UPDATE: ZERO CHARISMA will have its WORLD PREMIERE at the SXSW FILM FESTIVAL in Austin, TX this March!
Where We're At
Two years ago, we had an idea for a feature comedy about a passionate Game Master defending his game against a hipster interloper. To get things moving, we created a mock “teaser trailer” for the film and used it in an IndieGoGo campaign to raise pre-production funds. Not only did we exceed our goal, but we were surprised with a torrent of enthusiastic attention from people and websites all over the world who wanted to see this movie get made. The funding and encouragement we received from IndieGoGo set us on a thrilling journey, meeting so many talented people along the way. It’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of stress, a lot of laughs, (a bit of sheer terror) and now, finally, the film--the actual film--is nearly complete, and we couldn’t be happier with it. Now, we're raising funds to take us through the final stages of this adventure. The video above is the first trailer assembled from actual footage, and we hope it gives you an idea of where we’ve been the last two years.
Metal-loving gamer geek Scott Weidemeyer may not have much power in the real world: he lives under the thumb of his ornery grandmother and works a lousy job at a local donut shop. But every Tuesday night, he is the all-powerful Game Master, guiding his role-players through a tabletop journey of fantasy and adventure. All this is threatened, however, when neo-nerd hipster Miles joins his game. Miles is handsome, charming, and can name every alien race on Star Trek in alphabetical order. Suddenly, Scott is not the most respected person at his own game table, and his increasing insecurity starts to alienate him from his friends. To make matters worse, the health of his grandmother begins to falter, and his estranged mother visits town, reminding Scott of a childhood he’d just as soon forget. Caught in a downward spiral of rage and delusion, Scott may be forced to take drastic steps to reclaim his honor, and his identity as the Game Master.
What We Need
Shot in Austin, Texas in the spring of 2012 and edited over the following summer, Zero Charisma is expected to play the 2013 film festival circuit, with wide distribution to follow. But there are still a few things left to do and that’s why we need your help. Again.
The film still needs a final color correct and sound mix. We need to pay musicians for the rights to use their music, and our composer for his original score. We have legal fees and marketing costs to ensure that when we release the film, people will hear about it. These elements are no less important than any others in contributing to a successful film, and the stakes have never been higher because the potential for success has never been so great.
We are raising $30,000 to take Zero Charisma from the final stages of post-production through distribution. The first half of the funding (roughly) will go towards film finishing: this means color correction, sound mixing, and music costs. The rest will be used for legal fees, marketing and distribution strategies--essential steps in making sure as many people as possible hear about the film and have the opportunity to see it. These estimates are based on a lot of experience in what it takes to give a film of this kind a proper chance to succeed.
What You Get
The perks described to the right will be sent out as soon as they are made available. Some (like the production still) can be sent as soon as the campaign finishes. Others (like the movie poster) will be designed shortly and sent as soon as they are made public. If you contributed to our last campaign and would like to again, but are already expecting one of these perks, let us know and we’ll be happy to work something out!
Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews were Director of Photography and Editor, respectively, for the award-winning documentaries Best Worst Movie (2009) and The American Scream (2012). Andrew is also a classically trained actor, award-winning theater director, and longtime gamer. Zero Charisma is their first narrative feature, a project on which they shared directing duties while Matthews penned the script.
Why We're Excited
This could not be happening at a better time. The theme of “nerd” identity and credibility has been close to our hearts for a long time but is just now starting to become a widespread discussion on TV and the internet. We are also excited about bringing a protagonist to a wide audience that doesn’t fit the typical mold of an indie film hero. This script came from a personal place, inspired by real experiences and passions and fears, and we hope that makes the film more than just a “geek comedy” to people who see it.
We hope you’ll consider joining us on this adventure. Any level of donation makes a difference, but if you can’t contribute, please consider helping us spread the word by using the social media buttons above, or just telling your friends about it. And lastly, a special thank you to those of you who’ve been following and supporting this project from the beginning. Words cannot express our appreciation for your enthusiasm and patience. Exciting things are going to start happening soon, and we’re glad to have you a part of it!
(Special thanks to Lullatone for the use of their music in the trailer! www.lullatone.com)