Dear Kickstarter, Film Lovers, and People With Money,
The response to A SHOT IN THE DARK has been overwhelming. We reached our initial goal of $40,000 in 4 days, 6 hours, and 10 minutes. Our first stretch goal of $55,000 was met on day 12 of our campaign. We can't thank our backers enough.
We are now going for our second stretch goal of $75,000. The film is still in the red. If we can get to $75,000, we can cover some of the costs we incurred during production. This will also help us to take the film to next level with the soundtrack, post production, and release of the film.
I know it's a lot to ask, but we please spread the word about the film. Help us finish this five year project and bring it to festival near you.
How It Started
In March of 2012, I received a facebook message from an old college friend by the name of Pat Smith. He and I had been teammates when we wrestled for Seton Hall University in the late 90's. We also coached for rival high schools when we graduated from college. While Pat continued to coach and teach, I walked away from the sport to work as a Director/DP. When he contacted me, we had not spoken in nearly 12 years. He sent me a vimeo link with the title "check this out." That link took me to a two minute sizzle reel about a blind high school wrestler by the name of Anthony Ferraro, who also happened to be Pat's star wrestler. At the bottom of the page, there was a message from Anthony's older brother Oliver that read...
This is my little brother. I want to make a film about him. If you're a camera operator, producer, composer, please contact me. I don't have the resources to make the film.
I emailed Oliver and asked what he was doing with the film. He wrote me back and told me that he wasn't doing anything with the film. He had produced the sizzle reel a year or so earlier, while he was living in New Jersey, but was now living in Los Angeles working as an editor for Hulu. I told him I was interested in the film and to give me a call when he got back in town.
Ollie's Original Sizzle Reel (2012)
A month or so later, Ollie came back to town and we had lunch. He had planned to direct a short 8-10 minute film about Anthony and the obstacles he faced as a blind wrestler. I told Ollie that I wanted to make a film, but I wanted to make a feature-length documentary that focused on Anthony's senior year in high school. By the end of lunch, we had decided to co-direct the film. Ollie would produce from Los Angeles and I would direct/shoot in New Jersey.
Over the next year, I spent every free moment I had pointing the camera at Anthony and the St. John Vianney wrestling team. Ollie and I would talk every few days about the project. He'd tell me who to interview, what questions to ask, etc. He would also periodically fly back to New Jersey to help film.
After a year of shooting, the film ended up in the proverbial can. Work, marriage, and a mortgage became priorities for me. Ollie left Hulu, moved back to New Jersey, and took a job as a producer. Life essentially got in the way of finishing the film.
Two Years Later
In the summer of 2015, I decided to pull the film off the shelf. The film had been hanging over my head for two years. By late August, I had found enough free time to rough out the first 15 minutes of the film. Ollie and I had been working on a number of projects since he had moved back to New Jersey. I was trying to set up a time for us to sit down and watch what I had cut together. Sadly, on August 28th, 2015, Oliver Ferraro passed away. He never saw what I had cut together.
A few days later, I saw Oliver's family at the funeral. His mother told me she would help me get whatever I needed to finish Anthony's story, and I promised to finish the film Ollie and I had started three years earlier.
Over the last 17 months, I have spent every free moment I have working on this film. The picture is locked, we are in post production, and looking for our premiere.
This is where you guys come in. I need your help to finish the film. I was lucky enough to have friends (Camera Operators) who were willing to donate their time and gear to help me shoot this film. These guys worked for gas money and dinner at the end of the night. Without them, I could not have made this film. I am also lucky enough to know color correctors, sound mixers, and musicians who are willing to work for a fraction of what they normally charge.
I know $40,000 is a lot of money to ask for. I don't know if it's possible. I've financed all of my films. I don't have $40k lying around. Hopefully, this film, and the story behind it, inspires you to pick a reward and donate to our little film.
One Last Thing
A few weeks ago, I reached out to Tom Cochrane, lead singer of Red Rider, and his team to see if we could get the holy grail of wrestling songs. If you've seen Vision Quest, you know what I'm talking about. A few days later, Tom Cochrane wrote me a personal email to tell me how important he thought my film was, and that he was giving me the okay to use Red Rider's "Lunatic Fringe" in our film. This past week, we found out Tom was giving us the song for pennies on the dollar. We also received word that Nada Surf was giving us one of their biggest songs, for a fraction of the price.
These guys believe in our film. We hope you will too.
Thank you for your time!
Red Rider - Lunatic Fringe
Tom Cochrane - Life is a Highway
Nada Surf - Always Love
A SHOT IN THE DARK - POSTER
GOLDEN DAYS (2007) - My first feature-length documentary.
GOLDEN DAYS - POSTER
Risks and challenges
There aren't any risks or challenges involved with A SHOT IN THE DARK. The film is locked. We just need the funds to color correct, sound mix, and pay for music rights. We were recently invited to premiere at a top North American film festival, but had to decline the offer because the film wouldn't be ready in time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)