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A narrative short film about a young addict and his father, who struggles to cope with his son's opiate addiction. Read more

Boulder, CO Shorts
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 11, 2014.

A narrative short film about a young addict and his father, who struggles to cope with his son's opiate addiction.

Boulder, CO Shorts
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About this project

Update: We're funded!

New Goals:

  • $8,000 - Studio shoot: We'll rent out a studio to shoot an additional dream sequence!
  • $8,500 - Professional Colorist: We'll be able to hire a professional colorist to grade the film properly!
  • $9,000 - Professional Sound Mix: We'll be able to hire a professional sound designer to mix the film properly!
  • $10,000+  Additional gear and crew: We'll be able to bring on more experienced crew members and revolutionary film gear to bring the project to the next level!

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Shortened link for sharing: http://kck.st/1gCS9NW

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Plot:

Tom, an aspiring young engineer, is stuck in the cycle of addiction, recovery and relapse, using lucid dreams to replace the drugs themselves. His father, Pete, struggles to come to terms with his son's affliction and copes in the only way he knows how: tough love. However, Pete begins to realize that it's not quite that simple.

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The Why:

The physical dependency that accompanies opiate addiction makes it one of the most powerful addictions there is. However, stigmatization of addicts is often more commonplace in western society than true understanding of the nature of addiction. The fact is, much of what we think is misinformed, and even the information we do know about addiction doesn't point to a definitive solution for addicts. 

Nation of Incarceration: 

One solution that IS wrong is the demonization of addicts. Government, at least in the US, prioritizes punitive measures for addicts rather than constructive treatment. However, governments such as Portugal have had immense success decreasing the prevalence of addiction by decriminalizing drugs and putting the money that would have been used to house "criminals" in jails towards treatment programs for such individuals. Not only does it make sense, but it's also a cheaper and more efficient solution as a whole (http://ti.me/1hwfTKe). The result of Portugal's resounding success has been similar measures in other countries. 

The drugs are not the problem:

The crazy idea that addiction is driven primarily by social factors moreso than the addictive qualities of the drugs themselves is not a new idea. Bruce Alexander is a Canadian researcher who delved into the issue in the 70's and 80's, first by studying lab rats in the famous "Rat Park" experiment. (Wonderfully illustrated here by Stuart McMillen: http://ratpark.com) and later universal patterns of human addiction (Again summarized by SM: http://www.stuartmcmillen.com/blog/cartoon-blog/globalization-addiction-bruce-alexander/) Another Canadian researcher, Gabor Maté, has a similar perspective into the nature of addiction as being primarily socially-driven (http://bit.ly/NbUxUz). His book "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" inspired the title of our film.

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The What:

A short film telling the story of an addict and most importantly, the story of us. Though drug addicts may make up a small percentage of the population, a large percentage of us have still had friends, family and loved ones who have been affected by addiction. Tom's story is not a unique story and neither is his father Pete's. How does someone like Pete deal with the problems of someone they care about; problems that they themselves will never be able to truly understand? Tough love? Or compassion?

I see a lot of films that deal with addiction extremely impersonally, films that glamorize the rise and fall; the high and low; the destruction of an individual that's been engineered solely by the substance itself. The reality is not so cut and dry, and the research points towards addiction being primarily driven by environments, with many addicts admitting it took them 6 months or more to get truly addicted to the substances. 

Obviously, every substance and every individual is different; for a lot of people compassion may be the answer, while for others the "wake up call" of isolationism may serve a purpose. But the general point is that it's a complicated issue that we need to spend more time understanding before generalizing and dealing with addicts in an impersonal way. 

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The How:

We've already shot the opening scenes of the film, as you can see in our video and BTS photos. 

The bulk of the film-- the story of post-relapse Tom-- is slated to be shot in mid-April after the completion of this campaign, with the finished film and delivery to festivals in mid-May.

This is a narrative film with a documentary message; the ability to tell honest stories though creative narrative storytelling is an extremely powerful tool.

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Rewards:

SHOUT OUT: 

FIRST LOOK: 

T-SHIRT:

FRAMED PHOTOS:

PHOTO SHOOT: 

COMMERCIAL SPOT:

ASSOCIATE/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER:

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Crew:

So far, we've got a small but incredibly talented team working together on the film. 

Writer/Director: Douglas Cushnie

  • Directed the short film "Volar en línea recta" (KS campaign: http://kck.st/11tYozj) (Full movie & BTS: http://bit.ly/1eBtNnk). The film has shown at Hollyshorts Film Festival, Starz Denver FF, Povertycure FF, Mt. Hood Independent FF, and more. Studied Spanish for Business, Film Studies, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado. douglascushnie.com

Director of Photography: Anton Fresco

  • Ecuadorian-born, Spanish-educated DP who's shot projects all around the world, including the feature film, "An American Terror" in Denver, CO.

Production Manager: Miguel Hernández

1st AC: Van Wampler (cinemaraven.com)

2nd AC: Ryan Ela

Grip: Alex Rojas Sanders (terravivaproductions.com)

Boom Operator/Sound Mixer: Angel Silva

Mövi Op: Bryce Boyer

Makeup Artist: Danica Jardien

Behind the Scenes Photos/Video: Chris Leising (http://oortcloud9.com)

Cast:

Andrew Katers: "Tom"

Michael Vasicek: "Pete" 

 Katharyn Grant: "Mary" (www.theonewholovesyoumovie.com)

 TBD: "Oliver"

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Thanks for your support!!!

Thanks to CinemaRaven (cinemaraven.com) for production assistance and the use of their studio for our kickstarter video!
Thanks to  Chris Leising (http://oortcloud9.com) for taking behind the scenes photos and video of our shoot!

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Check out our project on the following sites!:

 
  

Risks and challenges

We'll be assuming risks that are fairly familiar amongst film productions: scheduling, weather, continuity, etc. Also, shooting a section of a film and shooting the rest a month later is always a challenge, but having a film in which the bulk of the action literally takes place a month after the opening scenes that we've already shot and working with a small dedicated crew makes that transition fairly seamless.

Bringing together a crew with a great deal of feature, commercial and international production experience is key to overcoming such risks and obstacles. At the end of the day, a lot of us have faced much bigger challenges than we're likely to face on this project; a short film taking place in our own backyard should be an opportunity for us to really flex our muscles and make a professional, calculated effort.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    5 backers

    SHOUT OUT:

    A shout out to you or a cause of your choice if you contribute any amount of money at all to the campaign. Who doesn't like cheap advertising?

    Shoot us a message with any specific requests.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    25 backers

    FIRST LOOK:

    Get first look of the film delivered as a private Vimeo video to your email once the final cut is finished if you contribute this much or more! Estimated Delivery: Mid-May 2014

    Also included: "SHOUT OUT"

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    18 backers Limited (30 left of 48)

    T-SHIRT:

    A TBD "Hungry Ghosts" t-shirt, designed by "Rat Park" artist Stuart McMillen and printed by Brewster Screenprinting on a Next Level Premium Fitted Short-Sleeve Cotton Crew, in your choice of color.

    Also included: "SHOUT OUT" AND "FIRST LOOK"

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)

    SIGNED SCREENPLAY

    There's a good chance you're looking at our cast and crew and thinking, "Gee whiz, these folks look like they could be motion picture big shots someday." If that's the case, here's the opportunity to grab yourself an official screenplay from the project which will be printed out, bound, and signed by the principal cast and crew. Imagine the potential ROI if one of our cast members becomes the next Tom Cruise!

    Also included: "SHOUT OUT," "FIRST LOOK" and "T-SHIRT"

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    3 backers Limited (1 left of 4)

    MEDIUM FRAMED PHOTO:

    A framed photo of your choice taken by director Douglas Cushnie and specially printed by Epson. 4 available ranging from 16x20 to 22x28 prints. (additional shipping costs if not in Colorado)

    Also included: "SHOUT OUT," "FIRST LOOK" and "T-SHIRT"

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    VOLUNTEER (2 HRS)

    Director Douglas Cushnie and DoP Anton Fresco will volunteer for 1 hour each at a community organization in the Boulder/Denver community and document their experience with a short video.

    Also included: "SHOUT OUT," "FIRST LOOK" and "T-SHIRT"

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    LARGE FRAMED PHOTO:

    A framed photo of your choice taken by director Douglas Cushnie and specially printed by Epson. 4 available ranging from 24X36 to 30x40 prints. Up to a $220 value! (additional shipping costs if not in Colorado)

    Also included: "SHOUT OUT," "FIRST LOOK" and "T-SHIRT"

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    PHOTO SHOOT:

    Director Douglas Cushnie will offer a 2 hour natural light photo session in a [Colorado] location of your choosing (or can help suggest a location). 1-5 people; up to 30 photos deliverable. A great deal for you or your company given that such sessions often cost the equivalent or more. Limited to 50 mile radius around Boulder, CO or a gas expense of $0.55 for each additional mile.

    Also included: "SHOUT OUT," "FIRST LOOK" and "T-SHIRT"

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer Limited (5 left of 6)

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER:

    Welcome to the team. You get your name in big letters in the credits of the movie. Feel free to talk to us and we can discuss specifics about being an A.P.; we'd be happy to involve you more in the production if you like.

    Also included: "SHOUT OUT," "FIRST LOOK" and "T-SHIRT"

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    COMMERCIAL SPOT:

    Director Douglas Cushnie will shoot a short (<1 minute total run time) commercial spot for your company. You can view some of his commercial directing work right here: http://www.douglascushnie.com/commercial-spots

    Limited to a 1-day shoot within a 50 mile radius around Boulder, CO or an additional gas expense of $0.55 for each additional mile. Service is based on a minimalistic shoot on full-HD gear (video and audio); also includes a 1 hour skype/phone/in person brainstorming and planning session. In the case that you'd like to upgrade the service, we can negotiate options that would involve additional days, personnel fees and/or gear rental based on your needs.

    Also included: "SHOUT OUT," "FIRST LOOK" and "T-SHIRT"

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $600 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    VOLUNTEER (10 HRS)

    Director Douglas Cushnie and DoP Anton Fresco will volunteer for 5 hours each at a community organization in the Boulder/Denver community and document their experience with a short video.

    Also included: "SHOUT OUT," "FIRST LOOK" and "T-SHIRT"

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER:

    Welcome to the team. You get your name in big letters in the credits of the movie. Feel free to talk to us and we can discuss specifics about being an E.P.; we'd be happy to involve you more in the production if you like.

    Also included: "SHOUT OUT," "FIRST LOOK" and "T-SHIRT"

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,200 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    VOLUNTEER (20 HRS)

    Director Douglas Cushnie and DoP Anton Fresco will volunteer for 10 hours each at a community organization in the Boulder/Denver community and document their experience with a short video.

    Also included: "SHOUT OUT," "FIRST LOOK" and "T-SHIRT"

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (25 days)