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A quirky, character-driven thriller featuring the stars of LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4 and JEEPERS CREEPERS 2.
206 backers pledged $25,269 to help bring this project to life.

About

LOCKSMITHS a thriller/horror short film project video thumbnail
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$25,269

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WE ARE 100% FUNDED BUT WE STILL COULD USE SOME HELP! 
DONATE NOW TO GET YOUR COPY OF THE MOVIE TODAY!


Our Stretch Goal is now $25,800, this will help fund for our Post Production Sound budget!!!

  • **UPDATES*We have finished Production! But we need funds to: 1) Pay Production Elements that were acquired through loans (refer to the pie chart below), and 2) Pay for Post-Production expenses that include sound, color correction, and editing. 
Here are some real stills from our movie!

ANNE, played by Leah Stoltz, doesn't know what her husband has become. 

 TADASHI (formerly known as LESTER), played by Yuki Matsuzaki, looking at his first Victim, played by Anna Sambrooks.

DANA, played by Lonna Montrose, being "reasoned with" by the Locksmith robbers.  

 TADASHI, wiping his choice of weaponry. A croquet mallet. An artifact from his past. 

 DANIEL "TURNER" (Joe Fiske) and AARON "JIM" (Jose Luis Munoz). 

 AARON "JIM," played by Jose Luis Munoz.

 OFFICER HANSON SMITH, played by Garikayi Mutambirwa. 

 TADASHI (formerly known as LESTER), played by Yuki Matsuzaki. 

 THE WOMAN, played by Anna Sambrooks.

ANNE, after Michael Del Rossa's amazing Special Effects Makeup!

 Tadashi's charming smile can mean both the best or the worst, depending on who you are!

A Gothic Waltz.  

STORY

LOCKSMITHS opens on a bizarre murder. An elegantly tuxedoed man named LESTER takes Polaroid pictures of a bound WOMAN and kills her. He compares the victim’s photos to a poster on a wall, an image of him and his smiling wife, ANNE. The wall also has a collage of various victims’ facial features (eyes, lips, nose, etc). 

Meanwhile, AARON and DANIEL break into the homes of a suburban retirement community, where security is lax and crime has been virtually non-existent. While the two men argue about the moral and practical issues of their criminal lifestyle, a combination of greed and fate draws them to the “last house they’ll ever break into”: Lester’s home.

The rest of the film will lead the audience through a suspenseful journey and end on a shocking twist that is both visceral and heart-rending. 

TONE

A sense of foreboding dominates the entire film as we see the two locksmith characters make progressively bad decisions. The juxtaposition between the realism of the characters and physically extreme plot developments lead to some quirky and humorous moments. However, the overall tone of the film is serious and tense.

Film references: Fargo (1996), Memories of Murder (2003), and No Country for Old Men (2007).

STYLE

Parallel Editing calls for the juxtaposition and intercutting between Lester’s and the two robber’s stories in real time. This style of storytelling raises the suspense and tension in the plot and has been utilized in early classics such as The Great Train Robbery (1903), and in more recent films like The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and The Dark Knight (2008).

Production design, camera movement, and lighting will be motivated by the characters. The audience will see a distinction of visual styles between Lester’s world, and the world of the two robbers.

Lester’s world will be carefully constructed to reflect his elegance and manically meticulous nature. This will be supplemented by slow, motivated camera movements. In contrast, Aaron and Daniel’s world will be represented with more kinetic, handheld camera movements, as well as a naturalistic design scheme that represents the brashness of their actions.

 The contrast in visual styles between the two worlds helps the film become more suspenseful and unsettling without confusing the audience. 

THEMES

The filmmaker’s primary aim is to entertain the audience. However, LOCKSMITHS addresses some moral and spiritual themes concerning the value of human life, and whether or not committing a crime can ever be justified depending on the circumstances.

The film challenges society’s stereotyped perception of right and wrong by subtly addressing the gross social inequalities that exist in today’s world. 

CAST

Yuki Matsuzaki as LESTER

Yuki was born in Miyazaki, Japan. He began acting at the age of 7, and performed in over 50 shows in local theatres until he was 18. Upon graduating high school, he moved to New York City and started his acting career as a street performer in Times Square. His credits include The Last Samurai (2003); Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) as Nozaki; Pink Panther 2 (2009) as Kenji; and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) as Garheng. His latest appearance is Man from Reno as Tsubasa (2014), which will premiere at the LA Film Festival.

Yuki will play the role of LESTER, a serial killer with a heart-rending, but nonetheless twisted emotional arc.

Joe Fiske as DANIEL

Joe trained under Stella Adler, and he attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has pursued television acting for CBS and ABC, including roles in One Life to Live (1992-1993); Nothing But the Truth (1995); and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1995).

Joe will play the role of DANIEL, a small-business owner of a locksmithing company that is on its way to bankruptcy. Desperate to stay afloat, he resorts to robbing homes in a quiet retirement community. 

Jose Luis Munoz as AARON

Jose Luis was born in Chicago but raised in Puerto Rico. He won a silver medal for acting at the World Championships of Performing Arts in 2011, in Hollywood, CA. He has worked with Oscar nominee, Jacobo Morales on the film Dios los cría 2 (2004). He also had roles in Killing Kennedy (2013) and Wicked Attraction (2013). 

Jose Luis will play the role of AARON, a day worker hired by Daniel who is pressured into becoming a fellow robber.

Garikayi Mutambirwa as OFFICER SMITH

Garikayi lived in Switzerland until he was 18-years old, after which he moved back to the US to pursue acting. He has had key roles in Bones (2001) as Weaze; Clockstoppers (2002) as Meeker; and Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003) as Deaundre Davis.

Garikayi will play the role of OFFICER SMITH, a small town cop who is about to see a lot more action.

Leah Stoltz as ANNE

Leah is originally from British Columbia, but grew up in a mining town in Indonesia and attended one of the most remote schools in the world (MZIS). She is best known for her roles in Delusional (2014) as Holly Smith; Sangre Negra (2014) as Victoria; and Fearless (2014) as Jenny.

Leah will play the role of ANNE, who is Lester’s wife and the one indirectly responsible for Lester’s dark change of personality.

Lonna Montrose as DANA

Lonna got her start as a stand-in for actors such as Dolly Parton and other big-time Hollywood stars. She progressively received bigger roles, and has since acted in numerous TV shows and feature films. She is most known for her roles in Rhinestone (1984), City Heat (1984), and Outrageous Fortune (1987). 

Lonna will play the role of DANA, the owner of one of the houses the Locksmiths rob. 

Anna Sambrooks as THE WOMAN

Anna originally hails from the North-West of England. After a short stint in the award winning TV series ‘Brookside,’ she went on to train at The Italia Conti Academy of Theater Arts in London. After graduating she worked extensively in film, theater and voiceover notably performing her dream role ‘Linda’ to critical acclaim in the award winning musical ‘Blood Brothers’ both in London’s West End and on the UK tour. Anna is also delighted to have been invited into this year’s BAFTA LA newcomer’s program me.

Anna plays THE WOMAN, an unsuspecting victim who is trapped and ensnared by Lester--she exhibits some of the greatest emotional changes in the film, and is the first element of a chain of mysteries. 

Scott St. Blaze as OFFICER BROWN

Scott will play the role of OFFICER BROWN, a small-town cop who has been searching for the Locksmith Thieves. 

CREW

Writer and DirectorJames Kwon Lee is a Duke graduate, and a USC MFA Film student. He particularly enjoys making horror/thriller films because he can use the genre as a vehicle to relay some serious social and spiritual commentary in an accessible and unpretentious manner. He also loves horror’s power to evoke strong reactions in the movie theaters. He directed The Will (2011) and The Door (2012). 

Producer  Koodae Kim is a certified public accountant. She has worked as a manager in finance and auditing for 6 years, but her passion for storytelling has led her to change professions and become a film producer. She will attend AFI as a Producing Fellow this fall.

Producer  Ting Ting Ng is from Hong Kong, and she pursued her undergraduate studies in Business Management and Psychology at UC, Irvine. She is now a 3rd year graduate Film Production student at USC.

Producer  Gracy Wang graduated from the Communication University in Beijing, China. She is currently in her 3rd year at USC, as a graduate Film Production student.

Cinematographer – Teruhisa Yoshida graduated Chapman and has shot features, short films, music videos, and commercials in the US and abroad. He has also done CG animation work as a Digital DP, including for Resident Evil 5 & 6 in-game cinematics. His commercial credits include Toyota, ScionAT&T, UFC and many more. The music video he shot for Polish singer DODA entitled "XXX" won the VIVA Comet Awards 2012 Video of the Year in Europe. 

Production Designer - Clarissa Brillembourg is from Venezuala, and she graduated from AFIShe has worked with USA NetworkDisney Channel, Fox, and Comedy Central

Sound Mixer - Woody Stubblefield is a two-time Emmy Award Winner (2011, 2014) for his webisode, Venice The Series (2009-2014). He has also worked on You Got Served (2004) and Constantine (2005).

Boom Operator - Speed Ratliff has over 63 boom op credits, and is best known for Saw (2004), Unknown (2006), and Laugh at My Pain (2011). 

Editor – Edson Oda formally worked as a Copywriter for DDB Brazil. He has won the Gold Lion Award at the Cannes Advertising Festival for his world-class advertising work. In 2012, he was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for his music video, Human Clock (2012). He has recently been recognized by Quentin Tarantino and Vimeo Staff Picks for his multi-award winning short film, Malaria (2013). 

1st AD - Kevin Wu graduated Duke University, winning the school's 2011 Distinguished Filmmaker of the Year award. He has since worked on a variety of feature films, shorts, and music videos in Los Angeles and in over 40 countries.

SFX Makeup Artist – Michael Del Rossa – Originally from Rochester, NY, Michael was fascinated by the effects in horror films since his early teens. After moving to Los Angeles in 1995, he has founded the SFX makeup company, Multivision FX. He has worked on numerous feature films, including Pirates of the Caribbean (2003); 300 (2006); Watchmen (2009), The Passion of the Christ (2004); I Am Legend (2007) and many more.

Concept Artist – Jeeyoon Na graduated USC and attended Waseda University for Animation. She won 1st place for her original work on an international Character Design contest for Shojo Beat magazine. She currently works for Hulu and designs websites and graphics. 

OUR PROMISE

So far we have only funded 20% of our total budget and are still short of approximately $25,000 to make this film without any creative compromises. Every amount of your Kickstarter contributions will go directly into funding the rest of the expenses for our production, from keeping the lights on and the cameras rolling, to getting the right sound mix, color correction and music to tell our story. 

With every dollar you pledge you are standing with us and saying that films like this are important and need to be made.


BREAKDOWN OF OUR BUDGET

Cast and Crew:

Everyone who is involved in the production of this film agreed to either work for free or at a reduced price. We want to be able to treat them with respect and good food in return for their generosity. 

Production:

Our story contains scenes that require special effects makeup, heavy set dressing, and unique locations. We also need permits, police supervision, insurance, and props. Since it's very important that we share our unique vision without any compromises, we would like to utilize the best available equipment and acquire all resources that will make our film entertaining and believable. 

Post-Production:

After we shoot the film, many filmmakers say that the "real work" begins. Post-production. We will need to edit the film, color correct it, mix the sound, and eventually transfer the footage to a DCP so that it is ready to be submitted to festivals where our film will have an audience.

Misc. Costs:

We have to account for legal and banking fees, insurance, festival fees, and DVD authoring costs.

Kickstarter and Amazon:

In exchange for enabling us to use this awesome fundraising platform, Kickstarter and Amazon will charge 10% of all our raised funds. 

Risks and challenges

When a movie such as LOCKSMITHS attempts to craft original characters, design imaginative concepts for costumes and settings, and experiment with new unique filmmaking techniques, it creates the risk of all collaborators being confused as to what the main goal of the film is.

Our challenge is to insure that our internationally diverse crew of professionals and graduate students collaborate as one cohesive unit and work in a way that best serves the original, creative vision of the story.

We will do our best to build and harbor trust amongst all the heads of department and also remind everyone what is most important in understanding the film: the characters.

When the cast and crew understand who the characters are, all creative decisions will be made by answering: "What would [insert character name] do in this situation?" The ability to understand the character addresses matters concerning direction, camera motivation, design, and much more.

We are qualified to tackle this challenge of working with creative individuals from all different backgrounds, because we are a passionate group that has been brought together by our mutual intrigue in the characters of the story. We continue to frame every discussion based on what each character would do in a particular situation. This also informs our priorities in terms of how we produce and execute our story.

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    Pledge US$ 3 or more About US$ 3

    MYSTERY PRIZE: If you are backer number XX (real number will be revealed after funding has been completed).
    The number being a significant number in the film--you will win a Vintage Radio player, that can be seen in the movie.

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    INITIATOR: We will send you a special thank you letter via email.

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    WATCHER: Be among the first to watch the HD quality version of the film online for a limited time immediately after release.

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    ADVANCED INITIATOR: We will send you a special thank you letter via email, and you will receive some exclusive, digital still pictures from our set.

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    SPECIAL ONLINE SCREENER:
    Watch the film! You'll receive a password protected online link to a streamable version of the film. Plus, all of the above.

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    MEMBER: You will receive all the above, plus an autographed THANK YOU Card mailed to you, as well as a private link to a Downloadable, HD DIGITAL COPY of the completed film.

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    ADVANCED MEMBER: You will receive all the above, as well as a DVD that includes the full movie and some EXCLUSIVE, BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE.

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    COPPER LOCKSMITH: You will receive all of the above, plus an autographed copy of the final draft of the LOCKSMITHS Screenplay.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    SPECIAL PRIZE: Get one of Michael Del Rossa's special PROP MALLETS used in the actual movie! You can bop your brother or sister in the head with this realistic looking mallet. Because it's made of foam, it's all good clean fun! But it'll surely scare them, because it looks exactly like the real thing.

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    BRONZE LOCKSMITH: You will receive all of the above, plus screen credit under "SPECIAL THANKS" and an exclusive invitation to the PRIVATE SCREENING and AFTER PARTY, where you can meet with our star cast and crew!

    Note: Travel to and accommodations in Los Angeles not included.

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    SILVER LOCKSMITH: You will receive all of the above, plus a LIMITED EDITION PROP that can be seen in the final cut of the film. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED (in terms of selecting the prop)!

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    GOLD LOCKSMITH: You will receive all of the above, plus an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Credit.

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    MASTER LOCKSMITH: You will receive all of the above, plus original hard copies of concept sketches by concept artist Jeeyoon Na, as well as an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Credit.

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Funding period

- (45 days)