JONATHAN RATLIFF (Writer/Producer/Director)
For 7 years I have worked as a producer and writer reporting on and reviewing movies, interviewing the stars and filmmakers, and sitting in theaters all around Los Angeles watching some really great films – both big and small. I’m happiest when I’m in that screening room watching an incredible story being told. Now, I want my turn to tell the tales that I’ve been coming up with for years now, and I’m starting with “The Absolution of Victor Franco.”
favorite movies are the small indies that combine emotional drama and humor,
because it’s exactly how we are as humans.
We laugh at funerals and cry when we’re happy. Our emotions can be awkward and strange and
inappropriate, but that’s what makes us interesting. This short film will have those same
Victor Franco is unique. In his 70s, he’s Archie Bunker light, with a good heart, and a dark secret. A secret he wants to confess before he ends his own life. With a gun and a bible at the bedside, Victor takes one last shot at talking to the man upstairs, but has always had trouble in the spirituality department. So he figures the best way to get even close to absolving his sins will need to be the people closest to him. With no family to speak of, he chooses two people who have secrets of their own to deal with. Secrets Victor knows all about. And so sitting around his dining room table, Victor’s cleaning lady, Yolanda, and Marcus, the man who’s been sneaking in and out of the house next door as he cheats on his wife, must listen to what Victor did so many years ago that has eaten at him his entire life. In the course of hearing this man’s story, hearing him say offensive things, making them laugh, making them cry, and telling the truth, they realize they must also deal with the sins they’ve allowed to control their lives. But now they’re faced with leaving this man alone knowing what he wants to do, and knowing what he has already done. They return to their own lives, to fix things, and will always know they were part of the absolution of Victor Franco.
Pulling together talented people who I’ve crossed paths throughout the last ten years will not be the problem. What is needed is the financing to arm them with the tools they need to create the best possible product. My job as producer is to raise $15,000. Now, that sounds like an incredible amount of money for a short film. But what that does is cover the entire production process, our film festival entries, and all marketing and promotion of the final product. If we’re all putting in time and effort, we want people to see it!
- PRE-PRODUCTION: Costs will include casting, finding costumes, securing locations, insurance, and a bunch of boring paperwork you don’t want to hear about.
DURING FILMING: Your support will pay for the fine
talented folks you will meet as they are added to the crew. I will be keeping it small and not over
staffing just to fill a section in the credits.
The script isn’t ambitious enough to need special effects artists or
stuntmen. It’s intriguing enough to need
people who will help capture that fine balance of comedy, humor, heartache, and
POST-PRODUCTION: Costs will be used to edit the movie,
any graphic treatments need, sound mixing, and original music. I want “The Absolution of Victor Franco” to
have its own unique sound.
FILM FESTIVALS: The film will also be submitted to film festivals of all
sizes, like Sundance, South by Southwest, Tribeca, and some select international
fests as well.
And, of course, I will use this film as a calling card for more shorts and potentially feature length films. Hollywood execs are visual people. Having something like this film to cart in front of them could mean even more films to come.
For you, the most crucial piece in getting this project completed, we have designed some modest perks for helping us produce the film. Without a wealthy celeb at the helm to offer incredible perks, we hope you will enjoy what we have come up with for our short film to thank you for your support.
DENNIS TRACY - "Victor Franco"
DIANA DELACRUZ - "Yolanda"
JOHN IERARDI - "Marcus"
ZACK SAYERNO - "Shane"
RAY TORRES - "Ray"
KATHARINE GOODENOW - "Young Sally"
JAYNE SHAYNE - "Sally"
JULIE CLARK - "Marcus' Wife"
DANIEL FISHER - "Young Marcus"
FORREST STANGEL (DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY)
I have worked with Forrest for many years. We have filmed and produced projects together for ReelzChannel, L.A. Times, and now with my own company, Ratliff Entertainment. Some have involved many A-list filmmakers like George Clooney, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, and David Fincher. We’ve been together in the trenches at film festivals, Comic-Con, and even on a shark diving expedition filming a Discovery Channel Shark Week sponsored show. We are now taking on the adventure of creating a film together. Forrest’s talent at capturing a scene is exactly what is needed when you’re making a low budget short film and making your contribution worthwhile. He will make our film look like a million dollar product.
MELISSA CHATAIGNE (COSTUME DESIGNER)
A Chicago native (yes, a Bears fan), Melissa is a fashion and style expert who has dressed celebs like Lindsay Lohan, Shiloh Fernandez (“Red Riding Hood,” “The East”), and Niecy Nash. She also serves as the fashion writer/producer for my entertainment website, TheSevenSees.com. And she has done costumes for several low budget films that have challenged her creativity and budget. Having known Melissa for a few years, and working closely with her on various projects, she is going to capture the style of Victor, Yolanda, and Marcus perfectly.
GERRAD HALL (UNIT PRODUCTION MANAGER)
Gerrad is the man behind the money of this film. He is helping manage our budget, including helping oversee this campaign, and making sure everything that needs paid for will be paid for. Not to mention keeping control of unnecessary waste, which needs to be watched closely on a small project like this.
TIM MURDOCK (ASSOCIATE PRODUCER)
Tim unknowingly got involved in the film by being an incredible supporter of the project. He directed our attention to potential actors, one of which, John Ierardi, is now playing one of the lead roles. He's also been active in helping us secure locations, and didn't hesitate to contribute to the campaign as well.
JOSUE ROJAS (Sound Mixer)
Josue is a master at sound design and has worked with some of the team on previous projects. He brings incredible experience and a sharp ear to the production.
MORE TO COME AS WE PROCEED INTO PRE-PRODUCTION...
If anyone can relate to not always being able to contribute financially, it’s me. But that’s the great thing about community. It’s what makes this campaign possible, and what makes getting the word out to others possible. If you like the idea of our film and want to see it completed, spread the word of our fundraising page and short film to others on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, via carrier pigeon, sky writing, however you can. Even right here on Indiegogo there are share options. We would love your promotional support!
Thank you all for taking the time to consider supporting this project. Whether you donate, promote, or send good vibes, we appreciate every bit.
The perks that correspond with each contribution level will be sent out after the film is completed.
* If you have pledged $50 or more, please note that the watermarked PDF Scripts will be sent to you once the films has been completed. This script may not be distributed, published, reproduced in any capacity, or sold at any time.
* T-Shirts will be basic cotton tees. You will choose the t-shirt size (S, M, L, XL, XXL), but there is only one design. So all of them will look the same.
* If you live outside the United States, please add the add $10 for international shipping for t-shirt only level contributions. When the coffee mug is in the mix, please add $15 for international shipping to your contribution.
* Associate Producer and Executive Producer titles are credit only. You will have no input into the production or creative process of the making of the film.
* Executive Producer contribution includes an invite to a special screening. The plans for this event will be revealed once they are made and confirmed, following the completion of the film. If you choose this perk, you will be responsible for travel and lodging costs to and while in Los Angeles. You will receive VIP treatment during the special screening event.