What is the The Many Lives of Jovan Cornejo?
The Many Lives of Jovan Cornejo is a horror-comedy feature starring Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program). It's in the spirit of some of our favorite movies, like Shaun of the Dead, Ghostbusters, Drag Me to Hell, Tremors, and others.
Our main character, Kevin Ostrowski, attempts to reconcile with his estranged, underachieving brother Norm on a camping trip. They’re accompanied by several of Norm’s unusual friends. When one of these friends dies accidentally, the decision is made to bury him out in the desert with some very unforeseen supernatural consequences.
The film will feature plenty of over-the-top effects, bizarre characters, and a smattering of film-savvy humor. And maybe a good story too. But who really cares about that? (that's a joke)
Who are you idiots?
We are Ryan Nagata (writer/director) and George Edelman (writer/producer) and we have been working together making videos since we were in high school. Along the way we learned a lot (sometimes the hard way) about the process of filmmaking and becoming professionals.
Ryan went to USC film school where he made the short film Marooned?, which did very well on the festival circuit. He went on to direct the sketch comedy series Acceptable TV on Vh1, produced by Jack Black and Dan Harmon, and has numerous internet ads and shorts to his credit.
George usually produces Ryan’s projects, and has also produced HBO presents Funny or Die, a few Comedy Central pilot presentations, and independent features.
If you REALLY care about their resumes you can check IMDB.
But, they really cut their teeth making videos for “Channel 101,” a web-based shorts festival founded by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab. It’s at Channel 101 that they learned to make due with practically nothing on the budget end, and instead began fueling their ideas with ingenuity, creativity, and collaborations with the many other talents in the 101 community. In fact, the cast of The Many Lives of Jovan Cornejo features numerous Channel 101 alums: Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program), Randall Park (The Five-Year Engagement), Mike McCafferty (The Invisible Man), and Jeff Davis (Whose Line Is It Anyway?). Also, the very funny and talented Ed Galvez as the title character.
How are you going to make this movie with so little money?
Funny you should ask that question because we’re actually REALLY good at making things that look impressive without much (or sometimes any) money. The perfect example of this skill is 1945A, a pitch-presentation proof-of-concept we did a couple years back:
With next to no money and the help of some of our very talented friends, we breathed life into our vision of a World War II turned upside down when the Nazi’s acquire futuristic alien technology. In many ways 1945A and other things you can find on Ryan’s website (www.RyanNagata.com), are the template for how we plan on making The Many Lives of Jovan Cornejo.
Thanks to Indiegogo, we have the opportunity to raise a little extra money for this film. Anything we receive from this site will be immediately visible on the screen, because if there is one thing we can do it’s stretch the dollar to create exciting visuals. Your donations will help pay for additional lights and equipment, more extensive makeup effects, more elaborate visuals, etc. The nature of this project is such that it can really be expanded to something better and better with the more money we receive. It will not be going into our pockets in any way.
Why are you making this movie and using Indiegogo to help fund it? If you’re so great why don’t you pitch it to studios or something?
That’s another very good question. Firstly, thanks for recognizing how great we are. We’ve tried very hard to prove that to you over the last few sections of this Indiegogo thing. Secondly, we’re actually very excited at the prospect of self-funding this movie with some of your assistance.
As we’ve said before, we have a long history of doing more with less, and our time making shorts for Channel 101 taught us how to work DIRECTLY with an audience. This is an important point, because success at Channel 101 is built upon making an audience happy in order to get your show voted back for another month in “primetime” (it’s complicated, but if you want to know more about the rules of Channel 101 go to www.channel101.com). The format teaches artists to both trust their creative instincts, but also to try and satisfy the people they are making the project FOR directly, rather than first jumping through the many hoops that the film industry has in place before a word on a page becomes an image on a screen. We’ve jumped through many of those hoops in the past, and this movie wouldn’t stand a chance. We’re pretty confident that the only way you’ll ever see something quite like this, is through a method like this.
The bottom line is, we hope to circumvent that part of the process in order to deliver a movie that falls a lot closer to our creative sensibilities, and a lot closer to what our audience will enjoy. Maybe we’re wrong and nobody will like the movie, but that’s a risk we’re willing to take because we’re a little crazy.
So in closing, please send a few crazy people some money because the finished product will probably be weird.
Okay, so what do I get if I give you some of my money? A T-shirt? A Button?
In all seriousness, if this sounds like a project that appeals to you, we would be eternally grateful if you decided to donate any amount of money to it. As you can probably tell from our pitch video, we are humongous film nerds. We love all kinds of movies (not just horror-comedies). And we thought our incentives should reflect that. We also want to give you something unique that you won’t be able to find ANYWHERE else. Heck, we’ll throw in some stuff related to our movie as well. So everyone’s happy.
Here is what you will receive:
Our eternal thanks
Access to on-set video diaries made during the shoot
These will star either cast or crew. I honestly have no idea what these are going to be yet. There may not be many entries either if we are too bogged down with the shoot. But I’ll guarantee at least 1. Okay? Sorry, this is kind of a crappy incentive.
UPDATE (8/28/12): George's brother Alex Edelman has agreed to be our official on-set documentarian for this shoot. He will be handling these video diaries, so I am now confident they will be funny, weird, and awesome! So this won't be such a crappy incentive after all. If The Many Lives of Jovan Cornejo turns out to be a disaster, Alex will have made the next American Movie!
A Digital Download of the movie
This will be disbursed once the movie has been distributed (or not).
Screen-Accurate Jurassic Park Tour Brochure (and everything above)
A while back, Ryan produced replicas of the tour brochure props featured in the film Jurassic Park. They are seen throughout the movie if you look carefully. They’re very cool and full of little details about the park as if it was a real place like Disneyland. They are commercially printed and meticulously recreated from an actual production-made brochure. This is not a mass-produced item and has only been available previously on the Replica Prop Forum or Ebay.
A “Special Thanks” credit in the film (and everything above)
A small poster of the film signed by cast and crew (and everything above)
Hey, this could be worth mucho dinero if the movie is successful. Or it could be worth nothing. Ready to take a chance?
A replica Everlasting Gobstopper from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (and everything above)
Ryan also made these for the Replica Prop Forum and there is currently a wait list of about 50 people wanting one of them. But he is willing to bump you to the top of the list and make one just for you at this donation amount. They are super cool and more accurate than any other replica currently available. Just don’t eat them.
A Museum-Quality Diorama of the 1947 Roswell UFO Incident (and everything above)
How's this for a totally bizarre, off-the-wall perk? One of my hobbies is making really lifelike dioramas of weird things. I love this piece, but I'm am willing to give it up for this donation amount. The whole thing is hand painted with tons of scratch-built elements. One-of-a-kind would be an understatement.
An invitation to a private screening of the film when completed (and everything above)
If only 1 person donates at this amount, we’ll probably just have the screening at one of our houses. So don’t be a wacko.
A replica of the invader from the classic Twilight Zone episode “The Invaders” (and everything above)
Ryan sculpted these and they are way more accurate than the version produced by Sideshow Collectables a few years ago. There are only 10 of these currently in existence, all hand assembled and painted, and they are worth several hundred dollars each. But he will make up to 4 more at this donation price (that's a "7" by the way, not a "1." This silly horror font I used has some flaws). We realize this is an incredibly esoteric prop that only a few people could want. But they are very cool retro sci-fi figures, and if you prefer, he will give it a custom “Soviet Cosmonaut” paint job. I don’t know why that would be more appealing. It’s just something I thought of right now that I kind of wanted to do. Okay, I’ll stop talking now.
A Custom Raygun designed and built by Ryan Nagata (and everything above EXCLUDING the $700 gift)
Last year, Ryan won a custom raygun contest held by Weta (Peter Jackson’s company) and judged by Greg Broadmore and 5-time Academy-Award winner Richard Taylor (name dropping!). Ryan’s gun, “The Indelible Steer” (seen below) won the grand prize:
He will design and create a limited edition raygun art piece just for you at this donation price. It will be in the style of the other guns he has made (but NOT those guns specifically), something totally unique, and in an edition of up to four. It will be super cool and he hopes someone donates this much so he can make this raygun for you. Check out some of his other rayguns below:
An “Associate Producer” credit on the film (and everything above, INCLUDING the raygun AND the invader)