Raised to Launch Comedy Series on Washington Heights Gentrification"
Shadow & Act / "Kickstart This: Gentrification Comedy ‘GUAP'"
Patch - Washington Heights / "Comedy Series 'Guap' to Focus on Gentrification in Washington Heights"
Frontrunner Magazine / "Chris Myers: Guap. A Comedy. About Gentrification."
Tubefilter / "Fund This: ‘GUAP’ Needs Some Guap To Fund Its Gentrification Story"
Alarmed Show Podcast / "Gettin' Guap with Chris Myers"

Check out this short documentary, built from the testimonials of GUAP fans responding to the same prompts about gentrification. It's a little something we cooked up and want to give you for helping us exceed our initial Kickstarter goal! Thank you!

 

Risks and challenges

A creative project with an indie attitude and DIY budget is vulnerable to many challenges: weather, locations disappearing, and gear breaking down are but a few that could dramatically impact us. We've built in contingency money, but have also created a community built production database to push through no matter what happens. We are deeply serious about this project and will stop at nothing to see it come to life!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2 or more About US$ 2.00

    Shoutout From The Center Of The World

    Filmmaker will stand in Times Square, NYC and literally SHOUT out your name, film it, and post it to Instagram on the @guapthankyous account.

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    An Inside Look

    Access to behind the scenes footage and producers' journal; ; Personal shoutout from filmmakers

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Early Access and Bonus Features

    ALL THE ABOVE + Free Download of GUAP + Bonus features before commercial release; Thank You in GUAP credits; Access to deleted scenes; Invitation to web screening w/ filmmaker talkback via video chat

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    A Special Dance Move Just For You

    Filmmaker will create a never before danced dance move JUST FOR YOU, named after YOUR NAME, to be uploaded on @guapthankyous special Instagram account for the world to see! Oh, and filmmaker will also dance said dance move. This has nothing to do with GUAP, it's just because you deserve it!

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Special Gifts For Special People

    ALL THE ABOVE + Instant download of one track from composer Samora Pinderhughes; Signed PDF copy of script; Personalized Video Thank You from filmmaker; Advance pass to all future “Goldcat” and “Vacation Productions” Web Screenings through 2018

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Lessons With The Pros

    One Hour of your choice of either (1) hour of private acting lessons with Obie Award Winning Actor Chris Myers, OR (1) hour of either piano or composition lessons with world renowned musician Samora Pinderhuges. Subject to availability, but never expires! Purchase multiple to stack hours.

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    Limited Edition GUAP T-Shirt

    Represent GUAP with this comfy t-shirt emblazoned with our signature logo. *** This design is available exclusively through our Kickstarter ***

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Limited Edition GUAP Tote Bag

    ALL THE ABOVE + Limited Edition “GUAP” canvas tote, emblazoned with our show logo; Download of GUAP original score by composer Samora Pinderhuges and collaborators; Signed PDF of the original version of GUAP (when it was 8 pages and almost entirely different!)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Slice Of Life

    High quality printed still frame of choice from GUAP, framed, and signed by filmmaker.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    A Delicious Meal With The Team

    ALL THE ABOVE (except totebag) + Share a traditional Dominican meal for you and a guest, to be joined by the filmmaker and cast member (based on schedules).

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    Pledge US$ 350 or more About US$ 350

    Party VIP

    You and a guest are invited to our exclusive cast & crew party where you will enjoy a limited open bar and food galore! Enjoy quality time with the creative team. Who knows what further shenanigans will go down!

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    A Work Of Art

    Art from the real artist contracted to provide work for the character JOSEPHINE! Very limited.

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    Original Copy Of Writer's Script

    Own a truly one of a kind item: writer/producer Chris Myers' on-set copy of GUAP, battered by labor and littered with notes, preserved just for you! Gain insight into the creative process and own a piece of the production in one felt swoop!

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

    Associate Producer Package

    ALL THE ABOVE (except meal and totebag) + Associate Producer Credit (includes direct contact with filmmakers and visit to editing suite for post-production ‘work in progress’ viewing); Invite to cast + crew screening with a guest.

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

    The Producer Package

    ALL THE ABOVE + Producer Credit; VIP Access for four to cast & crew screening/party; Invite to one day on set; Invite to one day of post-production/editing suite. Private Q&A with filmmaker; Name a character -- maybe after you?! (subject to filmmakers approval)

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Funding period

- (31 days)