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$18,460 pledged of $35,000 goal
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By Marie Ullrich
$18,460 pledged of $35,000 goal
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About

The Alley Cat

a film by Marie Ullrich - in production July 2012

The Story

“Jasper is the coolest character I’ve come across in the film business”

- William Akers, author of Your Screenplay Sucks!

The events of The Alley Cat take place during a single night.  Jasper, the main character, is the same character from the short film Faster! in a completely new set of circumstances.

We meet Jasper and her messenger friends during an alley cat race - an alcohol-fueled competition that is put on by bike messengers for bike messengers in alleys and deserted downtown streets in the middle of the night. The night takes a hard turn and becomes chaotic, then a meditation on the meaning of life and a spiritual journey for Jasper as she engages with the eccentrics and loners of the night during her ride to a mysterious destination.

By taking place during one night, the film exists in a liminal space. This liminality is echoed by the events that occur - things are overturned and unresolved.  This liminality is part of Jasper’s character; the mythological Messenger communicates between the gods, the mortals, and the underworld, occupying no space fully. The film occupies a dark space, but  Jasper’s emotional and physical journey ends with hope and uplift.

The Budget

What's the money for? Well, I'll tell you:

  • AIRFARE and HOUSING - we're bringing together a tight-knit team that will perform well together in these rugged circumstances.
  • SALARIES - we're all professionals. No one is making their actual day rate, but I don't know anyone who can work for a month for free. 
  • INSURANCE - enables us to rent gear, get permits, and feel okay about ourselves.
  • FOOD - gotta feed people well, or they will leave.
  • CAMERA and SUPPORT, LENSES, etc. - getting a deal, but it's not free. Shooting on the RED EPIC-X courtesy of www.Verrechiastudios.com
  • PRODUCTION VEHICLES - a camera car so the camera can be part of the action, plus a van to haul our gear and ourselves around town. Because we're gonna be super portable.
  • PROPS - not a huge part of the budget, but it's necessary.
  • TECHNOLOGY - need some serious hard drives and faster processing to deal with the footage we'll be generating.
  • GENERATOR & FUEL - shooting at night means making our own light.
  • CONSUMABLES and CONTINGENCY - the small random expenses that can make or break your day.

Creative Team

Marie Ullrich - Writer, Director & Producer

Marie is a film director whose stated goal is to make films with strong female lead characters for whom neither the essential problem nor its solution is romantic, while still entertaining her audience.

Her narrative films have screened internationally at juried film festivals such as the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival, interfilm Berlin, the Chicago International Film Festival, Cannes, and more. Her commercial for Chrome Messenger Bags, "The Race," was the winner of the 2011 Bronze Telly Award. The Alley Cat is based on the main character from her film Faster!,broadcast internationally on the Dish Network, AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV on ShortsHD throughout 2011 via Shorts International, the world's leading short film distributor.  A previous version of the screenplay for The Alley Cat was a finalist for the Sundance Filmmakers Labs.

In 2006 Marie walked 500 miles across Spain in 30 days, on El Camino de Santiago de Compostela.

Dylan Verrechia - Director of Photography

Dylan is an award-winning director of photography who graduated in Film with Honors from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, and has worked with Jean Rouch, Fred Elmes, Franz Walderdorff, Kim Peirce, Lisa Rinzler, and Luke Geissbühler.

He has served as Director of Photography for Todd Solondz, Spike Lee, Sam Pollard, Richard Kroehling, Mark Daniels, Bob Coen, Pete Chatmon, Shawn Regruto, Sebastian Lemke, Sonia Gonzalez, Ole Schell, Sal Sorrentino, and Gene Graham, in affiliation with ARTE, BMG, CBC, Condé Nast, Double7 Images, Goethe Institute, Good Machine, Greenpeace, HBO, InDiGent, JWT, Killer Films, L'Oréal, MGM, MTV, New Line, PBS, Time Warner, VH1, Youku TV, and Easyup Medias. He has lensed music videos for artists such as The Calling, Nortec Collective, UrbanRockBand, Tetonica Castro, NoJazz, Nuriya, DJ Vadim, Deuce Eclipse, Paco Mendoza, Open Ocean, Nova Heart and Von Haze.

Dylan is the CEO at the rental company Verrechia Studios, and he has received 25 awards for his work on features, documentaries and commercials. More at www.verrechiafilms.com

Kathryn Henderson - Producer

Originally from Michigan, Kathryn studied film at the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago and has produced multiple short films, promotional videos, documentary-style corporate films, and annual reports. This will be her third collaboration with director Marie Ullrich.

The two have previously co-created Faster!, broadcast internationally on the Dish Network, AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV on ShortsHD throughout 2011 via Shorts International, the world's leading short film distributor, and the Telly-Award-winning spec commercial, Chrome Messenger Bags, "The Race,".

Currently a producer at VSA Partners in Chicago, Kathryn works with such clients as Procter & Gamble, IBM, Harley-Davidson, & First Data. Formerly with Resolution Digital, Kathryn also produced the short films: Tom Carter, The Assassination of Chicago's Mayor, Fall in Love, & The Coldest Winter, and Refuge (also distributed with Shorts International).

In her free time, Kathryn takes voice & dance lessons, and is a certified Zumba instructor.

Acclaim for Marie Ullrich’s short film, Faster! 

Distributed by Shorts International.

Official Selection

  • 46th Chicago International Film Festival
  • 46th Chicago International Film Festival Educational Outreach Screening
  • 54th British Film Institute’s London Film Festival, London UK
  • Cannes Short Film Corner, Cannes, France
  • Chicago Filmmakers Narrative Shorts, IL
  • Carolina Film and Video Festival, NC
  • Clermont-Ferrand Market, France
  • Columbia College Chicago at the Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT
  • Columbia College Chicago Recruiting Presentation, Chinese Normal School, Taiwan
  • Corto Helvetico al Femminile, Losone, Switzerland
  • Davis Feminist Film Festival, Davis, CA
  • Dyke Delicious Shorts, Chicago Filmmakers, Chicago
  • Fargo Film Festival, Fargo, ND
  • International Women Film Festival ŠERŠÊLIAFAM, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • interfilm Berlin Shorts Attack touring festival, Germany (16 screenings in 13 cities)
  • St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, St. John’s, Newfoundland, CA
  • University Film & Video Association, Burlington, VT
  • White Sands International Film Festival, Las Cruces, NM 

Sounds Good, Doesn’t It.  Well get on board! This is a short campaign - don't hesitate! 

~ thank you!

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    ALL MY LOVE. You want to give something, but you're broke. I get it. But every donation counts! I will call everyone who donates any amount at all to thank you personally.

    Feel the love.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    FAN BASE Level: You rock! Receive a special thank you on The Alley Cat official website, and access to behind-the-scenes updates and videos.

    High five!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    FAN BASE: You rock!
    This is the same as the old FAN BASE reward, but I decided to add something: you'll be invited to a FREE SCREENING of the finished film. This won't be a film festival or private screening; it will be outdoors, in a bar, or in someone's back yard. It will definitely happen in Chicago and I'd like to add SF and NY dates as well. The exact date of delivery will depend on when we finish the film, but expect it to be in the summer or fall. You guys are our FAN BASE and YOU ROCK!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    FASTER! Level: The Alley Cat is based on the same main character from the short film Faster! in a completely new set of circumstances. We'd like to reward you with a digital download of the Faster! short plus the Fan Base rewards.

    Ups your street cred just by watching.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    CINÉASTE: It's on! We'd like to say thank you with an HD DVD or Blu Ray of the finished Alley Cat film! Please also enjoy all benefits from previous levels. Please note that the actual fulfillment date may be earlier or later than noted - but this is our best guess at present.

    Your taste is impeccable.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    KINO EYE level: A print of an official film still, signed by the photographer and cast. Note that this is a limited reward. Please also enjoy the CINÉASTE level rewards.

    Display your support proudly!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THE ARTISTE: Receive a prop straight off our set after we finish shooting! Please also enjoy the CINÉASTE level rewards.

    We'll choose what we send - it'll be a surprise - but you can use or display your piece of cinema history proudly!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    FASTER! Special: We have ONE special Faster! bundle, which includes a LARGE Seagull messenger bag silkscreened with the Faster! logo, straight off the set of the film (this bag was a prototype which was not used during filming). The bag comes with a DVD of Faster! and a Faster! postcard. The bag is grey with red silkscreened logo.

    One of a kind - get it!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    THE ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Your name appears in the end credits of the film itself as an Associate Producer! Please also enjoy the CINÉASTE rewards.

    You're kind of a big deal, aren't you?

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    INDIE SPIRIT Level: You're cordially invited to the cast & crew screening of the film. Location is TBD (Chicago or New York). Lodging and Airfare are not included, but the experience of being an insider is unmatched.

    Also includes the CINÉASTE rewards, your name in the credits as an Associate Producer -

    One of us! One of us!

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

    RED CARPET: You'll be credited as an Executive Producer on the film. Please attend a film festival with the filmmakers as a guest of the film! Lodging and airfare not included; locations and dates are TBD. Please also enjoy the CINÉASTE rewards.

    By the way - have you lost weight? You look fantastic.

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Funding period

- (21 days)