Monday Nights At Seven (MNA7 - Life, Love... and MMA)
Monday Nights At Seven (MNA7 - Life, Love... and MMA)
A history-making narrative film featuring the first-ever un-choreographed, actual MMA fight... AND an actual story! Osss!
A history-making narrative film featuring the first-ever un-choreographed, actual MMA fight... AND an actual story! Osss! Read more
About this project
IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM THE FILMMAKERS!
To Our Valued Backers:
The bad news is: We’re not going to be able to reach our funding goal for Monday Nights At Seven in the time we have left here on Kickstarter.
Now for the good news! Thanks to all of you, your tweets, your encouragement, and the press we received during this process, we have been able to attract interest from the private sector to finance MNA7.
We couldn’t have accomplished it without you! You believed in us first! That is very important to us.
Thank you so much again for your belief in Monday Nights At Seven. We look forward to sharing this process with all of you.
Marty Sader & Laura Keys
SO WHAT'S THIS FILM ABOUT?
Monday Nights At Seven is a bilingual, multi-cultural love story about an everyday guy, his relationship with his eight-year-old daughter, the regrets and heartbreaks he can’t shake from his past, a fresh chance to pursue a dream, and the new woman he meets who finally offers him hope for…a LIFE at the end of the tunnel.
Although mixed martial arts is a part of our lead character’s journey, Monday Nights At Seven is far from being a “fight movie.” It is primarily a love story in the tradition of The Graduate, The Notebook, and The Bridges of Madison County.
“Prefiero morir de pie que vivir de rodillas.” ~ “It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” – EMILIANO ZAPATA
The central questions at the heart of our story are ones we all face. Is it possible to stay true to ourselves in spite of the obstacles that are thrown at us on a daily basis? Can we regroup after being devastated and learn to love ourselves again? If we never learn to love ourselves, can we really give our best to others? How much more could we respect ourselves if we just stopped running and faced our fears?
When we were writing MNA7, we felt the best symbol to visually express the magnitude of that universal internal conflict… was mixed martial arts. Not simply because the sport itself is grueling, but also because – just like life - it transforms a person on the inside. There’s no room for pretense… with yourself or in the way you relate to others.
It gets ugly sometimes. It’s brutal. But it’s life. And that’s worth fighting for.
A message from Producer/Co-Writer Laura Keys:
Before I get into a whole history of what brought us here, I have to thank some of the incredible individuals who believed in us and gave us their support when most people just thought we were nuts. They are:
• Edward James Olmos (Producer/Actor, MNA7)
• Anderson Silva (Actor, MNA7)
• Frank Shamrock (Executive Producer, MNA7)
• John Frost & Patrick Bird (SonicPool, Post-Production/Exec. Producers, MNA7)
• Ed Soares (MMA Manager/Owner Resurrection Fighting Alliance)
• Greg Jackson & Chris Luttrell (Jackson's MMA - Albuquerque, NM)
• Gokor Chivichyan (Hayastan MMA Academy)
• Benny "The Jet" Urquidez
• Angel Barroeta (Director of Photography, MNA7)
“I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.” - VINCENT VAN GOGH
AN UPHILL BATTLE
Back in 2006, when we first started on our journey to make Monday Nights At Seven (MNA7), it was just the two of us. We believed we had a solid script with a lot of heart. We were proud of the fact that we were going to do things differently, like casting the movie in unconventional ways, reflecting the cultural diversity of the actual world and putting moments on the screen that had NEVER been attempted before. We even thought that studios, production companies and distributors would leap at the chance to be involved with – what was at that time – the first movie to include the growing sports phenomenon of mixed martial arts in its storyline.
This was back in the days when people were still referring to MMA using Senator John McCain’s (pre-Palin) description, “human cock fighting.” Because we’re incredibly stubborn, and also because we’ve always been suckers for the underdog, we decided to educate the “industry types” we were meeting with and enlighten them about something Marty and I both considered to be the sport of the future.
Our reasoning went something like this: If these producers were just better informed about how awesome MMA is, they would be as excited as we are about this project.
As it turned out, all those sleepless nights spent compiling data on the sport (and putting together charts and histories and press clippings for movie execs) were a total wash, and my compelling (at least I thought so…) “What Is This Thing Called MMA?” info packets just ended up lining the bottoms of trash cans in production offices across L.A. and the rest of the planet.
But that didn’t stop us from believing that what we had was special, and even though we were beginning to suspect that our fight to get this film made was probably going to require as much emotional grit and focus as actually stepping into the cage, we were up for the challenge!
NOT A “FIGHT MOVIE”
To add to the industry confusion about our project, we couldn’t be cubby-holed because we’re not trying to make an MMA Exploitation film. We’re making a love story that happens to have fighting in it. (What love affair DOESN’T involve fighting anyway?)
As Marty has always said, “If our lead character wanted to be a chiropractor instead of a fighter, you wouldn’t call it a chiropractor movie.”
SO HOW DID A COUPLE OF HOLLYWOOD OUTCASTS SCORE EDWARD JAMES OLMOS?
Years ago, while we were still trying to raise money for our first independent feature, Most High, I had the privilege of hearing Edward James Olmos give a speech at a cable industry event. At the time I thought to myself, “Someday, somehow he needs to meet Marty. He’s the only person who will understand how Marty works and be able to see what we’re trying to do here.”
So as we found ourselves hitting another series of artistic brick walls with MNA7, I began my pursuit to get our project in front of him. Then a completely chance encounter/celebrity sighting landed us face to face with the man, and we dove right in, sent a script to his production office, and got a meeting.
Sitting across from him that first day was surreal for us, mostly because he was so open and generous in expressing his appreciation for Marty’s work in Most High. What an incredible honor that he agreed to get involved with our project! We are so fortunate to be able to work with him!
At Eddie’s insistence (I still can’t believe I’m calling him that. I’m a musical theater geek, and his performance in Zoot Suit altered my perception forever!), we began to pursue private investor funding in order to keep our ownership of the project and maintain creative control, but again we met with resistance because Marty is still an "unknown." To our amazement, Eddie didn't give up on us. He continues to be as committed as we are to telling the story of MNA7 in the most honest, culturally responsible and truthful way possible, in other words the way we always intended. It is always refreshing to find someone else in the universe who “gets” what we’re trying to do, but when that person is Edward James Olmos…WOW! He even came through for us and financed the surgery shoot and has funded Marty's training out of his own pocket. We are overwhelmed!
AND… He also agreed to play Marty’s father in the movie. How awesome is that?
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” - JALAL AD-DIN RUMI (Persian Poet and Mystic, 1207-1273)
OKAY, THIS SOUNDS PROMISING… WHO ELSE IS INVOLVED?
One of the most gratifying experiences for us has been the way the MMA community has embraced Marty in his quest to get this project made the way he envisions it.
Our Executive Producer is across-the-board world fighting champion (UFC, Strikeforce, WEC, Pancrase), fight analyst/commentator/spokesman/author, and MMA superstar Frank “The Legend” Shamrock, who is credited by many as the man who brought the sport to broadcast television. We think Frank’s endorsement speaks volumes for what Marty is trying to do, and we are incredibly grateful that he has our backs.
Small world that it is… When Marty first started training he bought Frank’s instructional video series and subsequently turned our apartment into a makeshift grappling gym for a period of time. So I indirectly had Shamrock to blame for my deconstructed living room. (The state of decline it’s in now is another story.)
Point is, we’re now working with two legends we admire – both of them trailblazers in their fields. And they’ve given us their votes of confidence to try to do the same. It’s pretty miraculous to us when we think about it.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
Marty has always been very specific about his desire to avoid peppering the film with fighter cameos from the real MMA world. However…there was one man we wrote a part specifically for: UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. Widely considered to be the greatest pound-for-pound mixed martial artist of all time, Anderson will be playing a pivotal supporting role in Monday Nights At Seven.
On second thought, maybe it would be wise to let Anderson speak for himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZhTTcg65e4
With the generous organizational help and guidance of preeminent MMA manager Ed Soares (at far left) and his Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA), a large part of the Monday Nights At Seven production budget will be spent towards setting up a massive, twelve-camera shoot during a live MMA event.
Marty’s bout will be on the evening’s fight card, just like any other match up. People in the audience will be a part of the movie (One of our Rewards levels includes V.I.P. cage side seats at the actual event.), and we’ll be capturing every possible angle. We only have one chance to get it right.
“Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” – WILLIAM WALLACE
We’re still reeling!
Marty has trained and sparred with some of the top athletes and trainers in the fight world (Greg Jackson & Chris Luttrell, Gokor Chivichyan, Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, Satoshi Ishii, and Lyoto Machida, among others) during the past four years.
It goes without saying that we are incredibly grateful to be in the same room with these guys, let alone have their support. We’re beyond excited at the opportunity to work with athletes of their caliber, and we can’t wait to get started!
LET’S MAKE HISTORY TOGETHER!
Monday Nights At Seven will be the first film in movie history to put an actual fight on the screen! We’re talking about a live, unchoreographed, “four-ounce-glove-in-your-face”* MMA battle… With no predetermined outcome… Captured on film… And staying in the movie… Regardless of what happens. Win or lose.
Why? Because the outcome of the fight isn’t as important to the emotional journey of our lead character as simply finding the strength to face himself and his fears. Ironically, by stepping away from the false security of the status quo and into a physical cage… he finds the freedom to step back into his life. And by confronting himself in that way, he creates hope for a brighter future for everyone around him. Not because of vain ambitions or any fleeting promise of fame at the end of the road, but because he’s taking steps not to pass his demons on to his daughter. By standing up for himself, he is teaching her – by example - how to really live.
We think this message is important. We hope you do too.
*BTW - Thanks for the "four-ounce glove" sound bite, Shamrock.
OUR STRETCH GOAL: $2.2 MILLION
“Wanna make a movie? I have an iPhone and some shop lights in my truck!” - LAURA KEYS & MARTY SADER
We’re no strangers to the art of guerrilla filmmaking, and we frequently have to be talked off the ledge and away from our initial impulse to just go shoot whatever we can whenever there’s an extra $100 in our pockets.
Most High was our film school. From it we learned that, no matter how exciting it is to dive head first into production, at the end of the day what matters is what the audience sees on the screen. With Monday Nights At Seven, we have production budget demands that can’t be ignored. There are some corners that just can’t be cut.
Our cast and crew will be working at union scale, and we will implement as many cost-saving measures as possible; however, to get the film where it needs to be cinematically, our budget breakdown requires more.
WHAT DOES MY PLEDGE MONEY BUY?
In addition to our “big budget day” fight event, there are a number of other costly factors to consider when putting this or any movie together, like…
Music and a film’s score help set the tone and tell the story immensely. Marty has a few specific songs in mind that we will have to purchase rights for. Unless someone reading this is related to one of the members of Big Head Todd and the Monsters or Leo Nocentelli and can swing an awesome “family discount” deal for us, we’ll be spending a respectable chunk of our production money on their sizable talents, among others.
In charge of overseeing the look of the entire movie, a good production designer ensures the film has a consistent tone. They supervise all the locations, props, set decorations, and so on and work with the Costume Designer to ensure the director’s vision of the production is being met by every department.
Location, Location, Location:
It’s very important to us that we are able to shoot MNA7 on location in Los Angeles, which isn’t the cheapest proposition. Many productions travel out of California in order to make budget, and if we were only shooting interiors we might consider that as well. But it was always our intention to capture the unique tapestry of cultures on the streets of L.A.
And let’s face it, there aren’t many other places in the world where you’ll find a Salvadorean pupusería sandwiched between a Korean BBQ joint on one side and a Persian grocery store on the other. That diversity is one of the things we love most about this town! Trying to create that environment someplace else would just be fake… and contradictory to everything we’re trying to accomplish with this film.
Post-Production & Sound Mixing:
SonicPool owners John Frost and Patrick Bird came to our rescue during post-production on Most High. Their efforts and creativity gave us a sound mix we could be proud of.
Now nearly 10 years later, SonicPool has grown into a full service post-production company with 2 locations in Hollywood and Burbank and provides Sound & Picture Finishing Services, Rental Services and Duplication Services for large and small projects alike.
Patrick and John have joined the production of Monday Nights At Seven as Executive Producers. Their staff will be providing the entire post-production of the movie at a bare minimum rate. With their help, MNA7 will have first-rate sound, editing, and color. We can’t thank them enough, and we look forward to collaborating with them again on this project!
Since we’re mavericks here, and operating outside the system is just how we “roll,” (grappling pun intended) we don’t have to conform to any casting constraints based on “approved actor algorithms” or anything like that. We can reach out to anyone we choose, regardless of that actor’s race, political alliances, agency affiliation, shoe size, romantic escapades, or anything else. We get to cast who we want.
Fortunately, we have great insider access. Eddie is generously calling on his friends to help us realize Marty’s vision by enlisting the skills of some of the best actors in the business. We can’t disclose who those friends are just yet, but we can tell you that their work speaks for itself. And even though they'll be working for us at union scale (a substantial pay grade reduction for them), the value they bring to MNA7 will be immeasurable.
Risks and challenges
Monday Nights At Seven doesn’t have a distributor attached yet, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As Eddie’s experience with Stand and Deliver can attest, sometimes it works out better that way. It gives us the freedom to make MNA7 the same way we made Most High, basically without having to compromise or change the movie to fit a distributor’s or financier’s demands. We get final cut. That’s a huge coup, just by itself.
Our goal is to screen the movie for distribution companies after it’s finished, either privately or via the film festival circuit. Either way, we’re in great hands. Eddie is a veteran at this, a champion of independent filmmakers, and an artistic trailblazer across the board. He knows what to expect. And we have a little experience with this ourselves.
WHEN DO I GET MY REWARD FOR HELPING YOU MEET YOUR GOAL?
Many of the rewards we’re offering will be sent out in October of this year. If we meet our goal, movie-related sports gear/memorabilia rewards will be shipped out before December 2013, in other words just in time for the holidays. Pretty great stocking stuffers, right? For those of you who will be attending an event/screening/training session or joining us in Los Angeles during production, we will stay in close communication with you to keep you up to date in terms of schedule.
Now for the Legalese…
• If your reward involves a visit to our set, we plan to start shooting in October 2013 in Los Angeles. But we are working around the schedules of professional fighters and movie stars here. Things could change. We will keep you posted so you can plan your visit well in advance.
• If you become a patron at the $2,000 or $3,000 (Plus One) level and are going to be an extra in the movie, a featured extra at the $7,500 or receive a cast credit ($10,000 level), you must be over 18, a US citizen or have a work visa, and you must not be a member of SAG/AFTRA.
• You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your “plus one”) to attend the movie premiere or visit the set.
• Personalized voice and video message rewards are yours to write and direct, but we reserve the right to refuse to say or do anything inappropriate, hurtful or offensive.
• Some of our rewards might require paperwork. For example, if you are appearing in the film, you will have to sign a release.
• Final cut might have to be edited to adhere to certain laws in other countries or for different types of media. We will do our best to keep you “in the picture.”
• All shooting locations are subject to change for a wide variety of reasons, including the amount of money we raise and depending on whether we can even get the right to shoot in the locations we want.
• The MNA7 funding campaign is subject to all applicable Kickstarter rules and regulations, and all movie guild rules and applicable laws. If any of our rewards contradict or conflict with these rules or laws, we will work with you directly and in good faith to provide a substitute prize everyone can be happy with.
There are always a lot of unknown factors that pop up while you’re making a movie. We are very proud of our script. We have assembled a diverse and impressive team so far and will continue to reach out to put together the best cast and crew possible. We will insure the production (another big hit to our budget) and will try our best to come up with contingency plans well in advance to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Of course, we can’t predict everything will go exactly by the playbook, but we can assure you that we will bring our best to this project to create something we can all be proud of. Thank you so much for helping us realize this hard-won dream. We’re looking to make movie history with Monday Nights At Seven. And we can’t get there without you.
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