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Pizza wasn't invented in New Haven. It was perfected there.
136 backers pledged $15,521 to help bring this project to life.

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Do you love pizza?

Let's face it...we all do.  It's the most loved food in American. And we want to tell you a story about three pizza places in the town of New Haven, Connecticut that you may or may not have heard of.  They're named: Sally’s Apizza, Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana, and Modern Apizza, and they are generally considered to be three of the finest pizza restaurants on the planet.  

Official poster for PIZZA, A LOVE STORY
Official poster for PIZZA, A LOVE STORY

Anyone who’s ever sampled a pie from one of these New Haven brick oven pizza palaces, knows that they’ve just tasted the finest pizza known to mankind. One bite and there is no going back.

Just look at the Daily Meal's list of the 100 best pizzas in the United States. We rank #1, #3, and #8...that's in a town with approximately 1% of New York City's population.

But how did this happen?  How does this one little town in one of the smallest states just happen to have three of the greatest pizza places in the world...all within a few blocks of each other?  We're 90 miles from New York City and yet what makes New Yorkers drive the two-plus hours to New Haven just for pizza?  What made Frank Sinatra send his driver from Hoboken, New Jersey, to New Haven just to pick up pizzas?  What makes rock stars visiting the tri-state (NY, NJ, CT) area include in their riders that New Haven pizza must be served in the green room?  What made director Steven Spielberg send a private jet to the local New Haven airport to pick up 50 pies for his son's wedding?  What is in the proverbial water?  Why is this pizza so good, so different?  What makes people wait in line for hours for New Haven pizza? 

Our film PIZZA, A LOVE STORY will explain it all.  You'll learn about the history, the families, the love, and craft that goes into each and every pie.  And you'll discover a whole new appreciation for pizza as true culinary art.

Frank Pepe, circa 1930.
Frank Pepe, circa 1930.

This feature-length documentary has been in the works for ten years, and we are finally close to completing this labor of love.  And by "we," I mean three of the most passionate pizza lovers on the planet: director Gorman Bechard, musician/producer Dean Falcone, and New Haven historian/operator of Taste of New Haven Colin Caplan.  We love pizza with all of our heart and soul.  We truly do.  

We have assembled interviews, an amazing collection of historic photos and memorabilia (anyone remember the Pepe's television commercial from the 60s?), and anecdotes that will leave you laughing and hungry at the same time.  (No joke, it is impossible to work on editing this film without going for a pizza within the first hour.)

An advertisement for Modern from 1954.
An advertisement for Modern from 1954.

A feature-length documentary about American's favorite food.  

PIZZA, A LOVE STORY will take us on a journey which began in 1925 with the pies that would change the world. We have talked to the families, the employees, and especially the fans (both the famous and unknown) who’ll wait in line for hours for a taste. We’ll present a history of what IS the greatest pizza in the world.

We're about a 90% of the way through shooting.  We even have the last interview with Flora Consiglio, wife of Salvatore, the man who opened Sally's in 1938. It's funny and touching and explains a number of Sally's myths including the legendary "magic phone number." 

We have also interviewed Bill from Modern, Francis and Gary from Pepe's, as well as the former New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, historian Doug Rae, author Anthony Riccio, and food critic Ed Levine.

The interior of Sally's Apizza the year it opened, 1938.
The interior of Sally's Apizza the year it opened, 1938.

But we still need a few celebrities to make things interesting.  And there are people on our list SURE to blow your mind! (Think "well-known Yalies!")

We are going to feature both famous and not-so-famous fans "discussing" who makes the best pie, as well as a detailed history of how New Haven pizza evolved.  We will answer the question: what makes the pizzas from Sally's, Pepe's, and Modern, the best on the planet?

Vintage Pepe's ad from the Yale Daily News
Vintage Pepe's ad from the Yale Daily News

A Little About the Crew, the "WE" Involved in Making this Film

Director Gorman Bechard, co-owner of What Were We Thinking Films, is a lifelong pizza snob. He has numerous feature-length documentaries and narrative features to his credit.

Most recently he directed the animal welfare documentary, A DOG NAMED GUCCI, and was awarded the ASPCA Media Excellence Award 2015 for his work on that film.

Gorman is also the director of COLOR ME OBSESSED, A FILM ABOUT THE REPLACEMENTS, which Rolling Stone called one of "The Seven Best New Music Documentaries of the Year." As well as five other rock-docs: WHO IS LYDIA LOVELESS?, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? the Archers of Loaf live at Cat's Cradle, EVERY EVERYTHING: the music, life & times of Grant Hart, the soon-to-be-released WHAT IT TAKES: FILM EN DOUZE TABLEAUX, and the in-production WHERE ARE YOU, JAY BENNETT?

His narrative features include the award-winning FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS), YOU ARE ALONE and BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, and the horror cult classic PSYCHOS IN LOVE.

You can read an interview with Gorman Bechard in FilmMaker Magazine here. He is also co-founder of the NHdocs Film Festival, held every June at Yale. His full bio can be found here.

Our company, the micro-studio What Were We Thinking Films, founded in 2004, has a proven track record, with over thirty years of experience making feature films.  

Producer Dean Falcone is a fleet-fingered guitarist and eclectic pop/rock composer who’s been playing in bands since his pre-teens. He’s worked with filmmaker Gorman Bechard on several different projects, scoring FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS), BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, A DOG NAMED GUCCI and WHO IS LYDIA LOVELESS. He is also the co-producer of the documentary COLOR ME OBSESSED, A FILM ABOUT THE REPLACEMENTS and the forthcoming PIZZA, A LOVE STORY. He’s helmed acts such as The Excerpts (w/Jon Brion), 100 Faces, Dean & the Dragsters, The Shellye Valauskas Experience, Tipsy in Chelsea and The Zambonis, among others. He has shared the stage and/or produced/recorded with: Aimee Mann, Eddie Vedder, Norah Jones, Brian May, Susanna Hoffs and many others. Dean is also the anything-goes impresario of the legendary “Vomitorium” extravaganza every Thanksgiving at Café Nine in New Haven, Connecticut.

Producer Colin M. Caplan was born and raised in New Haven and graduated with a masters in Architecture from Tulane University in New Orleans and had has his own deign and historic research firm, Magrisso Forte. Besides being the author of six books on New Haven’s history, Colin is also the founder and owner of Taste of New Haven, culinary tours and events, as well as the Elm City Party Bike, New England's only pedal powered pub on wheels!

Colin has been featured and helped produce content on television and the web about New Haven's pizza scene, including Food Paradise, Munchies' The Pizza Show, thedailymeal.com and eater.com. He is writing his 7th and 8th books to be published all about the history of pizza in America.  His books can be found here.

 

 

Click HERE to read more in this amazing article from Tom Breen in the New Haven Independent.

 

And HERE to read Randy Beach's great story on the film from the New Haven Register.

Vintage menu from Sally's
Vintage menu from Sally's

Where the Money Goes

There are so many varied expenses that go into making a feature film.  The funds raised through this Kickstarter campaign will allow us to travel out of the New Haven area for some of those elusive interviews, pay for the musical score, and for editing the film.  

While we are asking for $15,000, we are actually hoping for double that so that we can also cover E&O Insuance, legal fees, color correction, and film festival fees. The more we raise, the more we can fine-tune the film.

But it's always one step at a time with filmmaking.  We don't want to ask for too much and not get funded (see what happens then below).  We know this is a film that will speak to millions, as the love of pizza goes beyond state lines.  Help us however you can.  We appreciate every dollar, it means you want to see this film completed.  And if you can push us into the stratosphere...let's go, slice of pizza in hand!

Remember, when you back a film (or any project) through Kickstarter, you are not just pre-ordering a DVD or a cool poster, you are helping to get the film made.  Your name is on the film.  The world will know you wanted to make sure PIZZA, A LOVE STORY became a reality.  You are a part of the film.  We could not have made it without you.  And for that we thank you.

Modern owner Bill Pustari in 1989
Modern owner Bill Pustari in 1989

 

What Happens If We Don't Reach Our Goal

If we fail to reach our funding goal, we get absolutely nothing. That means you keep any money you've pledged. We only get the money (and your credit card is only charged) if and when we successfully fund our project. So please give what you can, because every little bit helps. And PLEASE share this page with other pizza lovers!  (We know there are a lot of you out there.)

Follow us on Facebook

Follow our Facebook page where you can learn about what's going on with PIZZA, A LOVE STORY, any updates, future screenings, and other note-worthy animal stories.

The official T-shirt
The official T-shirt

 

An example of the hand-drawn blu-rays for another of our films.  Each PIZZA, A LOVE STORY blu-ray will be unique.
An example of the hand-drawn blu-rays for another of our films. Each PIZZA, A LOVE STORY blu-ray will be unique.

 

Colin M. Caplan's NEW HAVEN APIZZA book
Colin M. Caplan's NEW HAVEN APIZZA book

 

Official Bumpersticker
Official Bumpersticker

 

Risks and challenges

We always finish our films. They always get distribution. That is never an issue. The biggest challenge for us is finishing everything on time. Documentaries take on lives of their own. In a perfect world, the film will be done and playing festivals in late 2018. But this isn't always a perfect world. So worst case, it takes a little longer than we expected to deliver the DVDs and other rewards. But you will get them, and the film will only be better for it.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    FEEL GOOD PACKAGE

    You'll feel good and generate some amazing indie film karma by backing a very special film project, and will receive a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates here on KickStarter.

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    #TeamSallys

    You get to tell the world that you are a member of #TeamSallys with your name in the movie's end credits and on the website under this heading: #TeamSallys. You'll also feel good and generate some amazing indie film karma by backing a very special film project, and will also receive regular backer updates here on KickStarter.

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    #TeamPepes

    You get to tell the world that you are a member of #TeamPepes with your name in the movie's end credits and on the website under this heading: #TeamPepes. You'll also feel good and generate some amazing indie film karma by backing a very special film project, and will also receive regular backer updates here on KickStarter.

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    #TeamModern

    You get to tell the world that you are a member of #TeamModern with your name in the movie's end credits and on the website under this heading: #TeamModern. You'll also feel good and generate some amazing indie film karma by backing a very special film project, and will also receive regular backer updates here on KickStarter.

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    Pizza, A Love Story PEN

    A gorgeous ball-point pen with the saying: "Pizza wasn't invented in New Haven. It was perfected there." that shows your love for the perfect pie. Also get SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    Pizza, A Love Story BUMPERSTICKER

    An official PIZZA, A LOVE STORY vinyl bumpersticker measuring approximately 8 inches by 2.5 inches. Proclaim your love of New Haven pizza to the world. You'll also receive a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    Pizza, A Love Story soundtrack CD

    Receive a limited edition CD of Dean Falcone's amazing soundtrack for the film (you can hear a sample in the trailer). You also get a BUMPERSTICKER, along with a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    Pizza, A Love Story EARLY BIRD DVD

    You will receive a signed copy of the commercially released DVD of PIZZA, A LOVE STORY, loaded with extras, along with a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    The other DVD of your choice

    Ok, you love pizza, but are more of a rock & roller or maybe you're into indie flicks, and you still want to help. You will get a signed DVD of ONE of the following Gorman Bechard titles (your choice): the about-to-be-released WHAT IT TAKES (about Chapel Hill rockers Sarah Shook & the Disarmers), WHO IS LYDIA LOVELESS?, BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, COLOR ME OBSESSED, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?, EVERY EVERYTHING, or A DOG NAMED GUCCI. You will also receive a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in PIZZA, A LOVE STORY's end credits, and regular backer updates. NOTE: all films ship in July 2018, EXCEPT What It Takes which will ship when released in November 2018.)

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    The Second Greatest Story Ever Told

    You will receive a signed copy of the trade paperback edition of Gorman Bechard's beloved first novel, THE SECOND GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD. You will also receive a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    The other BLU-RAY of your choice

    Ok, you love pizza, but are more into horror films, and you still want to help. You will get a signed BLU-RAY of ONE of Gorman Bechard's first two films (your choice): PSYCHOS IN LOVE or DISCONNECTED. These are both loaded with extras. You will also receive a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in PIZZA, A LOVE STORY's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    Pizza, A Love Story DVD

    You will receive a signed copy of the commercially released DVD of PIZZA, A LOVE STORY, loaded with extras, along with a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    TWO COPIES of the soundtrack CD

    Receive TWO COPIES of the limited edition CD of Dean Falcone's amazing soundtrack for the film (you can hear a sample in the trailer). You also get a BUMPERSTICKER, along with a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    New Haven Apizza BOOK

    A signed copy of Colin M. Caplan's NEW HAVEN APIZZA book detailing the history of pizza in our town. (See photo.) You will also receive a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in PIZZA, A LOVE STORY's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    New Haven Pizza Book

    We've got six more signed copies of Colin M. Caplan's NEW HAVEN APIZZA book detailing the history of pizza in our town. (See photo.) You will also receive a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in PIZZA, A LOVE STORY's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    Pizza, A Love Story POSTER

    You will receive a signed limited edition 11” x 17” PIZZA, A LOVE STORY poster, a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    Pizza, A Love Story DVD & CD

    You will receive a signed copy of the commercially released DVD of PIZZA, A LOVE STORY, loaded with extras, along with the SOUNDTRACK CD, a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    Pizza, A Love Story T-SHIRT

    An official Pizza, A Love Story t-shirt, in the size of your choice. Proclaim to the world: Pizza wasn't invented in New Haven. It was just perfected there. Also get a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    Pizza, A Love Story BLU-RAY

    This is a one of a kind, hand-drawn hand-burned bluray version of the film. But there are NO extras. It is the film only, in wonderful bluray quality, with an original label. (Take a look at the A Dog Named Gucci blurays in the photo to see how cool they look.) Plus get a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    DVD and New Haven Apizza Book

    Get the PIZZA, A LOVE STORY DVD and a copy of Colin M. Caplan's NEW HAVEN APIZZA book detailing the history of pizza in our town. (See photo.) You will also receive a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in PIZZA, A LOVE STORY's end credits, and regular backer updates. (Note: book ships in June 2018)

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    Pizza, A Love Story DVD & POSTER

    You will receive a signed copy of the commercially released DVD, a limited edition 11” x 17” poster, along with a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    Pizza, A Love Story DVD & T-SHIRT

    An official Pizza, A Love Story t-shirt, in the size of your choice along with the DVD, a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates. (NOTE: T-SHIRT ONLY ships in July 2018)

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    Timeless Photograph & DVD

    You will receive a high-quality 8X10 print of the vintage still photograph of your choice from the film's trailer. You will also receive a signed copy of the commercially released DVD of PIZZA, A LOVE STORY, loaded with extras, along with a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    Pizza, A Love Story DVD, POSTER & CD

    You will receive a signed copy of the commercially released DVD of PIZZA, A LOVE STORY, loaded with extras, along with SOUNDTRACK CD, the official POSTER, a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    Pizza, A Love Story DVD, T-SHIRT, POSTER

    An official Pizza, A Love Story t-shirt, in the size of your choice along with the DVD, THE OFFICIAL POSTER, a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates. (NOTE: T-SHIRT ONLY ships in July 2018)

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    You Want ALL the TOPPINGS Package

    GET IT ALL: An official Pizza, A Love Story t-shirt, in the size of your choice along with the DVD, SOUNDTRACK CD, THE OFFICIAL POSTER, THE PEN, a BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates. YOU EVEN GET ONE OTHER GORMAN BECHARD DVD OF YOUR CHOICE. (NOTE: T-SHIRT, PEN, BUMPERSTICKER, & OTHER DVD ONLY ship in July 2018)

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    PIZZA LOVERS TOUR

    Two tickets for the Taste of New Haven's Pizza Lover's Tour. You will love this history laden walking tour from the famous Wooster Street pizzerias to the buzz of Downtown and the quaint corners of East Rock. Get your walking shoes on and don't bother eating breakfast for New Haven's only pizza-only walking tour! On this 5-Hour Pizza Lovers Walking Tour we start with the oldest and most famous at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana on Wooster Street. After a healthy walk we hit the rockstar place Modern Apizza on State Street. We next head on our feet down to Downtown to the popping popular spot Bar. Our last leg is a stroll back over to Wooster Street for the legendary Sally's Apizza. (You will have to get yourself to New Haven for the tour.) You also get the DVD, along with a SOUNDTRACK CD, BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates. (Tour can be scheduled for anytime after KickStarter campaign ends.)

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    The complete DVD collection

    Receive DVD copies of NINE of Gorman Bechard's other feature films: COLOR ME OBSESSED, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?, YOU ARE ALONE, BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS), EVERY EVERYTHING, WHO IS LYDIA LOVELESS?, A DOG NAMED GUCCI and of course PIZZA, A LOVE STORY. Plus BluRays of PSYCHOS IN LOVE and DISCONNECTED. Each is loaded with extras and will be signed by the director...PLUS get a BUMPERSTICKER, a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates. (All the films will ship in June 2018, EXCEPT PIZZA, A LOVE STORY, which will ship in June 2019)

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    PIZZA with the PRODUCERS PACKAGE

    You and a guest will get to eat pizza with Gorman, Dean, and Colin at your choice of Sally's, Pepe's or Modern. Dinner is on us, but you need to get yourself to New Haven. You also get the DVD, along with a SOUNDTRACK CD, BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates. (NOTE: Pizza dinner can be arranged any time after the Kickstarter campaign closes.)

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Tell Your NEW HAVEN PIZZA STORY in Film

    You will be filmed talking about Sally's, Pepe's, or Modern, and included in the finished film. (The time you're in the film depends on your story.) You also get the DVD, along with a SOUNDTRACK CD, T-SHIRT, BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates. (NOTE: You will need to get yourself to the New Haven area within a month after the KickStarter campaign closes to be filmed. Travel expenses are not included.)

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Private Screening

    You will get a private screening of PIZZA, A LOVE STORY for you and your group. Screening must take place after the official World Premiere (date to be determined). You also get the DVD, along with a SOUNDTRACK CD, BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER PACKAGE

    You can really let the world know how you feel about New Haven pizza. You will receive an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT during the film’s main title sequence, and on IMDB, along with a SOUNDTRACK CD, POSTER, DVD, T-SHIRT, BUMPERSTICKER, plus two tickets to the World Premiere (you have to provide your own transportation), and regular email updates.

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    Pledge US$ 1,600 or more About US$ 1,600

    Private Screening w/filmmakers

    You will get a private screening of PIZZA, A LOVE STORY for you and your group with a Q&A with director and producers after the screening. NOTE: screening must take place within a 100-miles of New Haven, CT and after the official World Premiere (date to be determined). You also get the DVD, along with a SOUNDTRACK CD, BUMPERSTICKER, SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the film's end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    Pledge US$ 3,000 or more About US$ 3,000

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PACKAGE

    You can really let the world know how you feel about New Haven pizza. You will receive an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT during the film’s main title sequence, on the POSTER, and on IMDB, along with a SOUNDTRACK CD, POSTER, DVD, T-SHIRT, BUMPERSTICKER, plus two tickets to the World Premiere (you have to provide your own transportation), and regular email updates.

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    Pledge US$ 4,000 or more About US$ 4,000

    Film Interview with Filmmakers for DVD

    You get to interview Gorman Bechard, Dean Falcone, and Colin M. Caplan for the behind-the-scenes video that will be used online and as a DVD extra. (NOTE: You will need to get yourself to New Haven, CT, where the film is being edited, but we will provide a room, and pizza with Gorman, Dean, and Colin from either Sally's, Pape's, or Modern.) This day will happen sometime in the winter of 2018. PLUS...You will also receive an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit during the film’s main title sequence, and on IMDB, as well as a CD, POSTER, DVD, T-SHIRT, BUMPERSTICKER, and regular email updates. (NOTE: if you want this package with an Executive Producer credit instead, please pledge $5500 instead of $4000.)

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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    The "I LOVE PIZZA" package

    You love the idea of this film and REALLY want to show the world you LOVE New Haven pizza. You will receive a STAND-ALONE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER TITLE CARD CREDIT in the film's main title sequence, plus your name on the film's POSTER, and on IMDB, plus two tickets to the World Premiere (you have to provide your own transportation), POSTER, DVD, CD, BUMPERSTICKER, T-SHIRT, all ELEVEN of Gorman's other DVDs (listed above), signed copies of all SIX of Gorman's novels, and regular email updates.

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Funding period

- (57 days)