"Awestruck" is a story about that moment we all have faced at some point in our lives, that moment when you have to decide whether to fit into your expected mold or take a risk by chasing your dreams.
"Awestruck" revolves around Desmond Dalton, a small-time bassist for a small-time band in a small-time town in Indiana. At least he was until the band imploded and the members went their separate ways, something Desmond has become all too familiar with over the years. Now after months of hard work he's finally getting another chance when his band, The Black Ties which is made up of the guitarist from his old band and an amazing new group of guys, gets a chance to tour nationwide opening for hometown bands. At this point nothing can stop The Black Ties' momentum...well that is until they discover that they're sharing touring duties with a band by the name of The Drive-Ins, made up of the other members of Desmond's last failed band. Now if any of them want a chance to hit it big they must find some way to survive this disaster waiting to happen.
The heart of the film lies in Desmond's journey where he must confront mistakes from his past as well as the uncertainties of his future. The Black Ties serve as his last shot at his dream of being a musician because time after time he's seen bands he's been in fall apart because of infighting. Desmond is at an age or better yet a crossroads in his life where he must decide whether to continuing pursuing this possible pipe dream or go out and get as he would put it, a "real" job. On top of all this he takes it upon himself as the mature member of the band and is constantly adding the weight of others' troubles to his own.
"Awestruck" holds a very special place for me, of course being the writer how could it not but, it's because this is in a way my own story. I also know this is the story of a great number of individuals, including some that are reading this right now. At some point we've all come to that crossroads where we have to decide if the risk is worth it and as does Desmond at one point decides, I too decided at one point decided that it wasn't. I gave up writing and got a 9 to 5 job because that was what I was supposed to do...because that's what I was told I was supposed to do. I left writing behind me until a good friend of mine called me up and point blankly asked me what in the hell I was doing. At that moment I knew I couldn't just turn my back on what I knew I was supposed to do. Has it been a rough road? Of course but I've never thought about turning back and the reason is this movie. This story dragged me out of a place of self doubt that I thought I'd never escape. So yeah, "Awestruck" is pretty important to me, not only because it's become my baby but because it literally saved my life...and honestly how could I not want to share that story with all of you?
One of the things I love about "Awestruck" is that it's not just about a single subject. Not only is about Desmond but its about the dynamics with these conflicting bands, and about their individual stories and there are just so many layers to this movie. This is exactly how I'm approaching the making of this film. The movie is not only going to be about these bands but about these tour stops and the music. We will be shooting in beautiful Greenville, SC ( http://www.greenvillesc.gov/ ) which also happens to be my hometown. The great thing about Greenville is that it is such a diverse area. Everything a filmmaker could want is within 20 minutes travel whether it be rural areas to urban to an art district. Shooting in Greenville will provide a nation's worth of locations within it's county lines.
Also since a large majority of the locations are these tour stops that the bands will be stopping on I will be utilizing local venues. The great thing about this is much like the scenery of Greenville these venues are just as diverse. On Main St. alone there are 10+ locations that while are all in the same area are incredibly different than the last. Using these venues I'll be able give the appearance of a totally different end of the county by doing nothing more than walking a couple blocks.
On top of that this movie, as suggested by the line "A Rock Anthology," is a movie filled with music and that's something I want to capitalize on. Music is such and amazing medium and especially the genre of Rock. This isn't going to be a soundtrack filled with a single area of Rock music but is going be flowing with such a diverse mix of all kinds, much like how the band members themselves are so diverse. I want to find a healthy group of amazing local bands to provide music for the films. With that I'm already working with a number of local artist to provide completely original songs for the film's two lead bands, The Black Ties and The Drive-Ins.
Now when it comes the production of the actual film I'm going to using a great amount of local talent. Having grown up in the area before leaving home I've met an amazing number of talented creative people over the years that will be part of the production. On top of that there are numerous film education programs in the area that are filled with eager and hungry young filmmakers. Already we have a group of people chomping at the bit to get this project. Everyone involved in this project is not only physically involved but emotionally involved at this point.
Where Your Money will Go
Every dime that is contributed goes directly toward the production of this film whether it be equipment, transportation, locations, post-production, etc. Right now we are looking at a 15 day shoot spaced out across three weeks because of the availability of certain locations.
After the film is finished whatever is remaining of the budget will go into submissions to film festivals around the country.
Now I know Kickstarter doesn't say anything about including a section for your rewards, probably because they are right there ->, but honestly I'm so excited about some of these things that I can't keep my mouth shut about them...and that sounded way more late night infomercially then I initially intended. So let's go down the list. (Also each higher tier includes everything that came before it. Ex. Donate $25 and you get the rewards for $1-$25)
- $1 - Now usually a measly dollar couldn't get you anything but that's not the case here with "Awestruck" because every donation no matter how big or small is an amount we didn't have before. So for your single dollar you'll be receiving an "Awestruck" wallpaper pack. What does this include? This includes 3 different wallpapers, 1 themed for each band and 1 "Awestruck" themed, for your computer(5 sizes) and for your phone/iphone/ipad.
- $5 - You get a digital download of the soundtrack for the film. Like I mentioned earlier this will be an amazingly diverse showcase of top-notch bands.
- $10 - Gets you a digital copy of the movie when it is released.
- $15 - Gets you a physical copy of the film's soundtrack. Did I mention that it would be autographed by the bands who provide the tracks?
- $25 - Gets you dvd of "Awestruck" autographed by cast & crew.
- $50 - Now this is where things start to get cool. For 50 bucks not only do you get everything that's already been listed but you also get an awesome Awestruck tour shirt. These shirts will ONLY be provided for Kickstarters...heck even I'm having to throw in to be allowed to get one. Seriously though, once this shirt is gone its gone and will never be made again!
- $100 - Whether school sucked for you or it was awesome there's one thing we can all agree on. Yearbooks rule! That's why for anyone donating 100 dollars or more we will be throwing in the Awestruck yearbook. Not only will this book contain behind the scenes stories and photos but will also include pictures of the entire cast & crew who will also sign every copy personally to you thanking you for helping make our movie.
- $300 - Now this is where things get interesting. Not only will you be getting everything already listed but you will also be getting the wardrobe from a random character in the movie but we're not talking about "Patron #4" here. We're talking about Desmond Dalton and crew. You will be receiving SCREEN WORN wardrobe. That not good enough for you? Alright well what if I throw in a prop from the movie as well?
- $1000 - This is it, the big one. Not only will you get the Wallpaper pack, the digital and physical copies of the cd and dvd (both autographed), the Kickstarter ONLY Awestruck tour t-shirt, the Awestruck yearbook (personalized to you by the cast & crew), the character wardrobe and prop, but you will ALSO be receiving 1 of 5 instruments featured in the movie. These include Desmond Dalton's bass, Ashley Roth's guitar, Joshua Guy's guitar, Ray Wynters' bass, and Peter Shams' acoustic guitar. First come, first choice and once these are gone they are gone!
So that's it. I've laid all my cards out on the table. Now it's just up to you whether you're going to take advantage of my offer. As you can tell I love to write and I plan on having WAY too many updates giving you possibly even daily updates. I don't want you to donate your hard earned money and just have to sit back waiting to see what happens. I'm going to be coming to you every day with new information. Character bios, location photos, heck I may even get your opinions on which shirt you'd like to see Desmond in more and then actually let you contributors vote on it. I want you to be our 13th man, so to speak. I want to make you feel like you're on set everyday, which of course if you're in the area you are more than welcome to...but now it's up to you. It all starts with a single donation. Now you just need to ask yourself if you want to donate toward my film. I don't like to make promises I can't keep but I believe I will have no problem keeping this one. If you donate I can promise you three things. First, I will give you an experience that no other project has provided with the up to minute updates. Second, I will take you on one hell of a ride and introduce you to a number of great bands on the way. And lastly, I promise that by the end of it I'll certainly leave you...Awestruck!
Thank you for your time and I can't wait to make my film with you!
- (60 days)