Lucas Neff presents: A married woman in an extramarital affair must find her wedding ring in the woods before the sun sets.
For the past three years, our team has been collaborating on Meditations, an award-winning narrative film series that illuminates unobserved moments of life. Our artistic enterprise has laid the foundation for increasingly larger, more ambitious projects.
From our first short, “Man in Water”, produced in 2010 on a shoestring budget, to “ItsOkayItsOkay”, built last year on the sound stages of Raising Hope, we’ve managed to consistently stretch our abilities beyond anything we’ve done before. Lay in Wait is the culmination of this hard work, a new short film that remains true to the cinematic integrity we’ve maintained over the past four years while developing an original narrative voice.
Maggie, a young married woman, awakens to the final morning of an extramarital camping trip with her lover. During the drive back home, she is shocked to discover her wedding ring is lost. The couple returns to the forest, and in the entangled thicket of nature, Maggie desperately searches for the symbol of her matrimony. As the day yields into night, the search becomes more and more punishing. What will be lost as the sun sets? And as it rises again, what will remain?
What We've Done So Far
We began pre-production on Lay in Wait over a year ago, just days after wrapping production on our latest Meditation, “ItsOkayItsOkay”. The script was written specifically for Elizabeth Olin, a phenomenal new talent set to appear in Killing Season, a new thriller starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta, to be released this year.
We’ve spent the last year methodically gathering the immense resources necessary for this film. In the summer of 2012, we partnered with the production company Infinite Lives Entertainment and designed our fundraising promotional packets with accomplished designer and filmmaker Brad Champagne. We used these packets to promote Lay in Wait at numerous festivals that were already showcasing our work. That fall, we obtained 501(c)(3) non-profit status for the first half of our financing through the prestigious organization Independent Filmmaker Project in New York City. In January of 2013, we toured the Northeast with our Meditations films, hitting Connecticut, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Northern Virginia, bringing our work to the community that has supported us. Our films were shown to over 300 people in four consecutive days.
In February of 2013, award-winning playwright Lucas Neff, star of Fox’s Raising Hope, signed on to be our Executive Producer, taking us to the next tier of our pre-production. In March, we hired production designer Mars Feehery, casting director M’saada Nia, and costume designer Robin Vane. We began our location scouting and with the help of Panavision, Kodak and Deluxe, we were able to conduct 35mm film tests for free.
In the past four months, we’ve raised more money than our three previous films combined, putting us at $25,930. As substantial as that amount is, it only covers the cost of equipment, locations and film stock. We need an additional $33,000 to provide the most valuable resource of all, the resource that makes cinema what it is: the people. We’ve developed relationships over the last four years with extremely talented industry professionals. Without them, the past three projects would never have happened, and wouldn’t nearly be as good as they are. This $33,000 only represents a small fraction of what their worth actually is, but as filmmakers, it is our obligation to take care of the people who take care of us. True intelligent filmmaking means hiring the right people and trusting them to do their job. We want this to be the best film we’ve ever made, and we need the right people to make it happen.
What Happens When We Reach Our Goal
$33,000 is the exact amount (before Kickstarter’s fee) required to enter production. This number, in conjunction with what we’ve already raised, allows us one week of filming on location in the central California mountains. It houses and feeds our crew, it pays for insurance that protects all of us, and it provides not only the necessary equipment but also the appropriate transportation to get it to our shooting site.
We plan on going into production the last week of June 2013, with a 2-3 month post-production period for editing, sound design and music composition. We will then premiere the film and begin submitting it to first-tier film festivals across the country, including the Sundance, South by Southwest, Tribeca and Los Angeles Film Festivals.
What We’re Offering
We’ve got a lot of great kickstarter rewards for patrons’ generosity, including special access to behind the scenes featurettes, signed posters, signed copies of the final script, a visit to set and even a cameo in the film! In fact, it’s the ONLY cameo in the film. This is a movie about three characters in an isolated environment. Believe us when we say you’ll be noticed.
Raised in suburban Washington DC, writer/director Jonathan Ade has engaged in cinematic pursuits nearly his entire life, arising from a long-held desire to tell engaging human stories. He wrote, directed and edited short films throughout his teen years before attending Emerson College’s BFA film program. His thesis film, “Through and Away” premiered at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth in 2008, where it won the Jury Prize for Best Feature.
After graduation, Jonathan developed his craft of storytelling through the field of editing, honing his narrative skills by sculpting the cinematic projects of industry professionals. “Lay in Wait” represents his sixth production overall in the role of writer/director, and his work can best be described as honest examinations of the human experience.
Award-winning cinematographer Alexander D. Paul’s love for all art has lead him to strive for innovative ways of expressing meaning within the proscenium of the motion picture. After leaving his hometown of New London, CT to study film at Emerson College, Alexander moved to Los Angeles to begin working as a union camera assistant on television shows, including, “My Name is Earl”, “Raising Hope” (FOX) and “American Horror Story” (FX).
He has worked under the guidance of cinematographers such as Walt Fraser, Jamie Thompson and Michael Goi, recent President of the American Society of Cinematographers. Under their leadership, Alexander has been exposed to a wide range of technique and skill, providing him with a full pallet that he uses to create imagery rich with meaning. From commercial pursuits such as ad spots and music videos to experimental shorts and thoughtful narratives, Alexander has always approached his art form with both monastic discipline and comic touch.
Born in Andersonville, Chicago, Lucas's acting career came about by mistake after he was assigned to the performing arts department at the University of Illinois. He won his first television role in an episode of "The Beast" in 2009, followed by roles in the films "In Memoriam" and "Amigo" before winning the role of Jimmy Chance on the Emmy-award nominated Fox show "Raising Hope" in 2010.
In addition to being an extraordinarily talented actor and producer, he has also proven himself as a playwright and comedian. His play The Last Duck opened last year in Chicago to superb reviews and was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work.
Born and raised in rural Alberta, John Negropontes has been an avid filmmaker from a young age. Traveling to the big city to seek his fortunes, he attended the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles, earning his Master of Fine Arts degree. Over the last decade, John has produced numerous award-winning shorts and a handful of feature films. With a keen eye for story and a background in Economics, John is intent on producing quality and poignant narrative entertainment on both sides of the border. To this end, he is currently developing several projects across a variety of genres, building a network of talented individuals in both Los Angeles and Alberta.
Originally from Louisville, KY, Elizabeth Olin began her career co-starring in the 2011 Academy Award Winning Short Film “God of Love” (Dir. Luke Matheny). Since her move to Los Angeles, Elizabeth has appeared in major national commercials and is the new face of Garnier’s BB Cream campaign. Along with “Lay in Wait”, Elizabeth will star in the Robert De Niro, John Travolta feature film “Killing Season”, to be released in 2013.
From 2010-2012, we’ve been building our artistic foundation with the Meditations series.
These shorts have appeared in film festivals across the country, including the Film Independent Cinema Lounge in Los Angeles, the Big Muddy Film Festival in Carbondale, IL, the Recession Art’s Emerging Filmmakers Showcase in Brooklyn, NY, the Clifton Film Festival in Virginia (awarded for Best Editing and Best Cinematography), the San Francisco New Media Film Festival (awarded for “Best Film Shot on Red”), the Los Angeles Movie Awards, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles, the Cine Gear Expo (nominated for Best Short), and, most recently, the Woods Hole and Indianapolis Film Festivals. These films continue to gather audiences even as the filmmakers build the foundation for Lay In Wait.
Please display full screen in the dark and watch with either headphones or large speakers.
Man in Water
Because our third Meditation is currently in festival consideration, please contact us for the link. We think it’s the best one yet, and we’re sure you’ll agree.
Too often, purveyors of popular entertainment fail to think critically about what they are making. We believe the act of telling stories simply and honestly is the greatest achievement a filmmaker can hope to obtain. More than any other art form, filmmaking relies on patronage to execute a final, meaningful product. It is solely with financial contributions that we are able to explore the most important questions only cinema can ask. We’ve spent nearly our entire lives in pursuit of this goal, and we hope, just as we believe in the authority of the moving image, you’ll believe in us.
Jonathan and Alexander
Writer/Director and Cinematographer
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Though filmmaking must embrace artistic risk, it also has to find ways to minimize logistical and financial risk. Part of this responsibility is taking full measures to establish the efficiency and safety of our cast and crew. The reason we're asking for $33,000 is to hire the industry professionals that will ensure a smooth production with minimal loss and damage. Stuff happens, as it does with any production, but we can control our preparation, our exposure and our response with proper funds and prudent decision making.
We've taken a year and a half to prepare for this project because we insist on doing it right. In the last four years, we've never rushed a production, never overworked our crew and never demanded more than what we could get. And we've proven ourselves, year after year, in the quality of films that we make. We know this is the right way to do it.
Let us know if you have any specific questions about our project. We want to give you confidence in your contribution.
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