Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 10, 2013.

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A kinda scary feature length comedy about love, relationships & Bigfoot hunting.

FEATURED REWARD:

For a $75 donation, you can get a 27x40 official film poster designed and illustrated by amazing artist Dylan Chudzynski. We're still working on it, but check out this sample and get excited!

LATEST PROJECT UPDATES!

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STOMPING GROUND IN THE NEWS!

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Ben & Annie are a couple living in Chicago, on a weekend trip to Annie's small North Carolina hometown. At the local bar they run into Paul, an old friend of Annie's, and Ben learns something he never knew about his girlfriend: She believes in Bigfoot. In fact, she and her friends used to "hunt" for the creature when they were kids. Before Ben knows it, he's off on an impromptu Squatchin' trip deep in the Carolina backwoods. Amidst the Squatch calls, campfire stories and beers, Ben quickly realizes that Paul may have an ulterior motive in bringing Annie to the woods. And something else out here seems to be after her as well. Everyone but Ben thinks it's Bigfoot. But it can't be, can it? After all, Bigfoot isn't real...

Stomping Ground is a microbudget relationship comedy/horror hybrid feature by television producer & first time feature director Dan Riesser. It was shot in October 2012 in North Carolina, mostly in the Uwharrie National Forest, an area well known for its Bigfoot sightings. The film stars an amazing cast including John Bobek, Tarah DeSpain, Jeramy Blackford, & Justin Giddings and features a special appearance by Theresa Tilly, who is best known as one of the "Ladies of the Evil Dead" from Sam Raimi's horror classic!

The film is currently in post-production.

Stomping Ground is an extremely low budget independent film production - financed in a large part by the director himself. Many talented filmmakers gave up a lot of their time & energy to help make the film a reality, for very little money in return. It was truly a collaborative labor of love by all involved. Their work needs to be recognized, and for that to happen, the film has to get finished. We are seeking funds for the following:

  • Editing - Right now the movie is just a bunch of files waiting to get turned into a story.
  • Color Correction - We shot 5K on the Red Epic, so the image looks incredible, but not yet perfect. Color correction will fix all that.
  • Sound Design - Sound design is the most important part of the process, one that truly makes or breaks a film. And getting a good theatrical sound mix ain't cheap.
  • Visual FX - 99% of the film uses practical FX, but there will certainly be some cleanup & tweaking to get everything right.
  • Film Festivals - I (the director) had an amazing time this year at my first ever Sundance Film Festival. I'd love to go back in 2014 (wink wink).
  • Finding Distribution - Getting the film into the right hands so that it'll eventually get up on the big screen for everyone to see.

DAN RIESSER (Director/Producer) - Dan is a filmmaker & television producer whose award-winning short films have played at festivals across the world. His producing and directing work can be seen weekly on E! Entertainment's The Soup with Joel McHale. Stomping Ground is his first feature film.

ANDREW GENSER (Co-Writer) - Andrew is a writer/producer on E! Entertainment’s The Soup with Joel McHale. He thinks he was a dog in his previous life.

BRAD LAVERY (Producer) - Brad is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago where he studied Film Production. He has experience in various media platforms including features, shorts, TV, Commercials, educational videos, documentaries, music videos, live video and web content. He has worked with major corporations/institutes such as Stanford Medical University, Pizza Hut, Discovery Channel, and the Ride Janie Ride Foundation.

MIKE DE TRANA (Producer) - Since founding Anvil Entertainment in early 2011, De Trana produced the short Kiss Before the Slaughter directed by John Michael Elfers. Additionally, De Trana is producing several other projects including “Tournament of Nerds” out of the UCB, “Dork Fork” for the Nerdist Channel, and “Mat Men” for Justin Lin’s channel YomYom.

ALEXANDER SABLOW (Director of Photography) - Alexander is a cinematographer working in narrative film, documentaries, music videos, and commercials. He is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking, and is currently based out of New York.

JOHN BOBEK (Lead Actor) - John is an LA-based actor who's work has been seen in countless television shows including Castle, Happy Endings and Desperate Housewives. He's also one helluva singer-songwriter.

TARAH DESPAIN (Lead Actress) - Tarah is a beautiful and talented actress who was most recently seen in the 2013 Sundance hit This is Martin Bonner.

THERESA TILLY (Lead Actress) - Theresa is best known as one of the original "Ladies of the Evil Dead" from Sam Raimi's horror classic. We were lucky enough to land her in a special appearance role.

JERAMY BLACKFORD (Lead Actor) - Jeramy is a North Carolina based actor who you can catch on ABC's Nashville. Jeramy plays a great villain, but in real life he's a pretty nice guy.

JUSTIN GIDDINGS (Lead Actor) - Justin is an LA-based actor, funny man and "cheese connoisseur" (according to his website), who was recently the lead in Lionsgate's hit zombie webseries Bite Me.

...and a lot more amazing folks worked on the film. Check out stompinggroundfilm.com for more info!

First of all, why not Bigfoot, we ask? Bigfoot is a classic movie monster and an important piece of folklore known the entire world over. Everyone, regardless of how much of a skeptic you claim to be, has a little bit of love for the Squatch inside them. Bigfoot has been making tracks in movie theaters lately too... as of right now there are at least four found footage Bigfoot tales out or coming soon. Thankfully for us, Stomping Ground is not found footage!

When deciding what sort of film to make, I (the director) knew I was aiming to make a "different sort of monster movie." That's when I fell in love with Bigfoot. During my research, I learned a lot about the history & mythology of Sasquatch & spoke to the experts in the Squatch hunting field. I aimed to make a film that showcases Bigfoot and Bigfoot research in a positive and realistic light. While the film does meander into "Squatchploitation" horror territory, at its heart it respects the Big Guy and wants to shed some new light on the phenomenon.

At the beginning of 2012 I told myself I wasn't going to let the year end without directing my first feature film. I'd romanticized the concept of a "first feature" for so long, and I'd wondered to myself if & when I'd get the chance to make my own. I'd been trying desperately to get a feature length version of my 2010 short Night of the Punks up and running. We got close, but no one was willing to fork over the money we needed. I'd been developing Stomping Ground with the idea of: "A small character piece I could shoot on a shoestring budget in North Carolina, but something that still had a genre angle." I'd been saving money at my full time gig at The Soup and been working to scrounge a bit of money together. Autumn rolled around, the script was ready, the time was right... so I took a month leave of absence from my day job and went for it.

October was hands down the best month of my life. I was really there, in my home state, surrounded by an incredibly talented support system who were all excited to be working on my film. It was unbelievable. We had great weather, we had great fun at our cabin in the woods and we splattered a bit of fake blood in the process. We also told a charming little story about a young couple in love... and the dangers that get in the way of that love. The cast & crew gave it their all and most everything came together better than I could have expected. To be honest, I went into the process thinking it was going to be a nightmare, and worried about whether I had the chops to pull it all off. I think I succeeded. I won't know for sure until this thing is cut together, but as of right now I couldn't be happier.

I hope you are excited about the film and want to see it someday. You can help make that happen by backing this project. I am extremely proud of myself for not doing a Kickstarter for production & handling it on my own. But what the hell, I'm out of money and I ain't too proud to beg. By donating to the project, you're not just helping me finish my film... you're helping all the wonderful souls who put themselves into the project as well. They deserve it more than me. I can never fully repay them for helping make this dream a reality, but I can certainly finish the film and let them see their work on the big screen.

Thanks so much for your support!

-Dan Riesser

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are always risks with independent film financing, but I will guarantee that I am going to finish this film, even if I don't get these finishing funds. I'll find a way. I know a lot of Kickstarters disappear after getting their funds, but I am not one of those. You will receive your rewards, my endless thanks and a chance to be part of the film.

FAQ

  • Currently, we are unsure how the film will ultimately be distributed. If I end up self-distributing the final film, then this would be a perfectly viable option. However, if all goes well and a larger distribution company picks up our film, I may not have the final say in how it's distributed, and a distributor might even frown upon me offering up downloads of the film. In a perfect world, I want you guys to see this thing in theaters, up on the big screen!

    However, I'm open to an idea like this... if a digital download or DVD were part of the deal, would you be more likely to donate to the cause? Please message me and let me know!

    -Dan

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Funding period

- (30 days)