What is THE SUICIDE PARTY?
THE SUICIDE PARTY is a dramedy, made especially as a cable network or TV-feature, which tells the story of Dave, a late-30s business professional, who has lost his job, can’t find another, and is 30 days from losing his house, which means everything to him.
The bank won’t help nor can his friends, who are in a similar plight. In desperation, he turns to his best friend Biff to help him put on a last-ditch effort – a Suicide Party – to raise funds. If he gains enough, he’ll live, and if not, he’ll quietly end it all.
Here are some photos from the sizzle reel and first episode we produced locally to help in developing the full length feature which will be further developed with the director and cinematographer chosen to shoot the film. One director in L.A. is interested in producing this as a dark comedy/drama; and the San Francisco version will be more of a suspense drama which is both entertaining and raises many timely social issues about suicide, the economy, the loss of the middle class, inequality in America, and the continuing foreclosure mess and problems with the banks.
Now here are the photos from the film shoot which are designed to show Dave as a likable, successful businessman, before he got hit by the Great Recession and jobs going overseas.
Here are Dave and Louise, in the days when things were great. He is a successful salesman, eager for his next promotion; she is the daughter of a wealthy company owner.
Then boom, Dave loses his job and can't find another. His girlfriend walks out, and he's about to lose his house, because the banker (seen getting a little makeup) can't loan him anymore money, and the friends he calls to help are struggling, too.
That's when, feeling desperate, Dave decides to have a Suicide Party with the help of his friends to raise funds to save his house and all he holds dear, because he can't imagine living in a homeless shelter or on the street.
The short that premiered at the Scary Cow Film Festival on July 6 ends there, and we got to introduce everyone in the cast and crew, since my previous film, Dead No More, won a membership award and budget, plus an award for Best Special Effects. And here we are introducing everyone to several hundred people in the audience.
The rest of the feature film continues from Dave's decision to have the party. Over the next few weeks, after Dave announces the party to his friends, posts it on Facebook, and becomes a guest on a TV interview show, his idea becomes a magnet for controversy. That's because people with all sorts of attitudes about suicide and the collapsing middle class weigh in with their ideas. They range from suicide prevention and rights advocates to members of the Tea Party, Jehovah Witnesses, and 99%ers. Dave even gets death threats for proposing such a party.
Finally, the party happens, with hundreds of people attending for their own reasons – from those seeking business leads to those out to party and hook up. But even though Dave raises enough money, it comes at a price after one attendee steals the money. Yet the media and new celebrity might still be his salvation – or will it? And how will his ideas affect society? It's not only an entertaining, exciting film, but it raises a number of social issues and inspires a conversation -- such as on the economy, declining middle class, inequality, bad bankers, the continuing foreclosure mess, suicide, success, celebrity, fame, the media, and more. It's a film that's sure to be talked about.
THE SUICIDE PARTY is in the tradition of films which are both entertaining yet deal with themes in the news, like Everything Must Go, The Help, and Inside Job.
The 18 minute short illustrates the story, and a sizzle reel was just posted. We hope to use many of the original cast and crew in the full length feature, with the final decision up to the director. The short and sizzle reel done to illustrate the concept.
Photos were recently posted from our gala cast and crew party to launch the crowdfunding campaign for the Suicide Party held September 11 in San Francisco at the restaurant featured in several scenes in the video. Our next film and networking party will be October 9 in San Francisco and a few tickets are still available at https://shortfilmsandbusinessnetworking.eventbrite.com.
Now we hope to film the story in the San Francisco Bay Area in January or February 2014 in a 15 day shoot and complete the film by April or May 2014 working with an experienced team, headed up by a director, cinematographer, and editor with at least 10 years of experience each. I will be the writer/producer and will be handling casting and locations, as I have with over 80 short films.
Additionally, an L.A.-based director is interested in producing a dark comedy version of the story, and this campaign will support their efforts, too.
Besides being an entertaining, suspenseful film, the film has an important message, and we expect the film to have a powerful impact in raising various issues that are touched on by the film. These include the impact of the Great Recession on our economy and society that continues today and the issues of suicide, inequality, the decline of the middle class. the role of the media and celebrity, and more. We hope the film will contribute to a national conversation on these topics, and even to lead to changes in some laws.
We also expect this will be the first of many films produced through Changemakers Productions, With your help, we can make that happen.
Why do you need the money?
We already have $10,000 towards production committed by private investors Now we need an additional $30,000 to complete and promote the film with your help. Anything beyond that will go to making this an even better film and help with promotion, marketing, and organizing national Suicide Party parties to increase interest in the film -- as well as being fun. As a subscriber, supporter, or contributor, you'll get advance, reduced price, and VIP invitations to these events, as well as many other perks. You'll also have a front-row seat at our humorous "Save Dave" campaign, in which we are inviting people all over the U.S. -- and even internationally -- to submit 10-30 second videos sharing their reasons for why we should "save Dave." There will be a competition and rewards to select the best videos. You can see the beginnings of this campaign at www.savedave.net, and join our Facebook page for this at www.facebook.com/youcansavedave.
We were able to produce the short reel with the help of volunteer actors and crew members, who did a terrific job, with a small budget for locations, costumes, props, cast services, and supplies. Most of this budget was provided by the funds won by Dead No More in a film festival featuring films from Scary Cow, a collective of filmmakers in San Francisco. Our cast and crew from this short are all eager to participate in the feature film, and we hope to include many of them, though we are doing additional casting and recruiting for the feature.
Your pledge will help us with production and development costs such as:
- Salaries for the actors, producers, and crew
- Payment to the editor
- Locations, permits, and food services
- Marketing and promotion
- Entries in film festivals
More specifically, our $40,000 budget for a 15 day shoot will cover the cost of making the film with a crew of 15, including a director, director of photography, producer, associate producer, casting director, sound recorder, script supervisor, and several others. In addition, there will be 5 lead actors, plus about 25 supporting actors and 300 unpaid extras for the big party scene and other background scenes. Plus the budget will cover the costs of locations, food, music, equipment rentals.
Anything we get over our budget will be used to increase the quality of the film and for marketing, promotion, festival entries, and for great parties for contributors and supporters and to build buzz for the film. These additional funds will also be used to supplement the dark comedy version being filmed by the team based in L.A. If we don't reach our goal, we will use the funds to make the first episodes of the film to help us get another round of funds to complete the film.
What Inspired the Suicide Party?
THE SUICIDE PARTY was inspired by the recent economic crisis in which over 12 million middle income people have lost or are losing their homes in today’s economic turmoil. Even though the Great Recession is considered over, millions of people are still suffering after losing their jobs, businesses, and homes. Also, according to research reported in the daily news, over 100 people commit suicide every day. Many of these people are led to do so by this economic crisis, and I did a short documentary series about this situation called: Middle Class Homeless:
Middle Class Homeless: The Crisis:
Middle Class Homeless: Families in Trouble:
Middle Class Homeless: Introducing a Series of Documentaries:
We hope to contribute to the national dialogue and inspire action to help deal with this situation, since we are all in this together. In fact, many of us drawn to this project have been affected in various ways by the same issues that confront Dave and millions of other people today.
I'm really passionate about this campaign, because it tells a story which is very timely about things that have been happening to millions of people in our country who have been losing their homes, jobs, and businesses. At the same time, this film tells a very personal, heartfelt story about one man's journey through this modern-day crisis. I also want this film to be the first of a series of low-budget feature films shot in the San Francisco Bay Area that include dramas, crime suspense thrillers, and sci-fi films that highlight the way new developments in science and technology will change our life. I have crew members and actors I have worked with on dozens of short films ready to make these films.
Your contribution will not only help make The Suicide Party possible, but will help launch a production company that will bring more filmmaking to the Bay Area.
Who Are You?
To this end, our team is led by film writer/producer Gini Graham Scott, who will be selecting the final crew and cast for the project, as well as working with a team of event planners to throw a series of “Suicide Party” parties nationwide. Initial PR Assistance is being provided with the help of Jana Collins of Jones & O'Malley, based in Los Angeles.
Screenwriter and Producer: Gini Graham Scott
Gini Graham Scott is the owner of Changemakers Productions and author of 50+ books, 15 original scripts, over 80 low-budget short films, and author of THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO WRITING, PRODUCING, AND DIRECTING A LOW-BUDGET SHORT FILM and THE QUICK GUIDE TO FINDING FUNDS FOR YOUR FILM OR TV-PROJECT with Hal Leonard's Limelight Editions. The funding book even has a chapter on crowdfunding.
She is a regular Huffington Post columnist, writing about social trends (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gini-graham-scott) and has published three books about the housing crisis that inspired this script, including: LIVING IN LIMBO: THE BEGINNING OF THE END; LIVING IN LIMBO: STUCK IN THE MIDDLE; and LIVING IN LIMBO: FROM ENDINGS TO NEW BEGINNINGS. The final book in the series which incorporates all three of these books is LIVING IN LIMBO: FROM THE END TO NEW BEGINNINGS.
She has written other books on current social trends, most recently: TRANSFORMATIONS: HOW NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS, AND SOCIETY ARE CHANGING YOUR LIFE. She has just sold a book on inequality in America: THE NEW AMERICAN MIDDLE AGES to Palgrave Macmillan.
She has written and produced over 80 short videos which you can see at www.youtube.com/changemakersprod. They range from dramatic narratives and documentaries to music videos and promotional trailers. A few of her scripts and shorts won awards in festivals and competitions. (Dead No More received 2 awards in the Scary Cow Film Festival in San Francisco; the Suicide Party script was a finalist in Philadelphia’s ScreenplayFest Competition. The latest videos include:
Gini Graham Scott also wrote and produced several feature films now under option and a half-dozen TV game/show pilots under consideration by the networks. Her short films include the documentaries MIDDLE CLASS HOMELESS, THE TRUTH ABOUT LYING, WHAT KIND OF DOG ARE YOU?, HIDE AND SEEK about geocaching, and IRONWORKERS. She has written and produced trailers for the feature films THE NEW CHILD and NEW IDENTITY. She wrote and produced the music videos: TRAFFIC COURT STAR, BAD BAD BANKS, GHOST POSTER, and PLEASE BE MY WIFE. They can all be viewed on YouTube at www.youtube.com/changemakersprod.
She teaches classes on low-budget filmmaking based on her book and organizes monthly film industry networking events and other programs through several film groups she founded with over 4000 members, including the Film and TV Connection and the Hollywood Film Industry, both in L.A. and the Bay Area Film and TV Connection, http://www.meetup.com/BayAreaFilmandTVConnection, the San Francisco Film Industry http://www.meetup.com/SanFranciscoFilmIndustry, and the recently founded Film and Business Connection http://www.meetup.com/filmandbusinessconnection to bring together filmmakers with members of the business community.
Her websites include:
http://www.changemakersproduction.com (for script writing and film production)
http://www.changemakerspublishingandwriting.com (for writing books, scripts, articles, blogs, and other materials)
http://www.ginigrahamscott.com (for published books, speaking, and more)
http://www.youtube.com/changemakersprod (for Changemakers Productions videos)
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2592609 (for an IMBD profile and resume)
http://www.linkedin.com/in/changemakersproductions (for LinkedIn)
Director - LA-Based Dark Comedy: Shamil Erfanian
Shamil Erfanian is currently the development producer of Digital Era Productions, and is developing two films for the company, including a horror and a romantic comedy based on a fairy tale. He is also producing and directing two features with Premiere Entertainment, a Ranger in search of his kidnapped daughter, and Razor Fury, a sci-fi feature centered around a renegade martial artist. As the development producer, Mr. Erfanian is responsible for the development, rewrites, production and post production of motion pictures. His extensive background in script development and analysis at
Hollywood Outreach Network has been a vital asset in the rewrite and development of up and coming writers. His unique approach to script development has been a key to "fixing" story issues and weaknesses.
Mr. Erfanian completed a motion picture, Prairie Dogs, which will be released in 2012. Prairie Dogs is a story of two soldiers returning to broken homes and relationships. The story questions redemption of warring soldiers and the betrayal of spouses left home during combat. Mr. Erfanian has also been trained as a Director of Photography, mentored by notable DP Gale Tattersall, Rodney Charters, and David Stockton.
In addition to being Associate Producer of Prairie Dogs, the Mr. Erfanian also was its Director of Photography.
Editor: Sanjay Sooknanen
Sanjay Sooknanan has over 14 years experience writing, directing, shooting, and editing films. A graduate of San Francisco State University, Sanjay juggled a career in education while working on over 25 short films, music videos, and short documentaries. He has worked with numerous local organizations and production companies, and is committed to supporting Bay Area-based independent films.
Graphic Artist/Designer: Bernard Prinz
Bernard Prinz is a graphic artist/designer with extensive experience in print media, image composition & image manipulation. He also has a deep knowledge of digital video camera and non-linear editing. He designed our Suicide Party Poster.
Public Relations and Publicity Director: Jana Collins
Jana Collins works with a full service PR firm, Jones and O’Malley, established in 1985 and based in Los Angeles, specializing in the entertainment industry. The company has assisted in gaining recognition for million dollar companies, cutting edge technologies, and Grammy Award winning recording artists. The company assists with campaign planning, press releases, press kits, Internet marketing, and special event planning, and they have a broad reach in today’s media. They have placed their clients and their products in every nationally distributed publication, major television network and top rated cable station, including; ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, Discovery, Nat Geo, “E”, HGTV, DIY Network and many others. They have gotten clients on The Today Show, Doctor Phil, Dateline, T.V. Guide Channel, Good Morning America, This Morning, 60 Minutes, Entertainment Tonight, and 20/20, and they have worked with a number of big budget motion pictures such as Transformers and Mission Impossible. Their website is at http://jonesomalley.com
Other Crew Members
We plan to draw on our extensive community of directors, cinematographers, editors and other crew members to put together the team for this shoot.
Here are photos from various film sets working with hundreds of crew members.
From Please Be My Wife: From: Behind the Scenes with Debbi and Frankie
From the New Child:
You can see even more if you go to www.youtube.com/changemakersprod, where we have over 80 short videos, which include narratives, documentaries, music videos, promotional videos, book and script trailers, and photo videos featuring a display of images set to music.
Cool! So what do I get for helping?
Your support is very important to us. To show our appreciation, we are offering these rewards to enable you to be part of our vision, no matter how much you contribute. Every single pledger is important to us and will become part of the Suicide Party and Changemakers Productions’s vision for the future.
These perks include:
- Invitations to our special film and business networking parties held in SF, LA and other cities
- Reduce prices for all our parties and other programs
- An invitation to attend a day of filming
- An opportunity to give your input on the story
- A chance to be an extra at the big party scene or in other scenes
- A lunch or dinner with one of the key crew members or lead actors
- An advance DVD or Blu-ray of the film once the film is ready for distribution
- A mounted photo of your choice taken on the film set
- A framed certificate of appreciation
- Special listings in our promotional materials to help your business
- Credits in our film, including Assistant Producer, Associate Producer, and Executive Producer credits
- And more - as determined by our panel of advisers, which includes YOU, to help us decide what perks people would like to receive
Other ways you can help...
Besides contributing funds, you can help by spreading the word. Let your friends and business associates know. Post information about the campaign and our website, Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/youcansavedave), twitter handle (#youcansavedave), and on your own social media accounts and websites. Post blogs and articles about it. And use the Indiegogo share tools to help spread the word.