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$6,155 pledged of $25,000 goal
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By Heart-Beat Productions
$6,155 pledged of $25,000 goal
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About this project

All systems go as the clock ticks toward Heart-Beat Productions’ first feature-length effort, the coming-of-age film IN SEARCHING!

Heart-Beat is a multi award-winning independent production company based in Park City, Utah. Our goal is to tell a story that maximizes the capabilities of modern technology available for low budget filmmaking, and to create a quality, dynamic, and inspiring film for all ages. In order to do this, we will need to fundraise at least $25,000 to finalize our current budget.

We need your help to reach a professional standard.

When Jon returns on his first trip home from college, he inadvertently triggers events that inspire him to embark on an enlightening journey through the night to return a lost locket.

Jon is joined by his old friend, Cole, and his ex-girlfriend, Michelle, as they comb through the streets of a rustic mountain town searching for a faceless drifter while impeded by a self-absorbed rival, their own doubts, and the night itself. All three attempt to reconcile their shared past, as well as their uncertain futures, as tensions rise and it becomes clear that night is more than mere darkness – it is a state of mind.

Our team has reached a critical point. Producer/Writer/Director J.L. Topkis and our Heart-Beat Productions team are ready to produce a feature film. We began making films in 2004, and many of our crew members are still active. We garnered early success at national film festivals and started to take steps to improve our craft with each film.

The opportunity to share stories with you is a privilege we hold dear. One of the highlights of our high school years was when The National Weather Service asked us to create a superhero comedy we called LIGHTNING SAFETY WITH LIGHTNING LAD, which ended up being shown in schools across the nation. Our high school hobby became a profession. Each of our productions demonstrated marked improvements as we developed our portfolio year-after-year.

More recently, TIES and NIGHT WORE ON, both shot in the summer of 2010, reached a level of success unlike any we had known before. We found acclaim at a variety of festivals: New York International (Best Dramatic Short), Southeast New England (Best Student Short), Boston International, and the Nantucket Film Festival, to name a few. With screenings and awards coming in from across the country, Heart-Beat is stronger than ever.

Russell and Jake at the NFF
Russell and Jake at the NFF

IN SEARCHING will be shot in Park City, Utah, during July and August of 2013. We have steadily challenged ourselves, film-after-film, to the point of having the confidence and preparedness to make this movie. We want to tell a meaningful story and showcase our beautiful mountain town. We are hungry for it. We are locked into a project harder than any we have known, and we could not be happier.

Heart-Beat Productions has fresh talent signed on to play the leads of IN SEARCHING.

Left to Right: Jake Borelli (Jon), Aley Underwood (Michelle), Jacob Grodnik (Cole), Evan Hall (Erik)
Left to Right: Jake Borelli (Jon), Aley Underwood (Michelle), Jacob Grodnik (Cole), Evan Hall (Erik)

By Kickstarting this film, you're kickstarting a lot of skilled, experienced young talent.

DAN FINLAYSON - DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Dan Finlayson is an innovative visionary cinematographer. His reel is exceptional and speaks for his abilities:

Dan plans to shoot on the ARRI Alexa. Much of IN SEARCHING will be filmed at night, and with his stand-out abilities he will be able to rise to the challenge.

JOE PRESTINE - WRITER

Joe and Jake have worked in tandem between Park City, Utah, and Boston, Massachusetts. Joe’s abilities bring out the honesty of a multi-layered coming-of-age film, and we couldn’t have made it to this point without him.

SCOTT MORRIS - EDITOR

Scott Morris is a freelance Film Editor working in Los Angeles, California, whose past experience includes working for Cartoon Network. He is really excited to come out to Utah and cut the film as we’re shooting it. Scott was one of the first to champion the green-light for IN SEARCHING, and we’re elated to have him on board.

KUSH MODY - COMPOSER

Kush, the composer of these amazing scores for TIES and NIGHT WORE ON (heard in our video), has been touring with hip hop artist George Watsky. Kush is a film composer, music producer, and multi-instrumentalist. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, he has built up a strong repertoire of film scores during his time in Boston, where he collaborated with many Emerson College students and other filmmakers in the area. Now based in Los Angeles, his undying dedication to the quality of his work and attention to detail has led him to many wonderful opportunities scoring films, producing for artists/songwriters, and performing live.

RUSSELL BARTLETT - PRODUCER

Russell was born and raised on Nantucket, Massachusetts. His interest in filmmaking sparked while participating in The Maine Photographic Workshops and the Nantucket Film Festival's Teen View Program. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production from Emerson College where he met many of the crew of IN SEARCHING. Among them was Jake, a good friend and his freshman year roommate. Russell has worked on professional commercial sets and award-winning independent films. He was most recently a videographer for the documentary “Wood/Sails/Dreams,” which is an official selection in the 2013 Nantucket Film Festival. He captured footage on a 5 man transAtlantic journey in spring of 2011 that brought him from Nantucket, Massachusetts, to Barcelona, Spain.

Since early January of this year Russell has been living in Park City, Utah in preparation for this summer’s shoot. Russell has enjoyed his time working on IN SEARCHING thus far and is eagerly awaiting the shooting dates. He's elated to be producing his first feature film with great friends and filmmakers.

J.L. TOPKIS - PRODUCER/WRITER/DIRECTOR

After making his way around the festival circuit, Jake Topkis set his sights on preparing his first feature. When Jake was a kid, he wanted to be a comic book artist. He had been indoctrinated with the art of telling stories with words and pictures since before he could read. Everyday, Jake would do homework until his Dad rewarded him with a comic book. This was how he learned to read. Says Topkis, “The construction of a comic book page is not unlike the way a movie scene is put together – and I’ve always had a sense of visual storytelling ingrained in me thanks to that.” After a school assignment required Topkis to make a short film, his focus shifted and he formed Heart-Beat Productions.

We’ve teamed up with the goal that our combined efforts will lead to careers. For many of us, it’s already a reality. The fact that I’ve been able to maintain a team that will consistently work with me is something I don’t take for granted. It keeps me inspired to tell strong stories.” -- Jake Topkis

After Park City High School, Jake attended Emerson College in Boston, where he met IN SEARCHING Producer Russell Bartlett, and many of the other talented filmmakers and technicians who are now a part of our team today. Jake and Russell later worked together in Los Angeles, California at Double Feature Films where they learned the ins-and-outs of film development under notable Producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher.

Heart-Beat Productions focused on philanthropy at Park City High School. We hosted an academic fundraiser for the Debate team which enabled students to compete out-of-state. Every year since 2008, Heart-Beat Productions has awarded the Heart-Beat/Chris Yeates Memorial Scholarship for high school seniors entering higher education as aspiring filmmakers. We enjoy speaking to classrooms and inviting people to learn on our film sets. We want to continue to benefit communities through our love of cinema.

All of the contributions toward this film will be used to make IN SEARCHING tell the story we as we need to tell it. Shooting dates will take place over 25 days this July and August at various locations around Park City, Utah. Editing will commence during the shoot and will be completed along with our score in Los Angeles, CA. Post-production Sound Design will take place in New Jersey. We anticipate reaching our final cut in early 2014.

Your contribution will help propel the careers of prime talent and hard workers who want to reach the next level. Just like our characters, we hope to actualize ourselves through this journey. We’re all searching for a purpose, and IN SEARCHING is ours. Please learn more about us through our Updates tab on Kickstarter, and InSearchingMovie.com where you’ll be able to engage in conversation with us and track behind-the-scenes material.

We are deeply grateful for your contribution. Thank you!

Risks and challenges

Heart-Beat Productions is comprised of committed and hard-working individuals. However, despite our best intentions, there are risks involved with every project. At this point in the film there have been many safeguards already put in place to help secure IN SEARCHING will be made. We have scheduled for a snug 25 shooting days to allow for the crew to work at a manageable pace. While there are numerous and endless challenges Heart-Beat Productions faces, the crew is taking many steps to be prepared.

We believe in the project and hope you do too. We will continue to work hard after the campaign to provide exceptional results. We will fulfill our incentives list, and intend to share this feature film around the world.

Thank you for your contribution,

Heart-Beat Productions

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    UP, UP, AND AWAY! - With your donation of $10, you will get ADVENTURE COMIX - as an HD download. Jake and Russell shot this film at Emerson College with a unique vertical aspect ratio. You will also receive a digital copy of the IN SEARCHING Concept Poster.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    THE APPETIZER - At this level, we'll add an HD download of NIGHT WORE ON (an IN SEARCHING sizzler), which has yet to be seen outside of film festivals!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    HEART-BEAT TUNES - At this level, you can add the soundtrack to TIES and NIGHT WORE ON by Kush Mody - the original music heard in our intro video! (Along with everything listed above.) This is the first time we've made this excellent score available - we're very glad that Kush will rejoin our team for IN SEARCHING.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    VIP ACCESS - Get the chance to see our movie before anyone else! At this level, we will send you a private link to stream IN SEARCHING in the comfort of your own home, before its official release. But that's not all! You will also be sent a customized postcard from the set, signed by J.L. Topkis and Russell Bartlett. (As well as all of the above!)


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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    MOVIE MAGIC - Astonishing photographer, Saria Dy, will take photos on set and capture the image for our Theatrical Poster. We'll package this POSTER (27"x40"), and ship it to you (signed!) with all of the movie memorabilia above!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE AUTEUR'S PACKAGE - Here is where you get the BEST VALUE for your donation. At this level, we'll add an IN SEARCHING Limited Edition T-Shirt! You get to wear original artwork by Corey Topkis as you enjoy all of the Heart-Beat goods mentioned above.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    GET THE PAGES - We'll add a true piece of Heart-Beat history by sending you the Shooting Script of IN SEARCHING by J.L. Topkis and Joe Prestine. Sit down with this page-turner, and get an early look into the world of IN SEARCHING like no other. We'll also send you a signed 8x10 glossy photo of the Heart-Beat family. (As well as all of the above!)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    CREDITS - This is the level in which you achieve cinematic immortality: your name listed in the film credits as a Special Thanks. We're happy to display how grateful we are for your donation, in addition to sending you everything listed above.

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

    JOIN US - We're shooting over 25 days in Park City, UT. We'd love to have you on the set for a day, and send you a framed picture of your time there. We'll work with your schedule to find the best time possible to have you on set (you're responsible for travel). Experience the "behind-the-scenes" live! (As well as all of the above!)

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    ABOVE THE LINE - Wow, your support earns you the title of Associate Producer, and will have your name placed in the credits as such. You'll be on IMDb, and your portfolio will look more interesting. Thank you for making this dream a reality. Don't forget, you will receive all of the above!

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Funding period

- (31 days)