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CRUSH THE SKULL is burglars vs. serial killer. It is a clever, dark, and gruesome story that will bring thrills, laughs and frights.
CRUSH THE SKULL is burglars vs. serial killer. It is a clever, dark, and gruesome story that will bring thrills, laughs and frights.
570 backers pledged $75,311 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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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!

Our work:
CRUSH THE SKULL (the feature) is a hybrid of two of our award-winning short films. It matches the tone, scares, and laughs of CRUSH THE SKULL and THINGS YOU DON'T JOKE ABOUT.

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
Screamfest 2012
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.

The tone:
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.

He might be a serial killer. Play it cool.
He might be a serial killer. Play it cool.

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.

Bad burglar.
Bad burglar.

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

Chris Dinh's most famous role.
Chris Dinh's most famous role.

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's thinking about the mathematical description of the dual particle-like interactions of energy and matter.
Katie's thinking about the mathematical description of the dual particle-like interactions of energy and matter.

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.

 
 

Viet is happy for your support. Maybe too happy.
Viet is happy for your support. Maybe too happy.

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.
 
 
 

Jimmy thought he just heard someone call his name.
Jimmy thought he just heard someone call his name.

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.
 
 

Tiger mom-- uhhh,  producer.
Tiger mom-- uhhh, producer.

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.

Why $75,000?
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.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Don't have much to spend, but want to help the cause? At $5, you'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    Digital Download Package. You will receive a digital download of the movie. You'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    DVD Package. You will receive a dvd of the movie and a digital download. You'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    PERSONALIZED NINJA SKETCH. Join our clan! Chris Dinh will draw you as a ninja. You will also receive a digital download of the movie. You'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    OUTGOING VOICE MESSAGE BY CHRIS DINH. Have you heard Chris' deep, sexy voice? Get a personalized greeting from Chris for your outgoing voice message. He'll say anything you want (within reason, Chris must approve). You will also receive a digital download of the movie. You'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    T-shirt/DVD Package. You will receive an official t-shirt, dvd of the movie, and a digital download. You'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Bluray/T-shirt Package. You will get the official t-shirt along with a bluray or dvd of the movie, and a digital download. The bluray will also include the behind-the-scenes documentary. You'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Bluray/T-shirt/Poster Package. You will get the Crush the Skull t-shirt, official movie poster, a bluray or dvd of the movie, and a digital download. The bluray will also include the behind-the-scenes documentary. You'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    Bluray/T-shirt/ Autographed Poster Package. All the benefits of $100 - the Crush the Skull t-shirt, official movie poster, a bluray or dvd of the movie, and a digital download. The bluray will also include the behind-the-scenes documentary. Plus, your poster will be autographed by all our key talent (lead actors, director, writers). And choose a personal greeting you’d like one of us to write you (up to ten words and within good taste). You'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    YOUR NAME FEATURED IN THE MOVIE. Your name to be displayed in the movie. We can't tell you where or how, but we will promise that you'll see it in a key scene. You will get the official t-shirt along with a bluray/dvd of the movie, and a digital download. The bluray will also include the behind-the-scenes documentary. You'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production! (Limited to 5.)

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    FEMALE DEAD BODY EXTRA. Help this horror movie up the body count! Play a dead person. Clothing optional. No lines (duh!). No acting skill required. We guarantee your performance will be dead on. (Must be female and at least 18 years old. Travel and lodging not included. Shooting date is not flexible.)

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    YOUR COMPANY NAME FEATURED IN THE MOVIE. Your company name, blog, Youtube Channel, or Twitter, etc. will be displayed in the movie. We can't tell you where or how, but we will promise that you'll see it in a scene. You will get the official t-shirt along with a bluray/dvd of the movie, and a digital download. The bluray will also include the behind-the-scenes documentary. You'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production! (Limited to 5.)

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    NAME THE FEMALE SUPPORTING CHARACTER. (Within reason.) One of the characters will have the female name that you choose (as long as it's clear-able and within reason). You will also get the official t-shirt along with a bluray/dvd of the movie, and a digital download. The bluray will also include the behind-the-scenes documentary. You'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    ALL ACCESS TO SET FOR A DAY. Come hang out with us! You’ll get to enjoy our delicious craft service while watching Viet yell at Chris for being a bad actor. Seriously, he is SO bad! (Must be at least 18 years old. Travel and lodging not included. Shooting date is not flexible.)

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    TWO TICKETS TO THE CAST/CREW SCREENING. You will also get the official t-shirt along with a bluray/dvd of the movie, and a digital download. The bluray will also include the behind-the-scenes documentary. You'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production! Plus, you'll get a thank you on our website, plus you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production! (Must be at least 18 years old. Travel and lodging not included. Premiere date is not flexible.)

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    JAIL CELL EXTRA. Ready for to be in front of the camera? Ready to get some street cred? You will play an extra sitting in jail. It's a key scene. No lines, but you can smirk and look tough all you want. (Must be male, at least 18 years old. Shoots in Los Angeles. Travel and lodging not included. Shooting date is not flexible.)

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER.

    Imagine this... you're at a family gathering or a business function. Everyone is catching up and sharing the same generic version of their weekend. When it's your turn, you casually say, "I ran a few errands and then dropped by the set of the movie I'm producing." And as they look at you with envy, you politely excuse yourself because your phone goes off and it's the director calling you to see what you want for lunch.

    We can't promise any of that. However it does come with some fancy perks. An IMDB credit. Open door policy to the set. Come as often as you want and watch how the film comes together from the ground up. It is important to mention that this is a non-creative associate producer role.

    You'll get all the other perks plus tickets to any premieres and film festival screenings after the film is done (travel and lodging not included).

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Funding period

- (27 days)