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A film which explores the stigma of befriending a stranger online, and what happens when that friendship enters the real world.
A film which explores the stigma of befriending a stranger online, and what happens when that friendship enters the real world.
138 backers pledged £5,232 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Windscreenwiperman (Short Film)

£5,232

138

So what's the story here?

When a man in his late 20s meets a lonely teenager in an online chatroom, he inadvertently feels his paternal instincts kick in, and enjoys making an unexpected new friend. But when their connection moves beyond the safety net of online anonymity, and threatens to intrude on his personal and professional life, he is forced to reconsider what drew him to the boy in the first place. When his girlfriend learns of their friendship, and questions his motivations for having even been on a chat room, he sees his behaviour in a new light. But he’s come to care about this boy, so he now faces a difficult choice.

Windscreenwiperman is a character-driven drama with a darkly comic bite. It explores the complex nature of honesty in a relationship, the stigma of befriending a stranger in this online age, and the moral grey-areas in becoming a surrogate father-figure to a vulnerable young boy. 

It will be very naturalistic – we're huge fans of well-observed character-driven comedy-dramas, and hope to make something in the vein of Boyhood, Six Feet Under, The Squid And The Whale, and Louie.

If you'd like a taste of our style, here's another short film we made: Middle Aged

Storyboard for the film by our very talented storyboard artist Jenn Lambert
Storyboard for the film by our very talented storyboard artist Jenn Lambert

Who are we?

Sam Baron (Director, Co-Writer) – Sam's previous short films and music videos have 4.5 million hits on YouTube. They’ve also been screened on TV (most recently C4’s RudeTube) and at film festivals (including LSFF 2014). He has just been awarded the Academy’s Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship, and is represented by Amanda Davis at Curtis Brown. Alongside his own projects, he has worked as a runner on shows including The Hour, Mr Selfridge and A Touch Of Cloth, as a script reader for the BBC, and as Development Executive at Ealing Studios.

Raphael Von Blumenthal (Co-Writer, Actor) – Raph has been co-writing short films, comedy sketches, music videos and interviews with the public with Sam for the past 14 years. He is also an actor, and recently took a starring role in the short film Bill which is currently touring the UK festival circuit. Alongside this, he works as a script reader for the BBC, and runs a very tasty street-food stall selling Korean burgers.

Mark Hopkins (Producer) – Mark has worked in the film industry for over 10 years, having started out as an Assistant Director on projects such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The World's End and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. In the last few years, he has produced a number of music promos for the likes of Example and Matthew & The Atlas, as well as three short films. His last short, That Night, was accepted into 2013's London Film Festival. Most recently, Mark co-produced Kids In Love (starring Will Poulter and Cara Delevingne) with Ealing Studios. He is currently developing a feature version of That Night with the support of the BFI.

Emily Precious & Aidan Grounds (Producers) – Aidan and Emily set up ABG Productions in 2013 after both running their own theatre productions companies. Between them they've produced over twenty shows in London, Edinburgh, Oxford, Stratford and Japan. Their short film The Wishing Horse featuring Richard E. Grant recently won Best Film at the Portobello Film Festival. Aidan is the Executive Director for Reading Repertory Theatre. Emily works as a freelance Producers' Assistant and has been in-house at Ealing Studios and The Rights House Talent. They are supported by the Stage One Bursary for New Producers.

A mood board showing the naturalistic look of the film
A mood board showing the naturalistic look of the film

The Problem With Short Films...

...is simply that there's very little money available to make them. With limited private or public funding, and increasingly fewer big-wig producers willing to make an investment in something that will almost certainly have no return, short films the world over are written, directed, produced and made by passionate filmmakers keen to make something happen.

We've now been doing this for 14 years, either on no budget, or on the limited funds that we've personally had available. It's been fun, creatively invigorating and challenging to come up with ways to get around the lack of sufficient lighting, permits and professional actors. So why on earth do we find ourselves on Kickstarter now? Well, after 14 years, we believe we're ready to take the plunge to make our most ambitious and high-quality short film yet.

What’s different about this film?

This film is longer and more ambitious than anything we've done before. Whilst previously we've been able to call on friends and family to help us out (and we'll still be doing that here), this project simply cannot be made without real professionals. 

This will not be a decadent production - no taxis, no hotels, no luxury – and certainly no wages for us. What we do need are actors who really know how to act, technicians who really know how to tech, and equipment that really knows how to equip.

But why should you donate?

We have a script we're really proud of, and a team that’s passionate about bringing it to the screen. With your help, we can all make a really great film. We'll keep you posted with news, photos, clips and videos. You'll constantly be in the loop as to how your money is making this happen – and we've got lots of rewards to give you to say thank you.

What if you can't afford to donate?

There are still other ways you can help. The very fact that you're here is good news for us – please spread the word to anybody who might be interested, and if you happen to know where we might be able to get any of the following things cheaply or for free, please, please get in touch...

  • An Alexa or Red camera package
  • Lighting equipment
  • Camera lenses
  • Portable radios/walkie-talkies
  • Rolls of electrical tape
  • Batteries
  • A catering company, chef or cook willing to prepare food for the team
  • Coffee, tea, cakes, biscuits and snacks
  • A minibus, coach or other people-carrying vehicle
  • Any extra people with cars who wouldn’t mind driving our crew around
  • A driver with a minibus license willing to give us their time
  • Access to shoot in an office in London for one day on a weekend
  • Access to shoot in a grungy snooker/pool hall in London for one day
  • Access to a flat/pub/building near Borough Market to use as a base for one day
  • Any props which might be in a car design suite
  • Manchester United memorabilia: posters, wall-calendar, etc
  • A poster of a supermodel
  • A rehearsal space we could use for a few days in early November
  • Portable hair & make-up mirrors
  • Older men who could be extras in the pool hall for one day

What if we raise more than our target?

We won't spend the money on ourselves. The £5,000 target is the absolute minimum we need to make this film – and even then the budget will be very, very tight. Every penny over that amount will allow us to hire better equipment and a fully professional crew, and enable us to take more time on each scene so we can make an even better film.

Risks and challenges

We are still in the process of finding our talented actors and crew, so whilst we plan to shoot in November, we may have to delay shooting by a few weeks to get the right team if needed. Once we start shooting, our production might be hit by an unfortunate disaster, like a flood, hurricane or snowstorm. Luckily, we have budgeted for insurance so that whatever happens, the show can go on - even if we have to re-start the shoot. But hopefully we won't be that unlucky. We have a brilliant production team already, who have been working overtime to plan for every possible hiccup, so we can make this film whatever happens.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $6

    We will give you our eternal gratitude in the form of a very enthusiastic "Thank you!"

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    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    As well as our gigantic thanks, we will send you a digital download of the finished film!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About $25

    We will be delighted to send you a digital download of the finished film, and to list your name in the credits at the end of the film (and on our IMDb Page!)

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    Pledge £50 or more About $63

    For this kind of generosity, we will give you all of the above rewards PLUS an invitation to the Premiere screening!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $127

    Wow! You will receive all of the above rewards, PLUS you can be an extra in the film (or, for the camera-shy, we will write a song about you and send you a video of us singing it)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $633

    All of the above rewards will be yours, plus you can even choose to visit the set, or to have a cameo appearance as a user in the online chat-room!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,266

    We will be honoured to give you all of the above rewards, PLUS you can also choose to enjoy a Thank You Dinner with us, or for us to film your wedding/birthday/bar mitzvah/party and edit it together in our own unique style (have a look: goo.gl/xvf7WH)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £2,500 or more About $3,165

    The top reward, for one very special person: you will receive all of the above, plus an Executive Producer credit, an invitation to wrap party, a VIP ticket to the Premiere AND you will be gifted the official Clapperboard.

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Funding period

- (21 days)