$1,371
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14
backers
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Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, July 13 2018 6:04 PM UTC +00:00
Michael Z. AtrataBy Michael Z. Atrata
First created
Michael Z. AtrataBy Michael Z. Atrata
First created
$1,371
pledged of $10,000 goal
14
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, July 13 2018 6:04 PM UTC +00:00

About

Rotated the videos again, this week our cover vignette is BRENDAN, mild mannered ordinary family man in this disintegrating world being driven insane by the violent acts he is forced to do.

AND if that isn't enough...local musician exploring acting KEVIN (I'm not Russell Crowe) SHAIN is joining the cast as the leader of an anti-government cell and Brendan's inaugural victim.  Check him out in this short clip from AFTERLIFE where he plays an obsessed vampire hunter. (You will see a flash of Mary C. Ferrara who is outlined below, and poor Demitra Papadinis being...interrogated in an enhanced manor. Curtis Reid lurks in the background Those fine performers will also be offered roles in this project).

See it HERE.

and see the entire shore film via the link at the end of this section.

MORE VIDS BELOW   

See how this world affects ordinary citizens as TALIBAH is forced into hiding with her young son while her husband, BRENDAN, is coerced into being an illegal government assassin to protect them. 

TRIBUNE RICHARDS

TALIBAH

BRENDAN

And let us not forget the ADMIRAL SUPREME, the highest ranking military commander in the land, the only one who can potentially neutralize the Executive. What will he do?

THE SEED

Whatever one thinks of the current political state in our country it has certainly sparked dialogue and shaken off the civil apathy many of us have felt for a long time. In my case it is also a source of great creative inspiration. I began writing a piece of speculative fiction; what could happen in our nation in the near future? However being preachy isn't my style, and though I am not above being didactic I prefer to be so in a subtle fashion. Thus I decided to set the story in a fictitious world, this provides more creative latitude and it also allows the viewer a greater degree of interpretation; whatever your politics you can easily think the story is about your political hero (or malefactor). And the themes are timeless; the state versus the individual, your conscious versus your life, values and loyalties tested like they have never been before.

History watches.

THE STORY

Brendan is a mild mannered career government worker, a pencil pusher with an ordinary life. When Jackson, a mid-level operative in the National Police, is tasked with carrying out secret political assassinations she decides to both do her job beyond expectation and add a layer of security. Brendan has access to records of all the Citizens in the prefecture, allowing Jackson to target the right people. She also forces him into helping with the actual killings and collects forensic evidence against him. Brendan is ripe for blackmail as his wife, Talibah, and child are practitioners of a now illegal religion and are hiding in a secret room in their large house. Jackson knows it, uses it, and Brendan is helpless.

Brendan’s psyche is falling apart due to the horrible things he is forced to do. The sad irony is that saving his family is slowly destroying it.

Not to rest on her laurels there, Jackson tracks down the highest military officer in the land, the Admiral Supreme, and suggest that if there were a coup she just might be able to provide evidence to seal the fate of the controversial and corrupt Executive of the Nation State and his cronies.

The Admiral is wrestling with his conscience. For his entire life duty to state, to self, and to the Executive were the same. Now they are at odds as the Executive pushes the boundaries of his power and cares nothing for the Articles of Foundation, the ancient founding documents of the Nation State, the words to which all citizens pledge fealty. 

Jackson is playing all sides in order to escape with her life when the fallout settles, and perhaps come out a bit better off.

THE MANIFESTO (short version)

Our goal as artists, other than making movies, is also breaking the Hollywood paradigm of big budgets and small stories, grand illusions and little substance. A new movement is happening where the Hollywood machine’s domination over entertainment is slipping; with your help real storytellers can get their work out to you and bypass the self-serving and closed system in the West.

The democratization of media technologies has created a double-edged sword: the good thing is everybody can make a movie, and the bad thing is that anybody can make a movie. In conjunction with this boon of technological advancement is the crowd funding culture that has followed. Everyone and anyone are asking for your dollars.

WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?

We have made two features with our own very little resources. Both got distribution deals with Los Angeles based companies and are available to watch right now. Of course if you're still feeling generous...and curious...after contributing, please go online to purchase or rent the other films, every bit helps and you'll get a chance to see what we've done and how we are going to strive even further than that.

Of Starlight and Bostonian were made with near zero dollars. These projects were fueled with passion, ingenuity, and more than a dose of naïveté. Based on what we had to work with we are proud of these productions. That being stated, they have their flaws, some of which were due to budgetary limitations and some not.

Moral of the story is we learned in the classroom and more importantly learned in the grueling trenches of the film set. We are honed and ready to put some real dollars into our next production, of course at this level "real dollars" is still a mere shadow compared to wasteful Hollywood productions. Our funding goal wouldn't cover food for a day out West, but we daresay our stories are more original, interesting, and entertaining despite and perhaps because of the limited resources.

With your help we can continue growing as film professionals, as artists, and business people.

Though nothing in life is guaranteed, Secret Police is almost sure to be released and become profitable, for we have already had two movies released and turn a profit. Our relationships with the distributors and platforms are solid. The trend is in our favor, and our own sense of pride and professionalism in the work is in our favor.

WHERE DOES THE CASH GO?

The money you might generously contribute goes to the hiring of cast and crew, renting equipment, permits, props, platform fees, advertisement, and other filmmaking needs. All funds will be kept in a new and separate account and detailed records kept and the vast majority go into the local arts economy.

If you find we have reached our goal, that's ok! Feel free to still contribute. The money will get used, believe me!

We run an above board operation and are ourselves financially staked in all the work. Though our projects can be outré at times all cast and crew are treated as the professionals they are and the work itself is the priority, no one person. If successful Secret Police will be our third released feature, momentum gained, Netflix take my call! 

THE PLAN

Budgeting and whatever pre-production that can be done in the office is being completed now. A rough schedule is complete making for a twelve day shoot. As you see some of the casting of the major characters is done, and a few locations already secure. The campaign is forty days long and if we reach our goal we will immediately begin casting the rest of the roles and hiring crew, soon after we will scout locations and make arrangements for additional equipment. Ideally we will begin shooting late 2018 with a completed film in spring 2019. Updates will be given as to where we are in pre-production and when cameras roll.

Like the vignettes here, the finished film itself will probably be black and white and have a vintage feel to it with the absence of televisions or cell phones or any modern electronic devices. This society's capabilities are on par with 1930s Western Europe or America.

The film will be shot on location in the greater Boston area with all local talent. Our style is time efficient and cost effective without compromising artistic integrity.

please don't hesitate with questions:

mjdfilms@gmail.com

THE SECRET POLICE

PAUL HELD (the Admiral Supreme) has years of experience on stage and in front of the camera and his ties to the U.S. Coast Guard is an invaluable source of inspiration and consultation. He was also the star and a producer of Bostonian

Paul Held
Paul Held

ANKUR SINGH (Brendan) is likewise a talented and versatile stage and screen actor and has been instrumental to this process. He is thrilled to be a part of a talented group of filmmakers.

Ankur Singh
Ankur Singh

MARY C. FERRARA (Talibah) is an award winning actress and filmmaker with credits and experience in New England, New York City, and the U.K. She has previously worked with the director on a short experimental horror called Afterlife.

Mary C. Ferrara
Mary C. Ferrara

CHAD ERIC SMITH (Tribune Richards) yet another award winning actor and filmmaker, previously worked with the director of Secret Police in the Pittsburgh area produced Of Starlight. In his young life Chad has appeared in countless film and theatre projects and recently has begun working behind the camera. His latest short film is winning awards and appearing in festivals all over the country. Chad is a true chameleon.

Chad Eric Smith
Chad Eric Smith

Michael Z. Atrata (writer/director) is formerly a real person who at the ripe age of 34 entered film school a few years after the 2008 crash altered his life (mostly for the better). In addition to being a stay at home father he has produced many small passion projects, short and experimental films, and guided two features, the aforementioned Of Starlight and Bostonian, to worldwide distribution. With this third project he hopes, along with his colleagues, to break through to a sustainable career in filmmaking.

Mike is the one on the left
Mike is the one on the left

Other Material

Bostonian teaser

Of Starlight teaser

Afterlife: a short

Rust: a filmic poem

Risks and challenges

Making a film is one of those things I find are relatively "simple" in concept but very hard to execute. Like running a marathon, one step in front of the other...for a very long time. In theory anyone can do it, but those who have trained, ran short races, half-marathons, keep their body in shape will be the ones who finish it. That's us.

That being said, any outside factors can ruin the race. Making a film has many moving parts that are interdependent and one missing or faulty part can put the whole process in jeopardy. That's why we are taking our time and finding the right people, dedicated people who are in for the long haul. The right people will overcome all obstacles.

The film will be made.

Distribution is out of our hands. We will approach agents, distributors, and get the film into festivals. As I've mentioned we have two other films out there and Secret Police will be a better movie. But...ultimately it is up to the gate keepers.

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Funding period

- (40 days)