Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 17, 2012.

Update #10

Festival Run & Reward!

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Hello Backers,

I've been traveling to festivals with TEST and it's been a lovely trip. We've been warmly received by smart audiences, had thought-provoking Q & A’s and gotten some terrific reviews (see links below). There are more festivals in the upcoming months, perhaps one in your city. You can find an updated list here.

We'll continue our festival run through the winter (with two big international dates yet to be announced for January and February, so stay tuned!) and our limited theatrical release will be in April, 2014. In June, 2014 the film will be more widely available on DVD, VOD and SVOD, thanks to my distributor Wolfe Video in partnership with iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, Comcast, etc.

But I can't ask you to wait for June 2014 to finally get your Kickstarter DVD or VOD Reward! Also, thank you for your extreme patience! I’m sending out the info survey now and you’ll have the option of getting an old school DVD mailed to you (these will be handmade DVDs with handwritten labels, but the movie will look good) or, alternately, a Vimeo link with password where you'll have two full weeks to watch TEST online in HD (the DVD is Standard Def).

For those of you who haven’t seen the film yet, I’m happy to finally be bringing it to you.

And here, as promised, are some of the reviews we’ve gotten:

"A film of rare electricity and intelligence." "If there was ever a contemporary film that illuminates why queer cinema still matters, this is it." FILM COMMENT http://tiny.cc/wsd92w

"A breathtaking little film...beautiful and captivating." THE ADVOCATE http://tiny.cc/84lu0w

"Excellent, gripping, surprisingly funny and beautifully shot." OUT MAGAZINE http://tiny.cc/1s8b0w

"Test has already been compared to Bill Sherwood’s 1986 film, Parting Glances,    widely regarded as a landmark of gay cinema." NY TIMES  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/movies/newfest-of-gay-films-opens-at-lincoln-center.html?ref=movies

“Deeply rewarding...with a delightful feel for period detail.” LA WEEKLY http://tiny.cc/f6lu0w

"Hugely entertaining...Test climaxes gloriously in a late-night dance-your-ass-off.” BAY AREA REPORTER http://tiny.cc/ki9z0w

"The lithe Marlowe and his staggering cheekbones give a nuanced performance." INDIE WIRE  http://tiny.cc/kj9z0w

Gratefully, 

Chris Mason Johnson


Update #9

Outfest Awards & Closing Night Lincoln Center

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Dear Backers,

There's a lot of good news for TEST since my last update two months ago, and those of you in NY will finally get a chance to see the film (keep reading to find out where and when). 

Here's the news roundup:

- We sold out the Castro Theater on June 29 for Frameline (1400 seats!) and it was an awesome screening on crazy, crowded, festive Pride Weekend with most of the cast and crew in attendance, a rewarding Q & A after the show, and a lovely after-party thrown by our generous Executive Producer, Elizabeth Pang Fullerton.

- We went on to play the Ford Amphitheater in LA for Outfest on July 18th and... drumroll... 

TEST took home TWO Grand Jury Prizes at the Outfest Awards Brunch!:

Outstanding Screenwriting

Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature 

- We signed a deal with WolfeVideo for North American VOD, DVD and internet distribution (for 2014). Wolfe is a terrific company that has strong relationships with Netflix, Amazon, Comcast, Hulu, etc. We also signed deals for distribution in both Germany and the United Kingdom that include theatrical releases there. More international sales are soon to come, and we're in discussions with various companies for a theatrical release in the U.S.

- We've been selected as the Closing Night Presentation for NewFest in New York City at Lincoln Center, at the Walter Reade Theater! This will be on Wednesday, Sept 11, and the ticket includes admission to the Closing Night Party. For more info and to buy your tickets click here. I hope to see some of you there!

I'll send a separate Update about delivering your DVDs at long last, giving you an option to get a homemade one now or wait for the professionally produced DVD from Wolfe in 2014.

Best,

Chris


Update #8

Website Thanks!

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Hello again from TEST,

A quick alert to let you know all your names are on the TEST website now (this is the Reward for the $10 level or higher). You can see the list here. Just scroll past the Synopsis to the Kickstarter section. It should be accurate, but do let me know if I've misspelled your name or you want to be listed differently.

If you're not on the list it's either because you opted for "none" as a Reward or because you didn't give a name when you pledged. I'll be in touch directly with the latter folk to see if you want to be added. Thank you!

Warm regards,

Chris


Update #7

Finished!

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Dear TEST Backers, 

Here at last is a long overdue Update! 

After our successful Kickstarter campaign I began the long and difficult process of finishing TEST. This involved not only the usual months of editing, feedback and more editing, but also a series of reshoots to create new material that made the story stronger, which in turn led to editing, feedback and more editing, which then led (finally!) to the official sound mix, music edit and color correction. The good news is: the film is finished at last.

Behold the new trailer!: http://tiny.cc/w0ykyw

TEST was finished in NYC literally days before its first festival screening at the Seattle International Film Festival just one week ago, on June 7: http://www.siff.net/festival-2013/test

Our two screenings at the lovely Harvard Exit Theater in Seattle were full and the response heartfelt. It was truly rewarding – after all those months in isolation – to feel the audience connect with the film in very personal ways.

And Seattle was just the beginning. We are now gearing up for a big hometown screening of TEST on June 29 at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, as part of the festival called Frameline: http://tiny.cc/3tkqyw. The screening is still two weeks away but we’ve already sold 400 tickets. There’s a good chance we’ll sell out. 

After that, on July 17, we play the huge Ford Amphitheater in Los Angeles as part of the festival called Outfest: http://tiny.cc/aqlqyw

I will keep you posted on future festivals and eventual distribution as well. And of course, now that I have emerged from the underwater realm of post-production, I will process all of your Rewards promptly. Separate emails are forthcoming about those. 

For those of you who pledged $100 or more, your names are already in the closing credits of the film as promised. 

Thank you again for your support! 

Chris Mason Johnson

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Update #6

We did it!

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Thanks to all of you, we did it! We hit our $35,000 goal and still have two and a half days to go before our deadline. Maybe we will even make a little extra, which we can use of course! :)

For those of you who donated after Update #4, I want to say again how moving and surprising this campaign has been. The response we've gotten has given me deep faith in the project and what it has to say. Especially gratifying has been hearing both from people who lived through those times - sharing their stories (see one below) - and from young dancers today who are still dealing with the issues of masculinity and homophobia depicted in TEST.

Also for those of you who joined later, I've re-attached the dance clip sent out before that was a big hit. I've attached a new treat, too: a music file of one of Ceiri Torjussen's "extra" compositions for the film (as per Werner Herzog's recommendation, which I heard at a lecture at Amherst College, I asked Ceiri to make a "bucket" of music into which I could dip now and then; this extra piece is one of my favorites in the bucket. It's sad and haunting, and a little creepy).

Lastly, I asked Christian Charette, a backer of this project via Kickstarter, if I could use in a blogpost his messages to me, which I found very moving. I'd like to share them here with you as well.

The first message:

I lived in San Francisco from 1982 to 1992 and lost my best friend Alan Renoud to AIDS in 1986 after a 15-month battle. (His name is on one of the original 1,920 AIDS quilt panels first displayed on the Mall in WDC. ) I remember the numerous vigils at the hospital where one had to wear gowns and masks for fear of catching the disease and friends being afraid of touching Alan (and if they did, quickly excusing themselves to go wash their hands); of getting a call in the middle of the night telling me that he had died and when I showed up an hour later seeing all his meager belongings already in an orange garbage bag; of closing his eyes; of telling his folks that their only child had just died; of spreading his ashes from the Neptune Society boat around Angel Island. For all of us who lived while others died...

The second:

Feel free to use my comments any way you want. I am proud to be a gay man. If Alan had not been diagnosed we would have become lovers. Instead we became best friends. Because of him, I joined FrontRunners, the gay running club. When he ran for president while dying of AIDS, I ran for VP and became president when he died.

Good luck with your project. I have never donated to something like this before. You hit a raw nerve. For all the Alans in this world, the story needs to be told. Why he got AIDS and not I, God only knows.

So, I'll be in touch some time after the campaign has ended to check on who wants to have his or her "thank you" be "in memory of" rather than in your own name. It's an option, if you like.

Thanks again to all of you! 

xoxo

Chris

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