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A picaresque study of a holy fool with a mania to do good and the world that trips him up at each step.
A picaresque study of a holy fool with a mania to do good and the world that trips him up at each step.
177 backers pledged $15,265 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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IF WE EXCEED THE $15,000 GOAL, THE MONEY WILL BE USED TO MAKE THE PRODUCTION RUN THAT MUCH SMOOTHER... $15,000 IS THE BARE, BARE MINIMUM TO GET THIS STORY ONTO FILM! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

We were featured as"Project of the Day"on indieWIRE. Check it out here.

FROM MY JOURNAL

I was sitting in a restaurant today, watching a slouchy guy—dressed in my old clothes—mumble to himself and gawk at people. He’d grumble if they didn’t look his way. I sat there for an hour watching his every gesture: every time he’d flinch, cough, crumple his newspaper, say a few words to a stranger... 

A plain-looking girl entered the place. The guy’s face went pale. He sidled up to me and whispered: “Nathan, I’m sorry... I went to school with her. I can’t stay in character.” 

We laughed about it. Reality sometimes gets in the way, and so our rehearsal (or whatever you want to call it) was over for the day. 

This is how I make movies – or prepare for them, at least...

PROCESSED MEAT, PROCESSED MOVIE

Movies should not be made from paper, but from people. What I mean to say is that I don’t trust scripts, even though I went to NYU to learn how to write them. I trust people (or at least the ones I’m working with).

So I'm working through the characters with the people I cast. Instead of spending days holed up in my apartment writing, I'm spending months hashing out the characters with the actors, then observing these characters in various situations, and rehearsing with them until the initial ideas I had about the story are just that: initial ideas.

We will continue to develop and rework Soft In The Head until we start shooting, so I can’t divulge much about it except that:

  • some themes and situations are taken from "The Idiot", a 19th Century Russian novel about a criminally kind person  
  • the main character is Maury, a criminally kind person and modern day pilgrim
  • it takes place in Queens, New York (around where my parents grew up) 
  • it's filled with tense dinner scenes (like the ones you might experience in your own home)
  • it will be shot on 16mm film (film grain's the only way to capture this world of ours)
  • it's ruled by the people in it
No matter how much I nudge, push, and shove these characters, I'm just their documentarian. It's a documentary of an imagined life. This is my second time making a feature in this fashion, and I wouldn't do it any other way. 

WHAT'S THE USE OF A BUDGET?

Traditional film fundraising avenues are not possible for a script-less project, and that's why we're using Kickstarter.

We are lucky enough to have a cast and crew so devoted to the project that they are doing it for no pay. We have also managed to strike insane deals on film stock & processing. And yet it will still take money to get Soft In The Head made...

Here's where your donations will go: liability insurance, vehicle rentals, catering for the cast and crew (2 meals a day / 21 days), 16mm film stock, film processing & transfer, set dressing/construction, costumes, and location fees. 


***if you would like to see a detailed budget breakdown, please email producer, Lynn Truong, at imonlyhappy@gmail.com***

We’ll squeeze every penny we get to make these characters--and their imagined life--a reality. And when this movie's a reality, you’ll get to see what Soft In The Head means and understand why we made it in this fashion.

-Nathan Silver

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Thanks from our entire crew & cast:

Lynn Truong, Cody Stokes, Tucker Haworth, Andrea Jenkins, Kia Davis, Ed Ryan, Carl Kranz, Sheila Chavarria, JW McCormack, Patrick Harrison, Rory Kulz, Melanie Scheiner, Julie Marcus, Mark Gotbaum, Moshe Kessler, & Nechamah Tzipporah Kessler

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Pictures of Our Prizes

Character Portrait of Maury by Kia Davis

Character Portrait of Natalia Béthencourt by Kia Davis

Character Portrait of Hannah Reh by Kia Davis

Character Portrait of Nathan Reh by Kia Davis

Nathan Silver's Decade-old Copy of The Idiot

Toilet Paper Holder by Nathan Silver's Grandfather

For pictures of our other prizes, please go here.

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6/3/2011

As you will see below, I'm not the only one who's soft in the head. Please read the  open letter my mother, Cindy Silver, wrote today:

Dear Everybody,

I must have been soft in the head when I encouraged my children's artistic bents, but they love film and music, and so do I.  All of you know Nathan, and his passion for his craft.  He works very hard, and in another era, he would be an artist in residence for the king's court.  Instead he has to come to family and friends for help with his next creation.  Anything you contribute would be very appreciated---be it $5 or $10 or more.  Nathan is very excited about this next movie and so are the actors who are involved in his production.  We all are very appreciative of their time and effort.  I know first hand, from last summer, how time-consuming and exhausting making a movie is.  But it is a very unique process, and Harvey and I are amazingly proud of Nathan.  We cannot believe how far he has progressed from his first short film to now.  I have watched him devote his life to perfecting the sound, the edits, the acting, the locations, the wardrobes, the props,etc. that go into a film.  I am in awe of his dedication, and the wonderful contributions that friends have made to be in his movies, or to come to the wedding scenes, or to provide voiceover work, or to commit to long rehearsals, or to provide adorable children to act, to provide homes and pools, and love and most of all emotional support.  Nathan has a very large family, because of all the love and encouragement you send his way.  So if you love the arts, please support a starving, but very talented director and filmmaker.

Do not forget to watch the video on the Kickstarter website.  It shows the beginnings of Nathan's directorial and acting abilities.  It also shows the voice of a very tired mother, who just had a birthday party for twenty boys, that went all day, then led to the movie-making, and would continue through the night, with a sleepover.  Need I say what the night was like!!!  I will say again that I was soft in the head.  All of Nathan's birthday parties were productions.  He was getting ready to be a filmmaker from age two, when he dressed as an American Indian, and wore a loin cloth for two years!!!  He made videos  from a very early age, and now, here we are, with him as a full-fledged filmmaker!!!!!!

Please send his Kickstarter link to any friends or family members who love Nathan or the arts, or both.  I want to thank you in advance. I hope you can all attend the opening of the movie when it is completed.


Love,

Cindy Silver

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Hear That Ringing? Producer Lynn Truong and Director Nathan Silver will call you up and sing a song of thanks!

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    Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Soft In The Head Thank You Postcard with original artwork by Zelda Blair. www.zeldapblair.blogspot.com

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    Shout Out: A Thank You in the film credits. Plus Thank You Postcard.

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    How Humiliating! Original Love Ballads by Soft In The Head Character Nathan Reh. Plus Thank You Postcard.

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    Music From An Unsound Mind: a mix cd made with love by Soft In The Head Character Jerry Ball (Expect your ears to ring for days after listening!) Plus Thank You Postcard.

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    Don't Bic Me! Get your very own replica of the carved lighter used by Soft In The Head Character Keith Mucro (Color choices are first come, first served)

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    Electronic Download of Soft In The Head--it'll come to you fresh from the depths of the editing room!

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    Drink Like The Director: 1lb Bag of Organic Kenyan Coffee from Dean's Beans. Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.
    www.deansbeans.com

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    Wear Us Out: Custom Hand-painted Soft In The Head T-shirts by Production Designer Tucker Haworth. Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Soft In Your Room Lighting: Custom Paper Lanterns by Production Designer Tucker Haworth. Basic color scheme of your choice! Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Ideal Bathroom Reading: A scrapbook of photos, drawings, and writings by and about the characters of Soft In The Head. You could also put this on your coffee table. Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Custom Handmade Bow Ties by Soft In The Head Wardrobe Stylist Andrea Jenkins. Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    I Love Literature But My Eyes Hurt: Get your recording of Production Designer Tucker Haworth reading Dostoevsky's The Idiot in its entirety. It will come to you in a package that resembles a book so that you can put it in your bookcase after finishing it. Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Who Are These People? Portraits of the Soft In The Head Menagerie by Set Photographer Kia Davis. Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Look Like You're In a Movie: Cody Stokes will capture your softer side in a series of photographs (NY only). Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Don't Make The Same Mistake Twice: Life Coaching Session with Soft In The Head Actor Moshe Kessler. Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.
    www.raisethesparks.com

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    Welcome To The Monkeyhouse: Invitation to NYC Screening of Soft In The Head rough cut
    (You + 1; transportation not incl'd). Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Natalia's Secret: Soft In The Head Character Natalia Béthencourt's fine silver necklace. Alchemist and jeweler, Sky Koltun is working on Natalia's piece as we speak so we don't have a photo yet. Please go to www.etsy.com/shop/skykoltun for examples of Sky's other work.

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    What Does Our Movie Have That Your Bathroom's Missing? An Original Stained Glass Toilet Paper Holder by Hank Gottlieb (Director Nathan Silver's Grandfather). Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Fresh Off The Set! A painting that will appear in the movie: Dusk by Artist Julian LaBounty (oil, acrylic / paper / 14 x 17 inches). Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.
    www.julianlabounty.com

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    Dinner in NYC with Soft In The Head Character Maury--enjoy the company of a true saint: a man with a mania to do good in this world. Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Lynn Truong Explains It All: Sit down with Soft In The Head Producer Lynn Truong over tea and crumpets and learn how to handle an unwieldy picture and a frantic director. Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Sometimes Bigger Is Better! A second, larger painting that will appear in the movie: Ravine by Artist Julian LaBounty (oil, acrylic / canvas / 24 x 34 inches). Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.
    www.julianlabounty.com

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    Take A Deep Breath: Private Yoga Class for You + 5 of Your Friends with Soft In The Head Actress Nechama Tzipporah Kessler (NY only) Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Night Out in NYC with Soft In The Head Character Natalia Béthencourt--the bombshell that keeps on ticking. You won't know what hit you! Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Eat like Soft In The Head character Keith Mucro! A healthy heart attack platter prepared for you in the comfort of your own home by renowned chef Nick Korbee. (Waiter incl'd; NY only) Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Don't Be An Idiot, You Know You Need This: A Weekend Stay at the absurdly peaceful Ananda Ashram in Upstate New York for YOU + 1 (meals and accommodation INCLUDED; transportation NOT incl'd). Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.
    www.anandaashram.org

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    You Choose The Person We Tell The Story: Documentary Portrait by Director Nathan Silver and Cinematographer Cody Stokes. Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    The Reason For This Movie: Nathan Silver's Decade-old Copy of Dostoevsky's The Idiot
    (Humiliating notes incl'd). Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    So You Wanna Be A Hotshot... Associate Producer Credit (to be listed on IMDb) PLUS 2 Tickets to NYC Screening of Soft In The Head rough cut & After Party PLUS Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    Enjoy a Coffee and a Cigarette with Director Nathan Silver who hasn't smoked in 3 years!
    (Tri-state & New England ONLY) PLUS Associate Producer Reward PLUS Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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    You Really Are a Hotshot! Executive Producer Credit (to be listed on IMDb) PLUS 2 Tickets to NYC Screening of Soft in The Head rough cut PLUS Single Admission to US Film Festival Premiere (transportation NOT incl'd). Plus Electronic Download of Soft In The Head.

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Funding period

- (30 days)