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DEAD DAD - Feature Film's video poster

Dead Dad is a dramedy about three estranged siblings forced to overcome their differences in order to tend to their father’s remains. Read more

pledged of $5,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on May 21, 2011.

Dead Dad is a dramedy about three estranged siblings forced to overcome their differences in order to tend to their father’s remains.

About this project

*Watch the 1st Kickstarter teaser with Jane's brother Russ at our website:

Thanks for visiting the Kickstarter page for the feature film DEAD DAD!  Here you can be a part of the creative process and help us bring Dead Dad to life. Read on to find out more about our project and how you can help. We have already funded some pre-production costs on our own, but we still need AT LEAST $5,000 to make this film, and all donations - big or small - are much appreciated!!

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a creative fundraising platform designed to help poor independents (like us) turn their dreams into realities.  It is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world.

The way it works is - we set a goal and an amount of time in which to reach it. Awesome people like you pledge funds and help us spread the word about our project. The catch is, if we don’t meet our goal before the time ends, we don’t get anything. Zip. Zilch. ZERO. We can, however, EXCEED our goal. Every dollar over our amount will only go towards making our film that much better!

This is why your help is so important and every donation counts!

What is this film about?

Dead Dad is an independent feature film that revolves around three estranged siblings forced to overcome their differences in order to tend to their father’s remains. Through the struggle of saying their final farewells, the trio stumble upon what it means to be a family.

Although the story centers on the serious subject of death, it is an uplifting and charming dramedy with endearing and relatable characters.

Okay I’m intrigued... tell me more about the project.

The story was created by Kyle Arrington and Ken J. Adachi who are also playing the roles of lead actor and director (respectively). We have a talented crew in place and key characters already cast:

Writer/Director: Ken J. Adachi

Writer/Actor: Kyle Arrington

Producer: Kelly Calligan

Producer/Actor: Ben Hethcoat

Cinematographer: Eric Bader

Production Designer: Morgan Hall

Actress: Jenni Melear

Actor: Lucas K. Peterson

We are currently in pre-production and will be filming in the Los Angeles area this summer. We plan to submit the film to numerous festivals in order to share this story with as many people as possible.

Our teaser video, which we shot exclusively for YOU, gives you a taste of the tone and acts as a prelude to the actual feature film. The teasers were produced with a budget of $0. So just imagine what we’ll be able to accomplish when we meet (and hopefully exceed) our $5,000 goal!

What if Dead Dad sucks?

The assembled team includes like-minded and capable individuals relentlessly devoted to bringing a life to DEAD DAD! 

Director/Writer Ken Adachi’s short film Picture Day (2010) won a College Television Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and has screened at dozens of festivals across the country.  Writer/Actor Kyle Arrington is a researcher/ writer's assistant for the television series House M.D.  Producer Kelly Calligan has worked for the Slamdance Film Festival for the last two years.  Producer/Actor Ben Hethcoat will be representing his film Waking Eloise (2011) at the Cannes International Film Festival this year.

So, the chances of Dead Dad sucking are extremely low.  :)

What’s in it for me?

You will get the satisfaction of knowing you committed a selfless act in helping our dreams come true! 

JUST KIDDING- we have tons of nifty incentives for you including a radical DEAD DAD tee created by Josh Mikel of Sharkguts Design, DVD’s and even tickets to an LA screening! The complete list of donations/incentives can be found on the right side of this page.

Check out more of Josh’s work @ OR

All of our rewards are dependent upon us reaching our goal and most will not be available until we have finished the film. Once our goal is met we will stay in contact with you throughout the production of Dead Dad, providing you with updates on our progress as well as your rewards!

*A note to our international backers - please consider pledging a bit more to help us cover the cost of shipping you your rewards - thanks!

How will my money be used?

Thanks to today’s new technologies and passionate hard-working filmmakers like ourselves, films can now be made on much smaller budgets. However, even if everyone works for free, there are still a lot of costs associated with the production of a feature film. We are operating off of a VERY low-budget, but a budget nonetheless. Your donations will help us cover all the little costs associated with production plus the following:

Props - Wardrobe - Location Permits - Equipment Rentals - Music Licensing/Composing - Post Production Costs - Festival Entry Fees - Marketing Materials - Food to keep our cast and crew happy!

Awesome, I’m sold. How can I learn more and stay updated?

Be sure to visit our website:

'Like' us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter:

Check back to stay updated as we introduce the remaining Sawtelle siblings with new teasers. You have yet to meet the eldest and adopted Sawtelle, ALEX!

Thanks for taking the time to learn about our project. If you have any questions we didn’t answer on this page or on our websites please contact us at

We are excited to bring Dead Dad to life, but we won’t be able to do it without your help!


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    6 backers

    Thank you for being a part of Dead Dad, you have our eternal gratitude!!

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    20 backers

    You will receive a limited edition sticker designed exclusively for our backers by Josh Mikel at Sharkguts Design! (See the designs in our description on the left)

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    19 backers

    The above plus you will receive a Special Thanks on our website and as well as a digital poster of the film!

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    14 backers

    For this generous donation you will receive everything prior, plus a downloadable copy of the finished film you helped create!

  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    3 backers

    You will receive all of the above plus a limited edition t-shirt designed exclusively for our backers by Josh Mikel at Sharkguts Design! (See the designs in our description on the left)

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    16 backers

    Everything above and a Very Special Thanks in our end credits (IMDb credit included) plus a specially packaged limited edition DVD copy of the finished film!

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    5 backers

    You get all of the above plus an invite to our wrap party in Los Angeles once we finish production on the film (transportation and accommodations not included) AND a super awesome production still signed by the cast!

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers

    This gets you everything above plus an Associate Producer credit, a personalized video thanks from the cast and crew AND two tickets to a Los Angeles screening and after party for the finished film! (transportation and accommodations not included)

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers

    You are now an Executive Producer! You get everything above, this fancy credit and a poster of the film so you can display your credit proudly. PLUS we will include your likeness in the film in your choice of: a walk-on role (complete with an IMDb credit) OR a character named after you! (limit to one - first come first serve!)

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Whoa money bags! You get everything listed above AND the main prop from the film signed by the cast and crew, the cookie jar used to hold the one, the only… Dead Dad!

Funding period

- (45 days)