Following an earthquake, a subterranean unlicensed medic meets a psych-ward escapee who claims to be a fallen angel.
New Goal- $20,000
Thanks to everyone's incredible support we reached our goal of $15,000. Now it's time to raise the stakes and see if we can get to $20,000. Here are Scott and Chris to tell you a little more about why we need to reach the new goal.
This short film is just one chapter from a novel by Craig Clevenger, a core sample bored from somewhere halfway between “once upon a time” and “happily every after.” It’s your basic boy meets girl story only without the romance or the girl. More like your basic unlicensed medic meets escaped psych patient who claims to be an angel in an abandoned subterranean surgical theater following a massive earthquake kind of story.
There’s Icarus, who hit the dirt soon after his wings burst into flames upon punching through the ozone. That’s his story anyway, and he’s sticking to it. Nevermind there wasn’t a witness who saw anything but for a naked guy (i.e., Icarus) who fell from, well, somewhere overhead, but without so much as a sunburn or blister (to say nothing of a set of scorched wing stumps). As you’d expect with most anyone wandering downtown in their altogether, Icarus finds himself on the business end of a 5150 and ultimately a ward of the System. In his case, the System is personified by a shrink on the county payroll who duly probes for holes in Icarus’s story, that story being pretty much: “I’m on a mission from God and when I get word I’ll walk out of here as I please.” The shrink ain’t buyin’ it, but that doesn’t matter; the film fades in soon after Icarus has made good on that promise. And that’s how he got hurt.
Enter Twenty Long, the last hope of the ailing indigent, and unknown to the legions of clock-punching civilians in the daylight world above the street-level. He’s something of an urban legend and, for all Icarus knows, a main character in a pain-induced hallucination. There is no “standard” in Twenty Long’s operating procedure; he’s spent his life mining the scrapyards of modern civilization—abandoned hospitals, decomissioned libraries and condemned clinics—for the tools and know-how to ply his trade. What Twenty Long lacks in board certification, he compensates with uncanny improvisational skills at the operating table and a sideshow barker’s bedside manner.
Scott Krinsky will now be most widely known as “that guy from the Ancestry.com commercials.” While this is true, there is much more to Scott than a twenty-eight second anecdote about some great relative, of whose existence he has yet to provide actual proof. Krinsky studied filmmaking at San Jose State University and spent several years producing and directing corporate marketing and training films for the likes of Sony and Unisys. From there, he began a 18 year long career in high tech, starting with Apple, from which he brings his substantial new media savvy to the world of modern filmmaking.
Chris McGilvray is often confused with the other Chris McGilvray who is currently part of the Federal Witness Security program for reasons that we couldn’t tell you even if we knew. The Chris McGilvray of Six Finger Films is a fine upstanding citizen and man who knows his way around the camera, inside and out (and watching Chris get into a camera has to be seen to be believed). McGilvray studied film at the University of Southern California and has been working in all aspects of film ever since. His directorial debut, “The Silence,” played at film festivals across the country and took home best Short Film Editing and Best Western Honors at the Action on Film Festival in 2009.
Craig Clevenger is the author of two previous novels, “The Contortionist’s Handbook” (MacAdam/Cage, 2002) and “Dermaphoria” (MacAdam/Cage, 2005). Chuck Palahniuk (author of “Fight Club”) said of Clevenger’s debut, “I swear to God, this is the best book I have read in five years. Easily. Maybe ten years…” and Irvine Welsh (author of “Trainspotting”) called him “…one of the most interesting writers to emerge in years.” His work has appeared in “San Francisco Noir 2: The Classics” and “Warmed and Bound: A Velvet Anthology.” The latter was produced as an independent publishing venture by the members of The Velvet, a reader discussion forum he shares with fellow authors Stephen Graham Jones and Will Christopher Baer. A key chapter from Clevenger’s third and yet-to-be-released novel is the basis for the short film, “Smoke and Mirrors.”
While our original budget was far higher, Kickstarter took some issues with a few of the line items in our proposal. As it turns out, allocating funds to allow the filmmakers to hunt their office interns with crossbows was a violation of the Kickstarter terms of service.
We also had a goodly chunk of cash earmarked for filming a high-budget explosion but, as the script did not call for any pyrotechnics, the filmmakers readily confessed to just wanting to “blow some shit up” and so we trimmed that item as well.
In truth, there’s no underground bunker we can find that’s locked-and-loaded to suit our purposes. Certainly there are a range of locations that might work, but whatever we find is going to take some serious dressing and rigging, to say nothing of the props which will have to be either salvaged from some very questionable sources or created from scratch. Or both. In any case, what makes the project so compelling for us is the very fact that it requires this kind of work. It’s a unique story, so we want to build a unique set and fill it with unique props.
Likewise for the actors. The larger-than-life characters of Icarus and Twenty Long require actors with each a powerful screen presence of their own but who won’t negate each other as a result. At Six Finger Films, we have access to a strong talent pool, and we’d like to take full advantage of that. Yeah, that’s all kinds of euphemistic code for “we gotta pay for the best talent.”
And a crew, additional equipment rentals and all the things we wouldn’t need if we were going to tell this story as a single-panel, black-and-white comic. Which we couldn’t and we’re not. Ultimately, all of the funds received will go directly to the production budget of this film.
Take a look at some of our premiums, and if there’s something you’re curious about, please ask us directly.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is my pledge amount publicly displayed? No. Only you and the project creator will be able to see your pledge amount.
If I donate, when can I redeem my reward? All premiums will only happen if our goal is met. If we meet our goal, immediately after our deadline we will contact you to start the process. The screenings, party and dvds etc. can only happen after the film is completed, so this will take a bit of time. Bear with us!
What if I don’t want the reward, I just want to support? No problem, there is a button that you can select if you don’t want the reward.
Can we exceed the goal? YES! This would be incredible. Kickstarter will allow as much money as is given before the deadline. Our goal is only for pre-production and production of this film; exceeding our goal would allow us to start the post production process without delay and ensure a quicker release date.
Can I increase my pledge once it’s been made? YES! Once you donate to our campaign, you may want to change your reward to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. To do so, go to Kickstarter and sign in. If you go to our campaign page, the green “Back This Project” button has been replaced with a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click it and you can enter a new amount, or choose a new reward.
Can I give my reward to someone else as a gift? Sure, why not? If you would like to support the film but give your reward to someone as a gift, go through the normal process of making a donation in your name. For billing purposes, this action must be in your name. After our deadline, we will send a message to you through Kickstarter. (It will be forwarded to the email address you provided). We will request things like your t-shirt size and address from you at that time. If you’re giving your reward as a gift, simply include the recipient’s information, and any note you’d like to include. We’ll make sure they get it.
What happens if the money isn’t raised in time? If our goal isn’t met before the deadline, your card isn’t charged, and Smoke & Mirrors doesn't get made. We want to avoid this scenario at all costs.
Who does the money go to? Every penny (minus the fees for Kickstarter’s involvement) will go directly to the Smoke & Mirrors movie budget--your money goes directly to the funding of this film.
I'm not in the US. Can I still pledge to projects? Yes. You can pledge from anywhere.
How do we contact you? Glad you asked. Just click the Blue "ASK A QUESTION" button below. We'll quickly get back to you.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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