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A small Texas town grieves the loss of a young athlete, as his older brother holds himself responsible for the accident.
A small Texas town grieves the loss of a young athlete, as his older brother holds himself responsible for the accident.
129 backers pledged $8,753 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

NOBODY KNOWS: A harmless prank turns tragic in Texas project video thumbnail
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$8,753

129

We're making this film, but now we're shifting our focus from getting the film made to getting the film seen

Our stretch goal will fund the post-production process, as we edit the film, design the sound, and color the final picture. Then, we'll need to get the film seen, by submitting the finished film to festivals around the world -- including ones in your own neighborhood (see our $275 stretch goal!).

Nobody Knows is a short drama about Ross Bottoms, a high school nobody in a small Texas town, who, at the urging of a friend, decides to play a prank on his younger half-brother, who is a rising football prodigy. When the prank goes tragically wrong, Ross is forced to grieve the loss, while also reconciling the fact that he is responsible for the community's pain.

To get a feel for the visuals of our film, check out this video below: 

Over the last few years, I’ve made a few short films and written several feature length films, inspired by my growing up in Denton, and the family and friends who make the place colorful for me. This time it’s unique though: I’m actually bringing my cast and crew home, to Denton and the surrounding area, to produce the project. So this time, it’s getting a bit more personal to me, and I couldn’t be more excited for it. 

While the story itself isn’t about Denton or any town specifically, you’re going to see some iconic and familiar locations throughout, that will hopefully mean something to you too. On top of that: we have a few scenes that require lots of bodies, so I’m excited to fill the football field bleachers and other scenes with familiar faces. Everyone is invited to come be in the film this July!

First of all, we’re asking you to share this campaign with your friends and family via social media. The more conversation, the better!

Secondly, and most importantly, we need financial support to make the film possible. Hollywood studios aren’t exactly clamoring to make small, personal, and story-driven films, especially of the short variety. So we’re asking that you consider backing us, by giving $5, $500, or whatever you can; a bunch of small contributions combine to make one huge contribution.

You're probably thinking: isn't this film going to cost more than $6,500?

You're right. Making a film is expensive. Funds raised from Kickstarter will be combined with personal funds to flesh out the full budget of $10,000, but we're confident we can push past our goal and hit our full budget stretch goal. 

This is where the money will go:

  • hiring local Texas crew
  • shooting locations
  • hiring a local Texas casting director
  • equipment and camera rentals

For anything else, we'll be begging, bartering, and stealing (okay, maybe not stealing).

In exchange for your generous gift (many, many thanks!), check out a few of of our more unique rewards below. 

One-of-a-kind disposable photo print captured during production
One-of-a-kind disposable photo print captured during production

 

Photographic evidence of Mandy's canning prowess. Jar of salsa, plus tickets to our family + friends screening, and more
Photographic evidence of Mandy's canning prowess. Jar of salsa, plus tickets to our family + friends screening, and more

 

Statehood rings, made from U.S. currency. Available in all 50 states.
Statehood rings, made from U.S. currency. Available in all 50 states.

 

Statehood necklaces from In God We Must. Available in any of the 50 states.
Statehood necklaces from In God We Must. Available in any of the 50 states.

Many thanks to our friends In God We Must for contributing the rings + necklaces to the campaign. Be sure to show them some love. 

Finally, our dear friend and frequent collaborator Jace Lumley, will be on hand during production to document the process for our backers, post to our Instagram account, and capture stunning landscapes for our $75 reward -- 11" x 17" limited edition photographic prints. Take a look at his work below:

 

 

 

Tommy O’Brien - ‘Ross Bottoms’ Tommy and I went to the same college, but never crossed paths until I saw his performance in DJ Snake & Justin Bieber’s music video for ‘Let Me Love You’. As we talked further and I saw more of his work, I knew he was someone I wanted to work with. He’s an actor, but also a storyteller.

In fact, it was the thought of collaborating together that eventually had me dusting off this old idea and finally getting it down on paper. As Nobody Knows has minimal dialogue, I knew that I needed someone whose sheer presence could give each scene an anchor. I needed someone we could empathize with, even though he says very little. Tommy is that anchor.

Sean Conte - Cinematographer The cinematographer is the person who shapes the light and visuals of a scene and is arguably the most essential collaborator to a director; it’s his job to translate what I have in my head onto the screen. Since starting to work together a few years ago, Sean has become my other half. Excellence is his aim in everything he does and he has the uncanny ability to find the one place in any room that is going to give the scene and actors the right shape and placement, whether we’re using natural or artificial light. He’s a gifted storyteller with his own perspective and he brings that to everything we do. 

Nico Chavez - Production Designer We’ve been friends (and more like family) since we were both over-zealous 18 year-old-film students. Nico is a storyteller through and through, and a gifted filmmaker in his own right. He’s one of the first people I send a draft of any script too, because he too lives in that fragile in-between of being a creative person: the need of gentle affirmation, but also the need of truthful and constructive criticism. This is a guy you want to have on set for his talent, but most of all, for his spirit. He gives life to everyone around him.

In a production designer, I’m entrusting the environment (sets, wardrobe, props, etc.) of the film to him, and I can’t think of someone who would possibly be more protective of what I’ve laid out on these pages.

Luke Wieting - Composer Luke and I met years back and he's always one of the first calls I make when working on a new project. I like to bring him into the process as early on as possible, which often means he has the challenge of writing musical themes before a single frame of the project has been shot. Most recently, I challenged Luke with developing the score for a lululemon commercial  that walked a really fine line tonally. What he came up with still blows me away. 

Jessica Wen-Di Tan - Campaign Art Director While not physically involved in the upcoming production, all the beautiful visual elements of this Kickstarter campaign were designed by my dear friend Jessica. We went off to Norway for a commercial project this last year, and came back forever friends. She’s family. She’s gifted beyond words. She has a cool cat, named Hank. And words cannot express my gratitude to her for lending her talents and time to me.

On his live concert album, The Storyteller, Todd Snider addresses the audience as only he can: “I might share some of my opinions with you over the course of the evening. I’m not gonna share them with you ’cause I think they’re smart, or ’cause I think you need to know ’em; I’m gonna share ’em with you because they rhyme. I didn’t come down here to change any of y’all’s minds about anything; I come down here to ease my own mind about everything…”

Easing my own mind; that’s what filmmaking has really become for me. A story allows us to confront those tensions inside ourselves. Those ones that are difficult to speak outwardly about. That’s why people love watching films; a primal desire to see themselves on the screen and know that they are not alone. The screen is a mirror. 

Sometimes, it takes moving across the country to realize that you wanted to tell stories about home all along. That home in Texas is changing though. It’s not the same as when I left for California. The city is creeping towards it with great inevitably. I consider this film an opportunity to preserve an old picture in my head; the one I saw outside my window, every morning during the half-hour drive to school. That’s where Nobody Knows takes place; somewhere along those highways.

The story itself was born out of a conversation at Sundance. A friend asked me if I thought I could ever tell a crime story. I thought for a minute about it and even sketched out an opening scene, but I couldn’t find my point-of-view in the story. So, I put it away. Three years later, Nobody Knows came to me while sitting adjacent the square in Denton. It’s the crime story he asked me about, but underneath, it’s more than that. It’s about the exterior lives we show to one another and the interior lives we hide inside. It’s about the difficulties of family and community, and how we respond to tragedy. It’s about the nobodies and the somebodies, and the gap separating the two. It’s about grieving the loss of family, while knowing that you might be responsible for the pain. Most of all, it’s about a moment in time, in Texas; when the grasshoppers sing on hot summer days and the light is eternal, even after sunset. It’s beautiful; scars and all. It’s not a true story, but it might as well be.

I look forward to sharing more about the story and, ultimately, the completed film, in the coming months. 

Thanks for being here,

Nolan

Our one-sheet poster for the film
Our one-sheet poster for the film

 

Risks and challenges

Making a film is a massive undertaking; a million different factors and logistical challenges, different set personalities, and more all have to unite around a singular goal for it to be successful. On top of that, completing the film is just the first step, and then finding creative ways to have the film seen and viewed is the final step

Three things that suggest we'll find success in this project:

1. A strong script as our backbone provides a singular vision for everyone to get behind. Everyone in cast + crew has bought in to what we're looking to achieve.

2. Several years of successful commercial productions, for projects much larger in scale (budgets upwards of $100k).

3. Nolan's three years of marketing agency experience and the crew's collective network of industry relationships will combine to ensure that the film is seen by many people, but most importantly, the right people.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    One-Of-A-Kind Photo

    Nolan has a real love for disposable cameras, so after production we'll send you an exclusive, one-of-a-kind photograph, taken from set. It will be the only one in existence, and will be created by cast or crew.

    Plus, get access to backer's only Kickstarter updates, our behind the scenes Instagram account, and tune in to backers only Instagram Live broadcasts live from set.

    Includes:
    • Behind-the-scenes access
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    The Finished Film

    Upon completion, be a part of the first group to ever see the finished film. We'll send a digital download of the film straight to your inbox.

    On top of that, we'll also send over the disposable photo print from set.

    Includes:
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    • Disposable camera photo print from set
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    2 Tickets to Denton or LA Screening

    Following completion of the film, join us for a friends + family screening of the finished film, in either Denton, TX or Los Angeles, before we begin our film festival run. Let's share a drink, some stories, and good company.

    Double this reward and bring the family!

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Mandy's Salsa

    If you've never had a taste of Nolan's mom's Texas State Fair ribbon-winning salsa, you're in for a real treat. And if you have, this reward is a no brainer. You'll have your very own 16 oz. jar of salsa, delivered to your doorstep.

    Plus, join us for the screening of the finished film. Includes the below.

    Includes:
    • Tickets to screening of the completed film
    • Behind-the-scenes access
    • Disposable camera photo print from set
    • Digital download of completed film
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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Statehood Rings from IN GOD WE MUST

    Our friends Elijah and Matt, of IN GOD WE MUST, create these bespoke rings from state quarters (pictured at left). We love them because you can carry a little bit of home with you wherever you go. All 50 states available. Also available in a necklace.

    Check them out: https://www.igwm.co/

    Includes:
    • Behind-the-scenes access
    • Disposable camera photo print from set
    • Tickets to screening of the completed film
    • Digital download of completed film
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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Statehood Necklace from IN GOD WE MUST

    STRETCH REWARD // Like the rings, these Statehood Necklaces are fashioned from actual state currency, by our friends IN GOD WE MUST. So if rings aren't your thing, carry a little bit of home around your neck.

    Your choice of any of the 50 states.

    Includes:
    • Behind-the-scenes access
    • Digital download of completed film
    • Disposable camera photo print from set
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    11" x 17" Limited Photographic Print

    During production, we'll have photographer Jace Lumley on hand to document the behind-the-scenes-process and also capture the beautiful, sprawling Texas landscape.

    Following production, you'll be given the choice of your favorite photograph, to then have printed on high quality & sturdy paper by one of Los Angeles' foremost print companies.

    Includes:
    • Behind-the-scenes access
    • Digital download of completed film
    • Disposable camera photo print from set
    • Tickets to screening of the completed film
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    6 Jars of Mandy's Canned Eats

    Nolan's mom isn't just known for her salsa. If it can be canned, Mandy has canned it. Her jams, jellies, apple butter, and more have all taken home ribbons at the Texas State Fair. Have an assortment of her canned eats shipped to your doorstep for your enjoyment.

    Includes:
    • Behind-the-scenes access
    • Digital download of completed film
    • Disposable camera photo print from set
    • Tickets to screening of the completed film
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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    Pick A Film Festival

    STRETCH GOAL // Want to bring the film to your own neighborhood? We'll submit the film to the festival of your choosing, and if accepted, you and 3 friends or family will join our crew at the festival premiere.

    All we ask is that the festival is a fairly established festival, that has been in good standing for at least 3 years. From there, the choice is yours.

    Includes:
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    • Disposable camera photo print from set
    • Tickets to screening of the completed film
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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Brand Video or Music Video

    Following production, our creative team will produce a brand video or music video for your company or band. Using our experience producing branded content for leading brands (lululemon, OPI, Dermalogica) and music videos for major and independent labels, we're positive we can make something great that's strategy-driven and creative. Production budget not included.

    Includes:
    • Behind-the-scenes access
    • Digital download of completed film
    • Disposable camera photo print from set
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    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    Executive Producer

    Perhaps you love our story so much, that you want to get involved in a bigger way. Become the Executive Producer of the film, attend the festival premiere and share a celebratory dinner with cast + crew. We'll throw in a jar of salsa too.

    Travel + accommodations not included.

    Includes:
    • Behind-the-scenes access
    • Digital download of completed film
    • Disposable camera photo print from set
    • Tickets to the world festival premiere
    • Jar of Mandy's salsa
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Funding period

- (18 days)