Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Walk-Ons needs your help on Kickstarter

Greetings from Eggs! Or, more accurately... greetings from Walk-Ons!


No, don't worry... I have not forgotten about Eggs. In fact, I'll have exciting news and updates on that project within the next two or three months. For those who want to know why nothing has happened, I'll just say that a family crisis made the act of producing and directing such a sizable project completely unrealistic last year. I didn't want to, but I simply had to put it down and step aside for a short while. But it's back in sight and I promise news very soon. With any luck we will even roll cameras this summer.

In the mean time, I want to take a minute to talk about a new project I'm producing for writer/director Andrew Kadikian. I've partnered with him a number of times in the last few years, most recently on our 48 Hour Film Project Black Ribbon.

Andrew asked me over a year ago if I would produce his student thesis film when it came time. The thesis film is essentially the culmination of his filmschool career, it's the final film, the film he'll take with him into the real world to show what he can do. It's a hugely important movie in the life of any filmmaker. I jumped at the chance to produce the thing and a year or so later, here we are!

Walk-Ons is a high school romantic comedy set within the world of competitive paintball. Think of it as John Hughes with guns. Guns that shoot paint.

Andrew first approached me with the concept after we'd already developed a number of other scripts. For a variety of reasons, none of those other stories seemed quite right for us at the moment, but when he pitched Walk-Ons I knew it was the right movie for him to direct right now and for him to take on the festival circuit next year.

Why? Well, for one thing: Andrew is an avid paintball player. He knows the sport and he knows the players. If anyone can take a niche subculture like Paintball and do it justice on film, it's the guy who loves and plays in that subculture. Andrew is that guy. For another thing: Andrew is a damn talented action director. Just watch the trailer to his web series Necessary Measures. I have no doubt that his paintball battle sequences will be nothing less than FUCKING AWESOME. And for yet another thing: Paintball is a woefully under-represented subject in the world of cinema. I can literally count the "paintball" movies out there on one hand. (And "NO", 10 Things I Hate About You doesn't count. Though I adore that movie.)

It occurs to me that nobody is going to be submitting another paintball movie to the festivals at the same time as Andrew and I, and that gives us and our movie a unique and memorable edge.

On top of all that, the chance to do something in the vein of Some Kind of Wonderful or The Breakfast Club is really exciting to me. I love John Hughes. I love his screenwriting style. I love the way he makes us all remember what it was like to be in high school, when the biggest problem we all faced was not being cool enough to get the girl. (I still face that problem, but that's grist for another blog I hope to never write.) I love how when you watch a John Hughes comedy you suddenly realize that you care about the characters so much that it transcends comedy and lands somewhere closer to drama or romance. I'm thinking about characters like Uncle Buck and Ferris Bueller and Ducky, and yes even Clark Griswold. I'm especially thinking about Keith and Watts and "the kiss that kills".

Walk-Ons taps into all that, or attempts to anyway. And I for one am super damn proud to be striving for that kind of feeling in cinema when so few other projects are even interested in trying. And, hey... I get it. We live in dark times. There are bigger problems out there than whether or not some kid gets the girl. Believe me, I know I can be as cynical and jaded as the next broke, misanthropic jerk. But it feels good to be making a movie where you can laugh one minute and tear up a little the next.

We've got less than 40 days left on our Kickstarter campaign right now, and we desperately need people who feel the same way that I do about supporting young talent, making the big movies that feel good to make, and remembering the kiss that kills. I really hope that some of you reading this can relate to that.

And I know it's the Christmas season and all your money is tied up right now, I know that. But all we're asking for is a pledge. You won't be charged until January 10th, long after Christmas is over and you've hopefully saved a little of that Holiday bonus check or returned the crappy presents you don't want. You can pledge $5 now that doesn't come out of your bank until January, I know you can. That's all we ask right now... pledge us an amount... any amount... and let us know you support what we're trying to do. We'll do the rest. We'll send out the 100 press releases in the hope someone writes a story about us. We'll print up the Walk-Ons post cards and hand them out at the paintball fields and paintball stores and talk to people who play the sport. And we'll make the movie as good as we can possibly make it so that you feel you did the right thing by supporting us when we asked.

Please make your pledge today. Don't wait, those backer numbers are so very important.

Thank you,
Ryan Stockstad, director of Eggs and producer of Walk-Ons