About this project
WHAT IS THIS YINZ MOVIE ABOUT?
YINZ is an independent fiction film that takes place in Jeremy's hometown of New Castle, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.
It's a unique take on the classic teen coming-of-age story set in the heart of the Rust Belt. The movie's themes deal with loyalty to and betrayal of family, friends, and ethnic identity in the boiler pot of a small town where everybody knows each other.
All the main characters — Brad, Shane, Jonnie, Mindy, and Tommy — are fundamentally broken in an important way and hiding a big secret that’s the key to their identity. When their situations get out of hand, we see the characters go to great and horrible lengths to make sure their secrets aren’t revealed.
YINZ is a dark comedy set in a very specific world, filled with its own language, customs, and biases. In the same way that FARGO (set in the Midwest) and THE SOPRANOS (set in North Jersey) reflect the sensibilities of their regions, YINZ will bring the culture of Western Pennsylvania to life.
Special love and attention will be paid to the hyperlocal “Yinzer” culture of Western Pennsylvania and how it affects the characters in different ways.
WHO'S MAKING THIS MOVIE?
John Hermann is the head producer.
Victoria Hill is an associate producer who's worked extensively with Jeremy and John in the past.
Bert Gerstnecker is an associate producer based out of Pittsburgh. He's from New Castle and went to high school with Jeremy.
WHY SHOULD I BACK THIS KICKSTARTER? (OR, WHY THE HELL SHOULD I GIVE YOU MY HARD-EARNED CASH?)
Good question. We think there are a few good answers:
First, as long as you give $25, you’ve pre-bought the movie. It’s a fair deal. You support a movie and some filmmakers you care about, and then you get to own the movie forever. We think it's better to sell you something than to just ask for a handout.
Second, there are a bunch of awesome rewards at higher levels. You can visit set, watch the movie on the day of its world premiere at festivals, or get amazing art inspired by YINZ. We think you'll be thrilled with the rewards we've put together.
Third and most important is that you will bring an independent movie that you care about into the world. Maybe you love Pittsburgh, or you love movies like YINZ, or you’re friends with one of us filmmakers.
Regardless of the reason, YINZ wouldn’t exist without you. If you donate, you’ll have helped a bunch of filmmakers who have prepared their entire lives for this moment take their career to the next level. And we’ll be deeply grateful.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I CAN'T BACK THE PROJECT?
We get it. Not everyone that wants to can back the project financially, and we're completely cool by that. If you still want to help out, the most important thing you can do for YINZ is to share the Kickstarter campaign on Facebook and email it to your friends.
HERE’S A SYNOPSIS OF THE PLOT:
In small town Western Pennsylvania, a too-close relationship between cocksure high school student Brad Levin and his troubled guidance counselor Mindy Szyzmanski descends into trouble. Mindy’s jealous ex, Tommy Tomasetti - who is also her boss and Brad’s assistant principal - discovers the affair and threatens both of them.
When Brad’s father, a local celebrity of sorts, goes out of town for a long weekend, Brad schemes with his two best friends, Shane and Jonnie, to get back at Tomasetti.
When their plan to intimidate Tomasetti goes wrong, the three best friends panic, and their relationships break down along socio-economic fault lines. Meanwhile, Brad tries to salvage his misbegotten love with Mindy.
A violent and funny forbidden love story in the heart of the Rust Belt.
WHO’S THIS MOVIE FOR?
The are two main audiences for YINZ.
First, lovers of Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania, and the Rust Belt will have a special affinity for the movie. It’ll be like FARGO, but set in our world of small industrial towns around Pittsburgh.
Second, the movie will appeal to movie fans that like violent but cinematic dark comedies. Especially those ones that take you inside another world. Movies like FARGO, DOG DAY AFTERNOON, GOODFELLAS, and SNATCH. YINZ also has a lot in common with darker “young adult” movies, like STAND BY ME and RIVER’S EDGE.
A WORD ON YINZ'S "RATING"
Just so we're upfront with everyone, this movie would be rated R if you saw it in a theater or would be on HBO if you watched it on TV. It deals with adult subject matter, and it's not for kids. We don't want anyone to be surprised or offended when they hear crude language or see adult situations. The last thing we want to do is pretend we're making something we're not. If you're not comfortable supporting us because of that, we completely understand and respect you.
IS THIS MOVIE GOING TO BE ANY GOOD?
It better be... And it will be!
I’m putting my life savings into the movie and am staking my career on it. It's a "bet the farm" project.
I think my experience and training makes it a good bet. I went to film school at USC (The Hollywood Reporter thinks it's the best around), and I’ve worked on seven features in crucial roles (1st Assistant Director or Line Producer). Two of those films just premiered at this year's prestigious Los Angeles Film Festival. And short films I’ve directed have played at festivals around the world.
Big brands — like Acura, Scion, and Reebok, amongst others — have trusted me with budgets three times the size of YINZ’s on commercial productions. On those projects, I’ve been the guy responsible for keeping the production on-budget and on-time.
I’m a professional filmmaker, and I surely don’t want to waste your time or money.
HOW CAN I HELP PRODUCE THE FILM?
The goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to raise $30,000. That’s about a fifth of the total budget of the film.
See the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) at the bottom of this page for exactly where all this money will go — it’s NOT going to me, it’s going to the production of the film. In terms of movie budgets, $150,000 is TINY.
The campaign has a hard deadline of 11:59 PM on Wednesday, September 2nd.
If you decide to help, you pledge whatever you want in exchange for cool rewards (for example, a download of the film when it’s done, your name in the credits, a tour of set... the list goes on).
The more you pledge, the better the rewards! Take a look at the column on the right to see what’s available.
If we make the goal by the deadline, your credit card is charged what you pledged (but not until then). We get to make the movie, you get your rewards, and everyone’s happy.
If we don’t make the goal by the deadline (falling even a dollar short of the goal), your credit card is NOT charged, we get nothing, you don’t get any reward(s), and YINZ never gets made. This Kickstarter campaign is all-or-nothing.
HOW MUCH DOES SHIPPING COST?
All rewards include FREE SHIPPING in the United States. Booyah!
WHEN WILL YOU SHOOT THE MOVIE, AND WHEN WILL I BE ABLE TO WATCH IT?
The plan is to shoot YINZ in early 2016. This might be backed up for a few reasons. You can read more in the "Risks and Challenges" section below.
Hopefully, the movie will be done and ready to watch by early-to-mid 2017. One of our rewards is the opportunity "cut to the front of the line" to watch the movie at its festival premiere. Otherwise, you'll get a digital download at the same time the film is finished and released to the general public.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
INTERESTED IN INVESTING?
Why support creativity when you could EXPLOIT IT ;) We're a team of risk-taking entrepreneurs, and we know some other people are, too. If you prefer investing the old-fashioned way instead of Kickstarter, please be in touch.
FOR INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES, LEARN MORE HERE AND CONTACT US.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk we face in producing YINZ is raising all the financing we need to make the movie in addition to the $30K from Kickstarter. The goal of this campaign truly is to "kickstart" YINZ, and we know we'll be able to raise funds more easily after a successful campaign. But if we don't have enough money in the bank to start production and do a professional job in the winter of 2016, we might have to push for a few months.
Another risk we face is scheduling around talent. YINZ is a character-driven story, and we need the right actors to make a great film. If the right talent isn't available when we hope to shoot, we might push back production.
If you're at all familiar with the weather of Western Pennsylvania, you'll appreciate that it also poses a risk for us. If we shoot in the winter (as we hope to), then there's a chance production is delayed by snow and other inclement weather.
Post-production is another challenge. Editing and getting a feature film PERFECT takes a while. We would rather make a really great movie than rush it out the door. We'll also probably be dependent on vendors giving us favorable deals to sound mix and color correct the movies.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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