Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 24, 2011.

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A Southern short film about a would-be religious con-artist and his adopted brother who are pitted against aquatic folk-lore incarnate.

On the shores of "Tennessee's only bio-luminescent lake," the line between myth and reality is blurred. Would-be con artist, Timothy West, will walk this line, improvising one elaborate scheme after another to keep the money he stole from the church and pass himself off as a repentant miracle worker. With his adopted brother, Light, reluctantly at his side, Timothy seems bound to make a clean getaway, unless a certain legend turns out to be real.

We're making a movie!

We’ve been waiting for several years to spring this story on the known world.  We are trying to do more than make an exciting Southern con-movie with fake miracles, brotherly roughhousing, and a breathtaking underwater climax! We want to share the experience of making a movie with as many people as we can. And not just sharing the end product; we need your help and collaboration in every step. If you donate, we consider you a part of our team.

We have gathered a talented cast and crew from across the country and are preparing to go into production in early August. Our plan for this film is to hit the festival circuit head-on, setting our sights on film festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, and our own Nashville film festival. We also plan to release on DVD and through online avenues such as Hulu. This project is bigger and better than anything we’ve ever done before. Dive in with us. You won’t regret it.

We can't do it alone.

We officially went into pre-production this February, and have spent much of that time looking for the right people to turn this vision into reality. As a result, we have the power of an all-star crew to carry this movie to its goal:

  • Starring as the rough-and-tumble lead character, we have the talented Matt O'Leary. Since he was a kid, Matt has acted alongside the likes of John Travolta and Bill Paxton. He played The Brain, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s brilliant sidekick in the neo-noir hit, Brick. Most recently, he starred in SXSW award sweeper, Natural Selection. Check out this clip from the film: http://videos.nymag.com/video/Natural-Selection-Linda-and-Ray
  • Heading up the art department, and the folks responsible for creating the world of Jesus Fish, are Sophie Kosofsky and Bob Weisz. Sophie and Bob are experienced production designers and weird effect gurus who have worked on films such as Glory at Sea and spectacular music videos by the likes of MGMT, The Killers, and Manchester Orchestra. They are talented, yes. And experienced, true! But they also share our unique vision for the atmospheric universe we want to soak the story in.
  • Leading us down into the Jesus Fish's mysterious underwater abode is AFI Cinematography Fellow, Boyd Hobbs. Boyd's work on the short film Loves Me Not earned him the 2010 ASC Undergraduate Student Heritage Award for outstanding cinematography. His experience as a certified SCUBA diver and underwater camera operator will bring a magical visual beauty to the film's crucial underwater sequences. Check out his website and reel.
  • Keeping the ship running smoothly and efficiently are a wonderful group of familiar faces filling out the camera, lighting, production, etc. departments. These are skilled crew members who we not only trust to do an excellent job, but with whom we've become good friends.

We need YOU!

Obviously, making a movie like this is big undertaking, and it takes a whole lot of resources to pull off properly. We have accomplished a lot since February, but we still have much more to do before the cameras start rolling on August 6th. This is where you come in. We need your help, and lots of it!

In order to make this happen, we need to raise a minimum of $20,000 by July 24th. The way Kickstarter works is that, if we don't meet our goal, then no money changes hands, and there's no Jesus Fish. But, if you want to see Timothy and Light come together as brothers and fight their way through a muddy cocktail of mystery and betrayal, then bring the Jesus Fish to life by joining our team.

If you donate, your money will go directly to realizing this movie by meeting these needs:

  • Transportation and Lodging. While the entire film will be shot in and around Dayton, TN, our team is made up of folks from, literally, all across the country, including California, Louisiana, and Florida. We need to get them to Tennessee so that they can work their magic.
  • Food. A well-fed crew is a happy crew. We need to keep about 30 people happy for 7 days of shooting, not to mention all the extras.
  • Production Design. This story demands a specific atmosphere, and we are confident that Bob and Sophie will knock it out of the park. They need to purchase the materials and resources necessary to bring the atmosphere to life.
  • Equipment. Anybody who has worked on a film set knows that there is a lot of gear involved. Things we need to rent include additional grip and lighting equipment, generators, lenses, and more. We will also need production insurance to cover these items.
  • Film Stock, Processing, and Transfer. The story and atmosphere of Jesus Fish begs to be exposed on film. Super 16mm is our format of choice for giving the movie the organic and textured look it requires. This, of course, means we must buy the film stock, then have it processed and transferred by a lab so that we can view and edit it.
  • Underwater. Shooting underwater introduces its own unique set of requirements, including SCUBA gear, safety divers, camera housings, and more.
  • Special Effects. The script involves several special effects shots, including rain, lightning, and bioluminescence.

Every dollar helps, but whether or not you can donate, one of the biggest ways you can help is by spreading the word. Email your friends, post a link on Facebook, Twitter, or record your own shout-out video and put it up on YouTube!

Thanks for viewing, and we look forward to welcoming you to the team!

Bryce & Colton

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    3 backers

    ...and you get a Welcome to the Team email with a private link to the "Jesus Fish Prologue."

  • Pledge $15 or more
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    2 backers

    ...and you get the above, and a private pre-release link to the finished film.

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    6 backers

    ...and you get the above, plus access to exclusive behind-the-scenes updates, as well as your choice of a DVD or digital download of the film when it is complete.

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    10 backers

    ...and you get all the above, an "I saw the Jesus Fish" button, and your name listed in the credits under Special Thanks.

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    7 backers

    ...and you get all the above, an invitation to the premiere or other screening of the film, and an inspiration packet featuring music and artwork that inspired us as we worked on the film.

  • Pledge $250 or more
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    1 backer

    ...and you get all the above, as well as copies of our pre-production artwork, storyboards, etc.

  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    ...and you get all the above, and a personal handwritten thank you letter featuring unique "Jesus Fish" artwork. Plus, the first 5 people to pledge $500 or more get to choose from one of the artworks featured in the folk-artist's house in the "Jesus Fish Prologue," created in real life by Kelly Shannon.

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    ...and you get all the above, an invitation to the set during production, a copy of the script signed by star Matt O'Leary, a VIP invitation to the premiere, and you name in the credits under Very Special Thanks. Plus, the first 5 people to pledge $500 or more get to choose from one of the artworks featured in the folk-artist's house in the "Jesus Fish Prologue," created in real life by Kelly Shannon.

  • Pledge $2,500 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    ...and you get all the above, an Associate Producer credit, a chance to view and offer input on a rough cut of a scene, and a personalized rap by director Bryce McGuire. Plus, the first 5 people to pledge $500 or more get to choose from one of the artworks featured in the folk-artist's house in the "Jesus Fish Prologue," created in real life by Kelly Shannon.

  • Pledge $5,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    ...and you get all the above, an Executive Producer credit, an invitation to a pre-production meeting, and access to rough cuts. Plus, the first 5 people to pledge $500 or more get to choose from one of the artworks featured in the folk-artist's house in the "Jesus Fish Prologue," created in real life by Kelly Shannon.

  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    1 backer

    ...and you get all the above, and a screening party at your home, featuring Bryce's Famous Bean Dip. What else would you like? Plus, the first 5 people to pledge $500 or more get to choose from one of the artworks featured in the folk-artist's house in the "Jesus Fish Prologue," created in real life by Kelly Shannon.

Funding period

- (30 days)