The official theme for their capital campaign is “#THESISWHY.”
Tired of capital campaigns yet? Too bad. Making movies is expensive, and #thisiswhy thesis filmmakers Gus Vita ’13 and Dema Paxton Fofang ’13 (otherwise known as The Artist Formerly Known as Bamenda) are asking for your help in the form of a Kickstarter and an IndieGogo campaign, respectively. Vita’s asking for $3,000 and Fofang’s asking for $1,000, which comes to $4,000 total between the two of them, which still only amounts to .016% of the budget of Michael Bay ’86’s next $25 million opus (and that’s not counting the extra millions for advertising), so throw them a bone, will you? (At any rate, both of them have raised substantial funds towards their goals as of this posting—but they need more.)
You’d be right in assuming that filming is complete for both movies, so why raise money now? As Fofang explains it, “both of our projects were shot on 16mm, and the post-production process for that format is quite expensive. I’m currently spending long hours each day editing the film on a Steenbeck, and prepping for the final stages of post-production.” A cursory glance at Fofang’s own fundraising campaign reveals in detail where the money’s going: hiring a negative cutter to assemble the final cut, hiring a professional sound mixer to optimize the soundtrack, answer prints, color correction, telecine, festival distribution fees.
Wait, festival distribution fees? For real? If you donate, that means you can take credit when one of these films becomes the next Beasts of the Southern Wild and shows up on Oprah and gets problematized by The New Republic or whatever. Click past the jump for a bit more information on both films.(Update: Between 1:00 p.m. this afternoon, when I received this post request, and now, when I got around to writing it, Vita’s film cruised well past its $3,000 goal. Fofang’s movie still has a few hundred dollars to go.)
Round Six, Vita’s film, is a good old-fashioned boxer film, which worked well for Scorsese and Howard, so why not? According to Vita’s Kickstarter, Round Six is the tale of Tully, “a washed up amateur boxer struggling both as a fighter and as a single parent,” and his young son Remy:
Desperate for money to keep him and Remy afloat, Tully has found himself with no choice but to throw fights for seedy gamblers and bookies, for fast yet cheap and dirty money. Remy, unaware of this, has never gone to one of his father’s fights but has created a heroic fantasy of him as a noble boxing superhero. And although he knows his father is anything but perfect, when it comes to boxing Remy can’t imagine his father has ever lost, let alone thrown, a fight.
“Shooting on 16 mm film forced us to approach every shot, take, and scene with extreme precision and concentration,” Vita writes, “for we could not waste an inch of the extremely pricey film.” Not that post-production is especially cheap, either: “For one I am editing on a Steenbeck machine,” Vita explains. “This means instead of clicking buttons and dragging files, I will be making physical cuts to film and using tape to string them together.” Sounds labor-intensive. Funds are being raised to support film processing and developing, edge coding, answer prints, color correction, mag stock, sound mixing, negative cutting, telecine, and festival distribution.
Shot over the course of two weekends in the fall (“narrowly dodging a hurricane in the process”), Fofang’s film, Elliot, sounds awesome and slightly bizarre; it’s the story of “an elderly couple falling back in love after the mysterious death of their dog.” Here’s the full synopsis:
The central couple at the heart of “Elliot”‘s story, Maeble and Bud, did the whole falling deeply in love thing many decades ago. Through time and routine, they’ve grown distant. The dubious death of Maeble’s beloved dog, Elliot, merely an irritation to Bud, results in the quiet climax of their tense relationship. When things seem most dire, the inadvertent employment of a nine year old pet detective might be just absurd enough to bring them back together.
Of course, there are perks for those who donate, ranging from five high-fives ($5) to a lovingly assembled poster ($50) to gold status as a film exec in the credits ($250). “If we exceed our goal, the surplus will cover previous production costs,” Fofang writes.