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“Entertaining, poignant, and hilariously irreverent, “It’s Gawd!” is a motion picture comedy that endeavors to inspire a troubled world through universal humor, universal music, and universal truth.”
Literally. The world is in trouble. We're more jaded, over-stimulated, and deeply divided than ever. The problem is, if God ever tried to get back in touch and set us straight, we probably wouldn't even believe that it was really him! (or her). A burning bush just wouldn't cut it anymore. Turn water into wine? Dude, there's a water shortage, have you been paying attention?
Indulge us the opportunity to introduce you to “Gawd”; beloved Deity version 2.013, who after learning that he’s about to be “let go” as our planet’s Omniscient-in-chief, decides to reconnect with humanity through an internet reality show.
The story goes for the comedic jugular, and yet as it slogs through the valley of cows held sacred, it seeks not to offend or repel but rather to mollify defenses and unite. This opens the heart and occasionally lets a new idea in, all while we examine some of our antiquated belief systems in a very funny way. Then it seals the deal with an amazing soundtrack. It’s true. Gawd likes a good jam.
Every time we pitch this movie, someone inevitably asks, "What the hell inspired this?"
Here's what Jerry (our writer/director) says about it...
"In 2003, I had the opportunity to travel the globe with Neale Donald Walsch, author of the wildly popular best-selling book series, "Conversations with God."
I witnessed an incredibly gifted and insightful man who inspired people to consider God in an entirely new way. He conveyed his message by keeping it relevant and applicable to modern life, then he made it stick utilizing his mastery of a single skill- comedic timing. He brought the funny. I'd never witnessed what a profound effect humor could have when combined with such serious subject matter. Often the hilarity wasn't just confined to the stage. It happened behind the scenes too. There's something inherently funny about attempting to raise consciousness in this jaded age, especially when our own humanity sometimes gets in the way.
I thought to myself, "If this guy could only get his own TV show, (I'm talking primetime mainstream entertainment) he'd have a real hit on his hands, and maybe even do some good in the world." My idea was born. That was 2004.
It takes a long time to get a movie made in Hollywood. And it takes a even longer if the movie isn't about comic book heroes, vampires or zombies. It's incredibly frustrating. There's such a wide swath of the populace that is starved for good quality content. Moving pictures can be such an effective means for inspiriation and change, it really frustrates me that the medium is so often squandered. Does the world ever need another Spiderman reboot?
Fun, adventure, and important topics need not be mutually exclusive. In fact when smashed together, they're often hilarious, touching, and meaningful. Not only do I advocate that we take a lighter approach when discussing such topics, I suggest we should listen a little more carefully too. As Neale Donald Walsch so eloquently writes in Conversations with God, "God talks to everyone. All the time. The question isn't to whom does God talk, but who listens." When you think about it, entertaining us would probably be at least as effective as the whole fire and brimstone thing, because that clearly hasn't worked.
We need a good chunk of change to get this party started. We will be using ALL of the money raised on this campaign to do one single thing: Secure quality actors. If you're unfamiliar with the process of booking talent, allow us to explain- Unless you're a major movie studio, most recognizeable (famous=marketable) talent will not even read a script without a 'down-payment' of sorts. It's called "Pay or Play". That means you pay them before they even consider it. If they say no, you get the money back. But if they say yes, they keep the money whether or not the movie ever gets made. The good news is, once they're attached, it's much easier to raise the remaining production budget.
Once we have our talent attached, we can go out and raise the rest of the money to shoot, (please see below on how we plan to pull that off). Should we (by the grace of Gawd) surpass our funding goal and raise enough money here to make the entire film, well... damn. That would awesome, wouldn't it?
Our company, Wow and Flutter Media has been involved in making over 30 Hollywood movies. So why don't we exploit our industry contacts and make this picture through a conventional movie studio? Here's why...
Originally, we sold this idea to ABC Studios/ABC Television, and Jerry directed a short to aid in the pitch. Why a TV network (owned by Disney of all places) ever thought they could put an irreverent comedy about God on primetime television still confounds us. Anyway, we sold it, then it rotted in development hell for years. That was fun. It took an act of 'Gawd' and a very sympathetic lawyer to get it back.
This is touchy subject matter. Most corporate entities are only interested in making easy money. They're quite weary of taking on anything controversial without first dumbing it down and/or sanitizing it. Well that just ain't gonna happen with It's Gawd!. After the above experience, we've decided that this is not a project we would risk losing to the corporate machine ever again. It's too important. Just for fun though, here's a little clip from the trailer that features Ed Asner as Gawd with his special guest, Alanis Morissette...
Using traditional means, the budget of "It's Gawd!" would be in the neighborhood of five million dollars. We have devised a way to make the picture for approximately 10 cents on the dollar. How? Most of the money will go to our stars. Almost everybody else will work deferred, meaning we won't get paid unless the movie resonates with an audience willing to buy tickets.
Since we manage our own production company, (day job) we are able to bring considerable assets to the table that don't require hard cold cash. Some of those assets include cameras, lighting, soundstages, audio equipment, grip equipment, locations, props, wardrobe, and the green screen stage pictured above. We even built the conference table ourselves!
We're also able to do all of our own editorial and post-production, soundtrack, music score, and theatrical mixing, (this is where modern movie making can get real expensive and is often underestimated). Within our budget, that's over 1.5 million dollars worth of savings right there. Speaking of which...
It's Gawd! features a soundtrack that is absolutely kickass and quite integral to the story. Because our background is in this field, we endeavor to make the most of it. Many of the songs featured in the movie are time-honored favorites, but that can be incredibly expensive when using the original artists. So we're going to re-record and re-envision them in entirely new and exciting ways, featuring some of the biggest names in the music business, along with some newcomers as well. Here's a list of songs that we are currently remaking...
Wake Up- Rage Against the Machine, Private Idaho - The B52's, Ice Cream - Sarah McLachlan, Eye In The Sky - Alan Parsons, Fuck tha Police - NWA, Flood - Jars of Clay, Personal Jesus- Depeche Mode, Everybody - Backstreet Boys, One of Us - Joan Osborne, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 - Bob Dylan, Top of the World - The Carpenters, Heartattack and Vine - Tom Waits.
In the coming months, we will be shooting videos for some of these reenvisioned tunes and we will be sure to post!
HOW INDIEGOGO WORKS
Indiegogo is an internet platform which enables projects to accept online financial contributions. The principle on which crowdfunding rests is that it is possible to raise sizeable amounts of funds through a very large number of people donating small amounts of money.
You decide how much you want to pledge and choose an associated perk. When our campaign ends, IndieGoGo takes a 4% fee off the money we’ve raised. If we don't reach our goal, the fee is 9% (which is why it's very important that we reach our goal). Another 3% goes to IndieGoGo for credit card processing fees. Every other dollar goes straight into finishing this movie!
Your contribution of any size will go towards completing our film. To express our thanks we have put together different packages of perks. Want to give more than our max level? Go right ahead! Want to donate but don't want the perks, just indicate this when you give.
We will do our best to ship them off approximately a month after the campaign ends. However the DVD or digital download will not be available until we secure distribution. We will ship the DVD separately from the other perks.
HOW ELSE CAN YOU CONTRIBUTE?
Spread the word! The success of this campaign depends on getting as many people to notice as possible. Share the Indiegogo page, like the GAWD page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and if you have a blog write about the film! This is just as important as a financial contribution.
We will do our best to get your rewards to you in a timely manner. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the delivery time frame for the film until it has found a distributor. However we will mail you all the other rewards as soon as the campaign is over.
Who is the guy playing Gawd, and will he be in the full movie?
His name is Cameron Daddo, an amazingly talented actor from Australia. (Good American accent, huh?). Cam will not be playing the role of Gawd in the feature, however he will definitely be in the movie.
Who is going to Play Gawd?
It is crucial that Gawd embodies a multitude of personalities. Iconic presence, patriarchal authority, youthful innocence, smartaleck vigor, pristine comedic timing, musical proficiency; all are essential. Armed with your money, we endeavor to cast a highly recognizeable star capable of the above.
Is that the guy from X-men in the trailer? What's his name?
Yes. His name is Bruce Davison. You might also recognize Geoff Pierson, who has appeared in a great many movies and TV shows, most recently along side Leonardo Dicaprio in J. Edgar, and also in HBO's Boardwalk Empire. Additionally, the film features other talented actors you might recognize including, Cindy Vela, Aaron Takahashi, as well as Sebastian Saraceno & Ronald Lee Clark from Animal Planet's Pit Boss.
What other famous actors are you considering?
It would be inappropriate to drop names at this point, but we will say that we have the eyes and interest of several beloved faces that just might do this flick if the price is right. Actors that have read the script really like it.
It looks like you've shot more than the clip shows. Can we see that?
Yes, at some point. It doesn't make sense to show until we get back to principal photography, but rest assured, if you're helping us make this picture, you'll be seeing our progress as we go.
What happens if you don’t raise all the financing?
We will finish this project no matter what. It might take a little longer, but your money WILL NOT go to waste.
VERY special thanks to Mark Youngren for the amazing green screen visual effects, and also to Jean Daniel Zacharias for the amazing paint ball splatters and supporting vfx. You guys are rock stars.
Photo Credits: Holly Clark at C Level Photography