What exactly is Darcy?
It is an experimental sci-fi short following a man who lives in a future where jellyfish have become a booming industry, much like corn. Jellyfish are in everything – food, fuel, cosmetics, medicine, drugs – and have become a cultural phenomenon.
However, this isn't just science fiction fantasy: these events are already happening in certain cultures around the world. The story of Darcy is a splinter of fiction based largely on these events, and director Emery Childress has taken the creative liberty to delve into this world a little deeper.
Run down on his luck, Darcy finds an extremely rare jellyfish – a Black Creo – and sees this as an opportunity to turn things around. In doing so, he stumbles back into a recurring drug habit that leads him right back into what he is trying to escape: the mystery of his wife's murder.
This is an adventurous project to take on and properly immerse the audience in Darcy's world: a detailed art department is critical to the gritty look, and we've also planned some very technical camera moves to highlight the psychological tone. With an anticipated 15-minute runtime, our goal is to take Darcy on a thorough film festival circuit in search of both recognition and a source of distribution for a potential feature-length version of the story. It will be brought to life through the efforts of Cypress House Productions, but none of that is possible without the help of you, our Kickstarter audience.
So who the heck are we?
Emery Childress is a director out of Los Angeles with a professional background in cinematography and has worked on numerous film and television productions. His work has aired on NBC, A&E, SpikeTV, HGTV and more. Emery has also directed various short films, videos, and web content.
Greg Hadwick is a director of photography from Nebraska, currently residing in Los Angeles. He has shot multiple features and shorts that have been showcased at various film festivals across the world. His resume includes work with Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Comedy Central, and MTV.
Mikey Garratt is a producer based in Los Angeles, originally from the San Francisco bay area. For the past six years, he has been producing features, TV, shorts, commercials, and more for clients such as Universal, MTV, Random House and Ford.
Cullen Wright is a producer, director, and visual effects artist originally from Nebraska. He has been living in Los Angeles for six years working with Warner Music, Kintop Pictures, Lincoln, and CBS.
Cypress House is a production company we formed six years ago as a group of friends aspiring to create engaging movies for a living. Over the course of that timeframe, we've worked together on a slew of all types of projects that have taken our names across the globe. Please check out the links below to watch some of our previous work:
What's it going to take to make Darcy?
In order for Darcy to happen and become a real life short film, we need your help to raise a budget of $10,000. That may seem like a lot off the bat, but after extraneous fees are stripped away from that initial number, it leaves us with about 75% of our asking funds to complete the film.
The remaining 75%, or $7500, has a lot of places to go:
Camera/equipment: We're planning on shooting with the Canon Cinema EOS camera and lens system. Greg and Emery have come up with some very inventive shots, and we'll need access to a handful of camera rigs to execute them: remote jibs, dollies, and a Steadicam are all on the rental list.
Art department: The props and set dressing are a critical aspect to successfully make Darcy. Production Designer Jeremy White needs enough funds to dress our locations in a gritty futuristic tone, and of course, he'll be breathing life into countless prop jellyfish on this production.
Locations: The script calls for seven different locations total ranging from a busy nightclub to a practical breakaway set on a soundstage; we even need to rent a fishing boat for Darcy (and a second boat to shoot the first boat with). This is not an area to skimp lightly on: we need to make sure that these locations really look like they belong in Darcy's world.
Paperwork (permits, insurance, etc): These are some unfortunate financial necessities of shooting a movie, and they don't come cheap. It will cost at least $1000 to make sure that we are approved to shoot what and where we need in order to get the very best that the story of Darcy deserves.
Crew: We'll have about 20 people on set for four days of principle shooting. As a sign of our appreciation, we want to make sure that they are all well-fed and get a small stipend for the donation of their time as professionals.
What do I get for helping out?
$5: A personalized, handwritten card to you from Cypress House
$15: DRM-free 1080P HD digital download PLUS a thank you card
$25: “Special Thanks” credit PLUS a DRM-free digital download and a thank you card
$50: DVD loaded with bonus material PLUS Special Thanks credit, digital download and thank you card
$100: Blu Ray (or DVD if you prefer) loaded with bonus material AND a signed script by cast and crew PLUS Special Thanks credit, digital download and thank you card
$250: Authentic prop jellyfish used in the making of Darcy AND two tickets to a private screening of the film PLUS Blu Ray, signed script, Special Thanks credit, digital download and thank you card
$500: Associate Producer credit AND hardcover production photobook PLUS prop jellyfish, two screening tickets, Blu Ray, signed script, digital download and thank you card
$750: The ONE and ONLY authentic prop jellyfish filtration system as used in the making of Darcy PLUS Associate Producer credit, production photobook, prop jellyfish, two screening tickets, Blu Ray, signed script, digital download and thank you card
$1000: Executive Producer credit with visitation rights to set, exclusive insight to the production process and more PLUS production photobook, prop jellyfish, FOUR screening tickets, Blu Ray, signed script, digital download and thank you card
$2000: A starter jellyfish kit complete with your very own pet Moonjelly!! You also get Executive Producer credit, a production photobook, prop jellyfish, four screening tickets, Blu Ray, signed script, digital download and thank you card
One last thought: the exhilarating (or nerve-wracking) part about funding our project on Kickstarter is that there’s no guarantee that Darcy will actually get funded. If we don’t make it to our goal of $10,000 by March 24, we don’t receive any of the pledged funds. Zero. Our success depends on the kindness and help of people like you. Each and every donation goes towards that success, regardless of the amount. Even if you can’t donate any money, just sharing this link to our Kickstarter page with your friends using your favorite social media tool of choice is a huge step in making this film a reality.
Thanks so much for checking out Darcy!
Risks and challenges
Filmmaking is a risky endeavor in general, and Darcy is no exception. It relies on the proper execution of many, many tasks across every department: that’s lot of people (20 or so in this particular case) and a lot of commitment. In order to deliver a successful short film to you, the audience, we as filmmakers must give it everything we’ve got to overcome any issues that may arise in schedules, materials, equipment, time, paperwork (the list goes on...).
Thankfully, not only are we good friends here at Cypress House, but we’re all professionals in the film and TV industry. That means we’re bringing the knowledge and experience of what we do on a daily basis, and combining it with the commitment to see Darcy come to life and bring you the absolute best we possibly can.
The most likely foreseeable risk is a delay in schedule. Although difficult, the process of shooting principle photography is only a five day period, while post production will take several months. We’ve built some extra time in our schedules to accommodate that possibility, as well as time to submit entires to film festivals worldwide. With extra time and extra contingency money built into our budget, we’ve prepared ourselves to deal with a production hiccup if one happens to arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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