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The story about a tortured man who digs up his past—literally.
The story about a tortured man who digs up his past—literally.
165 backers pledged $11,260 to help bring this project to life.

About

Pull Yourself Together | a dark comedy short film project video thumbnail
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Pull Yourself Together | a dark comedy short film

$11,260

165

The Short:

Ryan Finlay – Fin – is a wreck. A car crash left the once-talented artist without direction, without hope, and without his left arm. What remains of his body “survived” but he’s not really alive. He wiles away his time in a derelict apartment, totally alone. He mopes, drinks, and pathetically reminisces about all he lost. Drinks some more.

But when he can’t find at the bottom of a bottle what’s missing from his life, he winds up in a dark place. He must feed his unusual addiction—and he can’t do that alone. He needs a hand.

Mark, an unlikely brother-in-arms, is trying to help Fin pull himself together. Their mutual salvation is buried in a bio-hazard bag in Fin’s backyard. Or it was …

Pull Yourself Together is about how our past, even when it amputates something vital, makes us whole. It’s about phantoms behind the faces we show.

The Team 

Izzy Ezagui is the world’s only one-armed Special Forces sharpshooter. It’s true. He wrote a book about it. After losing his dominant arm in combat, he literally soldiered on.

It turns out the battlefield is a pretty good training ground for Hollywood. Izzy’s no stranger to hearing “no.” That he doesn’t stand a chance, because “Hey, Guy. You’ve only got one arm.” Forget that noise. When you’ve got passion, you find a way to get the job done.

Izzy's appetite for the arts began when he was a kid in Miami, consuming Animorphs, The Hardy Boys, and all of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld—probably all before he spoke to his first girl. Having spent so much of life with his head in the clouds, he doesn’t let the little things (like reality) stand in his way.

Most aspiring actors will tell you that in today’s Hollywood, the clearest path to success is the path you clear for yourself. Pull Yourself Together marks Izzy’s on-screen debut. Let’s give him a hand.

Ian Blake Newhem is an award-winning professional ghostwriter (all the work, none of the credit), a former English lit professor (nerd), and international speaker (talks too fast; does not steal hotel soaps). He’s a longtime cancer survivor who’s climbed Kili in winter, jumped out of perfectly good airplanes in the UK, rescued elephants in Kenya, and dodged the odd mine teaching war reporting in Bosnia.

Ian’s written more than 100 books, articles, stories, and essays for major publishers and publications, seen his work anthologized and produced for NPR, and has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows (he also does a passable Denzel Washington impression). He moved out to LA from the East Coast to focus full-time on writing and producing.

Ryan Turner's directing career officially began in Middle School when, for Christmas, his Uncle gifted him his very own Lego Studios movie set. Using little Lego actors and stuntmen (including a Lego Spielberg himself) he was able to bring his imagination to life for the very first time.

Now living in Los Angeles, Ryan has moved on to working with humans. He directs everything from narrative content to commercials and music videos. His work has been viewed by millions and he continues to pick up acclaim (most recently with his short film "A Date in 2025").

His experience as an editor allows him to approach each project with a clear and innovative vision, and his experience with Legos taught him how tedious it can be to make a movie (and that Harry Potter and R2D2 have great on-screen chemistry). You can see all of his work on his website Ryan Turner Productions.

 

How'd we come up with this?

Izzy conceived the idea for Pull Yourself Together in an attempt to work through something that's often on his mind. He doesn’t see himself this way, but people have a tendency to title him “hero.” But how would he have handled the trauma, the pain, the confusion that comes with such a traumatic loss, if he didn’t have the support of that title? What would it be like to deal with names like “monster” instead? What if his injury reminded him daily of a terrible judgment call, a flaw in his character, a momentary lapse that a lifetime of repentance could never take back?

Ian’s also had his share of losses. With 18 surgeries, including a radical neck dissection and craniotomy for cancer, he also blanches whenever someone calls him “courageous.” Neither of the co-writers considers himself a victim—nor a hero. We just deal with the circumstances that come our way. Fin, the protagonist in Pull Yourself Together, needs help getting there. He needs to forgive himself for that lapse, that bad call. But to get there, he needs forgiveness from the one person least likely to give it. We’ve all been there. 

What we need

Thanks to some genius talent working on the project for the sheer thrill and obvious potential of it, we were able to make Pull Yourself Together. With the help of favors from friends and a talented crew, we were able to shoot what would have cost $100,000 for $30,000. Challenge is, we raised only $20,000 among us. The film is in the can, but all that “post” stuff will require that last third or so to put us over the top and to make the film pop the way it deserves. 

In order to finish this movie we need help funding these departments:

Sound Design, Sound Mixing, Color, Music, VFX, Graphics, Music Licensing, and Festival Fees.

We’ve been involved in other projects that were crowd-powered—and we love this concept, as well as the results. It’s the way the world is moving—especially indie films. Besides, we’re talking about a short. We’re on our lonesome here. No studios or distributors backing us (yet). What we need is buzz. We need a bunch of humans who see the potential here in what we’ve done, and who are willing to join us in creating this inspirational, meaningful story, and bringing it into the public.

Risks and challenges

With every project there's a risk it will fall into the ether and remain incomplete. Thankfully, our team has a proven track record of completing projects on time and this will be no exception.

This budget is based on a level of production that we established on set. We don't want to sacrifice quality, and we need every dollar to finish this short right.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    On the One Hand...

    Receive a digital copy of the film.

    Why are you still here? There's only one hand.

    Includes:
    • Digital Copy of the Film
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Get a Grip, Fin

    A digital copy of the film PLUS:

    You're now officially a digital producer on the project and you'll get a thank you in the credits and on our website. Maybe even a high five!

    Includes:
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Special Thanks Credit
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    What Happened to It?

    Everything above, PLUS:

    An exclusive invite to our premiere party and a thank you by round of applause.

    FULL DISCLOSURE - Izzy will not participate in the applause for reasons that will not be discussed...

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks Credit
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Invite to our Premiere Party
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    People Get Back Together All the Time

    Everything above, PLUS:

    An official "Pull Yourself Together" poster to hang in your room or your bathroom - we won't judge.

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks Credit
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Invite to our Premiere Party
    • "Pull Yourself Together" Poster
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Pull Yourself Together, Fin

    Everything above, PLUS:

    A signed copy of Izzy's book "Disarmed, Unconventional Lessons from the World's Only One-Armed Special Forces Sharpshooter."

    Izzy wrote the book but he can't keep the darn thing open!

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks Credit
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Invite to our Premiere Party
    • "Pull Yourself Together" Poster
    • A signed copy of Izzy's book!
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Don't Speak to it

    Everything above, PLUS:

    A Skype call with the creative team to ask any questions you might have about the project or find out about who's dating who!

    HINT: Izzy might have a thing going with Dead Arm.

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks Credit
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Invite to our Premiere Party
    • "Pull Yourself Together" Poster
    • A signed copy of Izzy's book!
    • Skype call with our creative team
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Shoot the Freak!

    Everything above PLUS:

    Over an hour of exclusive UNCUT B-roll of our team making the film. Want to see our team in action? Be a fly on the wall as this film was being made -- without actually having to be a fly.

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks Credit
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Invite to our Premiere Party
    • "Pull Yourself Together" Poster
    • A signed copy of Izzy's book!
    • Skype call with our creative team
    • Uncut hour of Behind-the-Scenes footage
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Brother in Arm

    Everything above PLUS:

    An Associate Producer credit! Brag to your friends about your new IMDB credit and pat yourself on the back (see 5K reward for patting option).

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks Credit
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Invite to our Premiere Party
    • "Pull Yourself Together" Poster
    • A signed copy of Izzy's book!
    • Skype call with our creative team
    • Uncut hour of Behind-the-Scenes footage
    • Associate Producer credit
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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Easier to Spoon

    Everything above PLUS:

    A private dinner with our creative team. We'll handle the check.

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks Credit
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Invite to our Premiere Party
    • "Pull Yourself Together" Poster
    • A signed copy of Izzy's book!
    • Uncut hour of Behind-the-Scenes footage
    • Associate Producer credit
    • Private Dinner with the Creative Team
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    He's Armed!

    Everything above, PLUS:

    The actual prop hand from the movie. You can recreate your favorite scene, pat yourself on the back, or frame Izzy for murder!

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks Credit
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Invite to our Premiere Party
    • "Pull Yourself Together" Poster
    • A signed copy of Izzy's book!
    • Uncut hour of Behind-the-Scenes footage
    • Associate Producer credit
    • Private Dinner with the Creative Team
    • Dead Arm
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    Pledge $8,000 or more About $8,000

    This is getting out of hand!

    You're officially an executive producer and a part of our team! Get the first invite to any festival we screen at and travel as an official member of the project. On the other hand...

    WERE YOU EVEN LISTENING?! THERE IS NO OTHER HAND!

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks Credit
    • Digital Copy of the Film
    • Invite to our Premiere Party
    • Associate Producer credit
    • "Pull Yourself Together" Poster
    • A signed copy of Izzy's book!
    • Uncut hour of Behind-the-Scenes footage
    • Private Dinner with the Creative Team
    • Executive Producer Credit
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Funding period

- (32 days)