Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 29, 2013.

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"There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights." -Bram Stoker

The “Short” Story

Dragula is a short film about a high school senior who overcomes his emotional dysfunction and self-esteem issues when he unwittingly meets a drag queen who has a mysterious past. Charles is an 18-year-old middle child from a typical modern American family, yet has been virtually ignored by his parents and siblings. He is lost and so overcome by fears, he’s afraid to speak in public. Charles’ friend, Phyllis, also unsure of her sexuality, and Charles’ openly gay friend, Ben, use Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a senior high school assignment, and an unplanned visit to a drag queen club, as the spring board to help Charles "find his voice." This witty and poignant coming-of-age film will delight and captivate the audience as it takes a 2013 perspective of an age-old problem.

Charles the last to leave Mr. Newton’s english class, walking down empty school hallway. (Drawing by Kiva Singh)
Charles the last to leave Mr. Newton’s english class, walking down empty school hallway. (Drawing by Kiva Singh)

What is a Short Film?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a Short Film as "an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits.” Shorts are typically funded with a low budget, and are often screened at national and international film festivals. You might view it along with a feature film, or it can run on its own. Dragula will have an estimated run-time of 20 minutes.

English teacher, Mr. Newton, reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula to his class. (Drawing by Kiva Singh)
English teacher, Mr. Newton, reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula to his class. (Drawing by Kiva Singh)

$20,000 Budget

Our director knows how to stretch a production budget. He’s produced two music videos and a commercial that would have cost well over $30,000 each. He brought them in for under $3,000 each. Every penny of the $20,000 we’ve meticulously budgeted and hope to raise for Dragula will cover the costs of four location shoots, extras, production crew, equipment (lighting, sound), makeup/hair (drag queens are involved), and post-production.

Charles' father and older brother return from brother’s game talking sports. (Drawing by Kiva Singh)
Charles' father and older brother return from brother’s game talking sports. (Drawing by Kiva Singh)

Once We Reach Our Goal

When we reach our monetary goal (we’re thinking positively!), we’ll begin production. Two weeks of shooting will begin August 2013. Location shoots include a schoolyard, nightclub, Charles’ house, and most importantly a lingerie store, all located in Los Angeles. We are currently in the process of booking talent, and will update this page as we secure them. Our production team is ready to roll.

Charles paralyzed by fear on stage during a dream sequence. (Drawing by Kiva Singh)
Charles paralyzed by fear on stage during a dream sequence. (Drawing by Kiva Singh)

Our Way to Say Thank You

We want you, our investors, to be part of the process. Read the script, hang the poster, or gain access to our personal Dragula Instagram account where you can see updated, behind-the-scenes photos of set design, locations, shots, actors’ performances. Have dinner with Dragula’s producer and director in Los Angeles. Come on set and watch the filming of Summit Entertainment’s Step Up 5 (Which will be filming in Vancouver Canada). (See pledge column for pledge amounts and qualifying gifts.)

Frank Meli, Dragula’s director, is especially excited about the creation of a behind-the- scenes Dragula short film footage video, where the cast and crew will personally thank you by name in the video for your investment in us ($1,000 or more pledge). “When I was in high school, I’d watch Making the Video on MTV,” Director Frank Meli says. “The show documented  what it was like to have an idea on paper that could be translated to film. It helped me believe that my passions were within my reach. My hope is that our behind-the-scenes video can provide that inspiration to others, whatever their dreams may be.”

We’re working hard for your support. We hope some of the pledge gifts will inspire you to invest in Dragula.

The Countess flawlessly performs at the club. (Drawing by Kiva Singh)
The Countess flawlessly performs at the club. (Drawing by Kiva Singh)

Our Production Team

Frank Leo Meli, Writer/Director

As director, writer, producer, film and casting editor, Frank has worn many hats over the past 10 years. It’s provided him with a solid grasp of all aspects of film production. Some of his many credits include reality television’s most successful shows – The Biggest Loser, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Swamp People, Real Housewives of (Orange County, Beverly Hills, and Atlanta), to name a few.

Frank's IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2608923/

Some recent examples of Frank’s work:

Rock the Vote 2012, PSA

Who, ME&U Music Video

Jacob Swanson, Writer/Director of Photography

Jacob grew up in upstate New York. Integrating his bachelor’s degree in psychology and behavioral science with a hobby in photography, and he can now be found in Los Angeles chasing his dream as a director and cinematographer. His experience includes Director of Photography and Music Video Director for VEVO and Macy’s.

Adam Shankman, Executive Producer

Director, Producer, and Choreographer. Adam’s passion is contagious, whether he’s directing films, such as The Wedding Planner, A Walk to Remember, The Pacifier, Bringing Down the House, and Hairspray, (to name a few), or producing the 2010 Academy Awards, and the Step Up franchise. You will also find him as one of the three judges on Fox’s hit television show, So You Think You Can Dance.

Adam's IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0788202/

Andrea Grace Meli, Producer

Singer, songwriter, producer of ME&U music, a graduate of Musician’s Institute in West Hollywood, Andrea’s been writing, performing, and producing music for more than five years, and is uniquely adept at both the production and creative sides of the business.

Dave Rocco, Music Director

Dave has been working in the music industry for over 10 years. As a talent scout for both Sony’s Epic Records and Atlantic Records he has fostered and developed music careers for some of the world’s leading talents.Working with artists such as Jason Mraz, F.U.N., Jimmy Cliff, Jim James, Justin Bieber and Cat Power he has developed strong relationships with industry leaders. In addition, Dave is music director for Soho House – West Hollywood.

Jonathan Clay Harris, Casting Director

Jonathan's passion for matching actors with roles started 6 years ago when was asked to run the camera for a friend who was a Casting Director. Since then he has worked on television shows such as Cold Case, 90210, Gossip Girl, Baby Daddy, Welcome to the Family and feature films such as Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, and The Change-Up, among others.

And Finally....

We appreciate your consideration! We’re confident, experienced, driven, passionate, well prepared, and, frankly, really great at what we do. We’re working to secure talent, and as they come onboard, we’ll be posting their names and faces to this site. At present, some very accomplished actors are reading the script. We’re ready to hit the ground running. If you’re considering investing in Dragula, pledge amounts are a button away. We’ll always be grateful for every dollar pledged, and excited to have you become a part of Dragula. If you still haven’t made a decision, we invite you to keep coming back to see our page updates.

FAQ: Ask away. Your input is invaluable. We’ll post the questions and answers.

The Countess (Photo by Eric Scot)
The Countess (Photo by Eric Scot)

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

When producing any film, commercial or TV episode, any number of production delays can occur. The weather could be a factor. There could be some unforeseen local event such as a championship parade that disrupts the shooting schedule. While one cannot anticipate every possible situation, we are doing extensive pre-production and developing contingency plans. We have a professional and highly experienced production team involved in the project. With a collective 25+ years of production experience, we know how to solve problems and make quick decisions that avoid unnecessary delays and financial overruns. This team has brought many projects to fruition, on time and within budget.

FAQ

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

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    17 backers

    #INSTACOOL! Instant access to our personal behind-the-scenes Instagram account, with photos, and videos on the film’s progress.

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    20 backers

    MOVIE POSTER! Signed 11x17 Dragula poster. You will also be the first to see the Pre-released movie trailer! (Plus all gifts above.)

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    6 backers

    SCRIPT TEASE ;) Instant Digital PDF download of the Dragula script. (Plus all gifts above.)

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    29 backers

    SCREENER. Pre-released downloadable Dragula short film (date of completion/TBD, 2013). Adam Shankman will personally thank you on twitter, once the kickstarter drive ends! (Plus all gifts above.)

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    EXTRA CREDIT! Your name or company name in the special Thank You credit of the film, as well as on the IMDB page. (Plus all gifts above.)

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    3 backers

    BACK-LOT TOUR. Behind-the-scenes video with cast and crew interviews, personally thanking you in your video. If you are in LA, come visit the set of Dragula, and we will put you in the film as a featured background extra. (Plus all gifts above.)

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    ACTION! You get a cameo role in Dragula. The director will personally write you into a scene. Added bonus, you visit the set of "Step Up 5", location pending. (Available Dates TBD, depends on filming dates presently being determined. Does not include transportation, lodging, or any other expenses). (Plus all gifts above.)

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    PRODUCERS DINNER! For this generous pledge, Director Frank Meli and Producer Adam Shankman will be honored to have you as their dinner guest in Los Angeles (date/restaurant TBD, 2013). You will also receive a Producers credit on the film. Which means, you help collaborate on the films creative process. (Plus all gifts above.)

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Funding period

- (33 days)