THANK YOU for stepping aboard with us and taking a moment to see what this is all about ... MERMAID DOWN is a COMPLETELY ORIGINAL STORY (no "reboots" here, folks), based on an Award-Winning Script, about a MERMAID ripped from the Pacific whose tail is brutally hacked off with a fisherman's AXE before she's thrown into a MENTAL HOME for Disturbed Women (where no one believes … she's a mermaid).
This is a POWERFUL, FEATURE-LENGTH FILM (approx. 120 min) produced by Jeffrey Grellman and Jeri Baker. We are shooting with the absolute best in professional equipment, cameras and some of the most sought after, top-tier hollywood industry artisans and craftsmen in the film business.
With all our proverbial heart, we hope you will partner with us to tell this tale … and help us make this MOVIE a reality … without Hollywood interference diluting what makes this story so rich.
Whether you share a good-will contribution, pre-order a DVD of the finished film, or reel in one of our most exciting rewards, YOU ARE HELPING to tell a never-before-seen story about the most believable mermaid to ever be captured by movie cameras.
SEE THE FULL-LEGNTH SIZZLE REEL ON VIMEO!:
What's the point of MERMAID DOWN?
Just a REALLY - GREAT - FILM. We really appreciate your support, but we're no more deserving than any other filmmakers on Indiegogo. This film is an absolute labor of love and the filmmaker's passion has inspired extremely talented artists to bring the gritty, realistic world of Mermaid Down to life. We hope you'll help because you want to be involved or just, simply , because you want to SEE this movie. It won't get made without your help. We need you.
MERMAID DOWN was created by an Award Winning Filmmaker and a Published Feminist and Clinical Psychologist.
See the LATEST UPDATE VIDEO …
"Nothing is worse than a horror film that tries too hard for mass appeal or tries too hard to be artistic. Either way the essential purpose gets lost -- to scare the s**t out of the audience and give them a hell of an imaginative and primal experience."
WHO IS THIS GUY?
That’s what Filmmaker Magazine asked, as well! - The renowned publication interviewed Jeffrey about his writing process (read the article here!: http://filmmakermagazine.com/75751-jeffrey-grellman-on-writing-mermaid-down/#.U4j_cKXFtSU ) and Shoreline Scripts recognized his work in their 2014 Screenplay Competition where THOUSANDS of scripts from around the world were submitted - AND the Bluecat screenwriting festival (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman's brother and screenwriter, Gordy Hoffman's prestigious festival and workshop) gave his script an outstanding, rave review!
With previous work recognized by notable festivals and 18 years experience with various different departments in the film industry, MERMAID DOWN will be Jeffrey Grellman’s feature directorial debut.
The SIZZLE REEL for Mermaid Down is a testament to Jeffrey’s multi-tier knowledge of filmmaking as he was director, cinematographer, editor, sound designer, writer and producer on the short form project. Wanna' see what he can do with only 300 bucks and an old wheelchair? Watch the 17 minute sizzle reel here! : https://vimeo.com/81635504
Imagine what he could do with a team of Hollywood's BEST CREW and a REAL BUDGET ...
WHO WANTS TO HELP HIM?
Everyone on the Mermaid Down team is crazy about horror films and, like you, we’re frustrated that the genre which has innovated and spawned so many unforgettable classics has been diluted in recent years by corporate influence. From our award winning script to letters of intent from:
-The co-owner of the Academy Award WINNING Effects Group behind "Kill Bill", "Minority Report" and "The Walking Dead"
-Emmy WINNING Cinematographer who shoots the most watched show on television, "C.S.I."
-Emmy Nominated Hairstylist who started on Sam Raimi's classic, "Army Of Darkness", before continuing on to Joss Whedon's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and who now works on the biggest films in the business (she recently designed the "Black Widow" wig for Scarlett Johansson in "Captain America: Winter Soldier")
We’re all committed to delivering a truly unusual and THRILLING journey to YOU and the audience!
Well-known Emmy and Academy Award Winning artists who have confirmed their enthusiastic desire to be a part of this FILM with signed letters of intent include:
- Jeffrey Grellman - Executive Producer and Award Winning writer and director
Jeri Baker - Co-Producer of Mermaid Down and Emmy Nominated hairstylist, having worked on such films as, "Django Unchained", "The Hunger Games", "Spiderman 3" and "Captain America: Winter Soldier" (Scarlett Johansson's Hair Stylist)
Howard Berger - Legendary Academy Award Winning Special FX Artist behind "Inglourious Basterds", "Kill Bill vol. 1&2", "The Walking Dead", "The Chronicles of Narnia", "Misery", "Reservoir Dogs", "Minority Report" and "Sin City" and co-owner of the leading practical FX house, KNB
Crescenzo G.P. Notarile - Emmy winning cinematographer for "Outstanding Achievment in Cinematography" who shot "Moonwalker" for Michael Jackson, 41 episodes of "Ghost Whisperer" and he's been the Director of Photography for the most watched show in the world, with over 73.8 million viewers, CBS’ long running, hit show, C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation.
- Adrienne Stern Casting - (Adrienne Stern: Casting Director / Kathleen Vissichelli: Casting Associate) Extremely successful Casting behind films having premiered at Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, Tribeca, Berlin, South by Southwest, Seattle and many other prominent film festivals, many taking home prestigious awards - such as "Broken English", directed by Zoe Cassavetes; starring Parker Posey and "Adrift in Manhattan" starring Heather Graham. Adrienne Stern is a member of Bafta, IFP, New York Women in Film and Television and Ensemble Studio Theatre.
- Dr. Kelly Lauren Baker - She co-created our story of the mermaid and is an award winning poet who once wrote that she was “Footless with pegs holding up her spine, vertebrae petals and cartilage blooms drooping inside a coffin vase.” Her work has been published in the anthology Chorus, selected by Sundance Film Festival-Grand Jury Prize winner Saul Williams (“the most famous poet alive” –Stephen Colbert) and was awarded a fellowship in the SLS Literary Contest by Mary Gaitskill (author of the short story “Bad Behavior,” on which the screenplay for the film “Secretary” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader was based). Dr. Baker is also a clinical psychologist … Who better to scare you out of your mind than someone whose job it is to heal it? Bring on the thrills and chills!
- Eric Monteiro - An outstanding filmmaker in his own right, Eric has managed the Mermaid Down social media sites and will be capturing all behind the scenes content with skills developed from an extensive media, independent film and production background -- Ultimately delivering a behind the scenes documentary on the making of the film.
The more money we raise, the more likely we can hire these amazing artists to bring this film to its maximum potential! They are the best artists in the business and they want to help us make this film truly unforgettable!
THIS INSANE PROJECT SOUNDS PROMISING!
Now that we have seals of approval from highly revered institutions and creative industry heavyweights, we’ve maxed out our credit cards, sold all of our possessions, and started location scouting! In short, we’ve leveraged everything and it’s do or die with this movie – Your contributions will help us reach our budget! This will be an emotionally driven, engaging and truly frightening film -- And we won't let you down.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SOMETHING LOOK AND SOUND BIG-BUDGET ON THE CHEAP?
We’ve crunched the numbers and have set our goal at the bare minimum we need to make this film. Every dollar we raise is going on the screen – this is a true labor of love and we don’t want to line our pockets here, we just want to make a thrilling, emotional horror film that audiences will love. We know how hard you work for your money and we’re committed to making something that YOU can be PROUD to say was made with YOUR help.
The truth is, we want this to be a $750,000 Dollar movie because we have an ICONIC, BELOVED TV STAR and other well-known MOVIE STARS champing at the bit! (THEY READ THE SCRIPT AND WANT TO PLAY LEADING ROLES!) If we can reach our goal here, with your help, we can inspire film financiers to put in the rest of the funds - which will enable us to CAST these GIFTED CELEBRITIES who, after reading the screenplay, have told us they want to be IN THIS FILM! The simple truth of this campaign is: the more money we raise … the closer we are to CASTING the confirmed interested STARS and HIRING this confirmed, INCREDIBLE CREW …
All of this celebrity and top-tier crew support for the film is a complete SURPRISE to Jeffrey, the film's writer and director. We've set our campaign at 100 grand because that's the minimum budget required to make this film. We're hoping to raise more than that so we can hire these amazing celebrities and crew. If we can't raise more than our goal, we will proceed to make the film without stars for the minimum budget of 100 grand and allocate money to special effects (the mermaid tail has to be the best tail ever put to screen), realistic, gritty locations, big hollywood film equipment rentals, a few sandwiches and coffee and hiring the best talent and crew we can afford.
Pictured Above: STUNT PERFORMER from the sizzle reel.
Already, Jeffrey has proven to industry insiders that he can make the impossible possible with an underground, grass-roots project that he personally hand-crafted from the ground up, called, "Whiskey Blue." The script was originally deemed "too massive to shoot on a shoe-string" but was ultimately pulled off with extremely inventive creativity and dogged determination. It was accepted by 12 IMDB recognized festivals and even received a standing ovation.
Not to mention, the 17 minute sizzle reel for MERMAID DOWN, he made with only 300 bucks (by utilizing a wheelchair as a dolly and constructing an underwater housing for the camera with an "igloo" beer cooler, a piece of clear plastic and car sealant!) and a few talented actresses who bent over backwards to help ...
Pictured Above: "MENTAL PATIENTS" from the sizzle reel.
Your SUPPORT is so important to us. Even if financiers turn their backs on us and go on to support yet another ridiculous, boring Hollywood reboot or sequel, ignoring countless artists with an actual vision for something NEW and EXCITING … WE WILL STILL BE ABLE TO MAKE THIS FILM. This funding goal reflects months of research and pre-planning to work out EXACTLY how we can out-smart the system and deliver the film to SUNDANCE and, most importantly, to YOU - WITHOUT ANY DROP IN QUALITY OR POLISH ...
"We don’t make movies to make money,we make money to make more movies" -Walt Disney
THE DEPLETING OCEAN AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ...
Horror films are replete with a basic human fear: Physical violence. Audiences can't seem to get enough - and studios are raking in the profit. Mermaid Down poses a question: What if horror movies started a trend to donate a portion of that profit to a cause directly related to the film's themes? In the case of Mermaid Down: violence against women and depletion of the oceans. Think about it: just a small portion of profit from film sales could add up to a seriously substantial donation to help real people -- with real problems … And could turn our fun, guilty pleasure (horror movies) into something of long lasting value. Why the hell not, right?
LETS START THAT TREND NOW
In light of the film's central plot, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of MERMAID DOWN will be donated to organizations that are working against violence toward women … And to organizations working to protect our oceans from pollution and overfishing.
"The mermaid in our story is really a metaphor - which of course can border on being pretentious in a film designed to be entertaining but it was a genuine feeling for me when I wrote the story. The obvious metaphor is that she's the ocean and what we 're doing to it -- And even more than that she's anyone who's been abused -- and then fought back, inspiring other victims in the process. She's Linor Abargil. She's Rosa Parks. Maybe no one will see her in that light, which is okay, but that's who she is and who she will always be to me." - Jeffrey Grellman
The mermaid's co-creator and clinical psychologist, Dr. Kelly Lauren Baker, has a history of being in the trenches of social work and knows how badly these organizations need our help. She managed a Domestic Violence Safe House in Northern California, helping women escape their abusers. As a member of the Sexual Assault Response Team, she received crisis calls from assault victims and connected law enforcement, hospitals, and counselors before co-creating the concept of "Mermaid Down" with Grellman.
WANNA' SEE OUR MERMAID ESCAPE HER STRAIGHT-JACKET AND FIGHT BACK?
We do too! Desperately! Check out our incentives and HELP US MAKE THIS FILM HAPPEN!
We want to start FILMING as SOON as late AUGUST so we can move into POST PRODUCTION FAST!
HOW ELSE CAN YOU HELP?
Please spread the word! Email, Facebook, Tweet and use the Indiegogo share tools to LET THE WORLD KNOW YOU AND THE MERMAID DOWN TEAM ARE GOING TO MAKE A FILM THAT COUNTS!
Send us your MUSIC or FAN ART! Jeffrey believes in supporting artists who want to contribute, as much as possible, by sometimes featuring their MUSIC or ART in his work with FULL CREDIT (because we have to stick together in this extremely frustrating world of "connections" and "nepotism"). Who knows? Maybe we'll use YOUR ART as our MAIN IMAGE on POSTERS AND T-SHIRTS!
You can even come and AUDITION for us! While we have the best Casting Director in the business working hard to cast an inspiring and extremely believable cast (we're talking about REALLY good actors here) … We are still, always on the look out for great talent … And … believe it or not … We haven't cast the coveted role of the MERMAID yet. If you think you've got the chops - send us pics and video (but please understand, if we don't respond, it's not because you weren't considered … It's because we're looking at THOUSANDS of options - searching for the right match to Jeffrey's extremely articulate vision for our central protagonist) ...
Also - Watch our video blog and behind the scenes footage! We want you involved! This movie is for YOU.
We are truly doing this all ourselves. Which can be a blessing. We want to make this film the same way the great visionary filmmakers in the past made their debut films - without a distributor or financier demanding we adapt it to fit their needs. We want to keep the filmmaker's vision intact. Not just because it makes for a better movie when there isn't too many cooks in the kitchen … But because it's so bloody rare these days. Lets return to an older kind of filmmaking.
Our goal is to bring the film to the Sundance Film Festival. If you fund the project, we intend to start pre-production right away, shoot this August, and finish the film in time to submit it to the festival with the help of our very accomplished team.
"The enemy of art is the absence of limitations."
- Orson Welles
WHEN DO I GET MY STUFF?
Your goodies and rewards, like t-shirts and props, will be sent out ASAP - which in some cases, means right after we finish the film! (we'd send you it all sooner but some of it we have to actually use in the FILM! -like the SPECIAL FX MERMAID'S TAIL, the screen-used AXE and COSTUME & SET PIECES!)
For those of you who are attending an event or joining us on set, we will do our best to keep you in the loop about our schedule.
• Some rewards may require additional paperwork. If you are appearing in the film, you will have to sign a release.
• For those of you visiting our set, we anticipate shooting in late August/September in Los Angeles. However, this has the potential to change. We will keep you updated so you can plan ahead to visit us.
• You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your guest) to attend the premiere or visit the set. Extras must also be over 18.
• If you become an extra ($3000 reward) or receive a cast credit ($8,000 reward), you must be a US citizen or have a US work visa, and not be a member of SAG/AFTRA.
• The "NAME A CHARACTER" reward is your choice, but at our discretion. We reserve the right to refuse to say or do what you request if we find the name inappropriate.
• Jeffrey's final cut of the film may have to be further edited in certain cases to adhere to the laws in the country which it is being viewed, or for different types of media.
• All shooting locations, are subject to change for a variety of reasons, including the amount of money we are able to raise and the particular locations giving us the right to shoot.
• This fundraising campaign is all subject to applicable Indiegogo rules/regulations, movie guild rules and applicable law. If any of this conflicts, we will work with you in good faith to give you a substitute reward.
Where can I learn more about the project or contact you?
Please visit our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages and follow us or email us at MermaidDown@yahoo.com
What if I want to donate/pledge more than once or I want rewards from 2 different reward levels?
The rewards are cumulative. For example, if you contribute at the Associate Producer level ($750), you will ALSO receive the perks at the lower contribution levels. The only exceptions are the AXE Prop, Mermaid Tail, The Mermaid Scale Jewelry, The Mermaid Wig and Gown and The Film Slate which are all only available at their singular levels. Also the "BE AN EXTRA" or "CAST MEMEBER" rewards would not include the "SET VISIT" as you are already visiting the set by being an extra or cast member / and the Executive Producer level, which will not be credited as both an Executive & Associate Producer. But, overall, the more you contribute, the more great stuff you receive!
Can we exceed the goal?
YES! Remember, we're asking for the bare minimum to make this film and exceeding the goal allows us to get closer to reaching our more desirable budget (allowing us to cast the 3 MOVIE STARS who have already expressed their interest in being in this film and allowing us to HIRE all of the accomplished Hollywood artisans who have given us letters of intent and WANT to help make this film!)
What payment forms are accepted?
IndieGoGo allows contributions via PayPal or any major credit card.
Can I increase my pledge once it’s been made?
YES! Once you donate to our campaign, you may want to change your incentive perk to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. Go for it! At the end of the campaign, we will add up the contribution amounts. If you have contributed multiple times, we will add the amounts together & reward you with whatever perk level your contributions add up to.
THANK YOU -SO MUCH - FOR YOUR TIME AND SUPPORT
Be a part of this with us. It's going to be a lot of fun - and a really, really cool film.
"There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness."
- Frank Capra