Who and Why?
We are Christopher Downie, Brett
Murray and Felix Kay. Brett and Chris, UK, currently produce freelance biopic shorts for Kevin Smith's
YouTube channel SModCo Internet Television while Felix specializes in indie film production, out in North America
Our dream project has always been to shoot a feature film biopic detailing the struggles a young Kevin Smith encountered while trying to figure out his place in the world. After a short spell at film school he came up with the idea of shooting a feature film in the very convenience store he worked in. Armed with limited resources, ill begotten credit cards and the dedication of long time friends Kevin risked everything to bring his unique vision to fruition.
We will be working with a cast of professional actors of stage and screen (some of which actually appeared in 'Clerks') as well as trained, professional filmmakers. Downie and Murray, as mentioned, have experienced success with low budget shorts 'Babble-On Begins' and 'Get Greedo', and Kay currently has multiple projects in various stages of development on IMDB.
By donating (via PayPal or credit card) you will receive a host of Kevin Smith/For the Love of SMod goodies including short films, props, costume pieces as well as the chance to be in the final film. When you donate you become an exclusive member of the extended FLOS family, after all, we're all making this movie, not just the cast and crew. Several media site have already caught wind of our plans, articles and interviews below.
What We Need & What You Get
In terms of breaking down how we plan to use the £27,575 ($45,995), our largest categories are hiring professional cast and crew, and fulfilling their needs when on set. Post-production elements of the film will be the next set of expenditures, ensuring that we have the funds to create a great soundtrack for the set, transporting our cast/crew where to where they need to be, and supporting our advertising campaign. The final categories of costumes, equipment, and location/sets is the smallest; we have a majority of the core items that we need for the film, but extra money is required to make it feel as authentic as possible. We have coordinated this budget to save our team (and by extension, our fans) as much money as possible, sticking with a do-it-yourself shoestring budget.
Donating means you are a part of the project, it means you're helping to make the film. I say this honestly and with integrity, this is a group effort, a film made by fans for fans, so every donation helps. If we fall short of our target, we'll bank what we raise and continue fundraising else where. Meaning, this movie will get made no matter what and everyone will receive their perks.
Below is a more detailed breakdown of how we plan on utilizing your donations:
Crew: This is our largest expenditure because of the desire to hire professionals. This is a full time job for several members of the production team; even working at minimum wage, there needs to be a way to put food on the table. We want to use camera operators who can bring and work with their own equipment, rather than finding and renting them separately. We want to bring in the same team members that have worked on our short films and previous project; whilst in the past we've made our projects on an impossibly low budget, a large-scale project like this requires a wider range of crew who deserve to be paid for their efforts.
Cast: This is our second largest expenditure; similar to our crew, we will be hiring a range of new professionals as well as bringing back the stars of our YouTube shorts. Our original cast have lives and jobs outside of set, and we want to compensate stars like Mark Frost and Chris Bain for all the effort that they are putting into these characters. Filming up in Scotland, there's a limited pool of people who can do the right accent with the right look. We've found a lot of them, thanks to the power of the internet, but we believe that an outstanding performance should never go unrewarded. You can also expect to see many original cast members from Clerks return, albeit as different characters. We can confirm that Ernie O'Donnell, Betsy Broussard, Scott Schiaffo and Kevin Smith himself will appear. More casting news to come as we work out the logistics for further cameo stars.
Check out the film's IMDB page for full cast listings
Living: Our cast and crew will need a place to stay during the shoot. Unlike the extensive backlots, trailers, and apartments of Hollywood, we need to rent out B+B's for our staff to stay in. Craft services come under this category, giving cast/crew enough food to keep up our energy levels on set.
Music: The Shooting Clerks soundtrack will be a combination of fresh new songs from associates of the cast and crew, as well as some classic songs that our audiences will recognize and love. But licensing classic songs requires money, as does paying artists to craft new tunes for the film.
Advertising: Our aim is to get Shooting Clerks to spread via
word of mouth to Kevin Smith veterans and newbies across the internet; but word
of mouth can only get us so far. We'd like to put money into a small Facebook
advertising campaign, putting some money towards maintaining our website to
host our updates, images, and podcasts, to keep our growing fanbase in the
Sets: We are looking to recreate the sets from Clerks as accurately as possible to the best of our ability. But the Quick Stop and RST Video of 1993 are dated to the point where these sets are period pieces – we want to take the time and effort to recreate everything from the cigarette racks to the fridges, to cash register and the counter tops. It's not just sets from the film too; we've been working hard to recreate props and items from Kevin's past, and we plan to build a set for Kevin's childhood house and room.
Transport: Accounting for everything from petrol money to train fares, our cast and crew are coming together from all across the country. We aim to raise enough money to pay travel for our international stars coming from America to play parts in the film – we aim to take care of the travel expenses of as much of our cast as possible, between MC Lars and DJ James Franco Jr flying from America, to our actors living in London, ranging down to bus fares for our local filmmaking comrades.
Costumes: Iterating on our period sets, we need our wardrobe to fit in with the era of 90's fashion. Whilst we've bought a portion of costumes out of our own pocket for the films, we want to be able to have funds to order authentic recreations of Clerks costumes from both on and off set.
Equipment: To ensure we work within a budget, we will be using the familiar equipment from the short films. With access to a larger budget, we would like to use extra funding to facilitate some more advanced and complex camera movements, as well as redundancies for extra batteries, SD cards, and spares cables.
Locations: Several scenes can only be filmed in a select few places; some of which we need permits or rental fees. This includes renting out space for some of the movie theatre scenes, as well as historically accurate car and driving scenes.
Supporters will receive digital copies of our previous short films, special features, DVDs, props, costumes pieces, signed posters and much, much more (and we mean much, much more). There's also a chance to grab one of our three speaking role perks in which you will be rewarded with lines and a character for Shooting Clerks. Also, we tend to throw in additional perks along the way, if we ever produce new content.
Shooting Clerks is as much a celebration of Kevin's work as it is about Kevin himself. As our production motto states, made by fans for fans; meaning we are making this movie for a huge audience of like minded people. That being said, another factor behind a project such as this is to bring Kevin Smith's story to people who have never encountered his work before. It truly is an inspiring tale of how dedication and perseverance can aid you in achieving even your wildest of dreams.
A few years back we managed to attract the attention of Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes with our short film, Get Greedo. With a budget of less than £1000 we managed to produce a twenty minute period piece based on Jason's struggles with addiction and the support he received from buddy Kevin. The film has since screened in three continents, reached viral status online and received critical acclaim from viewers as well as Kevin and Jason themselves. If we can do all that with £1000, think about what we could do with £50,000.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you don't have a bean then please do what you can to spread the word and share the fundraiser with friends and family. We love you all the same. Thank you.