About this project
Would you like to see a romantic, coming-of-age, artful, independent film? So would we! But in the meantime, please support our scary, darkly funny, popcorn, horror movie -- CRUSH THE SKULL. For the past several years, we’ve been building the perfect team to make our first feature film. We’re ready. All the key personnel are in place. We want to shoot this summer. We just need you to buy your ticket in advance!
In addition to getting over a million views on YouTube (paired with Gangnam Style, that’s over a billion views!), CRUSH THE SKULL has screened at a multitude of film festivals and even nabbed a few awards along the way. Most notably: Best Short Film at the NBC Shortcuts Festival which landed us a blind script deal with NBCUniversal.
Amongst our awards and festival screenings:
NBC Short Cuts Film Festival 2010 - Grand Prize
Knoxville Horror Fest 2012 - Funniest Film Audience Award, Best Performance Chris Dinh
Action On Film Fest 2012 - Best Actress Tara Perry
Fantastic Fest 2012
Florida Film Festival 2013
THINGS YOU DON'T JOKE ABOUT won the Audience Award at three film festivals: Florida Film Fest 2013, Mnet Short Notice 2012, and the Vietnamese International Film Fest 2011. It also screened at the HollyShorts Fest 2012, and was runner-up for Funniest Short at the Action On Film Festival 2012.
In CRUSH THE SKULL, the short film, you’ll recognize the classic setup: a young couple breaks down in the middle of nowhere and a mysterious -- and creepy -- stranger shows up and offers help. But these aren’t the naive, caricatures in every horror flick. This couple has seen slasher movies. They know better. Trusting this scary man is a classic no-no -- like running upstairs deeper into the house instead of out the front door. They must do what others never dared to do: they have to kill him first. It plays real (what you might really do in this situation), it’s scary, and it’s oftentimes funny.
That was our take on the side-of-the-road slasher flick. Our feature version of CRUSH THE SKULL is our take on the cabin-in-the-woods serial killer movie.
Burglars vs. Serial Killer
Our heroes are Ollie and Blair – a fun, young couple – comfortable enough to be constantly picking at each other's flaws, secure enough to start making long-term plans together – who happen to earn a dishonest living by breaking and entering into poorly secured, upper class homes. After falling into debt when their last job goes comically, horribly awry, they find themselves having to pull one more last job.
The job sounds easy enough: a B&E of a secluded vacation home in the mountains, right in Blair and Ollie’s wheelhouse. Unfortunately for them, the job was set up and planned by Blair’s irresponsible, unprepared, hothead younger brother, Connor. Ollie and Connor have a contentious history, but if he wants to repay his debt, he doesn’t have much choice but to follow Connor’s lead and fall in with the rest of the idiots on his so-called crew.
Of course, the “easy target” turns out to be anything but – the break-in is no problem, but the crew is immediately trapped inside, unable to break back out. As they explore the house for a solution, it becomes clear that this seemingly beautiful and innocuous home is actually a sadistic torture den, a mind-screwing maze of dead-ends and wrong turns, with an unseen killer separating them from one another and stalking them from the shadows. Ollie, Blair, and the rest of our would-be robbers are now fighting for their lives.
CRUSH THE SKULL is a clever, dark, and gruesome story that will bring thrills and laughs and frights. We’ve seen serial-killer stories before; we’ve seen master-thief movies before – but we’ve never seen those two characters pitted against one another. CRUSH THE SKULL merges and transcends these tropes in an exciting, fast-paced, edge-of-your seat battle of wits, wills, and skills. It’s a fun movie – one that winks at the audience but never insults its intelligence.
The Cast and Crew
Actor/Co-writer, Christopher Dinh - Chris is an actor, writer, and producer. He co-wrote and acted in “Crush the Skull,” "Crush the Skull 2" and “Things You Don’t Joke About.” He was also a co-writer on a number of viral and award-winning sketches and web-series through his work with Wong Fu Productions where he currently develops content for over 2 million subscribers. He is one of the co-writers for the upcoming untitled Wong Fu Feature Film which shoots later this year. Chris has also auditioned for over a dozen big movies and is currently waiting by the phone for a callback.
Katie Savoy - Katie's got credits all over the place. She's had guest spots in numerous tv shows like HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, ENTOURAGE, and IRONSIDE. She's also been in a bunch of movies; one of her latest film roles was in VIRTUALLY HEROES which screened at Sundance in 2013. You can catch her on the web as Sammi in the award-winning webseries, LIVING WITH MODELS, which is gearing up for it's third season. She is currently filming an original series for Crackle called SEQUESTERED, which premieres in July 2014. And you can find Katie in over 40 commercials including Pepsi, Toyota, McDonalds, Miller Lite -- she's basically done every type of commercial except for STD ads (interesting fact: once you land a herpes commercial, it stays with you for the rest of your life). And along with all those credits, she has a shit-load of street cred! Word.
Director/Co-writer, Viet Nguyen - Viet Nguyen is an amazing human being. He opens the door for people, he’s a reliable dog-sitter, and he has a firm handshake. He’s also directed a couple of award-winning short films. Online, he may or may not have made the word “ninja” a bad word with his viral sketch, NINJA SAY WHAT?! He’s also directed a couple of other shorts at Wong Fu Productions and edited on television shows including PARTY DOWN, HUMAN TARGET, THE FOLLOWING, and CW's upcoming iZOMBIE. Viet most recently directed the feature documentary, BY THE FANS: THE MAKING OF THE VERONICA MARS MOVIE and will be directing the upcoming VERONICA MARS Web series for CW.
Producer, Jimmy Tsai - Jimmy Tsai is a writer-producer known for films including PING PONG PLAYA, THE KILLING OF A CHINESE COOKIE, and “The Venom Sportswear Ad Campaign.” His most recent ventures include producing THE DIPLOMAT, a documentary on World Champion figure skater Katarina Witt (part of ESPN's Nine for IX series), as well as overseeing a multitude of projects for independent production company Cherry Sky Films. When he's not making films, Jimmy ponders walking the earth as a living instead.
Producer, Aya Tanimura - Aya has completed the requisite training for producing over the course of a decade in Los Angeles - serving coffee, working on SOLARIS, FUNNY PEOPLE, and INCEPTION and most recently as Katy Perry's estate manager. In between her busy schedule she has also produced and directed Katy Perry's last three lyric videos that have garnered over 100 million (insert pinky finger between lips) views.
Risks and challenges
Like every indie film production, we face plenty of challenges. In our past projects, there were no fancy sets, no trailers, no assistants. And in the case of the short-film shoot, CRUSH THE SKULL, there wasn’t even a bathroom.
We’re asking you to pre-buy our movie, so that we can at least have a bathroom.
We have a solid crew of talented filmmakers who will wear lots of hats to pull off this production. We owe them a comfortable place to pee.
Although 75k seems like a lot of money, it is, in fact, less than one-tenth of what studios consider to be "micro budget." (For those of you scratching your heads about the math we just threw in there - it basically boils down to us attempting to make a feature film for what studios pay for John Travolta's hair pieces alone.)
This means we are pulling in every favor we have banked. And not only that: we will also be begging (aka Kickstarter), borrowing (if you have that "something" we happen to need, we are coming for you), and stealing (if you don't lend us that "something," we'll probably just take it).
What we are unable to get our hands on--through the above means--is where the budget will go. We know where to cut corners, but we also know where it is important to invest. And that is where we want to put your dollars. While everyone will be working for minimum wage, we want to make sure our sets, cameras, lenses, locations, props, etc. are amazing so that what you see and hear on screen looks like a million dollars.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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