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"Guys Reading Poems" - Finishing Funds's video poster
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7 guys. 7 skills. An underground society. An unthinkable transgression. Secrets are sacred in this suspense/mindbender feature. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 18, 2014.

7 guys. 7 skills. An underground society. An unthinkable transgression. Secrets are sacred in this suspense/mindbender feature.

About this project

ORIGIN OF THE PROJECT 

When I decided to direct "Guys Reading Poems," our cast and crew expected it to be an Internet project with 35 separate (but related) pieces released online. After we put together the rough cut (which ran 60 minutes), our creative team gathered in the dark and screened our mindbender poetry film on the big screen...and soon realized we had a visually striking and innovative feature on our hands (see our trailer in full HD glory here).

Gopal Divan in "Guys Reading Poems." Photo by M. Pessah
Gopal Divan in "Guys Reading Poems." Photo by M. Pessah

GATHERING MOMENTUM

So I fleshed out an interweaving narrative between the pieces...and here we are...seeking the funds on Kickstarter to complete a dream-come-true project. Within weeks of finishing the rough cut, I screened clips of the film for Alexander Dreymon of "American Horror Story." He loved the project and my pitch for the secret society storyline. Two conversations later, Alex agreed to play one of the lead roles in the interlocking narrative. 

Alexander Dreymon of "American Horror Story"
Alexander Dreymon of "American Horror Story"

He joins a terrific ensemble of guys who've already delivered raw, powerful performances. Our original cast (seen in the video) includes: Blake Sheldon (who just filmed a role in Fincher's "Gone Girl"), Justin Schwan, Vincent Montuel, Jerod Meagher, Jason Fracaro (also one of our producers), Gopal Divan and yours truly. More casting announcements are on the way! 

Photo caption: (l. to r.) Hunter Lee Hughes, Justin Schwan, Jeord Meagher, Jason Fracaro, Vincent Montuel, Blake Sheldon, Gopal Divan. Photo by J. Fracaro
Photo caption: (l. to r.) Hunter Lee Hughes, Justin Schwan, Jeord Meagher, Jason Fracaro, Vincent Montuel, Blake Sheldon, Gopal Divan. Photo by J. Fracaro

WHAT WE NEED AND WHY WE NEED IT

We need about 25 minutes of additional footage to flesh out the material and transform it into a viable narrative feature film. Our producing team (including Fracaro, J. Parker Buell, Bradley R. Bernstein and Sammy Kusler) has determined that we should shoot at least six more days to finish "Guys Reading Poems." That's where you come in! 

Here is a breakdown of our expected costs:

  • Camera/Lighting/Grip/Sound equipment rentals - $11,675
  • Cast/Crew Payroll (SAG-AFTRA ULB contract) - $12,065
  • Production Insurance - $2,200
  • Location Expenses - $3,000
  • Production Design/Art Dept. - $985
  • Wardrobe - $850
  • Make-Up Dept. - $300
  • FilmLA Permit - $625
  • Craft Services - $1,800
  • Legal - $2,500
  • Contingency - $4,000

Obviously, the additional amount needed for a second shoot was completely unexpected, which is why we're here. If we raise money beyond $40,000, it will go towards additional shooting days and/or our post-production and marketing costs, like editing, sound mixing, music and film festival application fees. 

WORK SAMPLE

We're proud of our Kickstarter video...and think it hints at how our final product will look and feel. 

Still need to see more of our work? No problem. We have websites for "Guys Reading Poems," plus our Facebook and company websites - Fatelink and StoryAtlas. You can check out our Vimeo page, as well as sites for some of our previous projects, including "Winner Takes All" and "Dumbass Filmmakers!" as well as my own personal site as a filmmaker - HunterLeeHughes.com. Take a look at the work of our incredible cinematographer Michael Marius Pessah and selections from our brilliant editor, Patrick Kennelly, our fashion forward costume designer Shpetim Zero and our sharp-eyed production designer Nathaly Lopez

THE ASK

"Guys Reading Poems" will always be a rather unique project, but we feel the new narrative, Alexander's presence in the film and the quality track record of our collaborators make us an interesting option for film festival programmers and audiences of the suspense/mindbender genre (not to mention those who love poetry).

There are enough cookie cutter movies out there. And the studios ...and "stars" of the studio system...certainly don't need your help to fund them. We do...and will deliver a worthy film. And so, on behalf of my entire team, I humbly ask you...will you back a real indie film that's truly unique? If so, please donate...and share.

Yours sincerely,

Hunter Lee Hughes (Director, "Guys Reading Poems")

Cover storyboard by: Anthony Sturmas

Hunter Lee Hughes - Founder, Fatelink Productions (photo by J. Fracaro, painting by Deni Ponty)
Hunter Lee Hughes - Founder, Fatelink Productions (photo by J. Fracaro, painting by Deni Ponty)

Risks and challenges

We've been extremely lucky that Alexander Dreymon from "American Horror Story" is attached to play one of the leads in the narrative that we need your help to shoot. But one of the risks in working with someone who's got a big career going is the possibility of having to shuffle shoot dates to accommodate their availability.

We're mitigating this risk by creating some flexibility in the schedule in case we need to move things around. Luckily, most of our second shoot takes place in the same location so if we had to switch scenes, we could do that. Having all the storyboards and shot lists created in advance will mitigate this risk.

Also, as mentioned in the video, a suspense/high art/mindbender film isn't exactly the most commercial genre of film (especially without James Franco involved). However, it is a piece that we think that film festival programmers will admire. So that's why we're reaching out to audiences NOW to build a fan base for this film. That way, if we do win acceptance at some festivals, we can leverage your interest into that ephemeral quality of "buzz" to help the film succeed in the marketplace.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • We wanted to create a Kickstarter trailer that was an experience of the material as much as a traditional pitch. The feature film "Guys Reading Poems" dives into worlds that blur the lines between imagination, memory and reality so we wanted our Kickstarter video to reflect, rather than explain, those ideas.

    Plus, we were very influenced by Monte Patterson's theories over at "The Final Image" and wanted to create an experience of the trailer based off the haunting image of Gopal traversing through the lonely hallway. Once we locked that image as our "final image", we knew that seeing talking heads just wouldn't do.

    But you can catch a glimpse of the production team in the video, since Jason and I both act in the piece! :)

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  • We are confident that we'll find the investors we need to create "Guys Reading Poems" so our first priority is protecting the audience's experience of the film when it comes out. When you're creating a suspense/mindbender piece, fundraising on Kickstarter can be difficult because people naturally want to know as much of the story as possible. But knowing TOO much of the story can take away from the experience of the audience watching the film, especially in this genre. We're trying to balance the two in seeking funding from you. And, in this case, we believe that we should err on the side of "less is more" due to the nature of the film.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    70 backers

    Personal thank-you email from the director and your name will be listed in the "Support" section of the "Guys Reading Poems" website. Plus, we officially bless you with good poetry karma!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    90 backers

    Same rewards as previous level, plus online access to view Hunter's short film - "Winner Takes All." Also, we'll include your logo and a link to your site in our "Support" page and you'll be included in the "Special Thanks" credits in our film!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    17 backers

    Same rewards as previous level, plus an 11" by 17" poster of the film (to be delivered within 60 days of the film's release).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    28 backers

    Same rewards as above but you'll receive your 11" by 17" poster signed by three cast members (a potential collectible, fingers crossed!) plus a DVD or digital download of the film when it is commercially available.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    8 backers

    Same benefits listed above, plus one session of Hunter's StoryAtlas Archetypal Analysis for Actors OR his script consultation on a short screenplay (under 40 pages), your choice! Do the consultation via Skype or in person at our office in Hollywood (lodging and transportation not included).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers

    Same benefits as above, only you receive BOTH Hunter's StoryAtlas Archetypal Analysis for Actors AND his script consultation (short or feature length). Do the consultations via Skype or in person at our office in Hollywood (lodging and transportation not included).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    3 backers

    Same benefit listed above, plus an invitation to a mixer at a bar in Hollywood with members of our cast, crew and other high level donors. Cool people networking. (Lodging and transportation not included).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    2 backers Limited (10 left of 12)

    Same benefits listed above, plus associate producer credit. (Lodging and transportation not included). Limited access to copies of our budget, schedule, workflow and production notes to help with your development as a producer/filmmaker.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    3 backers Limited (5 left of 8)

    Mr. Whitman would be proud! You are a co-executive producer and will be credited as such in the film's credits. You'll be invited on set for lunch to take a photograph with the cast and crew AND will share an intimate, private dinner with at least three members of the cast PLUS attend a VIP mixer with the cast, crew and other high-level donors. (Lodging and transportation not included). You'll get limited access to copies of our budget, schedule, workflow and production notes to help develop your next project. You'll receive Hunter's StoryAtlas archetypal actor consultation AND a screenplay consultation, PLUS a dvd/digital download of the film (when commercially available) and an 11' by 17' poster signed by at least three cast members, plus online access to view Fatelink's short film "Winner Takes All" and a listing/link to your site in our "Guys Reading Poems" support page. You're a big part of our team and we want to get to know you!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Welcome to the team, Sir/Ma'am. You are an executive producer and will be credited as such in the film AND you'll be allowed to shadow a member of our production team for two days on our second shoot to learn as much about filmmaking as possible. You'll also be invited on set for lunch and to take a photograph with the cast and crew, will have a private dinner with at least three members of the cast and attend a VIP mixer with the cast, crew and other high-level donors. (Lodging and transportation not included). You'll get limited access to copies of our budget, schedule, workflow and production notes to help develop your next project. And you'll receive Hunter's StoryAtlas archetypal actor consultation AND a screenplay consultation, PLUS a dvd/digital download of the film (when commercially available) and an 11' by 17' poster signed by at least three cast members, plus online access to view Fatelink's short film "Winner Takes All" and a listing/link to your site in our "Guys Reading Poems" support page. Wow, that's a lot of rewards. But you've earned it, Mr. Executive Producer.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (59 days)