Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 3, 2012.


Johnny develops his first crush when he sees Princess Leia kiss Luke Skywalker in his favorite film: "The Empire Strikes Back."

From the Filmmakers...

With under a week left in the campaign we've seen some amazing momentum. And in response to a lot of questions we've received: YES, you can still donate and receive backer rewards beyond our Kickstarter target of $15,000. 

Given the extraordinary response and support for the project to this point, we're working hard to reach a new fundraising target of $20,000. The funds we're raising on Kickstarter represent just a portion of our total budget, and we could really use your continued support.

With your help, we can tell this story the way it deserves to be told. Scroll down to find out how... 

New Backer Reward!!

Check out the $750 donation tier... a private screening of the film for you and your friends with costumed storm troopers, made possible by members of the 501st Legion!


Johnny loves Star Wars. Matter of fact, ten year-old Johnny loves just about any movie he can get his hands on. On a hot summer day at home, Johnny enjoys his favorite pastime: watching his treasured VHS copy of The Empire Strikes Back

But on this day, when Johnny watches Princess Leia give Luke Skywalker a reassuring kiss, his curiosity ignites for the first time. As the tape continues to roll, Johnny grapples with a confusing new feeling, and attempts to earn a kiss of his own...


Set in the early 90s, The First Hope is a film about first love, first kisses, and first impressions made possible by the movies. Here's how we're going to make it:

The film goes into production the first week of May. Right now, we're hoping you can help us raise a portion of the budget we need to get it made.

We've already received some incredible support for the film...

  • It's a film indebted to the legacy of Star Wars. And yes, Lucasfilm has generously granted us clearances to the clips we need from the original VHS release of Empire!
  • It's a story about the power of film. And we've been awarded Panavision's New Filmmaker Grant, which means that we can photograph the movie as it's truly intended: on 35mm film stock.

By adding your name to this list you'll help us pay for the ever expensive costs of production. 

Among other things, this includes... equipment rentals, location fees, artist fees, design costs, and the 35mm film stock that is crucial to our vision of the script. 


Growing up I, like Johnny, had an intensely personal relationship to movies. And I know I'm not alone. All of us share profound, personal, and maybe even embarrassing memories tied to our first experiences watching movies. Like it or not, our lives have been shaped in some small way by the films we grew up with.

The First Hope is a comedy, but it's also an earnest reflection on coming-of-age. It's a story about growing up in just a few, meaningful seconds.

As part of a generation of filmmakers raised on home video, this story cuts to the heart of why I make films, why so many of us started watching them, and why we continue to cherish them.

Please join me and an amazing team of filmmakers to tell this story together. 


  • I ask myself that all the time... We are the filmmakers. Really.

    DIRECTOR - Jeremy David White (

    WRITER - Austin Reynolds (

    PRODUCERS - Kyle Laursen and Eric F. Martin (

    Still have questions? E-mail Jeremy. He'll get back to ya lickity-split...

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  • We're thrilled at the opportunity to make this film. Lucasfilm has granted us the copyright clearances to use the specific clips from the VHS release of "The Empire Strikes Back" in our own film. Lucasfilm is not backing or supporting the film in any way.

    By granting us permission to use these clips, they've ensured that our film has a potential audience and a life beyond the editing room!

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  • If we've received pledges up to $15,000, then we've done it! We'll have officially succeeded in our Kickstarter fundraising campaign. Any pledges we continue to receive after that target will continue to go toward the project, and backers will still get the rewards they pledge for.

    Given the momentum of our backers (all of you!) and the significant costs associated with the film, we've set a new personal goal of $20,000. Your help in getting us that much closer to making the film is invaluable. It's a very expensive film, and every bit of funding we can raise gets us so much closer to being able to make it.

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pledged of $15,000 goal
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    8 backers

    JAR JAR BINKS: We sa thanks you soooooo much! We'll send you a handwritten note to prove it.

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    29 backers

    MIDI-CHLORIAN: You are the small particles that combine to give us the power of the force. For being the building blocks of our universe, we'll send you a handwritten note AND write your name on a key prop featured in our film.

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    64 backers

    CANTINA CHIDINKALU PLAYER: You rock. As a token of our gratitude, we'll give you all of the above plus a SPECIAL THANKS in our credits, and an HD screener of the finished film.

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    EWOK: You are furry, cute, and ferocious. You get all of the previous, plus a DVD of the finished film signed by the principal cast and crew!

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    28 backers

    X-WING PILOT: You are a fearless member of the rebellion. You get everything mentioned, plus a vintage VHS dub of the finished film hand-labeled by director Jeremy David White.

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    CHEWBACCA: You make an amazing sound. All of the above, plus the limited edition poster for the movie signed by the cast and crew. These are in short supply, so whoever can speak wookie first, wins!

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    R2D2: Beep-bo-dooo-boop-meem-zwoop! All of the above, plus a holographic Skype session with the cast and crew, live from the set of the film!

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    STORM TROOPER: You get all of the above, plus a special private screening... Costumed members of the 501st Legion (Real. Live. Storm troopers.) will host a private screening of the film for you and your friends, at which you can rub shoulders and take pictures with the muscle of the Empire... This is a rare and incredible opportunity made possible by the support of 501st members. (Screenings to be based out of Los Angeles.)

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    PRINCESS LEIA: You are intergalactic royalty. All of the above, plus an Associate Producer credit on the film, AND a pair of passes to the LA premiere. We can't provide transportation to LA, but once you get here, writer Austin Reynolds will be your personal chauffeur.

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    YODA: You are a three foot-tall god. All of the above, plus you get an Executive Producer credit on the film, AND if you live in the contiguous United States, director Jeremy David White will make a personal visit to you to screen the finished film with you and your friends.

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Funding period

- (35 days)