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Pride and ambition run rampant when an off-kilter high school football star finally meets his match.
40 backers pledged $5,882 to help bring this project to life.

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WILL "THE MACHINE" - A Short Film project video thumbnail
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$5,882

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There's a reason everyone in Richmond knows Will Vaughn as "The Machine" - he doesn't complain, he doesn't smile, he doesn't relax. Will doesn't even talk unless it gets him closer to the one thing he cares about - WINNING.

While this has led to enormous success on the football field, it has come at the cost of his mental and emotional well-being.

We follow Will on a typically brutal day of training during the off-season in Richmond, Virginia. 

A string of uncomfortable interactions with the people in his life challenge our perception of him... but it's only when he meets a new kid in town, who suddenly and effortlessly becomes his rival, that Will's true colors are revealed.

Much like The Wrestler or Foxcatcher, this isn't a movie about a sport. It's about a character whose life happens to be dominated by a sport. We're exploring the psychology of a person you can find in all walks of life.

BRASS TAX:

  • Runtime: 16 minutes
  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: PG-13

 KENT LAMM | DIRECTOR / WRITER / EDITOR / PRODUCER

Kent has been making films since age 11 in Richmond, VA. Now living in Los Angeles, he works as a freelance director and editor. He has won awards in both roles, but is best known for his first feature film, Bad is Bad. Made for only $6,000, it went viral with over 3 million views online.

CHRIS FORNATARO | "WILL" / WRITER / PRODUCER

Actor, writer, painter, and former D1 running back - Chris can do it all. Film Threat labeled him "a name to remember" after his powerful leading performance in Bad is Bad, which he also wrote and produced. A Richmond, VA native, Chris now lives in Los Angeles where he and Kent are always collaborating on new films.

DENZEL WHITAKER | "JOE"

Embodying the perfect blend of strength and vulnerability to counter our title character, Denzel Whitaker is an actor you may recognize from movies such as The Great Debaters, Bad Lieutenant, Warrior, and Training Day. Although Denzel has been performing in major Hollywood films and TV series since he was a kid, in recent years has established himself as a filmmaker and photographer in his own right - creating content under his production company, Blackmouf. His input on the story has already been invaluable, and we're thrilled to be collaborating with this multi-talented artist.

JEFF TOMCHO | DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Jeff shooting a commercial one week after arm surgery.
Jeff shooting a commercial one week after arm surgery.

The man behind the camera on Will "The Machine" making everything look beautiful - Jeff was Director of Photography for History Channel's The Warfighters, as well as numerous music videos, short films, and commercials. While working on season 2 of Last Chance U, Jeff observed the lives of elite football recruits firsthand. He previously collaborated with Kent on the NY TV Festival award winner Jeff's Place.

CHRIS QUINTIN | PRODUCTION MANAGER

Once the cameras start rolling, the person keeping our team informed and our set firing on all cylinders will be Richmond native, Chris Quintin. As a director and member of the Virginia Screenwriters Forum (do you notice a pattern here?), Chris knows firsthand how easily logistics can impair the filmmaking process. Chris will not only be prepared to nip that in the bud, but also be on hand as our set's fourth screenwriter when unforeseeable problems force us to make quick adjustments on set.

ELLIS NOBLE | ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

A Richmond native and long-time collaborator with Kent & Chris, Ellis has already been invaluable in connecting this project with the locations, personnel, and resources that are launching it to the next level. We're beyond thankful to have his support continue into production, post, and beyond.

MORE TEAM MEMBERS COMING SOON!

As the former capital of the Confederacy, Richmond is the perfect reflection of Will's story of pride and defeat, and the hope of a brighter future. To this end, we will be scouting historic Civil War sites to use as a key location in the film.

We are also excited to capture the beauty and bleakness of a Richmond winter and share it with audiences around the world.

Although we're bringing out a few key crew members, our Richmond friends & family, as well as the local cast & crew we find will be instrumental in bringing this story to life.

Even with this fundraiser, the film will be mostly self-funded. Your donation is covering the two green slices above, allowing us to take Will "The Machine" to Richmond.

While we are saving money wherever possible (Kent's parents have graciously offered their house as lodging for most of our LA cast/crew), we still need funds for flying out our essential cast/crew/camera package, and wages for our local Richmond crew. We're also factoring in a contingency for inclement weather, the biggest x-factor in a non-LA shoot.

Any leftover contingency funds will be put towards promoting the film and setting up industry screenings. 

We will be shooting the film over four intense days the final week of January. 

After Kent finishes the edit, the film will go on to get a professional color grade and sound mix at friendly rates. In other words, expect a highly polished film with a truly cinematic look and sound.

With the film completed in May, we'll have plenty of time for major film festival submissions. 

Thank you for your interest and support of independent artists and this story. 

If you donate, you'll be regularly updated with our progress on the film, and get the fun rewards listed on the right as a token of our deepest appreciation. 

If you can't donate, we'll still be incredibly grateful if you share this page and help get the word out. 

This fundraiser ends on Christmas Day. With your donation, it'll be a very merry Christmas indeed!

-Kent & Chris

Risks and challenges

Shooting a film on location always carries risks, and safety is our number one concern. Fortunately, a production company here in LA believed in this story enough to provide their insurance to our project. We rest much easier knowing our team and locations will be covered if something goes wrong.

And while shooting on location during a Virginia winter will provide stunning visuals, heavy snow and rain are real concerns for our scheduling and travel logistics. We are already thinking of contingency plans at both the schedule and even script level if needed to make sure we're prepared to keep filming no matter what happens.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Email Updates

    You'll receive regular email updates with pictures as we prepare and shoot the film in Richmond, all the way through to post-production and its film festival run.

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    • Email updates
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    Postcard + Pics

    In addition to the email updates, you'll get a link to a private collection of behind-the-scenes photos after shooting. We'll also send you a handwritten Will "The Machine" postcard thanking you for your support.

    Includes:
    • Postcard + Behind-the-scenes photos
    • Email updates
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    Digital Copy of the Film

    In addition to the rewards above, you'll receive a digital copy of the film as soon as it's complete. The film will be unavailable online for up to a year while it plays at film festivals, so don't miss out!

    Includes:
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Postcard + Behind-the-scenes photos
    • Email updates
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Special Thanks + Poster + Videos

    In addition to the rewards above, you'll receive a physical copy of the 11x17" poster of the film, an exclusive short update video sent out from the set each day we shoot, and a special thanks in the credits.

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks credit + Videos from set + 11x17" poster
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Postcard + Behind-the-scenes photos
    • Email updates
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    Original Portrait Painting

    Looking for a special holiday gift to give? Send us a photo of a loved one or pet, and Chris will paint their portrait on canvas pad and mail it to you in time for Christmas! Only 5 available, deadline Dec 15th. Painting not included in any other rewards. You'll also get a digital copy of the film.

    Includes:
    • Sketch Painting
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Email updates
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    Signed Photo Book

    In addition to the rewards above, you'll receive a signed photo book, full of professional photos from the set with accompanying stories and anecdotes. A beautiful memento of the project you made possible.

    Includes:
    • Signed Photo Book
    • Special Thanks credit + Videos from set + 11x17" poster
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Postcard + Behind-the-scenes photos
    • Email updates
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    Disposable Camera

    In addition to the rewards above, you'll receive an exclusive disposable camera containing 24 unique and never-before-seen photos from set - not even developed yet so it's just for you. All photos will be taken by Kent and Chris. Only 2 of this reward available, camera not included in any other rewards!

    Includes:
    • Disposable Camera
    • Signed Photo Book
    • Special Thanks credit + Videos from set + 11x17" poster
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Postcard + Behind-the-scenes photos
    • Email updates
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    Associate Producer

    In addition to the rewards above, you're now an IMDB-official Associate Producer of the film! We'll feature your name prominently in the end credits for your support in telling this story.

    Includes:
    • Associate Producer credit
    • Signed Photo Book
    • Special Thanks credit + Videos from set + 11x17" poster
    • Videos from set + 11x17" poster
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Postcard + Behind-the-scenes photos
    • Email updates
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Executive Producer + Signed Football

    You're an IMDB-official Executive Producer of the film! In addition to the rewards above, you will be involved at every step of the filmmaking process as much as you'd like. Everything from full access on set, celebrating with us at the wrap party, giving feedback on the rough cut, and joining us on the road during the film festival circuit! You'll also receive a regulation football actually used in the film and signed by the cast and crew as a token of our thanks. All rewards above are also included.

    Includes:
    • Executive Producer credit + Signed football from the film
    • Signed Photo Book
    • Special Thanks credit + Videos from set + 11x17" poster
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Postcard + Behind-the-scenes photos
    • Email updates
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    Original Painting

    In addition to the rewards included with the photo book, you'll receive a 16"x20" landscape painting of a Richmond location seen in the film, painted by Chris. See his beautiful work at www.ChrisFornataro.com
    Only 2 available!

    Includes:
    • Richmond landscape painting
    • Signed Photo Book
    • Special Thanks credit + Videos from set + 11x17" poster
    • Postcard + Behind-the-scenes photos
    • Email updates
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Funding period

- (23 days)