the film - in other words
[instead of the same synopsis you'll hear on the videos, here's something different]
SHIP HAPPENS centers around this guy Jack who, after his father's passing, stops to think about life and realizes he's taken a few wrong turns in the past, so he tries to fix them up. Alongside Jack there's Fred, his best friend who also has been affected by Jack's decisions, way more than he imagines. Fred is married to Cindy and they've found a way of making their marriage work really well... except for of a few secrets being kept. And there's also Debbie, Jack's ex-girlfriend with whom he has a son, Tommy, and those are the two elements he wants back into his life, but of course they won't be that easy to regain.
SHIP HAPPENS is a film about how nobody is perfect, and even good people make bad decisions but sometimes bad decisions can also lead to good things. It's about how honesty is important in any kind of relationship, since if you hold secrets from one another you're also holding back on the relationship itself, and depending on the secret it'll eventually blow over sooner or later.
Having said that...
Jack is a guy who's crazy about Heavy Metal and especially the band Slayer and keeps referencing that throughout the film; he also has a knack to finding the craziest girls to date, until he finally accepts Debbie is the woman he really wants. Fred and Cindy seem very much like the innocent couple next door but they have the most outrageous sexual fantasies behind closed doors. Debbie is a lawyer who works as a talk show host and therefore is very serious, but she also has the sharpest tongue when it comes to arguing, especially with Jack. A lot of scenes take place in a bar, which Jack inherits from his father and in this bar there's Ollie, the horniest bartender ever to tend a bar, his best friend Barfly who can only be understood by Ollie himself and the bar back Goth Girl, who happens to be Jack's cousin and creeps Ollie and Barfly out whenever she can. Another interesting character within this world is the legendary The Croatian, a loan shark who happens to be as ironic as he is dangerous; he's always accompanied by his right-hand henchman Vladimir, a man as cold and hard as steel. And of course, someone will get in trouble with them in the story...
[instead of giving you two boring resumes to read, here's what matters]This is the first feature-length film of filmmakers Micki Mihich (writer, director) and Simone Mihich Bueno (cinematographer, colorist). They accumulate two decades of experience in the film business, the digital industry, and in filmmaking, photography and storytelling, having studied under Academy Award nominee Alex Buono, Academy Award nominee Mark De Rossi and two-time Academy Award nominee Morten Parker, the latter of which has become their mentor.
When they decided to do their first film, the short "The 100th Job", it was very well-received worldwide, having been selected or invited by 20 film festivals, won 8 awards and even bought by the Movieola Short Film Channel.
We have a wonderful cast giving life to the quirky, lovable - and sometimes both - characters that populate SHIP HAPPENS. As the two main couples, we have emerging New York theater talents Nick Bixby as Jack, Billy Ernst as Jack's best friend Fred, Briana Pozner as Fred's wife Cindy and Brooke Hills as Jack's ex-girlfriend Debbie; "haunting" the bar owned by Jack we have the amazing "intensity in subtlety" performances of British comic Gareth "Jonesy" Jones as Barfly and improv master Melissa Klein as the bar back Goth Girl; we also have the comic trio of Jessica Ritacco, Emmy Harrington and Ashley R. Carr, members of the sketch comedy troupe The Grape Dutches of York, as Jack's crazy dates. And last but not least we have Brandon Bart, who had traded the stage for the backstage in recent years but now is back with a vengeance as Ollie the bartender. Oh, writer-director Micki Mihich also "shows his face" playing Eastern European mobster The Croatian.
how SHIP HAPPENS came about - and why
[instead of telling you how the film got made - what type of camera, filters and lights - here's something you can relate to]
After we made "The 100th Job" in 2008, it took us almost half a decade to pay our film debts, even with distribution, and be ready to shoot another project, a thriller. But this time we didn't want to get in debt again, since our baby Thomas had been born. So we found some financiers and started pre-producing the thriller... but then financing fell through.
We were stuck with two options: Stop and get depressed or keep going. Going towards the dark path wasn't an option, thus we chose another road, i.e., another project. So we kept the creative momentum going and what's the easiest way of having fun? Through a comedy. Thus, Micki started writing a comedy. Actually, he had several ideas for a comedy already - plots, lines, characters, situations and whole dialogues, but he felt that by only putting them together we would end up with a giant soulless sketch of a film. So in order to counterbalance all those jokes Micki started thinking about dramatic situations that could alter relationships in a profound way and then built a structure with them, and upon that structure he applied all those comedic ideas that he had. We ended up with a film which is very much a comedy but it also has a soul and we were sure of that when the actors started giving us feedback about the screenplay; Gareth Jones, who plays Barfly said he loved the funny word play in the dialogue but also found the film touching; Brooke Hills, who plays Debbie said she thought the film was very funny but the characters had depth to them. And that was exactly what we were aiming for.
it will happen - at least onceYou've read above how this film came about because we seized the creative momentum from another project. But the outpouring was such - Micki ended up writing such a long story - that it became a whole trilogy. Yes, there are three Ship Happens movies completely outlined and all of them have all the same characters - and some new ones will come along on the other films.
Examples: Jack mentions prominently his cousin Brennan from Philly and this guy is one of the main characters on the next two films; Fred mentions in passing a situation in which Jack punched a guy at the bar after a Star Wars argument - well, this situation will be shown as a flashback in the next film because this guy will be a major player in it as well; even a fictitious porn actor named Peter Foda is mentioned in a line on this film, but he's a major character in the third film. In the words of actor Brandon Bart, who plays Ollie the bartender, after getting a peek at the other two outlines, "I'm really happy with this one film but the scope of this really gets me psyched".
So our goal for now is to make this one film. But if it gets distributed and we recover the money we spent and/or this campaign gives us enough surplus to do it - we will go back for more and that will give the film potential for cult status and by helping us you will be a part of that as well.
it will happen - no matter what
[instead of making you wonder what will happen to the film, let us assure you the film will happen]
SHIP HAPPENS is now in full post-production, meaning being edited and then going through color correction, special effects, sound mixing and we will also have an original soundtrack for the whole film and an animation sequence for the opening credits.
When we made our first film we took almost five years to recover the money but the important thing is that IT GOT MADE. And we started right away planning our next project, but when it didn't pan out we kept going and found a project that we could make - SHIP HAPPENS.
And that's the spirit here - we WILL KEEP GOING NO MATTER WHAT. This film WILL BE FINISHED and WILL BE RELEASED somehow and your help will only determine how long that process will take. We need your help in order to finish the post-production phase on the film without incurring any more debts and even relieve us from some of the debts we've already have incurred during production - we did what we could to save money: Micki's office became 3 different sets, we used a friend's apartment, our own restroom and bedroom, etc. - but paid for the actors, the food, the (reduced) crew, some of the locations and equipment.
But even if we don't reach the total amount WE WILL KEEP GOING. So if you are contributing monetarily don't think for a second that if - for the sake of argument - you happen to be the only one or if we don't make the total amount this production will stop because it WON'T. And we appreciate your propelling us faster and being a part of it. The more money we get the less jobs we'll have to take in order to pay our post-production costs and therefore the more time we'll be able to dedicate to the very post-production.