WE GONE AND DONE IT! WE REACHED OUR TARGET OF £12,000 WITH TWO DAYS TO GO! CAN YOU BELIEVE ?! Thanks to 149 INCREDIBLE people, we hit £12,000 in under 31 days. A feat we were only half-sure was possible when we embarked on this campaign.
Needless to say, we're currently like:
But there's time left on the clock... and there may still be people out there who want to back this project, so we've decided to extend our GOAL to match the title of our film itself: £14,352. Get it? Contractor 014352?!?!
£12,000 was never the full budget for our film, and there are still a few specific ambitions we have that are dependent on what we can raise. By extending our goal to £14,352 we can guarantee being able to shoot on an Arri Alexa, a costly but high-end, wonderfully versatile camera. It will also mean we can factor in an extra day's shoot, for pick-up shots and extra effects. This may include a particularly difficult, totally unpredictable shot on the tube, involving two carriages moving side by side!
So PLEASE keep doing what you've been doing. We are so grateful for your help.
From the hum-drum of the office, to the furthest reaches of space, and into the depths of the human soul; all in the mind of a data entry clerk who works for a large corporation...
At heart, Guy Smith is a poet. But his day job is to fire 12,000 contractors from a spreadsheet - a demeaning, thankless task.
Jaded by the world around him, longing for something more meaningful, Guy decides to reach out through his computer screen, into the Ether, and make a genuine connection with a stranger.
That stranger turns out to be Parmjit Mahmood: family man, contractor, and maybe even a friend?
Based on a poem by writer Zak Klein, Contractor 014352 reminds us that among the many, many lives you will never encounter, is a perfect stranger who could - in certain circumstances - open up your world.
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A doting mid-20's dreamer in a shirt and tie. Alternately idealistic and cynical, Guy longs for a higher purpose outside of his nine-to-five existence. He wants to connect with his assigned contractors on a deeper level, and somehow make a difference to the world.
Until now he has lacked the wherewithal, or the inspiration. But now might be his chance to reach out and make a difference for "the Greater Good", even if that difference is to only one other person.
A quiet, secular Muslim, Parmjit has a wife and a two bedroom house in the suburbs. His ambitions are modest: to secure a stable income so he can start a family and live by his own means within London.
Parmjit may sound ordinary, but to Guy he is far more than the titular "Contractor 014352". By God, he is a living breathing soul, deserving of our deepest sympathies, with all the humble patience and meek gratitude of a lamb.
Sadly, his contract is about to be terminated.
When I read Zak's poem for the first time, I was excited about the potential it had to be adapted into a short film. It was funny, topical and rich in imaginative visuals.
Now faithfully adapted for the screen, the story will transport viewers to some unexpected places. A baby is delivered from its mother; the hospital dissolves around it and the baby hovers in outer space; a man falls gracefully through an office floor, landing onto an infinite expanse of duvets. Feathers fly like gusts of snow...
These images lend intimacy and truthfulness to Guy’s interior world, revealing his disconnection from those around him; they tightly focus the themes that lie at the heart of the film.
Contractor 014352 is a comment on everyday interactions. Or lack thereof. We live in a world where lives are summarised as data, overlooked and stowed away. In a world of 24 hour connectivity, we're less connected than ever before.
Guy’s amusingly poetic homage to Parmjit, read almost like a love letter, is a gentle reminder that among all the people we ignore on a daily basis, or whom we interpret as numbers on a screen, is a person we could have a special bond with.
Problems with digital communication; life in times of austerity and zero hour contracts; the ephemeral nature of the universe; the dehumanising effects of big data; and the importance of treating every human we encounter with respect.
These themes underlie Contractor 014352, never mentioned, only hinted at through wry humour and observation. Contractor 014352 is about recognising the individual from among the masses, and the hidden potential within every interaction we have.
From the familiar world of a heartless and sterile office, to the unfamiliar reaches of outer space and an infinite expanse of duvets. Our film will contrast the cosmic fantasies of Guy's inner world, with the drab reality of his office environment.
Visually, this will be done by contrasting slow and mostly static camera-work in the office scenes with quick paced, sweeping and fluid movements for the fantasy sequences.
The sound-design will reflect these transitions too, subtly shifting from reality to surreality. For example, the hum of an air-conditioner may blend into the rumble of deep space radiation. Or the grinding screech of a train may become harmonising voices in a duet.
For the special effects we will endeavour to do as much in-camera as possible, using matte-painting and miniatures to create something more authentic, warm and tactile than modern CGI.
We want our film's special effects to hearken back to an era of cinema, where the work wasn't just seen it was felt, before modern technologies create a distance between the filmmakers and their audiences.
We want the film's visuals to connect you to us, just as Guy connects with Parmjit, through the screen...
In 2013 we produced The Elevator Pitch, a fourth-wall breaking trip through the film industry which endlessly twists, turns and pulls back to reveal more. Featuring a plucky intern’s struggle to get to the top, The Elevator Pitch s a deconstruction of the film industry and the pursuit of one’s dreams.
The Elevator Pitch was named a finalist at the Sundance London Short Film Competition, it received a Vimeo Staff Pick, and was the opening film of London Short Film Festival 2014. In addition it saw the director Simon Ryninks nominated for an IMDB Best New Filmmaker Award. It also played at various international film festivals.
We want Contractor 014352 to exceed the bar set by The Elevator Pitch by playing at major festivals such as Tribeca, Toronto, London Film Festival, SXSW, Cannes and other Oscar/ Bafta-accredited film festivals.
Firstly, we want Contractor 014352 to premiere at a major festival in the UK. So our plan is to complete the film in early 2016, in time to submit to leading UK festivals including Edinburgh Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival and Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival. These are the festivals that can guarantee us the level of exposure and audience reach we need to create new career opportunities.
We will also target festivals on the BFI’s ‘key festivals’ list, meaning that if we are accepted, we will be eligible for travel grants that allow us to promote the film abroad. Our main goal after that will be to get into BAFTA and Oscar accredited festivals - ones with the kind of prestige that would launch Contractor 014352 into more ambitious climbs.
Ultimately, we believe Contractor 014352 will be a significant tool in raising finances for more substantial projects on the horizon; namely, a feature film and a TV pilot we're currently developing.
SIMON RYNINKS - Director
Simon is a filmmaker and theatre director. His last two short films were finalists of the Sundance London Short Film Competition. He has directed for the BBC, produced and directed many music videos for the UK's biggest labels and has been awarded the Ideastap Film Fund. In 2014 he was nominated for the IMdB New Filmmaker Award. Simon’s theatre work has been performed at Somerset House, Create Festival, Turner Contemporary, and The Old Vic, his multi-platform performances have been repeatedly supported with Arts Council funding and have been shortlisted for the Oxford Samuel Beckett Award. In 2015, Simon established The Milo Wladek Co. which makes films, creates theatre, and combines both, allowing audiences to experience stories in new and exciting ways.
ZAK KLEIN - Screenwriter
Zak Klein is a scriptwriter and filmmaker based in London. He has a Scriptwriting MA from Goldsmiths University, and studied English with Creative writing at UEA. Zak's recent short films have screened at over 30 festivals across Europe and America, have won four awards and been featured on Vimeo Staff Picks and Short of the Week on Hunger TV. Zak is now working in production for a Netflix Original Series, and developing a TV spec script.
TIBO TRAVERS - Producer
Tibo is a producer and founder of SweetDoh!, an East London film production company. He graduated from The University of Westminster and Royal Holloway University of London. His slate of short films includes Deleting Emily, Happy Hour and The Elevator Pitch, with multiple awards and selections including Raindance, Sundance London, Berlin Independent Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, Emden Film Festival, Loco, Washington DC Shorts, etc.. SweetDoh’s non-fiction slate, includes a large series of campaigns for the NGO Orphans in Need (Nominated for Young Director Award), commercials for Google+ and Cornetto (Winner of MoFilm award), and two music videos for the label Anjunadeep, including "Babyfoot Romance", the Limelight Award 2015 for Best Music Video.
CATHERINE GOLDSCHMIDT - Director of Photography catherinegoldschmidt.com
Catherine Goldschmidt is a Director of Photography, living and shooting in London, Los Angeles and anywhere the next job takes her. Her work, both narrative and documentary, has screened at film festivals all over the world including Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, Toronto and the London Film Festival, among others. In the documentary world, she most notably shot on the Academy Award-winning feature documentary 20 Feet From Stardom. Her work for YouTube (the company) has garnered hundreds of millions of views. Editorially, she has shot pieces for Vogue, the NYTimes, and Nylon Magazine. Her most recently released narrative feature, Wishin’ and Hopin’ features Molly Ringwald, Meat Loaf, and Conchata Ferrell. No Light and No Land Anywhere, Catherine’s 6th feature, directed by Amber Sealey and consulting produced by Miranda July, is currently in post-production and set for release next year.
SAMI EL-ENANY - Composer https://soundcloud.com/sami-el-enany
Sami El-Enany is a British Egyptian composer and activist currently living in Leipzig. His work falls within the field of critical composition, encouraging the use of sound to enunciate social relationships and champion the idea of a sonic, politically progressive exploration. He is a co-founding member of ‘Sound As Terror’, an open collective whose effort in bringing composers and artists together to engage with contemporary soundscapes. El-Enany has also created compositions for Dorine Van Meel's 'Between the Dog and The Wolf' exhibition at the South London Gallery (June 2015), and his first feminist tentacle porn soundtrack, 'An Equally Predatory Monster' (July 2015) soon to be screened at 'Fringe! Queer Art & Film Fest'. He is also a member of dissident pop band La Shark.
HIRAN BALASURIYA - Editor
Hiran Balasuriya has worked for a eclectic range of production companies, including Kontent Films & Remedy Editorial in San Francisco, BBC Films, Breakthrough Media in London and was edit assistant on feature documentary Tell Spring Not To Come. In addition to cutting The Elevator Pitch and Ryninks' Red Onions, he has edited films for Crux Films, Somebody Nobody Productions, the BFI and Channel 4. He has also just completed his directorial debut, shot entirely on location in Sri Lanka.
PHILIP DAVIES - VFX Supervisor
Philip is a motion graphics artist living and working in London, founder and director of Battlecat! an award-winning animation studio. His recent commercial clients include Nike, Google, the BFI, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, but he started off in Johannesburg, South Africa, working on music videos for Die Antwoord. His feature film credits include Dark Tide, Tower Block, Titus, and the sleeper hit Superbob. He recently won a Vimeo Staff Pick for a short film about lava, which he made late at night because of nightmares.
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A baby is delivered from its mother, the hospital dissolves around it and the baby hovers in outer space, drifting above the moon...
A man falls gracefully through an office floor, landing on an infinite expanse of duvets. Feathers fly like gusts of snow...
A single bubble floats to the top of a pint glass; we move in closer and closer until it reveals the entire universe...
All great images, but how do we make them?
In a way, the success of this film hinges on the execution of its visual effects. And however difficult, we intend to do as much as possible with practical effects. That is to say, 'in-camera', live, rather than creating effects from scratch using computer software (CGI). This is how we'll achieve an authentic, hand-crafted and tactile feel to the film. We want you to feel as though you could reach out and touch the visuals. Think Michel Gondry, Terry Gilliam, Stanley Kubrick and Spike Jonze.
We're already designing these sequences way in advance of filming. This way we can make sure we stay on track and shoot footage that is workable, but also plan exactly how different effects will be achieved.
A word from the Producer...
We like to be upfront and not mess about when it comes to money, because we know you've worked hard for it. So here is a basic breakdown of our budget, which will give you an idea of where your contribution will go, and what it will achieve...
CREW - 23% of our Total Budget
Without our crew, we are nothing. We want to be able to ask our team for the best that they've got, and we do not expect them to give that for free. Which is why we want to pay every single crew member that will work on our film. OK, he or she might not get the big bucks on this shoot, but the good old National Minimum Wage is still a fair deal, right?
CAST - 15% of our Total Budget
It is crucial for us to aim high when it comes to our cast. Not only because the talent that's on screen is almost all that matters, but also because having a good and known actor will open doors that would remain close to our film otherwise, such as festivals and short film distributors. This is why we are in talks with excellent actors who will bring production value to the film. But hush now, more news to come in due time!
EQUIPMENT HIRE - 12 % of our Total Budget
The nerve of the war. Just like Confucius said: "The mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools". This is why we intend to get the best tools available, at an almost indecently discounted rate thanks to our production company's long time relationships with hire houses.
CONTINGENCY - 9 % of our Total Budget
Yep, it's up there. Why? Because it is film-making, and we know a little bit about how it goes. It's almost impossible to plan all that can go wrong when making a movie, which is why it is essential to have a plan B for when things go wrong. And plan B often has a cost. Failure to prepare is to prepare to fail. We certainly won't.
PRODUCTION DESIGN - 9 % of our Total Budget
Put the money on the screen. Art Department is the look of our film and it really is THE crucial element in creating a world that is believable and creatively rich. This is what we want for Contractor 014352.
TRAVEL/CATERING - 8 % of our Total Budget
An army marches on its stomach. If we want our cast and crew to give 200% of themselves for our film, we need to treat them accordingly, which means feeding them properly and paying for their travel to set.
LOCATIONS - 8 % of our Total Budget
The places where we'll be filming, and the person that will look for them. Because it's a very specific look that we have in mind, we must do broad research and have time on our hands to be able to negotiate the right deals. In films, as well as in property, it's all about: Location, Location, Location
POST PRODUCTION - 8 % of our Total Budget
Despite our hardest efforts, we are aware that we will still have some serious work to do once the film is shot. This money will go into making the film look epic, as well as working on the score and sound design to give it life, sonically-speaking.
COSTUME/MAKEUP - 5 % of our Total Budget
Here again, the identity of our film greatly depends on the disguise of our characters. With the right costume and makeup, anyone can be anybody. At least that's what they say.
MISC - 3 % of our Total Budget
The old misc, made from a base of insurance, a bit of marketing, a pinch of printing and phone bills and all of that will basically round up to 100%.
We are incredibly grateful for any support towards Contractor 014352, and we hope you'll enjoy the rewards we're offering.
There are many to choose from. Pledges start from just £5 and range from limited edition artwork and photography, to a copy of the film, a day on set, tickets to the London Premiere and even the option to have us produce a comedy sketch following a topic of your choice.
AND LET'S NOT FORGET THE CINEMATIC SPECS!
If for any reason you'd rather not pledge through Kickstarter, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be able to arrange your reward via PayPal or direct transfer. Note: this will not appear as part of the amount raised through Kickstarter on the main page.
Please spread the word on social media among your friends, family members, colleagues, or even a stranger. All this will help us raise the full amount and allow us to make Contractor 014352 actually happen!
Risks and challenges
This is an ambitious film to produce on a low budget. However we believe we can achieve it by combining our highly experienced crew, with our own track record of delivering films with high production value on a low budget.
Consider this: our budget for The Elevator Pitch was just £1,500. So imagine what we can do with £12,000!
Check our websites to see for yourself...
There are a few challenges we may face with regards to completing the film.
We understand that filmmaking is full of variables, so it's important to be flexible. We've already attached crew and cast members with our provisional shooting dates scheduled for mid December. We also have a post production schedule for early 2016. However, we always include a contingency for our dates and deadlines, to keep our options open. In any production it's vital to know there is a Plan B to fall back onto, should the need arise.
Filmmaking is often risky in terms of budget, and it's very difficult to plan precisely how much we will spend making the film. This is why we not only have a contingency in case of unplanned expenditure, but we also have our own production companies attached, who are able to provide gap funding (just!) in case we go over budget. We've got it all figured out.
With experience, one understands that when making a film the quality depends on the team's ability to think clearly and deliver the best results in any given moment. This is why we will keep a tight schedule during filming and make sure we never overwork the crew. This means we control the quality of the rushes at all times and never compromise on the results.
So there you have it.
Over and out.
Photos of Simon Ryninks, Hiran Balasuriya and Zak Klein by Hanna-Katrina Jedrosz. http://hanna-katrina.co.uk
Photo of Tibo Travers by Julian Mahrlein http://www.julianmaehrlein.de/#0Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)