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Four young Evangelical missionaries set up a house church in the inner city of Los Angeles to try and save the neighborhood from a gang with Satanist tendencies. Jordan is a good Christian kid, except that he's starting to have impure sexual thoughts about his close friend and fellow missionary Eli. When he's caught masturbating while watching Eli shower, he is outed to the group and painfully ostracized – until Eli, who happens to be a fledgling exorcist, suggests that a demonic possession might be causing these feelings in Jordan. Indeed, Jordan begins to enact signs of possession, prompting Eli to take action. What begins as a ritualistic method of trying to save their friendship quickly spirals out of control and descends into darkness and violence.
Contains: controversial subject matter including homoerotic baptisms, Satanic imagery, and sadomasochistic exorcisms.
A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE is a queer psych-horror feature film. In fact, the first of its kind! As far as we can tell, there are currently zero narrative features centered around gay "curing" exorcisms (which are a real thing that tragically exist in this world). The growing movement of "deliverance" churches (Evangelical exorcism) is a previously untapped yet rich genre territory that we are excited to explore with this project. Our film is an unrelenting and intense emotional experience that will offer something unique to queer, horror, and art house fanbases alike.
John and Brie met at a screening one night and bonded over their love of genre films and fringe religious groups. Within a month of knowing each other, they started working on the concept for A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE and have been obsessed with making it ever since. As co-directors on the project, they have spent the past year developing it together, from a rigorous peer-critiqued writing process to casting to administrative paperwork to online hymnal shopping together. They even attended a live Evangelical exorcism in an airport hotel basement (a highly recommended experience if you ever get the chance).
After all the research, logistics, and creative energy they've poured into this project, they are now fully prepared and more enthusiastic than ever to finally begin shooting and bring this darkly humorous, tragic, twisted story to life.
John C. Clark (Producer/Co-Director)
Having been raised in a conservative Baptist home, John is now a homosexual apostate with a taste for horror and queer erotica. Other than being told he’s going to hell by countless ministers, his primary film credits so far include short films such as the Outfest-selected dark comedy BLOODY LESBIAN MELODRAMA and the Kenneth Anger-inspired music video for Xiu Xiu’s “El Naco” (which premiered on Bloody Disgusting with comparisons to Miike’s AUDITION and was called “pure horror movie creep“ by Stereogum). With A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE, John is finally going to fulfill his lifelong dream of making an erotic horror feature film that also pays tribute to his religious upbringing.
John's incredibly NSFW music video for Xiu Xiu's "El Naco"
Brie Williams (Writer/Co-Director)
Having been raised in a liberal atheist home, Brie is still a liberal atheist. She has been told she's going to hell only once, by her first boyfriend's mother, at the age of six. She has written ten feature screenplays, some of which have placed and/or been finalists at Slamdance Screenplay Competition, Script-a-thon, and Sundance Screenwriters Lab. She currently writes radio plays for the narrative podcast Getting On With James Urbaniak, which was featured on Rolling Stone's 20 Best Comedy Podcasts in 2014. With A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE, Brie is most excited about seeing characters that she has been completely obsessed with for the past year be brought to life by their seriously kickass cast.
Armando R. Chapman (Producer)
Armando comes from a long line of liberal Chicano activists in Long Beach. As an out, loud Queer man of color who married a white man, Armando has been told to go to hell by countless people that he has learned to ignore. His background is in journalism, but his heart bleeds for the cinema. He is now chasing his lifelong dream of filmmaking, with A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE his first feature.
THE MISSIONARIES (Our Cast)
Aj Knight is a rosy-cheeked stage and screen actor from Houston, Texas. He recently starred in the film MYOPIA directed by Ralph Moenius and BURY ME, FRANCIS. Other credits include BEAT THE HOUSE produced by Tanner Gordon, HUMAN/E, and WINDOW. He won the Lewis R. Frost Award for Best Actor in 2014 and is thrilled to be making his feature film debut as Jordan in A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE.
Gregory Shelby is a burgeoning Los Angeles actor with a background in theatre. With three features, two pilots and myriad commercials under his belt, he has made the most of two short years in LA. Recent credits include a supporting role in the upcoming Lovaganza Convoy Trilogy, the lead in the suspenseful short DEVIL’S DEAL (written by the up-and-coming horror writer, Nicole Jones-Dion, and supported by Friday the 13th creator, Sean Cunningham), and a Newcastle commercial starring Aubrey Plaza. He is very appreciative of John C. Clark and Brie Williams for trusting him with the wonderfully rich role of Eli, and relishes the opportunity to bring such an electric character to life.
Kelsey Lynn Boze is a 23 year old actress living in LA. She has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she is originally from. Special skills include singing, dancing, accents, and is a certified yoga instructor. Kelsey is very excited to work with John and Brie and wouldn't trust another artistic team to take on this project. She is also very excited to work with her awesome cast mates. It will be a real team effort to take on this script and it's going to be a blast! For more info and contact check out www.kelseyboze.com
Megan Hensley is proud to be from Des Moines, Iowa and is known for her roles in films such as THE CRAZIES, TOY SOLDIERS (AMC Theaters), ALICE D, THE CENTER (produced by Jonathon Demme), TEMPS (Eden Sher and Lindsay Shaw), and CHATTY CATHIES. She also is rumored to be shooting a film with Lindsay Lohan and James Duval this September called SOUL CARRIERS. In addition to her work in film, she also works as a commercial actor. Catch her in spots such as Lady Speed Stick, Playstation and Century Link. She also wrote, produced and co-directed her first short film THE NIGHT VISITOR which was edited by the great Paul Fontaine (SONS OF ANARCHY) which will shortly be on the festival circuit. She loves rollerskating, coffee pancakes, and her mom and grandma. She is super excited to be taking this journey with John and Brie for their upcoming feature!
THE APOSTLES (Our Associates & Crew)
Logan Crow (Associate Producer)
Logan Crow is the founder and director of The Frida Cinema, Orange County's only non-profit community art house cinema, located in the heart of Downtown Santa Ana's arts district. An avid enthusiast of film, the arts, and community, Logan is also the founder of Long Beach Cinematheque, Mondo Celluloid, and a founding Board Member of the Cultural Alliance of Long Beach. A horror junkie at heart, Logan is excited to have taken on A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE as the first feature film he will help serve to produce. Learn more about Logan and his awesome indie cinema at thefridacinema.org.
Brian Sonia-Wallace (Associate Producer & Actor)
Brian Sonia-Wallace is an artist and fundraiser with a focus on socially engaged artmaking. He is a co-founder of Liminal LA, a 2015 Artist-in-Residence with the National Parks System, and the producer of a number of award-winning plays and events, including Bike Odyssey LA and RENT Poet.
Nathan Maas (Promotional Art and Design)
Nathan has designed a wide assortment of graphics, some professional, some very unprofessional. He employs bright colors, collage, and mixed media illustration. He also creates music, music videos, and street documentary which can be viewed at his YouTube channel. A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE fulfills all his requirements for a "Sure Thing", the term Nathan uses when referring to creative masterpieces he'd love to help in any way.
Kate Ketcham (Director of Photography)
Raised as a liberal Christian in the conservative South, Kate may have gotten her BA in Religious Studies just so she could argue scripture with fundamentalists. She now lives in Los Angeles, where she spends all of her time working/playing with cameras and lights in whatever ways people will let her. She’s shocked and delighted to have this opportunity to combine her higher-than-average level of religious knowledge with her passion for cinematography. You can see more of her work at http://www.kateketcham.com.
Like our film, all of our rewards are named after traditional hymns. Here are some of the more unique incentives on offer, and we'll be adding a few more in the coming weeks.
"Are You Washed In The Blood?" - Everyone who donates $35 or above will receive everything at the $5, $15, $20 & $25 levels (email list, postcard from set, digital download and DVD/Blu-ray). In addition, you will be listed in the special thanks in the credits (all donors above $35 will be listed in the credits), and you will have the option of getting a digital religious-tract-inspired image personalized with your face to share on your social media networks. And every level above $35 will have this option. Here's Brie's as an example:
"Onward Christian Soldiers" - Everyone who donates $50 or above will not only receive everything at the $5, $15, $20, $25 & $35 levels (email list, postcard from set, digital download, DVD/Blu-ray, thanks in credits & personalized tract). In addition, you will be invited to a private, backers-only screening of the rough cut. The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana has been kind enough to offer us their venue for this special occasion, where we will watch a nearly-finished cut of the film, and you'll have a chance to give us feedback on the final edit before we submit to festivals.
"There is Power in the Blood" & "Jesus Loves Me" - In an early, pivotal scene in the film, a lovely marble statue of Christ is defaced with Satanic graffiti. Two lucky pledgers can own these statues from the set. And of course, you get all the awesome stuff like the tract image and Frida screening. (Note: both statues has been spoken for)
"The Lord Is My Shephard" - The boys have a small painting of Jesus holding a lamb in their bedroom that is being created for the film. One lucky pledger can own this painting from the set. And of course, you get all the awesome stuff like the tract image and Frida screening. (Note: the painting has been spoken for)
"Oil In My Lamp (Sing Hosanna)", "Trust and Obey" & "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" - Did you shoot a bunch of footage for a short but don't know what to do with it? Have a screenplay that needs an outside objective eye? Have a band that could use a music video, or a small company that needs an indie commercial? Let John and/or Brie work for you! And of course, you get all the awesome stuff like the tract image and Frida screening.
"Nearer, My God, To Thee" & "Nearer, Still Nearer" - Have you ever wanted to be in a movie, hanging out at craft services chatting with the gaffer while waiting for your scene? We need congregants for the church service scenes in the film, so we're offering the chance to be on set and featured in the film! For $200 you will be invited for one day, and for $300 you can come two or three days. You might even end up in the makeup chair, as some of our congregant characters are drug addicts or homeless. And of course, you get all the awesome stuff like the tract image and Frida screening.
"I Surrender All" - Want to talk homoerotic evangelical exorcisms? For $750, we will take you out for a meal before a festival screening near you (dependent of course on it getting into a festival near you - unfortunately, we can't afford to pay your travel).
"Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" & "Glory Be To God The Father" - Want your name in the opening credits instead of the closing? For $1,500, we will give you an Associate Producer credit in the film and on imdb. For $5,000, you get Executive Producer credit.
A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE was designed to be an ultra-low-budget film. By limiting the number of locations and the size of the cast and crew, we’ve planned a feature film that can be shot for $35,000.
CAST AND CREW
We believe that good films are made by passionate people, but those people also need to pay their rents, which is why 45% of our budget is dedicated to paying and feeding cast and crew (the writer, directors and producers not so much). These salaries are very low, often below guild minimums, but we feel we must provide something for our team’s hard work.
While we’ll be using some of our own equipment, we’ll still need to rent/buy gear for the shoot. The money will go to camera (Blackmagic Production Camera), hard drives, and sound, lighting and grip equipment.
INSURANCE & LEGAL
This covers liability insurance for our cast, crew, equipment and locations, as well as permit applications and other legal documents.
LOCATION & PRODUCTION DESIGN
While A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE’s central premise is based around a single, low-cost location, we will still need to rent a location for the length of the shoot. This single, sparse location will also help us keep our Production Design budget low while keeping the characters in a realistic environment.
KICKSTARTER FEES & CONTINGENCY
Kickstarter & Stripe Payments combined take about 8-9% of all the money we raise; it’s a small cost considering their help though! We’ve added a little extra to the budget to cover this. We’ve also added in a 5% contingency should any unexpected needs arise during the production, with any leftovers applied to post-production.
Risks and challenges
We are raising the bare minimum in order to get the production of this film off the ground. We have scheduled everything in a way that we think we can get everything finished. However, there's always the chance post production and initial festival submissions will cost more. In addition, there's a chance that our festival run will not be as we expect, causing a change in the delivery dates of things such as digital copies and DVDs/Blu-rays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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