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A girl from rural Massachusetts sets out to find her opiate addicted mother - on horseback.
A girl from rural Massachusetts sets out to find her opiate addicted mother - on horseback.
67 backers pledged $6,366 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$6,366

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Synopsis

Ellie stops at nothing and for nobody as she travels through the seaside town of Barnstable, Massachusetts in search of a mother who has abandoned Ellie and her father. With her father’s car broken-down, Ellie saddles up the family horse and embarks on a journey through the desolate, drug-addled winter landscape only to stumble down the rabbit hole her mother has dug.

IN THE OFF SEASON explores family and addiction on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, where heroin has wrought havoc amidst massive socio-economic inequality and industrial decline.

A social realist film inspired by Italian cinema and Westerns, seeking to shine a light on the gruesome realities of heroin addiction ravaging rural New England.

Why Support This Film

IN THE OFF SEASON is a film about real people and real issues which affect our world. In particular, it examines the affectation of the opiate crisis on rural communities. Not only is this a timely and critical issue, it's something our team cares so much about. The American Society of Addiction Medicine has tracked overdose statistics and found drug overdose to be the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with over fifty-two thousand overdose deaths in 2015. This is an epidemic which reaches every part of our society, and films are one of the best ways to explore the emotional impact of such trauma on individuals and communities.

OFF SEASON is also a short film based on a feature film, a film which our team hopes to make. If you like this film, the story, and the way it examines these issues, we believe this project has the legs to bring all of that important work to a larger audience.

To read more about why we care so much about this project, check out the directors statement here: https://offseasonfilm.com/the-film/

The Team

Ben Haven Taylor, Writer and Director

Ben Haven Taylor is from Marston's Mills, a small village in Barnstable, Massachusetts. He has studied and instructed courses in the Film and Media Studies program at Tufts University, as well as studying classics at University College London. He is a multi-year recipient of the Gary Winnick Scholarship, a scholarship named for the filmmaker (13 GOING ON 30, CHARLOTTE'S WEB) and Tufts Alumnus for Tufts students with a passion for filmmaking. Ben has worked in various parts of the film industry since 2013, working first in post-production and editing, then in preproduction as the 2015 CJ Saraceno Intern at Bona Fide Productions (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, NEBRASKA). He has worked as a camera assistant in London, where he met collaborators Adam Barnett and Leah McGurk. Recently, Ben has just finished his work as a cinematographer on Boston-area independent short films and a live-cinema theatre production.

Adam Barnett, Cinematographer

Before becoming a cinematographer Adam was a graduate of the Northern Film School in Leeds. He spent a number of years on the road roaming the globe with my camera. He was a photojournalist for VICE news before studying at the National Film and Television School (Graduated 2017), under the mentorship of Brian Tufano BSC (TRAINSPOTTING, BILLY ELLIOT), Oliver Stapleton BSC (NED KELLY, BUFFALO SOLDIERS) and esteemed Commercials DP Stuart Harris. He was awarded with a BAFTA scholarship in 2016 and was personally mentored by Gavin Finney BSC (WOLF HALL, THE FEAR). Adam has shot music videos for TINIE TEMPAH, LULLY, SHAKKA, and other UK artists. He has just finished shooting his first feature film as cinematographer, called TWO GRAVES featuring Dave Johns (I, DANIEL BLAKE) and Cathy Tyson (MONA LISA).

Cinthia Chen, Production Designer

Cinthia Chen was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. She is about to graduate from the Tufts University International Letters and Visual Studies program, after having studied at London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She just closed her first play, a one-Act live cinema show about Anna May Wong called “Anna May Wong - The Actress Who Died a Thousand Deaths.” She encouraged Ben to pursue Off Season as a project after the two took a trip to Italy to plan their next year’s projects. Cinthia's play and Off Season are the results. Cinthia has served as the production designer for several short films, and is about to start on another short film shooting this summer. She also makes dance films and loves Wong Kar Wai (almost) as much as Ben does. In preparation for Off Season, Cinthia looked at films like Winters Bone as well as the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop. She also spent a lot of time on the farm with Ben, making Christmas decorations and building a homeless camp.

Ben Hosking, Producer

Ben Hosking comes from Boston, but has lived in Indianapolis and Australia. He got involved in the film by way of offering feedback on Ben Haven Taylor’s script, and after fruitful discussions and a focusing of scope, Ben was brought on to produce Ben’s short, beginning a dynamic some call BenSquared, which may cause side effects of productivity and name abbreviations. Some of Ben (Hosking)’s diverse influences include his experiences as a clothing store manager, real estate agent, and startup marketer, as well as his own background as a writer and storyteller. He is inspired by filmmakers such as the Wachowski sisters (Cloud Atlas), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson (Whale Valley), Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers), and Paolo Sorrentino (Youth, The Young Pope). He recently wrote and directed his first short film, “Dancing on the Yellow Edges,” shot by Ben (Haven Taylor).

Leah McGurk, Producer

Leah McGurk comes from south London in the United Kingdom, which is where she met Ben Haven-Taylor while working on short films at University College London. Currently, she’s studying in Toronto, and was able to make the flight down to Massachusetts to work with Ben Hosking to produce “In the Off-Season.” She enjoyed working with the international crew and on an ambitious shoot. Badass female filmmakers inspire her, such as Ava DuVernay, Adele Romanski, and Dee Rees. Her favorite projects have included a short, “Weird Sisters,” with an all-female cast and crew, as well as “Iktsuarpok,” a film directed by Ben Haven-Taylor with Adam Barnett as director of photography. Currently, she has an upcoming web-series and shorts to look forward to when she returns to London.

Delia Cunningham, Ellie

Delia Cunningham comes from Brooklyn, NY. “In the Off-Season” is her first film, but Delia has been acting in the theater for several years, and is a part of G45 Productions, a New York theater collective. She was taken with the honest portrayal of Ellie as a determined, strong teenager who exists in the all-too-real world of “In the Off-Season.” In her preparation for the role, she talked to individuals with first hand knowledge of the drug abuse epidemic. Some of her favorite films are “The Life Aquatic,” “Manhattan,” and “Un Prophete.” If you want to see Delia on stage, G45 will start their third summer session at the end of June 2017.

Ernest Anemone, John

Ernest Anemone, or Ernie, was born and raised in Brooklyn. But, if you want to get deep, he came from starstuff or something. Ernie became involved with “In the Off-Season” through “Letting Daniel Go,” a film that Ben Haven-Taylor had shot in 2016. His influences are the people he works with on camera: his fellow actors. In his eyes, the best filmmakers tilt the perspective of the audience to see the extraordinary in the ordinary, the profound in the profane. Ernie’s next roles is “Dust,” which takes place in the 1970s around the PCP epidemic in Boston. In addition, his film “Anything It Takes,” which is about two brothers trying to help their sick father, premieres at the Manhattan Film Festival on April 24th with more showtimes and locations to follow. 

The Money

We are currently seeking finishing funds for this film, meaning we have already shot the film and are currently in the process of editing it. Some of the many things your money will go to support include:

  • Editing equipment and post production equipment costs
  • Hard drives 
  • Sound Mix
  • Original score & music recording
  • Color grading and mastering
  • Festival entry fees

If and when our funding goal is met, any additional funds received will increase the quality of our finishing processes as well as contributing to the development of the feature.

PC: Annie Lye
PC: Annie Lye

Stay In Touch

Our website and Facebook page are the best places to find updates. They've got all the information here, more information on the story and team, and so much more.

PC: Annie Lye
PC: Annie Lye

Thank you!

Thank you so much for contributing however you can. Even sharing this page on your social media means the world to us and does a lot to help the film come to fruition. We really appreciate it!

PC: Annie Lye
PC: Annie Lye

Risks and challenges

Given that we are seeking finishing funds and that we are confident in our footage, we expect to stay on schedule through post-production. That being said, post-production, much like production, comes with its own set of unique and potentially unexpected snags. We have contingency plans for music clearances, cushions for actor availability for ADR, and many multi-staged back-ups.

We plan to keep you informed as the process progresses and will inform you of any hang-ups. Your dollars matter, in any amount!

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Funding period

- (30 days)