What is Ceremony?
Ceremony is a dark, five-part psychological thriller which pulls inspiration from the twisted minds behind Twin Peaks and The Twilight Zone. It takes place in present-day Los Angeles where we follow Courtney and Kelly, two aspiring young actors whose ambition pushes them to the brink. What--or who--are they willing to sacrifice for fame?
Who is behind Ceremony?
The wonders gang is the production muscle bringing writer/director Chris Rogers's vision to the screen. wonders has been producing online content ranging from award-winning music videos to sitcoms, shorts to game shows, and promos and commercials since 2005. The last time we teamed up with Chris Rogers we hit the beaches of Malibu to shoot a music video for Masters of the Hemisphere's "Watch It Go Away".
wonders is one of thousands of production companies located in sunny Los Angeles. What sets us apart from the masses is our penchant for making high-production-value videos on a shoestring budget. All of our productions since 2005 have been completely self-funded, so we're very excited about gaining support from the enthusiastic folks of the Kickstarter community.
In case you're looking for some human names, the team is made up of Chris Rogers, Erni Walker, Nicole Mendez Dial, Chris Cantey, Mike Niedzwiecki, Melissa Hill, and Dagan Reinhardt.
What is the funding for?
If you've planned a wedding, bar mitzvah or a holiday meal with friends & family, you know how much time, care and moolah is needed to pull it off. Well, producing a web series isn't much different. Our goal is to make a frighteningly-polished series without the need to rob a bank (petty theft doesn't suit us).
Take this finished teaser for example. That ran us about $500/minute. With our low-budget/high-quality production arsenal close to being completed, funding for Ceremony will go towards the other nuts and bolts that our success hinges upon.
As much as we LOVE pizza, it’s not in our best interest to have that delivered to set everyday. Helping us fund this production means we'll have the fuel to pull off what it would normally take a crew four times our size to accomplish. Your backing will also help us maintain an Earth-friendly set by providing water jugs from which to fill reusable bottles instead of ripping through cases of plastic water bottles; and outfitting us with compostable cups, cutlery & plates. Do you feel that? That’s the warm, fuzzy feeling starting to creep in just thinking about backing us.
Why are we producing a webseries?
Rogers’s vision for Ceremony has been clear from the beginning: To create a world which looks glamorous on the surface, but masks a dark, even dangerous underbelly. Thrilling, frightening, and intriguing the audience is key, and the suspense Ceremony builds is best experienced in segments. You’ll be on the edge of your seat just waiting for the next episode.
What’s the status of the production?
Ceremony is currently in pre-production. We’ve got a full script, a budget and finished teaser. All that's keeping us from casting, booking our crew, and firming up locations is your financial support.
How can I help?
By backing our production you're ensuring that our skeleton crew of a dozen and cast of 16 will have a safe (read: insured) and awesome (read: fed & minimally compensated) time on set. We will squeeze every red cent out of that budget to maximize location fees and permits, costumes and wardrobe, set dressing and props, car/van rentals, production supplies (we should own Sharpie stock), expendables, the pints upon pints of fake blood, and the paper towels to clean it all up!
When can I expect to see Ceremony?
Our plan is to begin production in February 2013. From there we’ll enter the lengthy process of editing, scoring and polishing this masterpiece. Best estimate is late-2013 or early-2014.
Risks and challenges
Independent film productions can be complicated endeavors, but typically the reason they fall apart is simple: People just stop showing up. Locations and equipment should (and in our case, will) be planned well in advance of shooting. And expendables can be budgeted with some extra padding. But how do you shoot if your director of photography gets a call for a better-paying job (or a paying job, period) and has to leave for Canada?
What sets wonders apart from other independent production companies is our penchant for making high-production-value videos on a shoestring budget. All of our productions since 2005 have been completely self-funded and produced by a small and versatile group of friends, who enjoy working together. Take our finished teaser for example. That ran us about $500/minute. This project has a bigger scope than anything we've ever done, both artistically and financially, but we're confident we can pull it off. With our low-budget/high-quality production arsenal close to being completed, funding for Ceremony will go toward production costs like compensating non-core cast and crew members. This way everyone is as happy as we have always been to do what we love to do.
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