Trailblazer Tuesday Crowdfunder of the Week: ToY
by Kerry O’Conor

MovieMaker‘s Crowdfunder Pick of the Week spotlights painter-come-indie filmmaker Patrick Chapman’s second feature, ToY, which follows the entanglement of the lives of two women under the flickering lights of Las Vegas.

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Patrick Chapman’s first feature, Phin, which was favorably received on the festival circuit, also followed the struggles of a young artist (no surprise—Chapman has a background in painting as well as news and documentary editing). While Phin was shot in less than a week, Chapman wants to give ToY a full shooting schedule, hoping this will enable him to concentrate, “on the story rather than the clock,” according to the film’s Kickstarter campaign page. The campaign’s goal is $45,000 (more than four times the shooting budget of Phin), with Chapman budgeting $40,000 for four weeks of production, leaving $5,000 for post and marketing.

The film follows the tumultuous connection between a struggling photographer, College, and an aging escort, Pro, as their lives meet and coil in Las Vegas. College (based loosely on Francesca Woodman, an American photographer who took her life in 1981) is lost and devoid of propulsion, but she finds some semblance of it in Pro, whose career as a high-end escort is drawing to its end and whose options are drying up quickly under the bright lights of the Strip. In this disorienting landscape, the two form a strong, strange, and volatile bond. “The city is a huge sex shop,” Chapman told MovieMaker when asked about his choice of subject. “I can only imagine the situations the city presents: bachelor parties, strip clubs, casino bars, brothels or even just witnessing the action on the strip. And I’ve always wondered, what does someone do after only knowing prostitution their entire life?”

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Steeped in sex and stylization, the teaser and promotional material for ToY suggest Chapman has once again drawn on his roots as a painter when designing the film’s aesthetic, and the influence of DP Vernon Rudolph, another returning asset from Phin, is noticeably present as well. The teaser, which stars Jillian Leigh as College and Andrea Roth (of TV’s Rescue Me fame) as Pro, is a heavily distorted, surreal collage, reminiscent (perhaps inevitably) of Leaving Las Vegas, another story about finding solace in Sin City. It demonstrates a knack for creating tangible texture and forceful lighting, and points towards a visually and emotionally complex film—which might have to avoid the pitfalls of convolution and over-ambitiousness (only time will tell how successfully Chapman can navigate these straits).

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At any rate, Chapman is an ardent advocate of crowdfunding. “The reality,” he told MovieMaker, “is that only 10% of today’s media is made by people like you and me [independent filmmakers]… Hopefully, as people continue to participate, and promote independent media, that 10% will grow and movies will give audiences more of what they want.” We wholeheartedly agree. With two weeks left on his campaign and more than half of his budget raised, Chapman’s prospects for Vegas seem hopeful.   

Synopsis: A narrative feature following the encounter and mutual infatuation between an aspiring young artist and an escort in the twilight of her career. Naturally, this story takes place in Las Vegas.   

Campaigners: Patrick Chapman

Target Amount: $45,000

Amount Currently Raised: $24,958

Campaign Opening Date: Oct. 7, 2013

Campaign Closing Date: Nov. 11, 2013 (35 days)

Funding Goes Toward: Equipment rentals and other production related expenses. Travel expenses for cast and crew, as the film will be shot on location in Las Vegas. Promotional expenditures once the film has wrapped. 

Donor Reward Highlights:

$50: Digital screener of the film

$750: Small original painting by Patrick Chapman (Plus meet and greet with cast/crew and pair of tickets to the premiere.)

$2,500: Large original painting by Patrick Chapman, special thanks credit, visit to the set, chance to be an extra in the film, two tickets to the premiere and two guests at the premiere dinner with the cast/crew

$10,000: Round trip visit to the set for two (including two nights in a premium hotel), a line in the film.

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*If these prizes aren’t satisfactory, donators are welcomed to request their own incentives for a larger contribution.

ToY on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ToytheMovie

ToY on Kickstarter: www.kickstarter.com/projects/166612916/toy

ToY on Twitter: https://twitter.com/toythemovie

Official Website: www.toythemovie.com

 

 

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