Approximately 3,000 people apply to USC's MFA film program every year. 48 of those students are selected. 6 are chosen to direct a thesis. This is ONE of those films.
RECOIL is about a callous space trucker, Marshall, who has a crisis of conscience when he discovers a distress call from his estranged brother, but his deadly search at the edge of a black hole has him experiencing a recoil effect, slowly exposing clues that he has done this all before.
This story is inspired from a significant moment in my life. After 25 years, my twin brother and I had the opportunity to meet our biological father for the first time. My brother wasn't interested in meeting him at all, so I was faced with doing it alone... but before I made a definitive decision, all I could think about was: What if it didn't go well? Would I be able to handle the grief it would cause me? Then, a simple paradox spawned an entirely new thought: What if you could have the best of both worlds? What if you could endure an intensely emotional experience, relish in it, and then have the opportunity to forget it for the sake of yourself? What if Marshall's only brother dies in his arms after rescuing him, would he knowingly enter back into Recoil in order to forget?
The best and most meaningful Sci-Fi films I've watched are the ones that you can enjoy cinematically and also connect to emotionally. My goal is to provide the audience with a sense of adventure and a story about family that everyone can relate to through a genre that I have been closest to all my life.
We are thrilled to collaborate with you on a project that I am incredibly passionate about and excited to bring to the big screen. Take a look at our goals and incentives and help us make the most epic, short sci-fi film ever.
Who Is Involved?
We have a well-balanced mix of seasoned industry professionals and USC professionals. Helming our seasoned industry mentorship are:
Michael Peyser - an accomplished producer of both major studio movies as well as cutting edge independent films. Recent credits include producing The Warrior’s Way (starring Geoffrey Rush, Kate Bosworth and Danny Huston), and executive producing the groundbreaking U23D, the first stereoscopic live-action 3D film that was the sensation of both the 2007 Cannes and 2008 Sundance Film Festivals. Peyser also supervised production on several Woody Allen films. In addition to his producing credits, Peyser was the founding senior vice president of Hollywood Pictures at The Walt Disney Studios where he supervised creative development, production and an extensive slate of films.
Michael Fink - a VFX genius. Michael Fink created his first miniature shot -- a still of a rocket to the moon -- in the hallway of his parent's home at the age of 10. He went on to earn degrees from California State University Northridge, San Francisco Art Institute, and California Institute of the Arts. He has since become a powerful force in the world of VFX, overseeing visual effects for more than 45 films including: WarGames, Braveheart, Batman Returns, X-Men, and Avatar. In 2007 Fink won an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for The Golden Compass.
Bill Marsilii - Writer of DEJA VU, which sold to Jerry Bruckheimer and Touchstone Pictures in June 2004 in a record-setting pre-emptive bid. Starring Denzel Washington and directed by Tony Scott, the film opened Thanksgiving 2006 and went on to gross over $180 million worldwide. He has also written feature scripts for The Samuel Goldwyn Company, TriStar, Warner Bros., and Paramount Pictures.
Helming our USC professional crew is:
Evan Matthews (Director) who has directed over 20 short films and is an avid (and we mean, avid - like, we calculated year X 2 times a day, and he watched it for three years of his life) fan of Star Wars. Evan has worked on many film and television productions ranging from network and cable television to independent and feature films. He is currently working on his MFA at USC's prestigious Cinema School for the Arts for directing and screenwriting. This past fall, he won 2 awards for his short film, "Arlington Heights" at the Los Angeles Shorttakes Film Festivals for Best Editing and placing as Top 3 Finalist. His latest film, "August's Claim" will make the festivals rounds in 2012.
Christina Granados (Producer) is an MFA Film and Television Production candidate at USC's School of Cinematic Arts. Her most recent projects include producing "Cyberbullied" an intimate documentary about three kids are their experience with online harassment, "Where The Sky Is Born," a Sloan-Foundation/USC film about a young boy's journey into the Mayan underworld. She was also an assistant to the director of indie feature, "My Uncle Rafael," and various other collaborative roles in film production.
Josie Azzam (Editor) received her BFA in Film and New Media at the University of Nebraska’s Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. She moved on to become a full time editor of television documentaries at PBS affiliate NET Television, before choosing to pursue her MFA in Film Production with an emphasis in Editing at USC's School of Cinematic Arts.
Kari Barber (Sound Designer) currently works in Editing/Motion Graphics at DreamWorks Animation. She is a Graduate of Bowdoin College and Harvard University, and also holds an MFA in Film and Television Production from USC's School of Cinematic Arts. Her experience, education, and advanced skills as a director, producer, cinematographer, and sound designer make her a quadruple threat in the industry!
Akis Konstantakopoulos was born inThessaloniki, Greece and moved to the United States at the age of 17 to study the art of cinematography. He is a graduate of Harvard College, and holds an MFA from American Film Institute in Cinematography.Akis’s award-winning work has appeared at Cannes, Tribeca, Clermond-Ferrand, and other notable film festivals all over the world. His cinematography has garnered nods and praise from publications like Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and indieWIRE. Testament to Akis’s talent has also been his awards of the prestigious Technicolor DI Grant, the Fuji and Panavision Grant as well as the high-profile Award of Excellence from the Accolade competition.
Robyn Daniels (Costume Designer), studied Fashion Merchandising and Business at Texas State University. Her first project working within the wardrobe department was on a western film titled "The Man Who Came Back" starring Eric Braeden, Billy Zane and Sean Young . Working alongside veteran actors and industry professionals only solidified her decision to move west and pursue a career in costume design. Robyn obtained her degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM), and has since designed for feature films, music videos, and print. Her most recent work can be seen in a publication of Harper's Bazaar Arabia-Best Dressed 2012.
Where Your Money Will Go?
We are a group of filmmakers who take absolute pride in our work and we love delivering fresh concepts and sticky images. Aside from basic production costs, we are invested in the following:
* Cast and crew is our #1. We need to feed these talented artists well and frequently. It's not a five-course meal, just some nourishment to keep the cast and crew going during our long days.
* Production design is paramount. We need to create our world with the most rockin' futuristic environments possible. This production is construction-heavy but we are green-conscious and want to make sure that we aspire to the highest quality while being environmental and economically responsible.
**As a side note, we have applied to the Panavision New Filmmakers grant that provides a generous camera package with professional equipment. We hope to hear back soon! We'll keep you updated.
How Kickstarter Works
If we meet our goal, we get the whole pot! If we do not meet our goal, we do not get a single penny. Help support our film by also sharing this page with your friends and family!
We are reaching out to the world as we are in the throes of pre-production because we need your help! We have unparalleled access to professional rental equipment and staff, but we need your help to do it!
-- Recent News and Updates --
This journey has been such a thrill-ride, we don't want it to end! We have come up with a strategy for staying in touch with all of our supporters, so don't you worry, this will not be the last you hear from Team RECOIL.
We had an OUTSTANDING production meeting yesterday evening that lead to early morning in the blink of an eye. Exciting details come together each day, and we could not be more pleased with how this project is progressing. Here's a snap-shot for your viewing pleasure:
Yesterday we expanded our team to include—DRUM ROLL PLEASE—our new Production Designer, Rick Hilgner!!!
Rick is the CEO of Creative Concepts Enterprises, and specializes in prototype/product design,development,engineering and fabrication, themed environments/ custom specialty installations and remodels, visual effects (miniature, practical, and specialty), 3D computer design, and pre-visualization services. Rick has worked on a wide variety of feature films, including Starship Troopers, The X Files, Broken Arrow, Vertical Limit, The Fifth Element, Waterworld, Galaxis, Alien: Resurrection, and many more. He also has over 20 years of experience in the visual effects industry for Hollywood films and commercials—a perfect combination of talent and experience for the RECOIL team.
Rick is THE MAN, and we are STOKED OUT OF OUR MINDS that he will be creating and constructing our awesome spaceship, from the ground up! Below are some examples to show what Rick has produced through his previous work:
We are working hard to make sure RECOIL will be a STELLAR film! We can't wait to share more with our community of supporters as this project progresses! It's not over after Kickstarter's over - so be sure to follow us on Facebook.com/recoilthefilm, or by visiting our website www.recoilthefilm.com.
-- More News and Updates --
Though we have achieved Phase 1 of fundrasing, it is important that we charge forward! As mentioned in our Kickstarter video, the goal we have set will fund the cost of the raw materials in order to begin construction on our set design. Every dollar pledged over 100% will go toward the making of RECOIL, whether it is allocated to meals for the cast and crew, camera and sound equipment, or toward post production costs, our aim is to make this epic sci-fi film EVEN MORE EPIC for you!
Check out our $250 award - A $750 value! Professional headshots by Evan, our fearless director who has done shoots with Esquire and Harper's Bazaar. This package includes a one-hour studio shoot with up to five professionally touched up photos. PLUS the HD download of the film.
Featured as part of our $100 award, this metal 8GB USB flash drive takes form as a delightful robot that just can't wait to pull its own head off to hold your data!
The momentum is surging, and we're not the only ones who feel it! RECOIL has been selected as a "Staff Pick" in addition to being featured in the "Popular This Week" category! Very exciting!
We have LESS THAN A WEEK to make our goal, so please continue to spread the word about this awesome deep space adventure film. Also be sure to visit our Facebook page, where we give away FREE KICKSTARTER AWARDS—and if you have already donated, we’ll upgrade your gift! Here is an example of the awards we're giving away all week:
We have welcomed Robyn Daniels to our crew as our head of Wardrobe! She is working on a custom original design for Marshall’s flight suit. Here is a picture collage she has put together for inspiration – we love it, and hope you will too:
More to come from the team as we are currently in the process of casting for our lead roles (we can’t wait to reveal who we are working with, so stay tuned)! Plus, we have some great new concept sketches on the way!
- (10 days)