Crowdfunding has become an invaluable tool for the indie filmmaker seeking funds for the start or completion of a project.

And here at MovieMaker, we applaud and champion workman-like campaign efforts. To raise awareness of great ideas and future talents, we will be highlighting a unique project every month during its funding campaign. If you have a project you’d like us to consider, drop us a line at: [email protected].

We hope you’ll share, support, and be inspired by their stories.

Crowdfunder Pick: The Carnival

Genre: Psycho-Drama

Synopsis: Summer. Los Angeles. This weekend, the 405, the busiest freeway in the United States is closed for reconstruction. For 48 hours, L.A. is officially shut down.

A few weeks ago, a woman went missing. She turned up a week later, in the middle of a street in broad daylight, with no memory of where she was, or what had happened. The very next day, another woman went missing. She turned up yesterday. Again, utterly sedated, with no recollection of where she had been.

The story centers on a wild, unhinged, booze-fueled house party, where a group of struggling millennials bash into each other, facing relevance, false promises and the ghosts of the past. We weave through multiple narratives, diving into the subconscious, not unlike Birdman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Rosemary’s Baby. Estranged friends tuck themselves away for the weekend, but will this cozy, quiet home become yet another trap for their inner demons and, possibly, an uninvited house guest?


Says Killian: “I wanted to construct something that peeled away at the imagination and looked into the soul of a person. A glimpse of the emotional baggage we are capable of carrying on any given day. I wanted to see that. So often, movies merely talk about it, as if we are all so emotionally charged and intelligent that we can verbally pin-point exactly what it is that’s tearing us apart. I think we’re much more complicated than that, and I don’t want to rely heavily on this ‘culture of talk’ that continues to oversaturate cinema. I want to show what it’s like inside the mind. The beautifully clumsy mind, that, at times has the power to enlighten and empower, and at the very same time, can bury you into a cave of fear and self-sabotage. This isn’t a surrealistic film, or a drama with thriller elements. It’s an investigation, a dissection of what it’s like to navigate the waters of what you want and what the world gives you. It’s a carnival of the mind.

“I have faith in this story and this perspective. This story has to be told. Whether it’s told this spring or 100 years from now, this story will be told. ‘Cause the truth will always find the surface. It’s too human not to exist…”

Cast: David Sullivan, Brooke Lyons, Bethany Geaber, Kelly Walker, Brian Norris, Ryan Garcia, Courtney Hawkins

Carnival Woman

A still from The Carnival

Crew: Franklin Killian (writer/director/producer), Collin Brazie (director of photography), Kelly Walker (editor), Jen Kuhn (score, musician), Thom Newell (DIT, post-production supervisor), Dustin Walker (BTS/camera department), Spencer Rollins (DP, teaser trailer)

About the Moviemaker: “Here’s what I’m digging right now,” says Killian, “writing music, binging on The Criterion Collection, Caravaggio, Don Giovanni, Andante et Rondo, Jean Renoir, my girlfriend, Duke Ellington, the Amy documentary, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, Jackson Pollack, that new 7 years song by Lukas Graham, Joe Cocker, George Delerue’s Camille, I Want You by Bob Dylan, Dusty Walker’s photography, Lady Snowblood, The Searchers, That Obscure Object of Desire, The Place Beyond the Pines, William Goldman’s book Which Lie Did I Tell?, and any kind of pretzel.”

Platform: Seed&Spark

Campaign End Date: March 17, 2016

Requests: “We are teamed up with Seed&Spark to raise the costs that will allow us to shoot, edit and exhibit the film; through festival deliverables, marketing and release. Seed&Spark’s specialized WishList functions as a gift registry so you are able to contribute to a specific aspect of the project. We are currently raising funds for:
Camera Department – $3,000
Lighting – $1,500
Sound Engineer – $2,000
Make-up Stylist – $600
Production Design – $1,750
Talent – $6,200
Assistant Camera – $2,000
Grip and Electric – $1,500
Director of Photography – $2,000
Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) – $1,050
2nd Camera Operator – $1,000
Score Recording/Mixing – $2,000
Craft Services – $3,000
Editor – $3,000
Colorist – $1,500
Sound Mixing – $1,500
Director – $1,000
Festival Submissions – $1,500
The Essentials (props, specialty make-up, hard drives, batteries) – $1,450

We have also partnered up with MovieMaker Production Services, an incredible opportunity to acquire the gear and post-production services that will make this film truly flourish in aesthetics and tone, and be significantly cost-effective. The Carnival is about heartache, false promises, survival and navigating through this little life of ours, once you discover that you may never find what you’re looking for.” MM

Crowdfund by Visiting: The Carnival

The Carnival from Franklin Killian on Vimeo.