Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 12, 2012.

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"Welcome little piggies, welcome to the fun. Today, there are ten of you, tomorrow there'll be one!" - The Butcher

I've spent most of my creative life writing, performing, and recording music (http://michaeljepstein.com), but have always dreamed about filmmaking. I've been obsessed with low-budget movies since I was a young lad and have always dreamed of using the B-movie aesthetic to make a film that is approached completely seriously. Over the past year, I've had an opportunity to make several short films and music videos and am now eager to make my first feature to tell a story with the depth and complexity I've always hoped to be able to attempt.

Recently, the historic Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square (Cambridge, MA) held a trailer-making competition. We worked to develop the above two-minute trailer for a non-existent film TEN. It was a tremendously fun opportunity to work with a really talented cast and crew of friends and make something in a short time (on almost no budget) that we were very proud of. We were extremely honored to also be selected for Brattle Creative Director Ned Hinkle's "Curator's Choice" award.  

Now, we're looking to make this film a reality.  

Some more info about making the trailer: http://blog.michaeljepstein.com/2012/07/ten-movie-trailer-for-brattle-theatre.html

While the trailer is a little bit unstructured (in terms of revealing plot), we did outline the full plot while working on it, and it quickly became apparent that we had the workings of an interesting feature film. We're ready to move forward to develop the script over the next several months and shoot near the end of 2012. Some of the cast and crew involved in the making of the trailer will return (some already confirmed, to be announced during this campaign). We also have strong interest from some really talented camera and crew folks. I'll announce everyone involved here as we progress through this campaign and they officially sign on to production. 

Note: The trailer was shot on a Panasonic HDC-HS900 High Definition Camcorder. The film will be shot on DSLRs (something along the lines of 5D/T3i/T4i).

As for budget, here is roughly what we're looking at for absolute minimum production cost. This campaign goal is set to that minimum. If we do not raise at least $11,000, this film WILL NOT get made.  Your contribution is what can make this a reality. Let me emphasize: without your contribution, there will be no film.

Absolute minimum budget: Cast - 10 roles - $4000
Crew - DP, Sound, PAs, Makeup, etc. - $3000
Location/lodging - $2000
Food - $1000
Props - $1000
Total: $11,000

We have talent and crew that we can work with within this budget, but it is below what will allow us to pay everyone "fairly." We realistically need to raise closer to $20,000 to pay everyone appropriately, to cover rewards, to cover Kickstarter fees, and to position ourselves well for post-production costs. The more we raise, the more we can involve professionals in post-work like editing, effects, and color correction (taking it out of my limited-experience hands and making for a better final product).

Production Manager Sophia Cacciola and I are used to working on music projects on a tiered financial model. I.e., the more money we have budgeted for a project, the more it can be realized in an ideal way, but we can also work with a minimum pool. Sophia and I won't personally take any pay for this project. All funds raised will go toward film costs only: production (the minimum goal listed), post-production, promotion, etc.

About our film trailer (and why we hope to make a feature): Ten women are stranded and killed off by a mysterious murderer, The Butcher. They soon realize that the killer may actually be someone among them.  The story (set in the 1970s), explores our creepy psychological association with the disturbing content of children's nursery rhymes, particularly focused on those involving pigs. There are a lot of complex ideas associated with the imagery that are to be explored in the feature film that couldn't be thoroughly examined in the 2-minute trailer, including: the irrational, unusual behavior resulting from survivalist paranoia, ideas associated with both pigs (animals, greedy, filthy, overeating, chauvinism) and women as pigs (meat market, etc.). In short, most of the important ideas remain as pure subtext in the short trailer form and I'm very eager to get a chance to tell this meaningful and important story.

Note: Kickstarter doesn't allow backers to make multiple pledges (although you can always upgrade your pledge to another level, even after making it). If you want to work something out to combine multiple rewards, please send me a message. Also, please send along any questions!

As much of our notoriety lies in the realm of music, we are offering a lot of rewards taking advantage of our music expertise. We are also offering reward levels that allow for ownership of unique instruments that we've used heavily on recordings and/or for live shows.

Thank you so much for taking the time to consider helping out with our film! We hope you decide to be a part of making it a reality.

Swine and Roses,
Michael J. Epstein
MJE@MichaelJEpstein.com

258
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$12,001
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    28 backers

    Piglet: an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    31 backers

    First Little Piggy: A thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    61 backers

    Second Little Piggy: A digital download copy of the film and a digital download copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    Third Little Piggy: A special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A digital copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    Fourth Little Piggy: A special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    Fifth Little Piggy: A VIP ticket to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    3 backers

    Guinea Pig: Be in a Facebook relationship with Michael or Sophia. You choose the type (in a relationship, engaged, married, complicated, in an open relationship, in a civil union, or a domestic partnership.) We will leave the relationship status up for 1 week. For maximum impact in your life, you can choose the week this happens (first come first serve) or we will choose a week as soon as possible after the kickstarter ends. ALSO we'll throw this in for a $10 boost on any existing pledge above $60 (just let us know that you did this)...plus: A VIP ticket to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    5 backers

    In a pig's eye: A TEN t-shirt, a VIP ticket to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    Pig and Whistle: Castmember, Rachel Leah Blumenthal, will take black and white photos at an upcoming live public event of your band/performance. Boston area only. Examples of her work: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blumiethekoala/5603755414/in/set-72157626461865678/ plus A TEN t-shirt, a VIP ticket to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    House Made of Straw: a small prop used in the making of TEN (with a digital still image of the scene it is in and a signed certificate of authenticity), a TEN t-shirt, a VIP ticket to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    7 backers Limited (3 left of 10)

    Piggly Wiggly: A signed copy of the script used by one of the actors, a TEN t-shirt, a VIP ticket to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    12 backers Limited (3 left of 15)

    Hogwash: The cast and crew of TEN will make a single-shot lip-sync video to any song you'd like, dedicated to you, and send it to you or post it on Youtube...plus a TEN t-shirt, a VIP ticket to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Roll with a Pig: FLUTE! Castmember, and member of The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library, Rachel Leah Blumenthal will play flute and/or bass flute on your record! Up to 3 songs! (her flute playing is very prominent on all MJEML recordings: mjeml.bandcamp.com) Boston area only Or, if you'd like us to record flute tracks and send them to you, add $100....plus a TEN t-shirt, a VIP ticket to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    House Made of Sticks: a signed butcher paper hat and mask used in the making of TEN (with a digital still image of the scene it is in and a signed certificate of authenticity), a TEN t-shirt, A VIP ticket to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    5 backers Limited (7 left of 12)

    House Made of Brick: a signed pig mask used in the making of TEN (with a digital still image of the scene it is in and a signed certificate of authenticity), a TEN t-shirt, a VIP ticket to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    Pig Latin: We'll let you put something in the movie - get an object in a scene, your painting in the background, or write a line of dialogue that we'll include in the movie. (Note: anything inserted needs to look/fit 1970s or prior, and clear product placement may not be possible.) We'll even give you a credit of some kind for whatever you choose to contribute, both in the credits and on IMDB. Two VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a TEN t-shirt, A special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Napoleon: Michael (Director) and Sophia (Production manager) are perhaps best known for their music. They'll spend 6 hours assisting with songwriting, arrangement, or other production elements of your music ...plus two VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a TEN t-shirt, A special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    Lipstick on a pig: suggest something to us! For sponsorships above $300, we're open to your custom ideas. Send a proposal and we can work out a sponsorship level that makes sense.

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    When Pigs Fly: Michael (Director) and Sophia (Production manager) are perhaps best known for their music. Have them write and record a basic song about any topic you want (within reason!). They'll write lyrics for you, they'll use your lyrics, they'll play on your song...whatever you'd like! (Note: recording done at The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library home studio) ...plus two VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a TEN t-shirt, A special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Pig in a poke: Michael (Director) and Sophia (Production manager) are perhaps best known for their music. They'll play a 45-minute acoustic concert in your living room, in your car, on your roof, anywhere legal and relatively non-hazardous in the Boston area ...plus two VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a TEN t-shirt, A special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed. For shows outside of Boston, we might also be able to work something out. Contact us.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Hog wild: Help Michael shed his non-filmmaking wardrobe by taking away his very first Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling piped jacket. This is the jacket that appears in all of the DNFMOMD press photos ( http://donotforsake.com/pressmaterials.html ) and the jacket that was worn for many live performances. This is the straight-line piping, not the zig-zag piping jacket and it is shows some heavy wear (torn lining, etc.), so it's probably more for collecting than wearing...plus a TEN t-shirt, two VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Babe: Michael (Director) and Sophia (Production manager) will do a one-day music video shoot (shot on Panasonic HDC-HS900 High Definition Camcorder) for your band (or help with a short film of any kind) in the Boston area (Inquire for videos outside the Boston area. If travel and lodging expenses are covered, it may be possible) and will provide the raw footage to you (we will not do any editing). (Depending on concept, you may also have to pay any additional production costs for props, cast, location, etc.) - some examples of their one-day shoot work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Zwrm0Q5xcs and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT5H-NB8aUw ...plus two VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a TEN t-shirt, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Porky Pig: Michael (Director) and Sophia (Production manager) will do a one-day music video shoot (shot on Panasonic HDC-HS900 High Definition Camcorder) for your band (or help with a short film of any kind) in the Boston area (Inquire for videos outside the Boston area. If travel and lodging expenses are covered, it may be possible) and provide a basic final edit (Depending on concept, you may also have to pay any additional production costs for props, cast, location, etc.) - some examples of their one-day shoot work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Zwrm0Q5xcs and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT5H-NB8aUw ...plus two VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a TEN t-shirt, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Pigs in a blanket: Make Sophia a filmmaker by taking away her instruments! Own Sophia's snare drum (which will be played on the film's soundtrack) (Ludwig 6.5x14 Metal Shell Rocker Snare Drum serial # 863998; throw off is worn and should probably be replaced if you plan to use this for playing) - used for 55 Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling shows, a dozen Darling Pet Munkee shows, several dozen MJEML shows, and it has been on most of our recordings for all of these bands (signed if you'd like!)...plus a TEN t-shirt, two VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Squeal like a pig: Make Michael a filmmaker by taking away his instruments! Own Michael's Epiphone Goth Thunderbird IV Bass (which will be played on the film's soundtrack) (signed if you'd like, though it might be tricky to sign in black!). This bass was played on numerous recordings for Darling Pet Munkee, The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library, and others. It was also used at almost all live Darling Pet Munkee appearances. It appears in our "First We Take Manhattan" video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsUwR-QG8cI ) and our "X-Ray Specs" video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT5H-NB8aUw )...plus a TEN t-shirt, two VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Sweat like a pig: Make Michael a filmmaker by taking away his instruments! Own Michael's Oscar Schmidt Baritone Acoustic Electric Ukulele (which will be played on the film's soundtrack) (signed if you'd like). This ukulele has traveled on many a tour (played on all of the Neutral Uke Hotel tours - see me playing it in lots of videos: http://bit.ly/TqzvzE ), made an appearance on Daytrotter ( http://bit.ly/QZ8Oof ), and even got played by both Sophia and I in Space Balloons ( http://michaeljepstein.com/spaceballoons/SpaceBalloons3.jpg )...plus a TEN t-shirt, two VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    Petunia Pig: Michael (Director) and Sophia (Production manager) will do a two-day music video shoot (one or two videos) (shot on Panasonic HDC-HS900 High Definition Camcorder) for your band (or help with a short film of any kind) in the Boston area (Inquire for videos outside the Boston area. If travel and lodging expenses are covered, it may be possible) and provide a basic final edit (Depending on concept, you may also have to pay any additional production costs for props, cast, location, etc.) - some examples of their one-day shoot work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Zwrm0Q5xcs and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT5H-NB8aUw ...plus two VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a TEN t-shirt, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    March of the pigs: Make Michael a filmmaker by taking away his instruments! Own Michael's Ibanez Prestige Bass (which will be played on the film's soundtrack) (signed if you'd like) ( http://blog.michaeljepstein.com/2011/07/dnfmomd-secrets-of-bass-sound.html ). This bass was played on all Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling recordings (and at all live shows). We're wrapping up The Prisoner recording project over the next few months and then this bass can be yours. It also appears in our "X-Ray Specs" video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT5H-NB8aUw )...plus a TEN t-shirt, two VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    SOME PIG!!!: Executive Producer! You'll be listed in the main credits and IMDB. We'll send you rough cuts and progress reports that no one outside the cast and crew will see. We'll reserve seats for you and introduce you at a premiere event in the Boston area some time in mid-late 2013. (travel and lodging not included). ...plus a TEN t-shirt, eight VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Pig out!!!: Make Michael a filmmaker by taking away his most prized instrument of all! Own Michael's Alvarez Yairi acoustic guitar (which will be played on the film's soundtrack) (signed if you'd like). This guitar was played on all of The Motion Sick's recordings, all of the Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library recordings (and at all live shows for both). It has been my baby for nearly 10 years. Michel Gondry even drew me playing it ( http://blog.michaeljepstein.com/2009/07/motion-sick-michel-gondry-draws-12-of.html ). It's lovingly worn, torn, and shredded from years of abuse ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnnyanguish/7407356974/ ). It literally has my blood, sweat, and tears on it. ...plus a TEN t-shirt, two VIP tickets to a Boston-area screening of the film, a special, limited-edition DVD of the film (for backers only), signed by cast and crew. A limited-edition physical copy of the score and soundtrack music from the film, signed by the artists, a thank you in the credits at the end of the film plus an official thank you on our blog, web site, Facebook, and Twitter feed.

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Funding period

- (30 days)