UPDATE!!! We've raised all of our funds and met our funding goal for this development process via sources outside of this online campaign! Thanks for the continued support! - Brent & Alex
BLANK YOUTH is a teen mystery/drama, a cautionary tale that chronicles the rise and fall of a utopian, youth commune, as seen through the eyes of two 17-year-old runaways. Soon after arriving, both boys fall in love with 17-year-old Violet - an integral member - whose estranged, detective father will stop at nothing to locate and bring down the commune and its only adult; a dictatorial, female leader.
Great ambition; the need to be “somebody,” escapism and youthful naivety. These themes pop out of the pages of BLANK YOUTH and we care deeply about presenting them to worldwide audiences in an unfamiliar way. From a character standpoint, the hidden motives of the main characters are exposed with a twist that will shock people, and we’re excited about how high the stakes are for each of them.
Origins of BLANK YOUTH date back to personal experiences and moments during the filmmakers’ lives, as well as heavy research into various commune-based communities and cultures throughout the world over the past 50-60 years, and the impact these communities had on their residents – both positive and negative.
Money raised through this online platform will go directly toward development costs to push this project further. Below is a brief breakdown of where this money will go, and for what reasons, based on numerous conversations and quotes received from experienced collaborators within the film industry.
CASTING DIRECTOR (Est. ~$8,000): A casting director has a strong working knowledge of everything in regards to bringing talent to the project. Casting directors have developed insight into which actors would be good fits for which types of roles, as well as which actors have higher or lower salaries, and which actors’ schedules will be available during our time of shooting. Casting directors have established relationships with talent agents and managers and would create a new channel of interaction between us and potential actors.
LINE PRODUCER (Est. ~$6,000): Line producers have the tremendous ability to read through a feature script and create an immaculately detailed shooting schedule and proposed budget based on the story’s requirements. Bringing aboard a line producer at this stage would allow us to have a much clearer sense of exactly how much money we’ll need to produce this film properly, and will also grant us the collaborative efforts of a seasoned producer to assist throughout various development proceedings.
LEGAL FOUNDATION (Est. ~$6,000: We aim to establish an LLC to incorporate ourselves as a 50/50 partnership and continue to raise additional funds through the company. Creating this legal foundation also involves bringing aboard a legal team, which will assist us in drafting legal documents regarding investor deals, talent negotiations, and crew wages throughout our development and production process. The addition of a legal team will also help us structure our business proposal for the film, creating a clear plan for the film’s distribution and profit participation for all investors.
WHAT'S BEEN DONE
To date, much has been accomplished on the development side of this film. In addition to a finished script, the filmmakers have been compiling the following materials in an effort to propel this project into production.
Submissions: We have recently been advanced to the final stage of review for the Sundance Producer's Fellowship Program, and have also submitted to the Film Independent Fast Track Fellowship Program, both of which we hear final results from in the spring. We plan to submit the script and project details to multiple other grant organizations and programs throughout the coming months.
Start date: BLANK YOUTH requires a consistently overcast, foggy, cold-weather aesthetic throughout the story, and for this reason we have chosen late fall/early winter as the ideal time for principle photography. We have set a date of October 20 – November 21st as a general estimated shoot time for our production to take place. These dates are subject to change.
Place: We have chosen the top eight states in the country for our film to be shot, based on the states’ enticing tax incentive and rebate programs, as well as each state’s weather patterns during this time of year.
Locations: We have been in constant communication with film production offices in various regions of each of our top eight states, and continue to work toward finding the most ideal locations within each state where our story may take place. Our central location where more than half of the film takes place is the commune, which we’ve had much success in finding as a location within many different states.
Lookbook: We have assembled a visual look-book that outlines every aspect of this film’s production, including its synopsis, visual style and aesthetic, character breakdowns, original score and musical style, location breakdown, budget breakdown, distribution plan and more. To view this lookbook, please email us using the contact information below.
Cast: We have an extremely clear idea of exactly which actors we would like to work with, and for what reasons. Our list of actors ranges from known names to unknown talents, and we plan on utilizing every avenue available in order to connect with these potential collaborators.
Producers: We have a very confident vision for which producers and production companies we’d like to work with on this film, based on similar films from the past few years and known producers who often collaborate on films within our genre.
Alex Michael Harris and Brent MacDonald first developed a love for visual creativity and storytelling when paired
together in their 10th grade high school film class in Davis, CA. Their common interests
intersected again when Brent enrolled at UC Santa Barbara and Alex began
courses just ninety miles south at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Alex and Brent spent more than three years writing, producing and directing
music videos, promotional pieces and short films together, many of which have
been broadcast on international television (MTV London) and won numerous awards
at international festivals. BLANK YOUTH will be the debut feature for Alex as a
writer/director, and Brent as a producer.