Mack Luster is a 1980s infused action-comedy feature film. About a hero. Who is awesome. And fights to save us all: You. Me. Relatives. Pets. Plants. Universe.
Chayos is an epidemic that turns innocent civilians into evil versions of themselves.
It is destroying mankind and Mack is the one person who can stop it.
Based on the character "Mack Luster" from VISIONEERS, the film is set in a skewed '80s reality of present day with heroes are larger than life, where good is good, evil is evil, and the bad guy doesn’t need to learn a lesson but instead just get his ass-kicked.
In the purest sense of the word awesome, Mack Luster is the most awesome movie you'll ever see. It is a passion project for us that we've been developing for years and are finally ready to blow it out and take the next step.
The story begins with good people doing bad things. Senior citizens attack frat houses. Girl scouts lace thin mints with rat poison. Laird Hamilton snakes waves from groms. CHAYOS. Spiraling out of control.
In desperation, the President of the United States activates a top-secret 3D human printer to bring Mack Luster, a fictional character from a 1980s TV show, to life to defeat Chayos.
But the human printer is untested…and the real life version of Mack it produces comes with quirks. Mack only knows what was scripted in the show: that his true love is Cunincanda, she's been kidnapped, and he needs to rescue her. Also in the show he's able to punch through walls, defeat ten men at once, is never winded, and never bleeds.
Not in the real world. The real world is dangerous and plagued with political correctness, social malaise, and peppermint mochas. Societal evils that Luster has never had to face.
And, worst of all, Cunincanda doesn't exist.
This crushes Mack and forces him to acknowledge the truth about his existence: everything he knows about himself is a lie. Fiction. He’s a phony. A fraud. HE WAS NEVER A HERO.
Meanwhile, Chayos rears its ugly head, annihilates the White House and turns the world upside-down. LITERALLY. Good becomes evil. Darkness becomes light. Flowers die. Poo smells nice. It is opposite day. FOREVER.
And the one man who can turn it right-side-up is on a binge of self-discovery. Partying. Drinking. Chicks. Dudes. Swisher sweets. All things Mack never experienced as a character in the show. He learns to bleed. Struggle. Love. Face his fears. And deal with the reality that in order to be a hero, he first needs to learn to be a man.
AT THE CORE, this is a movie about self-discovery. Of Mack digging deep to find the courage to persevere. To redefine himself. To become a man who won't go down without a fight. Who won’t apologize for being larger than life. For being kick-ass. For being cheesy. For being awesome. For being who he is: a goddamn hero.
It is a struggle that we believe, as filmmakers, everyone can relate to. We are all forced to ask tough questions about life. To evolve. To redefine where we are going and how we need to change to get there.
Somehow, someway, the following films have helped inspire Luster:
The film is set in a skewed ‘80s reality of present day. This is realized through VFX, stunts, characterization, and design elements like wardrobe, hair, and props.
But unlike most films with an '80s bend, Mack Luster doesn’t sit back and poke fun at the ‘80s. That is too easy. Too simpleminded.
Sure, the ‘80s were cheesy. But they were also awesome. And those two links – cheese and awesome – are not coincidental. “Awesome cheese” is something our world today could use more of.
What is “awesome cheese”? It is the confidence to roll down your window and blare loud music rolling up to putt-putt golf. Drawing smiles along the way...not glares. It is dancing to a song that isn’t even playing on the radio but it’s playing in your head so screw it I’m going to dance hard. It is a thorough lack of political correctness because it doesn’t know what political correctness is. It is big business, when big business was not a sign of corruption, but a sign of success. When success was positive. When success meant being bigger, stronger, better than you are now. Being a part of America. The most awesome country in the world. And not apologizing for it. Where a single man can rise up out of nowhere and become a hero who wears his heart on his sleeve, laughs loud, cries long, strives to be the best he can be, and makes this world a radder place to live.
That’s what the ‘80s means to us. And is what we are striving to glorify with Mack Luster.
To help visual elements of "awesome cheese," consider the following:
The majority of those that work in Hollywood are middlemen. Until Kickstarter, these middlemen were necessary for filmmakers to "presell" their movies. Here's how it would go: I, the filmmaker, partner with an agency, then a production company, then with a law firm, then a producer's rep, attend a film market, engage various foreign entities, and then banks. Throughout that process, sales projections are ran (based on the "quality" of the script and attachments), and if the resulting number aligns with the budget, we go make the movie. Otherwise, the process starts over.
There are two major screwy components to this: 1. Projections are often wrong. It is why so many movies lose money. Nobody has a magic tool that accurately predicts what a film will make or how an audience will respond, but everyone always seems to think they do. 2. This entire presale structure is based on entities who claim to know what YOU want and claim to be the link to YOU.
Seems kinda presumptuous, doncha think?
I mean...here we are, YOU and I, conversing. Right here. Right now. On Kickstarter. Without any of them. And with one simple proposal, their entire finance operation is obliterated:
IF YOU WANT TO SEE MACK LUSTER, BUY A REWARD.
Preselling a film has never been so easy. No guess work. No inflated budgets. It's just YOU and me. Mono y mono. Filmmaker and fan.
We love FAQ’s. They’re efficient, organized, and make it easy to skim over information you don’t care about.
WHO IS THE GIRL IN YOUR VIDEO?
Mindy Robinson. She's an amazing talent, and is as smart and sweet as she is beautiful. Stay up to date with all things Mindy at: www.iheartmindy.com
WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?
1. Awesome rewards. Make sure to check them out. THEN DONATE.
2. Bragging rights. This project you will finally give you something to dangle at Thanksgiving. For starters, it will get distributed and seen. It will also have some recognizable faces in it. And you get to be a part of it from day one. GO DONATE.
3. Humanity. You’ll be able to sleep better at night because you will have done your part to make this world a better place. This is your chance to be a hero. Don’t blow it. DONATE NOW.
4. This is your opportunity to be Hollywood. If you’ve ever said to yourself, “Why did Hollywood make that crappy movie?” or “I can’t believe they’re making another Spiderman,” now is your chance to do something about it. You can decide, right here, right now, if this movie gets made. You are the new Hollywood. You get to call the shots. Time to put on those shades, some converse with a sports jacket and jeans, buy a Porsche, and DONATE.
WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
All of the money will go into production. We have no overhead. No outstanding deals. And everybody involved is committing their heart and soul to this film.
Those who won’t, aren’t invited.
Here's a breakdown of the different stages of expenses:
STAGE 1: DEVELOPMENT. This includes all the tasks that need to be flushed out in order to know how much money is needed to make the film. We have already spec’d these costs ourselves - budgeting, scheduling, scouting, some legal work, test shoots, and developing the script.
STAGE 2: PRODUCTION. This is where you come in. The money we raise with this campaign will go into physical production: hiring crew, cast, props, wardrobe, securing locations, safety, transpo, permits, equipment, effects, post, master prep, etc. The more we raise, the more epic Luster will become.
STAGE 3: DISTRIBUTION. Distributors bear the cost of marketing, delivery, hard goods, and other items associated with showcasing it to the world. Thanks to some key relationships we've leveraged, we already have interest from multiple distributors.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO MAKE AN EPIC, LARGER-THAN-LIFE ACTION MOVIE FOR SUCH A SMALL BUDGET?
This is a big question. Let's look at an example:
Suppose we need to shoot an insert of Mack Luster sipping a peppermint mocha. Here are a few ways you can approach production:
1. THE TRADITIONAL METHOD. Fill out a standard camera department of 4-5 people, a G/E team of double that, makeup/hair/wardrobe to be there for last looks on Mack’s hand, monitors for producers, assistants to wrangle the monitors, chairs for producers, then chairs for assistants, a way to transport these chairs, and suddenly transpo needs ten trucks and those ten trucks don’t fit into the garage so now you're shutting down streets that require additional permits and police and security and before you know it, production doesn’t have the $4 you need to purchase the peppermint mocha.
So a producer calls and says, “It’s just an insert. Nobody will miss it.” And the scene gets cut.
---- OR ----
2. OUR METHOD. Grab a camera, your talent, the prop, and shoot.
I know this sounds like I’m oversimplifying, and I am. Kinda. Not really.
With the way cameras and DIY effects have evolved (and continue to every day!), you don’t need a 100 person crew to be epic. Filmmakers, if they’re willing to educate themselves, can become a Swiss Army knife of directing, operating, editing, effects, post work, etc. Give me a camera with some good lenses, a good sound guy, available light, some killer locations, a few weeks on a proper greenscreen stage, the props I want, and some great talent…and we can do ALMOST anything.
I tested this style of micro budget blockbuster filmmaking on an ambitious action short I directed last year called Z. Shot with available light on the 5D over 3 days in LA, I cut it myself and learned a lot about the boundaries and limitations of DIY filmmaking, but am pretty stoked how it turned out and can't wait to roll this into Luster. Check it out here: www.zishere.com
The reason why most productions don’t take option two above is because it freaks producers out, most talent (or their reps) won’t agree to work under those conditions, the bigger the budget the more everyone gets paid, and there are limitations.
If you have any concerns about our ability to execute, just look at our track record. We are not first-time filmmakers. Not only have we successfully delivered a micro budget feature once before (Visioneers), but we’ve worked these past ten+ years as producers, directors, writers, actors, and editors. We know what it takes to complete a motion picture soup-to-nuts.
DO YOU HAVE A FINISHED FEATURE SCRIPT?
Yes. Brandon Drake (writer of VISIONEERS) recently finished the script. It’s the best script we’ve ever read. Nobody outside our inner circle has seen it.
WHAT IS THE DISTRIBUTION PLAN?
The goal is to leverage a few relationships we have to take it theatrical, but that depends on certain production elements and other variables that we can't predict at this point. At the very least: VOD, DVD, Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Amazon, and every other device/platform you can think of.
WHAT IS THE PROJECT’S STATUS?
As of April 2014:
Location Scouting: In progress.
Casting: In progress (there will be a few recognizable faces in this!).
Test shoots: In progress.
WHEN DO YOU HOPE TO GO INTO PRODUCTION?
August. Then 20 weeks of post (picture lock, VFX, color, sound mix, titles, etc). If we hit our stride and stay on schedule, the film will be released early 2015.
YOU MENTION SOME PRETTY EXOTIC LOCATIONS, LIKE GERMANY AND ENGLAND. HOW DO YOU PLAN TO SHOOT THERE ON SUCH A LIMITED BUDGET?
Both of our wives are from Germany and England and our in-laws are the best. We know the areas. We know the people. For the cost of travel we can take Luster international. This is a no brainer to us.
WHAT DOES THE LIMITED EDITION PRINT LOOK LIKE?
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU TELL ME?
Mack Luster is personal for us. This is not a random idea we came up with after a couple of beers. This is a passion project for us that we have been developing for years. We’ve written hundreds of pages, have done multiple test shoots, sketched out the character a million different ways, spent tons of time and energy building a fanbase, and have analyzed all our production options and story angles to flush out Luster into a fully-realized three dimensional character. Point being: we have to see this finished. The world needs Mack Luster.
If you have additional questions, please shoot us a message or email us at email@example.com and we’ll do our best to get back to you immediately.
Risks and challenges
List of Challenges as we see it:
1. Filmmaking is subjective. Our cup of tea might be your cup of poop. Take a chance. Poop ain't that bad. If you like the clips you see in our Kickstarter video, we're confident you'll like the film.
2. Production. It's a whirlwind. Always. There are so many variables that you never know exactly what you'll end up with. This is the beauty of filmmaking. The project evolves with every step, every influence, every turn of the weather, loss of location, actor getting sick...in the business, we call these "happy accidents." Sometimes. Other times happy accidents can evolve into Chayos. The good news is we have a killer script that we can fall back on as our blueprint.
SPECIAL THANKS CREDIT: Yup. You heard that right...your name in the SPECIAL THANKS section of the film's credit scroll FOR ONLY $2! In fact, buy any reward on this page and you'll also receive the credit so you won't be forgotten after you die. I make shur to spel rite. - Mack
PRODUCTION DIARY: You're awesome. Some might say you're twice as awesome than those who pledged $5. I don't. I say we can all be awesome together. Keep being awesome with the above backer updates plus priority access to director Jared Drake's rad production diary (behind the scenes look of development, prep, production, editing, marketing, etc). - Mack
SHOOTING SCRIPT: A digital copy of the shooting script the day the film is released so you can read along as my epicness unfolds for the first time on the big-screen. Just make sure to take a light into the theater cause otherwise it'll be too dark to see the text. Then get punched in the face by the guy next to you for taking a light into the theater. Turns out that guy is me. Mind blown. Run home crying. Moral of the story: don't get punched in the face. - Mack
MACK LUSTER THE MOVIE: A digital HD download of the final MACK LUSTER feature film for you to screen on your couch. Once neighbors find out you have a sweet new cut of this movie, they'll start gabbing and ask to be your friend. You'll no longer be a loner. Stoked. - Mack
CAST/CREW SHADES: A totally epic pair of Mack Luster sunglasses, exclusive to crew and cast. Wear it with your suit and tie for an extra boost of GET THE F' OUT OF MY WAY. Yippee Kaiyay Mother Luster. - Mack
CHAYOS PACKAGE #1: RECEIVE EVERYTHING ABOVE. Includes: Backer Updates, Production Diary, People We Thank Website Credit, Shooting Script, Digital HD Download of the finished film, cast/crew sunglasses. I can't fight this war on Chayos without you. - Mack
CHAYOS PACKAGE #1 INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING. For you foreigners out there. Includes: Backer Updates, Production Diary, People We Thank Website Credit, Special Thanks Credit, Shooting Script, Digital HD Download of the finished film, cast/crew sunglasses. I can't fight this war on Chayos without you. - Mack
CHAYOS PACKAGE #2: RECEIVE EVERYTHING ABOVE. Includes: Backer Updates, Production Diary, People We Thank Website Credit, Shooting Script, Digital HD Download of the finished film, cast/crew glasses, official DVD with behind-the-scenes, signed Mack Luster Movie Poster, and a Special Thanks credit in the film - Mack
LIVE CHICKEN: A living, breathing chicken sent to you in the mail. From my farm. To eat. Or pet. Or share a nice bottle of malt liquor with. And yes...this is a living, breathing chicken. You will need to provide food, shelter, and love. - Mack
CHAYOS PACKAGE #2 INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING: For you foreigners. Includes: Backer Updates, Production Diary, People We Thank Website Credit, Shooting Script, Digital HD Download of the finished film, cast/crew glasses, official DVD with behind-the-scenes, signed Mack Luster Movie Poster, and a Special Thanks credit in the film - Mack
LIMITED EDITION PRINT: Receive a Ryan McCann print of the original blowtorched Mack Luster artwork seen in the video. This is a signed and numbered archival pigment print on fine art paper. One of a kind collectors item here boys and girls. - Mack
TUNT PACKAGE: VISIONEERS fans can buy their way to Level Four with this reward: includes a VISIONEERS original festival movie poster, "Are You a Tunt?" sticker, VISIONEERS hat, and MccPoot examination that Mr. Jeffers himself will grade. The Jeffers Way. The Way. - Mack
YOUR PICTURE IN THE CREDITS: Your picture next to your "Extra Special Thanks" credit that will appear in the credit scroll of the final film. You choose the photo so long as it is appropriate. Your face will never be forgotten after you die. You and me, amigo, together at last. - Mack
PERSONALIZED VIDEO GREETING: I, Mack Luster, will record a personalized 20 second video greeting for you on this thing I have called an iPhone. Then I'll email it to you so you can do whatever you want with it so long as it's awesome. - Mack
PREMIERE TICKETS: Two tickets to the official premiere and after party that will be attended by cast and crew in Los Angeles. You'll have to coordinate your own travel and wardrobe. I'll be the guy in camo and neon Oakleys. - Mack
BE AN EXTRA: You and a friend get to be a background extra in the production. Your face will be in this movie forever, just like mine. You'll be famous amongst your friends, just like me. And after you hang out on set and shoot your scene, you'll eat lunch with the crew, just like me. It's the full experience of being a showbiz extra. All you gotta do is find a way to get to set on time. Bit of advice: start working on your sig so you can sign your own autographs. - Mack
PRIVATE DINNER WITH JARED/RYAN: You plus a guest get to enjoy a private dinner with director Jared Drake and actor Ryan McCann at their secret spot in Malibu. They're buyin', you're eatin', we all be smilin'. - Mack
LUSTER'S THREE-WHEELER: AKA SHARLEEN. Honda 200x. Used in production. She's all yours. Tears of sadness roll down by cheek bone in parting with this diva, but I'm sure she'll be in good hands. Pickup and delivery is your responsibility. - Mack
ORIGINAL ARTWORK: Receive the original Ryan McCann blowtorched artwork of Mack Luster (featured in the Kickstarter video). Only one of these in existence. Blowtorch and acrylic on wood - 45 x 60 inches. This could be worth real money one day, boys and girls. - Mack
HOMETOWN SCREENING: Director Jared Drake and Ryan McCann will come to your hometown (continental US only), book and host an advance screening of the project, perform a Q/A, and hang out afterwards for snacks. Jared/Ryan pay for the theater and their travel expenses. This is the shortcut to being a hometown hero. - Mack
SPEAKING ROLE IN MY MOVIE: One line. I tell you what to say. You memorize it. Camera roles. You say it. Camera cuts. You become famous. Stop at Taco Bell on the way to the premiere (you'll also receive two tickets to our official premiere) and get hounded by fans in the drive-thru. Complain about it to TMZ. Fans disown you. Lindsay Lohan reaches out cause she relates. Becomes your friend. Happens every time. - Mack