WATCH THE TRAILER:
What is “Escorts” about? Here’s our quick pitch: Pragmatic hipster Jay Miller's successful small business of selling sex to his collegiate peers becomes infinitely more difficult when one of his employees dies while "working". Facing blackmail and incarceration, Jay chooses his only option: expanding the company with his new clueless business partners.
Did you film anything yet? Yes. All seven episodes of Season 1 are shot, edited, and in the bag. By the skin of our teeth, and we couldn’t be more proud. “Escorts” is an official selection at the 2015 LA WebFest (the biggest web series festival in the world), 2015 Hollyweb Festival, and the 19th Annual American Black Film Festival in NY hosted by Taraji P. Henson (you may know her as “Cookie” from Empire), which is pretty dang cool.
Watch all 7 episodes of Season One:
So why are you doing a Kickstarter? Season one only exists because of the sacrifices and dedication of our cast and crew; everyone came on board pro-bono because they believed in the show and wanted to see it brought to life. We want to make season two! But the only way we can continue to produce Escorts in a professional manner is with your support. Filmmaking is a collaborative medium that requires harmonious work from a lot of talented industry professionals. For example, here’s a basic breakdown of how many puzzle pieces a budget is has to cover:
- Story Writers
- Screenplay Writer
- Booking/Renting Locations
- Camera Equipment Rentals
- Lighting Equipment Rentals
- Sound Equipment Rentals
- Location Sound Engineer
- Craft Services (food to refuel, as we’re usually filming 12-16hrs straight)
- Music Licensing/Sync
- Color Correction
And that’s just to get the show itself completed. Then you venture into the marketing/promotion for the series. To give you an example of how that money is spent, let me use the film Delivery Man that I co-starred in (this is Dave Patten writing right now): that film cost DreamWorks $20MM to shoot (aka, cover all of the bullet points listed above). Then, Disney distributed the film, so they went and spent another $20MM just to advertise on TV, billboards, magazines, facebook and social, etc., in hopes that the public would be interested enough to go see it in theaters.
My point being, it takes a machine to create a successful film or tv project. YOU are our machine. We need your help to keep Escorts going.
How will you spend the money you raise? We’ll use it to cover the expenses detailed above. We created season one with nothing… imagine what we can do with season two with your help! Bigger. Badder. Better.
How can I support?
By making a pledge at any of the levels listed in the right column, you'll be supporting the very grateful creators, cast, and crew of "Escorts" in our venture to continue into season two.
Dave Patten (Jay Miller) - Dave Patten is an actor and musician from Philadelphia. He attended Temple University in Philly where he graduated with a film degree in 2010. Patten has trained extensively with renowned coaches across the US, and his breakout in acting was co-starring in DreamWorks’ Delivery Man (2013) alongside Vince Vaughn and Chris Pratt. Patten is one of the young hopefuls at Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles, where he currently resides.
David HW Ricks III (Chili Stone) - David Ricks is an actor and producer from Raleigh, NC. His love for acting was discovered at the age of 12 when Ricks booked his first TV show, Rescue 911, followed by five national commercials for SEARS. From there, his curiosity lead him to attend Temple University where he split his time between the football field and the video editing bays. In 2010, he graduated with a Bachelor’s in film. In 2013, Ricks packed his bags in a leap of faith to further pursue his acting career in Los Angeles.
Alexx Ray (Jaz) - Alexx Ray is a Charlotte, NC native who's always had a thriving passion for the performing arts. Alexx began her career on stage performing with Spirit Square Blumenthal Performing Arts Center at 8 years old. While obtaining her Bachelors Degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro she continued to perform on stage and had a nationally printed campaign as the 2008 - 2010 spokesmodel of Dudley’s Beauty Co. Now residing in Los Angeles, you've seen Alexx in a number of productions yet her breakout role was her comedic one liner in 2014 opposite Christian Keyes in Black Coffee.
Lauren Mayhew (Em Wilson) - Lauren started in acting at the age of 9 when she was a finalist in the national Wilhemnia contest. A judge, Marilyn Zitner, who was a manager in New York, signed her. She booked the role of Marah Lewis on Guiding Light and went on to guest star on numerous TV shows, such as Dexter, CSI, Law & Order, Valley Peaks, Static, and more.
Abdul “DJ Damage” Quddas (DeMarcus Smith) - Before becoming the powerhouse TV personality and Producer on Revolt TV, a television network founded by business mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, DJ Damage held the titles of DJ/Radio Personality for Philly's Hot 107.9 and On-Air Correspondent of BET's 106 & Park.
DJ Damage is currently the on air DJ/ Radio Personality for Philadelphia's Wired 96.5 and the exclusive voice of the "Loud" station on DJ Skee's premiere Dash Radio.
His talents on the small screen have been recognized by publications such as The Philadelphia Inquirer and LA Weekly, the latter of which coined him as "a cooler Nick Cannon.” He has also been honored by The Philadelphia Music Awards as the winner of the ‘Best DJ’ three years in a row (2012-2014). His most recent accomplishment alongside his Revolt TV co-host Sibley was in receiving the 2014 Cablefax Award for "Best Music-Television Host(s)."
It took a lot of hard work from a crew of awesome people to create the first season of this series. We couldn't have done this without everyone's help. Here's some info on the producers:
David HW Ricks III, Producer: Ricks has worked extensively in the music video and film business for years, his belt notched with over 60 music video productions for major labels like Interscope and Atlantic Records, reality TV series, commercials, and short films. His productions have won festival awards and his music video portfolio alone has over 65 million views online.
Dave Patten, Director, Writer: Patten hails from Philadelphia where he got his start directing music videos for independent artists in the city. He soon teamed up with Producer David HW Ricks III; together they championed the music video and film scene, Patten scooping awards for best short film, best music video, best cinematography and more -- which led to his signing with Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles, where he currently resides.
Alexx Ray, Casting Director, Producer: Ray’s decades of experience in the field as an actor has developed her keen and intuitive talent for placing the right actors in the perfect roles. An integral part of the filmmaking process, we are excited to have her on board.
Chris Bauer, Cinematographer: Bauer, head of Armory Camera in Los Angeles, is a talented and seasoned camera operator and cinematographer tapped to handle equipment and grip selection for the series. He has an excellent eye for composition and a six year background in lighting.
BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTOS:
Here's a look at the work and fun that went into filming Season 1 of "Escorts":
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PLEDGE!!
Risks and challenges
Producing a film, a tv show or web series is no small feat. Sometimes it doesn't get the credit it truly deserves, especially in the indie world. Making movies costs a surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) HUGE amount of money -- there are usually 20 or 30 people (minimum) who work on a project for weeks and weeks on end.
"Independent Filmmaker" is a pseudonym for "having no money, but getting it done anyway".
We've poured our heart and soul into this project, our wallets, our time, our favors, our connections, all of it. It was definitely worth it, but also very tough.
But this is what we love to do. It's what we've been working for years to hone our skills in. It's what we would literally put everything on the line for. And so here we are.
Our next challenge is something you guys can help us with. Any pledge you make is massively appreciated! Every dollar helps.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)