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A conflicted songwriter and his eccentric entourage join an unexpected adventure marked by drugs and viscerality.
A conflicted songwriter and his eccentric entourage join an unexpected adventure marked by drugs and viscerality.
200 backers pledged $12,052 to help bring this project to life.

About

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    • English
    • Español (España)
    • Italiano
    • Русский

A History of Wise Men

$12,052

200

A cold December in New York, 1971. Bastards from the art world, musicians, bohemian intelligentsia and other fascinating characters party on a psychedelic loft apartment. Drugs and vietnamese funk music interact dangerously

Our protagonist, Elliot, is a songwriter celebrating the release of his latest album – the host of the party. But soon, he will receive an unexpected visit from an old friend, a former member of a radical political group Elliot used to belong to. She demands Elliot to join her in an impossible cause, requesting his help to commit a political murder, with unforeseen consequences...

A History of Wise Men is a dramatic adventure that tests the limits of vice, morality and empathy... Shot using both super-16mm film and digital cameras.
(More details about this below!)

There are films that do not just entertain – they make you reflect, they activate your empathy and they affect you. They touch on aspects of our behavior that we normally don't want to discuss, and for that sole reason they are necessary. That is what we are trying to conceive: a short film that does not just entertain, but that is visceral.

We don't intend to sound grandiose, but that is what we truly and honestly believe in. We don't conform for less. We want to explore empathy through film.

Our official aim is $10,000, the minimum needed to bring A History of Wise Men to life. However, we kindly ask you to join us and to aspire to the possibility of raising $20,000 – the amount estimated to bring this story in all its glory

With that achievement, we would truly be able to shoot on both film and digital, film a quick scene in a little southern european town, and bring to life beautiful wide shots thanks to the use of prodigious anamorphic lens.

If A History of Wise Men gets more funding than expected, we will be able to get a longer, more impactful story, with better actors, equipment, and décor quality.

We conceived this idea when discussing the benefits of digital cameras (for example, their ease of use for complex camera movements) and comparing them to the qualities of analog film cameras (like their renowned intimate look, marvelous to empathize with the characters on the screen on close-ups), and were struggling to decide which method we would use for this story. 

A little eureka moment happened when we asked ourselves "Why not both?". We think it would be interesting to play with the viewer experience and release two versions of the short – one digital, one analog. 

Another approach we are considering is to intercut together the footage from both cameras, exchanging the two sources accordingly to the story's needs. As mentioned before, we could use the digital footage for wide shots and sequences with complex camera movements, and intercut it together with the analog film footage for scenes with intense dialogue, bringing up the beautiful film grain in the faces of our protagonists.

The following dates are estimates and might be subject to change:

  • Mid-January to mid-February: funding campaign
  • February 21st – March 21st: second phase of preproduction, including actors casting, secondary location scouting and crew formation.
  • March 21st – April 20th: final preproduction, rehearsals, locking production design, finalized script revision. Delivery of certain rewards begins.
  • April 20th – May 10th: Shoot!
  • June – August: Editing and postproduction process.
  • September: Delivery of A History of Wise Men, first to backers and film festivals.
Chaitanya, a secret character in our story.
Chaitanya, a secret character in our story.

Risks and challenges

There are two big challenges in this project – both technical and narrative.

Technically-wise, it will be a challenge to shoot using both digital and analog film cameras. Although at the beginning we were thinking of building a custom rig to set up both cameras and shoot simultaneously, this proved to be too ambitious and complicated – particularly because film cameras require a different lighting setup, as they need more light to shoot.

We figured out a way! For each shot, we will first shoot a few takes using digital technology. When we are satisfied with the shot, we will do one last take using an analog film camera. This way we have everything –acting, composition, camera movement– under control and ready to shoot when using the film camera. It's a win-win solution because we won't lose feet of film with bad takes!

This means that it will take more time than usual to shoot each scene, because the crew will need a moment to acclimate the lighting to the needs of the film camera, and our actors will have to make sure that their actions don't differ much from the previous take with the digital camera.

Narrative-wise, we don't want to end up with a cheesy, predictable story – yet we don't want an overdone incomprehensible story either. We'll work with different screenwriters and people from a variety of backgrounds to ensure that our story is:

1. Simple, yet not simplistic.
2. Rhythmic, adhering to a structure, yet not boring.
3. Meaningful, relevant, and adding to the conversation.

Other challenges include negotiating with music rights holders to achieve a unique soundtrack, the production work behind shooting scenes with a large crowd, and the heavy art direction labor required to film a 1970s period piece.

Thank you for your time, and for your trust. Please contact us without any hesitation – our aim is to have a transparent and open dialogue with everyone.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    BACKSTAGE PASS

    • BEHIND THE SCENES ACCESS
    You are now part of this film, and we will show you everything that happens behind the scenes, from start to finish!
    With an exclusive access pass, you will follow the entire filming process through videos, interviews, production diaries…
    Even live tweets while we film on set!

    • SPECIAL THANKS CREDIT
    You will also appear in the special thanks credits!
    Your name on the big screen! Wohoo!

    • SECRET LETTER
    And you will... receive a letter... with content we can't reveal...

    Kurosawa would be proud of you :-)

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    45 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    PREMIERE PACK

    • ORIGINAL 16MM FRAME
    You will get a still from the original film roll, numbered, and framed in black paper!

    • EARLY ACCESS PASS
    You will be given an early access premiere of the shortfilm before anyone else sees it! An online secret link will be sent to you weeks before the short film debuts on the big screen.

    • DIRECTOR'S CUT
    An exclusive scene only featured in the premiere access cut!

    • BEHIND THE SCENES ACCESS
    With an exclusive access pass, you will follow the entire filming process through videos, interviews, production diaries…

    • SPECIAL THANKS CREDIT
    You will also appear in the special thanks credits!

    • SECRET LETTER
    And you will... receive a letter... with content we can't reveal...

    Paul Thomas Anderson would be proud of you :-)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    36 backers
    $

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    COLLECTOR'S EDITION

    • SIGNED SCRIPT
    We will ship to your beautiful house the script signed by the cast and director and dedicated to you!

    • ORIGINAL 16MM FRAME
    You will get a still from the original film roll, numbered, and framed in black paper!

    • EARLY ACCESS PASS
    You will be given an early access premiere of the shortfilm before anyone else sees it!

    • DIRECTOR'S CUT
    An exclusive scene only featured in the premiere access!

    • BEHIND THE SCENES ACCESS
    With an exclusive access pass, you will follow the entire filming process through videos, interviews, production diaries…

    • SPECIAL THANKS CREDIT
    You will also appear in the special thanks credits!

    • SECRET LETTER
    And you will... receive a letter... with content we can't reveal...

    Almodóvar would be proud of you :-)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    21 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    CINEPHILE PACK / MAKE 100

    • LIMITED EDITION POSTER [100 ONLY]
    A History of Wise Men's exclusive poster, crafted by our epic conceptual artist. We will put a lot of effort into creating the most awesome artwork for this poster. With a full 24"x18" size and a beautiful glossy finish, signed by the director Maksim Kuzin and the cinematographer Andrea Calvetti.

    • APPEAR AS AN EXTRA
    Appear as an extra in the shortfilm! You'll be provided with eccentric 70s clothes, free food and will meet the cast! Your face will appear on the big screen! (Please note that we are shooting in Chicago, and travel expenses are not covered.)

    • SIGNED SCRIPT
    We will ship to your beautiful house the script signed by the cast and director and dedicated to you!

    • ORIGINAL 16MM FRAME
    You will get a still frame from the original film roll!

    • EARLY ACCESS PASS
    You will be given an early access premiere of the shortfilm before anyone else sees it!

    • DIRECTOR'S CUT
    An exclusive scene only featured in the premiere access!

    • BEHIND THE SCENES ACCESS
    With an exclusive access pass, you will follow the entire filming process through videos, interviews, production diaries…

    • SPECIAL THANKS CREDIT
    You will also appear in the special thanks credits!

    • SECRET LETTER
    And you will... receive a letter... with content we can't reveal...

    Jim Jarmusch would be proud of you :-)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 26 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    PRODUCER PACK

    • PRODUCER'S BLACK BOOK
    A unique edition with photos from the set, concept art, anecdotes, comments, exclusive notes and more! Signed by the director Maksim Kuzin and the cinematographer Andrea Calvetti.

    • CREDITED AS PRODUCER
    Your name on the big screen. You will be our ally, a partner in this cinematographic adventure.

    • PHONE CALL WITH THE DIRECTOR
    We'll talk over the phone or Skype, answer all your questions or just talk about our lives!

    • LIMITED EDITION POSTER
    A History of Wise Men's exclusive poster, crafted by our epic conceptual artist. We will put a lot of effort into creating the most awesome artwork for this poster. With a full 24"x18" size and a beautiful glossy finish, signed by the director Maksim Kuzin and the cinematographer Andrea Calvetti.

    • APPEAR AS AN EXTRA
    Appear as an extra in the shortfilm! You'll be provided with eccentric 70s clothes, free food and will meet the cast! Your face will appear on the big screen! (Please note that we are shooting in Chicago, and travel expenses are not covered.)

    • SIGNED SCRIPT
    We will ship to your beautiful house the script signed by the cast and director and dedicated to you!

    • ORIGINAL 16MM FRAME
    You will get a still frame from the original film roll!

    • EARLY ACCESS PASS
    You will be given an early access premiere of the shortfilm before anyone else sees it!

    • DIRECTOR'S CUT
    An exclusive scene only featured in the premiere access!

    • BEHIND THE SCENES ACCESS
    With an exclusive access pass, you will follow the entire filming process through videos, interviews, production diaries…

    • SPECIAL THANKS CREDIT
    You will also appear in the special thanks credits!

    • SECRET LETTER
    And you will... receive a letter... with content we can't reveal...

    Wes Anderson would be proud of you :-)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    18 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PACK

    • CREDITED AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
    You go even further. You share this vision, and believe that true cinema, the one from the classics, the one that reflects on human empathy, can still be created through the lens of young independent filmmakers.

    You will be part of a small committee of executive producers, who have direct contact with the director, and will be able to follow the shoot on location at any time and chat with the crew and talent.

    • PRODUCER'S BLACK BOOK
    A unique edition with photos from the set, concept art, anecdotes, exclusive notes and more! Signed by the director Maksim Kuzin and the cinematographer Andrea Calvetti.

    • PHONE CALL WITH THE DIRECTOR
    We'll talk over the phone or Skype, answer all your questions or just talk about our lives!

    • LIMITED EDITION POSTER
    A History of Wise Men's exclusive poster, crafted by our epic conceptual artist. We will put a lot of effort into creating the most awesome artwork for this poster. With a full 24"x18" size and a beautiful glossy finish, signed by the director Maksim Kuzin and the cinematographer Andrea Calvetti.

    • APPEAR AS AN EXTRA
    Appear as an extra in the shortfilm! You'll be provided with eccentric 70s clothes, free food and will meet the cast! Your face will appear on the big screen! (Please note that we are shooting in Chicago, and travel expenses are not covered.)

    • SIGNED SCRIPT
    We will ship to your beautiful house the script signed by the cast and director and dedicated to you!

    • ORIGINAL 16MM FRAME
    You will get a still frame from the original film roll!

    • EARLY ACCESS PASS
    You will be given an early access premiere of the shortfilm before anyone else sees it!

    • DIRECTOR'S CUT
    An exclusive scene only featured in the premiere access!

    • BEHIND THE SCENES ACCESS
    With an exclusive access pass, you will follow the entire filming process through videos, interviews, production diaries…

    • SPECIAL THANKS CREDIT
    You will also appear in the special thanks credits!

    • SECRET LETTER
    And you will... receive a letter... with content we can't reveal...

    Wim Wenders would be proud of you :-)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 5 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    The Patron Saint

    Throughout history, patrons, or the mecenate, were people who believed and supported the arts, philosophy and science. Great women and men succeeded and shaped our culture as we know it, and with them are remembered those who supported them in their times of need, having a strong sense of empathy and believing in their capabilities.

    Join us, and be our patron. Walk with us with pride around film festivals, be part of our entourage throughout the entire process, enjoy the great pleasures of supporting independent filmmaking and yet suffer with us through the hard times.

    Revive what is it to gamble, to leave a mark in this world. Believe in us. You're all in. We are too.

    Includes also all the previous perks, with a special present.

    Andrei Tarkovski would be proud of you.

    [Please note that travel expenses are not covered.]

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $

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    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)