I am currently pursuing my MFA in Film Directing at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
Prez will be my penultimate pre-thesis film in the program, basically – it’s a big deal and a chance to showcase my skills thus far as a director. I'd be truly grateful to you if you would be able to offer anything to help me bring this film to life!
Prez is a 12 minute comedy film about ‘Sherman’ – a fifth grader whose aspirations to become class president sees him take his campaigning to outrageous measures. Did I ever tell you about the time I ran for Young Mayor of Lewisham and lost? Moving on…Prez will be shot from the POV of a child as Sherman enlists the help of his future VP and friend Billy to document his campaign! I’m really excited about this film as it will permit me to indulge my love for comedy, cinéma vérité and black kids named Sherman!
About The Program
Many people often ask me why I left London - Well NYU's graduate film program has produced many influential filmmakers over the years including Martin Scorcese (Raging Bull), Spike Lee (Do The Right Thing), Todd Solondz (Happiness) and Joel Coen (No Country For Old Men) so it seemed like the suited option to pursuing filmmaking further. The pre-thesis film is an important step in the programme and can really help launch careers.
What We Need
The cast is working on deferred payment and I am fortunate to be supplied with talented crew and equipment from NYU, but unfortunately I still need more funds.
The money we are raising goes directly to the following:
- Food - feeding a cast & crew of 15 plus for 5 days will cost roughly $1500 (£940)
- Transport – renting vans and trucks to transport equipment - $700 (£440)
- Locations & Permits –I have to pay for the locations I shoot in $1000 (£626) Shooting in NY is not cheap!
- Production Design - the credibility of this film hinges on the look and aesthetic - $1500 (£940)
- Additional Equipment - we are provided with a lot of great equipment by NYU but we still need extra pieces, such as dolly tracks, extra lenses and some grip gear -$1500 (£940)
- Post-Production and Storage – backing up rushes, professional color correction and audio post - $1800 (£1130)
Every single dollar raised for this project is going directly into the film. If we raise more than our goal, it just means we can put more money into the production.
Everyone on the film is working for free. If this film was made without the support of cast, crew and NYU and we were paying full salaries and equipment rental the total cost would be closer to $30 000 (£18,795).
What You Get
So being the nice guy that I am, in return for donations I'm offering some perks depending on the different levels of donations. Check them out on the side, to the right. They are small tokens of gratitude for your kind assistance!
I have been very fortunate to have been able to pursue my passion since completing my undergraduate studies, working at the BBC with some very talented people and mentors. I’ve always wanted to tell stories that make people laugh and my pursuit of a MFA out here in NY has been a way for me to learn how to do this more efficiently. So far this journey has been exciting, rewarding and a true blessing – however I want to keep going and reaching for my dreams!
Serious face Will: I really want to thank you for offering any assistance, I have little to rely on other then sheer faith leading me to believe that this film will be made!
Other Ways You Can Help
Donations can be as big or as small as you want. We will take $1! We will take $5! We will take $10,000. Whatever you can afford.
If you can't make a donation to the film, I would still be grateful if you could spread the word and pass this along to others who might be able to.
Peace and Love
William Stefan Smith
**Please share the link**