A few of you may remember that in MovieMaker’s early days we ran a popular department called “East-West Indies.”
In it, producers had an opportunity to start the PR drum-beating for their upcoming films, and it also served as a kind of “classifieds” section where producers could put out a call for production elements they still lacked. When we decided to revive the department and were casting about for a new title the words of veteran independent film education superstar Dov Simens kept coming back to me: “You’re an independent producer and someone asks you what you have going on. Here’s what you say: ‘I have numerous projects in various stages of development.’” Here are seven new American films being made this year. —T.R.
You Can’t Say No
Project Description: Just days from signing divorce papers, Hank and Alexandra give their relationship one final shot by playing a game with only one rule: No matter what they ask each other to do, they can’t say no. This romantic comedy, written by Hus Miller, is being executive produced by tech entrepreneur Douglas Jackson, directed by Paul Kramer (American Zoetrope), and produced by Andrew Gunn (Freaky Friday, Sky High, Bad Santa 2). Miller wrote the screenplay, integrating locations from a 46-acre property in the heart of Wine Country, where a majority of the movie will be filmed. The property, set amongst vineyards, has trails, wildlife, gardens, a tree net, a barn, a spa, pools, fruit orchards, amazing views and two homes: a courtyard villa mansion and a farmhouse. The latter will be base camp to house actors and crew, giving the production a tight-knit, familial feel.
Principal Photography: July and August, 2016
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Still Seeking: Casting for remaining roles in early 2016. The production is also currently looking for crew.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 323/839-0898
The Mob Priest
Project Description: Father Frank Nolan is a priest beginning a new life at his hometown parish. But when he sees a longtime friend and his brother under the control of ultra-violent gangsters (led by mob boss Johnny), he can’t stand idly by. Realizing that he belongs to a Holy Order that allows him to avenge those mistreated by brutality, Fr. Frank accepts his bloody destiny and finally finds the strength to invoke The Holy Order of Kill.
Principal Photography: Spring, 2016
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Still Seeking: $250,000; lighting and sound package, practical special effects, post sound mastering and color correction.
Contact: Gavin Rapp (email@example.com, 412/535-3534)
Resurrection: The Film
Project Description: A documentary about the rehabilitation of the Richardson Row Houses on the Chemung River in Elmira, New York. The area has been desolate since a major flood in 1972, and the project will document the ripple effects of reconstruction in the city’s downtown. Shooting will involve the placement of helmet-mounted cameras on the work crew and cameras throughout the site for security and production footage. We are treating the project as if it were a tourist attraction. Visitors will be asked for an interview for inclusion in the film.
Principal Photography: Spring, 2016 to Jan. 2017
Location: Elmira, NY
Still Seeking: Television news footage about the project
Contact: Terry Nardone (firstname.lastname@example.org, 607/329-0313)
House of Nocturne
Project Description: Alexie, who is gifted with “true sight,” falls by accident into the nightclub, House of Nocturne. Nocturne and his familiars, Selene and Edison, bring Alexie into the world of the Wyrd to use her talents: “Come have a drink, share a tale.”
Principal Photography: June and July, 2016
Still Seeking: Locations, investors
Contact: Producer Kenneth Scrues (email@example.com, 616/422-1576)
Project Description: The Carnival follows six friends separated by 10 years of aging, false promises, and the unrelenting pressure of what it feels like to fall into the generational gap. We weave in and out of multiple narratives, not unlike Luis Bunuel’s The Exterminating Angel. Then we fly through a heap of dark, twisted theatrics, much like Nicholas Winding Refn’s Bronson, or the Spanish dark comedy The Last Circus. Then our uninvited house guest takes advantage of a drug-fueled, millennial party and continues on his ruthless objective.
Principal Photograhy: April, 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Still Seeking: Remaining financing
Contact: Franklin Killian (firstname.lastname@example.org, 970/301-2903)
La American Femme
Project Description: Starring Francois Arnaud from NBC’s Blindspot and The Borgias, La American Femme centers on a college professor investigating a mysterious buried film shot by two lovers in Bakersfield, 1967, while navigating issues in his own love life. Written and directed by Charles Haine, the project is the first production by Thunder Funder (a joint project of Thunder Digital Media, RED Digital Cinema and Cassian Elwes).
Principal Photography: Summer, 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Still Seeking: Remaining financing
Contact: Charles Haine (email@example.com, 323/559-9235)
Project Description: Following a cataclysmic event which has decimated North America, a group of survivalists are thrown into a struggle with an outside military force over the fate of a mysterious woman, who holds the secret to what happened to the country locked away in her mind.
Principal Photography: Winter 2017
Still Seeking: We are in the fundraising and talent-packaging stage. Several roles are cast. Seeking to attach “name” talent for two leads.
Contact: Producer Jason Hagen (firstname.lastname@example.org, 612/581-2296)
Website: Proof-of-concept prequel web series Northbound available on GeekNation: geeknation.com/shows/northbound MM
To be considered for future editions of this department, complete the form here. This article appears in MovieMaker‘s Winter 2016 issue. Featured image shows producer Rachael Costa, director Paul Kramer and writer-star Hus Miller from You Can’t Say No.