About this project
After 35 years in prison, reputed mobster Auggie Carmine Castucci, is released back into society. When returning back to his old neighborhood, Auggie soon realizes that the world, people, and life he once knew, are a fading memory of the past. Auggie struggles between the life in prison he was accustomed to and his new life as a “free” man. Not sure where he fits in, part of Auggie prefers life behind bars rather than living amongst society. Repulsed by the life he once thought was glamorous Auggie struggles to find a way to coincide.
Auggie’s search for redemption is met with hardship as his attempt to reconnect with his son David fails. Auggie meets Byrd, a wise beyond her 17 years, African-American girl. Bryd befriends Auggie when he rescues her. This peculiar friendship begins to fill voids in both their lives. Both Auggie and Byrd attempt to elude their past to escape judgment from one another. Can Auggie make a life in his new “reality” or do his demons pull him back into his old world and ways taking Byrd with him?
Eric and Letitia Latek founded Phantazma Pictures, Inc. in 1998. For over a decade Phantazma Pictures, Inc. has become a well-known and well-respected production company. The Company’s credentials include award-winning television documentary series and commercials, including six Telly Awards and seven Emmy nominations. Latek has been receiving accolades for his projects since his early years as a student filmmaker producing and directing, “A Life in the Day of Ringo Vings”, which went on to win three awards; “Best International Director”, AFMA International Film Festival, “People’s Choice Award”, Adobe Digital Cinema, and “Wow” Award, Tampa International Education and Time Warner Film Festival. Eric’s work, a feature documentary, “Sweet Dreams” was nominated nine times in various film festivals, worldwide and was chosen as "New Voice" in World Cinema by Cape Wineland's Film Festival in South Africa. "Sweet Dreams" was also chosen as the "World Premiere" documentary at the elite Full Frame Festival.
During 2007-2009 Phantazma Pictures Inc. and Cox partnered together creating the award winning docu-drama series "3 Degrees". Winning three Telly awards for "Best Cinematographer", "Best Series" and "Best Network Series". Eric's most recent commercial efforts in 2010 -2012 were in directing/producing three internal government promotional campaigns. The promotional campaign pieces for three different states were all a success and sealed the deals for multi billion dollars in contracts for Latek’s client. These contracts created thousands of jobs and millions to fund educational programs. In 2011, Eric was the Director of Photography for "Love Squared", a web series. In 2012-2013, Phantazma Pictures, Inc. and Cox partnered again for a web series featuring various artists in New England. Also in 2013, Eric was the DP and editor for the horror movie "Alice D", which will be released 2014.
Eric’s goal in the film industry has been to acquire as much knowledge and hands-on experience to understand the entire process of film production. In turn, Eric would have the capabilities during production and post-production to rely on him-self rather than hire others to complete projects in whole. This mindset led to the Company’s philosophy to create the highest quality projects utilizing lesser budgets and personnel. Latek’s philosophy and professional experience has made him become multifaceted in the film industry. His versatile talents include writing, directing, producing, cinematography, editing, art design, motion graphics, animation, 3-D, FX compositing, web creation and development. Evidence of this wealth of talent and abilities was best exemplified by Filmmaker Magazine’s 2008 recognition of Latek as one of “25 New Faces in Film”, worldwide.
Beyond client and commercial projects, Eric's passion lies in creating personal films. He uses his love of the human spirit to tell stories. Stories where the most tragic of circumstances unveils beauty and good. Eric's humble and loving nature resonates in his work. Your senses are indulged as he visually stimulates his audience with the pure beauty of his filming techniques. He then enthralls his audience with emotions of pure humanity in whatever the situation may be. All the raw emotion Eric captures whether it tugs at your heart or makes you laugh, is awe inspiring. Eric and Letitia have created a personal documentary series entitled "Life" with such works. The first piece of this series is called "I am Anna", an intimate portrait through the eyes of Anna who is a wife, mother, grandmother and Native American activist and now suffers from Alzheimer's. Another personal project Eric has been filming for over twelve years is "Tiger". A story originating from "Sweet Dreams", the story of boxer Gary "Tiger" Balletto, whose rise as a champion boxer tried to unionize the sport of boxing. Along with his recent unfortunate accident that has left him unable to walk and his road back through recovery. Above all, "Tiger" is a true love story between Gary and his wife Christina and their bond to over come all.
Eric has an in-house post-production suite with an array of equipment. This suite has allowed our Company to keep overhead low, in return keeping our clients content with lower project budgets then the industry norm. Eric utilizes the most advanced movie camera known today, the Red Epic 5k. He has also built an expansive equipment and software inventory; Mac Pro’s, HVX-200’s, DSLR’s, dollies, lenses, lights and sound, etc. Eric’s editing software includes Adobe Master Suite, Maya, Cinema 4D, DaVinci Suite, etc.
YOU CAN CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO VIEW SOME OF ERIC'S PERSONAL PROJECTS AND PHANTAZMA PICTURES, INC.'S CURRENT WORK. MAKE SURE TO GO TO www.ericlatek.com TO SEE WHAT WE ARE ALL ABOUT!
Eric has delved into the documentary and commercial world and now would like to create another award winning project, a feature film with your support. We have three tiers for the production budget:
All tiers include the following:
- Pre-production – post-production costs
- Locations with licenses and permits
- Cast and crew
- Craft service
- Kickstarter and Amazon fees (up to 10% of budget)
- Kickstarter backer incentives
- Wardrobe and props
- Legal, accounting and payroll
- Musical score
- Editing in post-production
Tier One - A $250,000 budget, if acquired with your backing, will provide funds for pre-production, production and post-production. This budget will allow for one Red Epic (already owned by Eric), smaller crew and 20 day shoot schedule.
Tier Two - A $500,000 budget, with your generous support, will provide funds for pre-production to post-production. Additional equipment (including a second Red Epic) , larger crew and 30 day shoot schedule.
Tier Three - $969,982 is the "DREAM BUDGET". This is Eric's dream budget to have all the "bells and whistles" for pre-production, production, and post-production. The "dream budget" will allow for longer shoot days and a longer work schedule and more time in post-production.
ERIC LATEK, Writer/Director/Producer/DP/Editor - Enough has been said about Eric and his abilities. Besides writing the script "Auggie & the Byrd", Eric will Produce, Direct, he is the Director of Cinematography and Editor of the film.
LETITIA LATEK, Producer - Letitia graduated Magna Cum Lade from Johnson & Wales University. She is the managing partner of Phantazma Pictures, Inc. She handles all the day-to-day operations of the business. Letitia is involved with the Company’s clients and handles all proposals, budgets, coordinating for projects and all other tasks needed to facilitate pre-production to post-production of projects.
Letitia has co-produced all of Phantazma Pictures, Inc.'s projects for over a decade. She assists Eric in developing concepts for shows, pitching projects, scheduling, accounts payable, accounts receivable and keeping a close eye on budgets and contracts while in production.
STEVE FEINBERG, Producer - Steven Feinberg, studied cinematography at UCLA and film and television production at the USC Cinema School. A Rhode Island native who spent 22 years as a Hollywood writer, director and producer, has brought his considerable talent, energy and wealth of industry contacts back to his home state. Since returning to Rhode Island in 2004 to assume the position of Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & Television Office. He initiated ground-breaking tax incentive legislation, which became law in June 2005. Steven has lured highly prestigious projects such Academy award winning director Martin Scorsese' BLEED FOR THIS, as well as Academy-award nominated director Wes Anderson’s MOONRISE KINGDOM. Steven’s tenure began by anchoring Showtime’s Peabody Award winning series BROTHERHOOD, 27 DRESSES, INFINITELY POLAR BEAR, and HACHI. He has also hosted additional projects, including DAN IN REAL LIFE, , EVENING, independent films LOOSIES, THE EDUCATION OF CHARLIE BANKS and NORMAL ADOLESCENT BEHAVIOR, and UNDERDOG. Many television pilots have also been filmed in the Ocean State such as WATERFRONT; I AM PAIGE WILSON, HOUSE RULES and EMPIRE STATE ; THE CLIQUE, , TELL TALE, and INKUBUS.
Most recently, Steven wrote, directed and produced the award-winning documentary, PELL GRANTS: A PASSION FOR EDUCATION and won the prestigious Providence Film Festival Award for “New England Director”. Mr. Feinberg spent the past several years developing the work of young filmmakers in conjunction with the Arts Learning Network and After School Alliance. In addition to producing many screenplays for various major studios including 20th Century Fox, Universal, Paramount and Warner Brothers, Steven co-wrote and co-produced Village Roadshow’s internationally successful sci-fi adventure FORTRESS as well as the sequel, FORTRESS II, for Columbia-Tri-Star. To date, Steven Feinberg has shepherded over $400 million of film, television and video game production into the state, providing $800 million of overall activity into Rhode Island’s economy as well as thousands of jobs for local talent and crew. This success has reverberated across New England, and now the Ocean State’s neighbors are also feeling the effects and prospering in the film/television field.
MAURO COLOANGELO, Music Composer - Mauro Colangelo is a Milan-born, international award-winning composer of music as well as a keyboardist and drummer. With over 20 years of industry experience, he has successfully produced music and sound for major international advertising campaigns (Sprite, Coca Cola, Ferrari, Fiat , Alfa Romeo, Samsonite, Mattel, Reebok, Olidata, Alex and Ani, The Smithsonian, Vigorsol, Kinder Nutella, Siemens, COX Communication, Textron, Hasbro, Ansa etc.), film scores ( Inkubus, Fixing America, Pell Grants : a Passion for Education, The curse of Micah Rood, A Light in the Dark, Love is Blind, Sleather, Tillighast Nightmare, etc. ) and international radio jingle packages ( One FM, Lausanne FM, 105 FM, 105 Classic FM, RDS, RTL, Radio Montecarlo, Radio/TV Capri, Radio Norba, Latteemiele, etc.). He has also performed live with numerous renowned recording artists such as Ricky Martin, Juanes, Lene-Aqua, and Alex Baroni.
A master of studio production, he has honed his skills by combining his knowledge of analog recording techniques with the latest digital workstations. Edgy, masterful, and innovative, Mauro's work never fails to impress with the perfect blend of creative content mixed with the top-notch quality sound.
As Eric has grown and gained knowledge he has always shared his experiences and expertise with aspiring filmmakers and students. Eric has donated his time by producing various Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIFF) commercial spots for up and coming festival years. He serves on the board for RIFF. He speaks throughout New England at various film programs lecturing on his experience and expertise. He has also worked with youth organizations such as Kid Filmmakers, mentoring young filmmakers. Eric has always monetarily sponsored the arts and this past year, Kickstarter. Recently, Eric contributed to the Pell Grant documentary as the DP. He has allowed many interns to work with him and shadow him while in production and post-production. On a weekly basis Eric answers hundreds of texts, emails and calls consulting former students, colleagues, and aspiring filmmakers with support, encouragement and sharing his knowledge of the film industry and the process of filmmaking.
We are asking for your support in backing "Auggie & the Byrd" so that Eric can have creative control over his vision for the film. In backing the project we can stop debating if we should "sell our souls" for studio funding. Of course, if a studio fronts the funds for a production they should have control over the finished product. Eric has created a visually stunning documentary ("Sweet Dreams"), a docudrama series (" 3 Degrees") and various stories including professional athletes, artists, and musicians with incredible storytelling. With your support Eric can continue to captivate audiences with his first independent feature film "Auggie & the Byrd" and continue his badass filmmaking.
As a backer you will receive updates on production, whose been cast, behind the scenes, crazy stories (with Eric this is common) and everything in between. We want you to be a part of our production and will try our best to make you feel like you are. We will make sure every incentive is fulfilled as soon as humanly possible. You can gift your incentives. This is a great idea for the holidays. If you would like to back an amount not listed under the incentives, contact us we will gladly work something out with you. If there should be a change in the fulfillment dates we will notify you with the revised dates (a change may occur due to production schedule). If you have any questions or concerns contact us anytime.
* All travel and accommodations are the responsibility of the backer.
* All guests on set or at premiere and after party must be 18 years or older. If under the age of 18 you must be accompanied by an adult.
* You may back the project without receiving the incentive.
Risks and challenges
Whether you are backing a project or a part of the actual production there are always risks involved. Risk is an inherent part of life. What we can afford to you as a backer, is over a decade of experience, professionalism, awards, honesty and proven track record of our work. We have built Eric's career and Phantazma Pictures, Inc. on the principals' of respect for the work we are producing, pure quality, budget conscience, completing projects on or before deadlines and badass filmmaking.
Whether it has been working on corporate projects for our mulit-billion dollar clients, independent films, docudrama series, commercials or volunteer projects we have always completed every project on time and within budget, leaving our clients content with the finished product and most award winning. In over a decade, we have never solicited a single client or project, in fact, all work has come through referrals. That in itself speaks volumes.
If you back us and we raise the budget then "Auggie & the Bryd" is a go and we will, as always, complete this project. We have selected an experienced production team whose overall track record is stellar. We have begun pre-production and once the budget is met we will begin aggressively contacting our lists of production team and talent. The major pieces of equipment needed for production and post-production, the camera, Red Epic, various lenses, audio, lights and MAC PRO post production suite is already owned by Eric, easing the budget and allowing complete access to the most vital equipment needed for a production.
Some challenges that we may incur which can change production/post-production dates and backer fulfillment dates can depend on talent schedules being incorporated into the actual production. This can set back the production therefore, causing a delay in backer fulfillment dates. We will make every effort to keep backers up-to-date with the production and backers' fulfillment schedule.
We are confident, with your support we can create a visually stunning feature film to showcase Eric's talent without any restrictions. We will as always complete this project and expect nothing less than award winning. Be a part of Eric's vision and join us on the "Auggie & the Byrd" journey.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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