Friday, September 27, 2013

Do you want to see us make this movie for you?

Credit Risk is a crime thriller about Jack, a bank IT guy, who wants to be a full time actor, but has to provide for his wife and two kids, while getting involved with a friend and former porn star, Jenny, who is raped by Jack’s twin brother Will, which implicates Jack for the crime, who is now pursued by own his sister-in-law detective, and two other cops, who are actually more interested in surveillance of Jenny the famous porn star.
Credit Risk is like Pretty Woman, but not as pretty, not as Cinderella fantasy, not as rich, more down to earth, more complicated, real world dangerous, about real people, and in the street instead of a penthouse. It’s about a former porn star, not a call girl.

But they are both about the stigma towards women of certain professions. They are both about women and men looking to live in a better place than where they are. They are both about taking risks for money. They are both about finding love as redemption. And they are both about finding a way out, and finding a way to beat the odds.

I wrote this story, based on true events. I was, and still am, an IT guy, and that means I go through periods of unemployment when companies decide to outsource or restructure. I also have a family with three children. So I’ve been in challenging financial situations for years, and yet I’ve always had a love for making movies and acting. I’ve had my car nearly repossessed until I locked it in a garage. I’ve had times where it was challenging just to get a few dollars together to buy a loaf of bread for my kids to make peanut butter sandwiches. I never knew a porn star. But I can understand the financial binds that cause people to get into that business where it can be easy to make a lot of money fast.

I did make a short film with a bedroom scene once, and my grade school aged children somehow got the impression that there were naked actors in our house. There was no nudity. But their teachers got wind of this and we had some explaining to do. I think a tasteful love scene can be beautiful. And they do help to sell a movie.

Financial binds are hard on a marriage. And my wife was never too happy with my unpaid acting jobs. Other actors out there are much like me, striving to keep their head above water so they can take acting classes and try to get some decent roles. So all of these experiences contributed to the writing of this screenplay.

I also like thrillers where someone is running to stay alive. The threat of death or pain is a great character motivation. It can carry you all the way through a story, until the threat is neutralized.  In this film Will is the evil twin rapist, and yet I think every bad guy has a good side and every good guy has a bad side. So while Will was wrong to rape Jenny at the start of the story, you have to understand that it started out as mutual sex and just got too rough. [trailer]

The light gets broken and goes out. Jenny gets cut with blood coming down her legs and it looks horrific. But really, what happens is that Will, in the process of picking up glass in the dark tries to grab Jenny and cuts her leg, making it look worse than it really is. Or did he maybe try to rape her with a chard of glass?

In any case, Jenny is in shock and in fear for her life. All she knows it that the room went dark and she felt pain.  So her instinct is to run away from Will. And yet Will is a bad guy looking to get over by implicating his brother in his crimes. So the danger persists as Will worms his way into Jenny’s confidence and gets close to her. In the end he attempts to attack her again, but this time she’s ready and turns the tables on him.  Finally Jack is implicated and due to the identical DNA that they share, Will and Jack are exonerated. But Will also has a predator after him.

So it’s not a lot of violence. It’s more of a cat and mouse game with dangerous predators, mistaken identity, and two people in the face of danger, trying to scratch and claw their way into the kind of life they want to live.  Everybody deserves a good life. You deserve a good life.  Just like Jenny shouldn’t have to do porn to survive, neither should any of us have to do jobs hat we hate, just to eat. So it’s a story about all of us really.

Now, we need to fund our development phase even to be considered by distributors and investors as a serious project. We need to complete this short film version of the project to demonstrate our potential to deliver. We want to take advantage of the recent section 181 laws that allows investors to claim 100% of their film investment as deductible on their taxes. We want to offer not just perks, but investment opportunities online as the new Jobs Act has now allowed. For these things we need to register as a company, we need to hire a lawyer for the duration, and we need to have a professional film budget and shooting schedule done by a production manager. We may need to interest a co-producer with an established production company that can crew the film. We need to apply for state tax incentives. We need to print pitch materials like posters, maintain a website, go to film markets. All of this comes to around at least $50,000. And that would put us in the game to make this film.

And we’ll take this one step at a time. We’ll do continual research, tweak the script if necessary, rethink casting options, locations, and so on. Once we get the development stage funded we’ll pitch the project to distributors, and investors, and show them a trailer and scenes from our short film.

We do have a preliminary cursory budget of about $750,000 for the project. We could probably make the film for that amount without stars. But I think if we can get even half that amount together we will have the leverage to attract a few stars like Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Chastain, Michelle Williams, or maybe Michael Shannon or Jennifer Lawrence. And I like all those actors a lot. Ok, they sound expensive. But they’re known to consider passion projects if they like the script. And we have to be funded for them to take us seriously. Just their interest alone would then attract additional funding to give us a bigger budget. We can do this.

So do you want to see us make this movie for you?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Militarized Law: An Internal Terroism of Student Incarceration

At what point does the militarization of law enforcement become domestic terrorism? My kids were "locked down" in their high school for over *five hours due to a "threat". "Lock Down" is a term associated with prisons and incarceration. This is not the first time this has happened. Over 3,000 kids were locked into their classrooms, with no ability to even use a bathroom. Students were forced to urinate in trash cans in the same classroom with other students, while armed officers patrolled the school. This is a prison.

Meanwhile a SWAT team swings into action looking for a threat that does not exist. When was the last time a SWAT team stopped a school shooting? It is rare. The usual case is that police show up after the fact when it's too late. SWAT is a reaction. It is not protection.

Is there not a better way to handle this situation? Is it really necessary to subject innocent children to this terrorizing health threatening incarceration?

'The lock down was lifted after about three hours. But many students still had to wait another two hours for the processing to be completed. My kids were not freed until around 8PM from a lock down that began at around 3PM.

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