THE BENZ follows the journey of three brothers after their father's death. They steal his beloved vintage Benz to protect it from being reclaimed and embark on an outrageous road trip of self-discovery across Northern Ontario.
This film is directed by Zach Silverstein and co-directed by Matthew Woods from a screenplay by Sam Godfrey, a trio who have collaborated on films for the past six years. We launched this project in the summer of 2014, and shot the film whenever we could over the subsequent year and a half. Shooting car chases, animated sequences, and explosions takes time, but we think you'll love the results. We're currently in post-production and are working towards a completion date between December 2016 - February 2017.
Prior to The Benz, our team worked on several award-winning short films to gain the experience needed to create such a large-scale project. With an education in film production from Ryerson University, as well as Earl Haig Secondary School, our directors have practiced their chops and refined the skills necessary to create this film. Over 80 young Canadian filmmakers have collaborated on this film and it has allowed for them to gain practice and experience in the field.
After the completion of this film, we have big plans. We hope to do an expansive festival run and showcase this film throughout the world. Our 45-minute running time also makes The Benz a perfect fit for distribution on a television network or streaming service like Netflix. With your support, we can perfect this film and distribute it to international audiences.
Below are two of the most recent films created by our team:
- Best Drama at the Toronto Student Film Festival
- Critic's Choice and Young Emerging Artist Award at Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival
- Best Film, Best Director, and Best Cinematography at the Zoom Film Festival
- Voter's choice selection in the Young Cuts Film Festival
- Screened at the Seoul International Youth Film Festival
- Recipient of the People's Choice Award at the Ryerson Film Showcase
- Screened at Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival
We've personally financed this film, along with the help of generous equipment providers in Toronto: Vistek, William F. White and 2D House. Unlike extravagant Hollywood productions, we have techniques to make a film with a high production value for a tiny fraction of the cost, and with a handmade charm. We've made it here by cutting costs wherever possible and keeping our willpower strong, but a low budget makes it hard to do post production right, which wouldn't do justice to the great work our team put in. Your contributions will give us the financial push needed to polish the film and see its completion.
If we reach our goal of 15 thousand dollars, this is how we intend to spend it:
If you choose to support us, we have many exciting rewards available including:
- Downloads of the script, original score, and film
- Exclusive Swag Bags with "The Benz" buttons and stickers
- The Benz inspired miniature models created by the Mini Mart
- Kickstarter-exclusive T-shirts
- Signed Posters
- Executive Producer titles
- VIP tickets to our Toronto Gala Premiere
- Dinner with the Artists
- Private Screenings
- and more...
Zach Silverstein - Director / Cinematographer
At ten years old, Zach always had his Mini DV camcorder by his side. Over the subsequent decade, he has honed his skills to become an award-winning director and cinematographer, telling colourful stories through film and photography. He gained professional experience working as an editing intern at Rooster Post Production (Adidas, Molson, Volkswagen) and as a production assistant at Sugino Studio (Tim Hortons, Telus, Smart Car). Zach is the recipient of the Best Director award at the Toronto Zoom Film Festival for his short film Weight (2013), and the People's Choice Award at the Ryerson First Year Screening for his short First Kill (2014). Zach’s online videos have received over 3.5 million views. See Zach's demo reel here.
Matthew Woods - Co-Director / Cinematographer
Matthew is a Toronto-based filmmaker who began creating films in the Claude Watson film program at Earl Haig Secondary School. His films have screened internationally, winning numerous awards in North America. He aspires to direct feature-length films, as well as raise the profile of Canadian filmmaking.
Sam Godfrey - Screenwriter
Sam Godfrey is a writer and story editor from Toronto. He has studied screenwriting at NYU Tisch, theatre directing at Carnegie Mellon, and is currently studying television writing at Ryerson University. Sam is the recipient of both the Best New Play Award and Excellence in Playwrighting from the Sears Provincial Theatre Festival. He has worked at the Jennifer Hollyer Screenwriting agency for over 2 years conducting coverage on incoming scripts and writing story editing notes for current clients’ scripts. He has also assistant directed several plays from the Outside the March company, most recently the critical hit, Mr. Burns.
Evan Lavine - Production Manager / 1st Assistant Director
As the 1st AD and Production Manager of The Benz, Evan planned shoot days, schedules and meetings, and facilitated communication between different departments. It’s a job that could not have been accomplished without the dedicated cooperation of everyone involved.
Aaron Labbe - Composer and Audio Engineer
Aaron is responsible for overseeing the full spectrum of sound and music in the film. Aaron has studied music for the past fourteen years, including at the Conservatory of Music in Fredonia, NY. He has made short films, radio spots, digital media projects, and worked as an Audio Engineer at Fisher-Price. What you will hear throughout this picture is nothing less than a labour of love; one that took blood, sweat and tears.
Meghan Victoria - Makeup Artist
Meghan is a certified Toronto-based freelance makeup artist who graduated from CMU; a professional international makeup college (2014). Since then, she has worked internationally in Dubai and Paris and as a published artist, working with top modelling agencies and magazine publications. Corporations she has worked for include Bluenotes, Fairweather, The Royal Bank Of Canada and Canada Goose. Meghan is also a permit member of Toronto’s film union (IATSE 873) and continues to work on music videos, short films, and features.
Dylan Woodley - Camera Operator
Dylan has been making movies his entire life. He was born with an innate sense of cinematography and learned After Effects before he could walk. Dylan has been a stop motion animator for almost a decade, with a client list including Ed Sheeran, Pokemon, and The LEGO Group. His online videos have been watched more than 20 million times.
Kate Harrison - Production Designer
Working in Toronto as a Production Designer, no task is too crazy or imaginative for Kate to tackle. Big dreams and an addiction to laughing are the only things that get in her way. Kate brought her background in theatre to our film production; she was the Assistant director for a play that enjoyed a year-long run, finishing with two weeks at the International Edmonton Fringe Festival.
All of our actors worked pro bono and were instrumental in bringing this story to the screen.
Sean Rey began his film career by co-writing and starring in independent short films. It wasn't long before he trained with acting coach Jason Gale. Since then Rey has appeared in numerous films and performed his theatrical debut in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. In 2014 Rey made his television debut starring as the lead in an episode of "Last Seen Alive" portraying a schizophrenic, drug-addicted runaway. He also appears in the third season of Hemlock Grove as a heroin junkie, and had a supporting role in the indie film "I'm Okay," which premiered at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Kim Korsunsky is an actor and musician currently residing in New York. After years of theatre training in the Claude Watson arts program, 'The Benz' marks Kim's feature film debut. Prior to his role as Kylie in the film, Kim had found work in the Canadian media industry, being featured in TV spots, print ads and voice work for CBC, Rogers, Kraft Canada & Hudson's Bay.
Reece is a stage and screen actor. For his portrayal of Stanley Kowlaski in Tennessee William’s “A Streetcar Named Desire”, he was nominated for Best Actor at Theatre Ontario. Reece plays one-part of the evil MacFarlane family in “Holy Hell,” a grindhouse horror-comedy, currently on the film festival circuit. Other film credits include: Mitchell in “Red Spring,” Kurt in “Vagabond,” and The Butcher in “American Grace.” He can next be seen as Charles Best on AHC/Discovery Channel’s “Civil War Chronicles."
Teddy Richardson, Ian Greyling, and Jordan Sharp are our villains. We are excited for you to see their incredible performances.
Risks and challenges
Although this is our first Kickstarter campaign, we have a team that will ensure that our rewards are high-quality and delivered on-time. We are aware unexpected issues may present themselves but we are positive every supporter will be happy with their purchase and proud to be a part of our project.
We are still in post-production on the film and are aware if we are insufficiently funded, our timeline for finishing the film may be delayed. However, we are working towards a February 2017 completion date and are confident we will make it. The more support we receive via Kickstarter, the faster we can complete the project and embark on our festival run and securing distribution.
Anything helps! Thank you for supporting The Benz!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)