Hello. My name is Max Peterson, and I'd like to tell you a story. I told it to Kelly McCommons (who said he'd like to film it), Myles Moncalieri, Stephen Wardell, and Natalie Berger (who are shooting it from every angle), Bird (who's doing all kinds of strange, wonderful art for it), and a score of other people who will act in, plan, record, cut together, and otherwise help grow and shape it. It's going to be a feature-length independent horror film called Marlon.
Marlon is the story of a rock star at the pinnacle of fame...and the edge of a breakdown. Burned out by drugs, drink, and pathological sex, Marlon retreats to an isolated cabin in the north Michigan wilderness to work on his last album. Haunted by guilt and the bent memories of his wife and daughter, his hold on reality begins to slip away, and he becomes increasingly violent toward the two people sent to watch over him.
But we can't tell this story without your help.
We're trying to raise $5,000 to fund the production. We've created a tight budget and we're working on a tight shooting schedule, with Principal Photography in February, 2014, with a few warm-weather scenes shooting in May, 2014. Three weeks of post-production, and Marlon will be edited, scored, and ready to submit to film festivals by the end of May.
Now. Let's talk about RAINN. Let's talk about the Wayne Foundation. Let's talk about how we're going to help.
RAINN, for those of you who don't know, is a non-profit organization focused on the prevention of sexual violence. The Wayne Foundation, a non-profit founded by Jamie Walton and Kevin Smith, exists to spread awareness about and help survivors of child sex trafficking in the United States.
The issues these charities deal with are true horror; the people they help true heroines and heroes. The good they do is a powerful testament to the inherent good in all of us, and of the potential for people to overcome adversity and tragedy. The fact that they need to exist at all is a devastating affirmation of the shortcomings we continue to face as humans and the evil we must, at the cost of all else, overcome within ourselves.
Marlon is a movie about, among other things, these issues. They make up part of the real horror of the film: there's no need for monsters under the bed or on another planet. That's not where the monsters really are.
It's important that we help each other through this life, because we're all here together, and as long as we're all helping each other, we're okay. That's why half of any profit that Marlon makes (be it from merchandise, prizes, or signing our souls over in shady back-lot distribution deals with Moloch/Baphomet Productions) will be divided evenly between donations to RAINN and the Wayne Foundation, in perpetuity: as long as Marlon is around, if we can sell a DVD, a T-shirt, a threepenny sticker, half of what comes in is going out to those two charities, because while a horror film can distract us for a moment from the things that should truly frighten us, RAINN and the Wayne Foundation are working to eradicate that true fear forever.
Something for nothing isn't our style, so along with helping out a little independent Michigan movie, we've got all sorts of perks for all sorts of pledges!
What all this is about! Marlon will be shot in 1080p HD and edited in Final Cut Pro 10. Using the script as a measure, the film will run approximately 98 minutes. Backers pledging $25 or more will receive an exclusive backer-edition hard-bound DVD packaged with drink recipes inspired by the film, stickers, and an 11x17 poster.
The music of Marlon will be recorded by Katherine Jarvi (a first-chair cellist), Nathan Edmonson (former lead guitarist of Simple Machine), and brothers Sam (drummer maniac extraordinaire) and Max Peterson (hopefully you know about him already). The music in the film ranges from hardcore to old-school country, west-coast punk to strange ambient noise and feedback loops, all professionally recorded and released in both digital download and exclusive hard-bound CD with a 12-page booklet--"Making Marlon's Music"--filled with interviews, song lyrics, pictures from the studio, and more.
The Art Book
We're also putting together an exclusive, hardbound art book. 200 tome-like pages of artwork, stills, and behind-the-scenes photographs from Marlon, along with promotional photography and artwork by local artists inspired by the film, interviews with cast and crew, character and costume design sketches, storyboards, and...hell, who knows? Probably pin-ups of the principal cast. Check back: as the artwork comes in, we'll post the best examples!
When we're not running through a remote forest in the bone-biting cold of a Michigan February, half-naked, screaming, and covered in blood, we'll be shooting a documentary about how and why we're doing it. Cameras rolling behind the scenes will capture the highs and lows, the happiness, hijinks, and heartbreak of a Corman-budget independent horror film with big-city dreams. Narrated by writer/director Max Peterson, and featuring interviews with cast and crew, including an exclusive interview with Renowned Forest Roberts Theatre Actor Adam Lowe!
Art Director, 1st A.D., lover of cinnamon ice cream: there's not many hats Bird isn't wearing for this movie...and now YOU can wear two T-shirts or a hoodie featuring original artwork by her, inspired by the film! We're making 100 of the limited-edition T-shirts, and we're only making 10 hoodies, and then locking the artwork in a vault (or losing it in a drawer somewhere), so grab one while you can! Here's just a tip-of-the-tongue-taste of Bird's Baphomet design...
Marlon Writes You a Song
Tell us your favorite genre/style of music, and the musicians of Marlon will compose you a song! Love country? Country it is. Sludge metal? You got it: we're tuning down to open C. Polka? Guess I'm off to find an accordion. Not only will the band write you a song, we'll put in both the film and the soundtrack, with a dedication to you in the credits of both! (You'll also get all that other good stuff we talk about in the box to the right.)
Associate Producer/Producer/Executive Producer Credits
More than just having your name onscreen: as an Associate Producer, your name will appear on its own in the end credits (not in that big scrolling list of names, either. No sir! Prime real estate all its own!) Producers are featured in the opening credit sequence of the film, their names fading in and out over the disquieting first minutes of footage...and in the closing credits, second only to the Executive Producer. Execs are credited first in the opening and closing credits. All three of these producer credits will be included in the imdb page for the film.
Direct a Scene
They say, "Everyone wants to direct." Well, we say, "Let them eat cake...AND DIRECT." Find your way up to Marquette, MI, and we'll take you to the set of Marlon for a shooting day. Mingle with the cast and crew, direct a scene, be credited as "Guest Director" in the credits and the imdb page, and...didn't we mention cake? If you opt for the "Direct a Scene" perk, I, writer/director Max Peterson, do hereby pledge to bake for you your favorite kind of cake, which we will gorge on while the camera crews set up the day's shots.
If you (or you and your friends, your whole town, your county, etc.) pledge $2,500, we'll bring the film to you! Got a local theatre willing to show it? A projector and screen? A big TV and a spacious living room? Whatever we need to do, we'll figure out a way to bring you a hometown screening to remember, complete with a post-screening Q&A with cast and crew...and an after-party. On top of that, you'll be credited as an Executive Producer, listed first in the opening and closing credits of the film, as well as being credited on the Marlon imdb page.
And there you have it. Please: help make horror happen. Help Marlon reach its funding goal.