From Writer / Director Robert Saitzyk:
The Last Beat is a fictional film that attempts to explore the psychology of who Jim Morrison might have been at the end of his life. We don’t want to tell a story about how Morrison might have died in a bathtub or in a club in Paris. We want to go beyond the idea of celebrity death -- this sad obsession with celebrity death our culture seems to have. We also want to tell a story that delves into the times and have that inform our story as well, and by fictionalizing, I honestly believe we are getting closer to the truth of what might have happened, but more importantly, who this person might have been right at the point he left this earth. When you explore characters in that crucial time, you find a lot of humor, tragedy, and intensity all balled up into one. I think you come to terms with who you really are and who you won’t be, and that is something that certainly touches all of us universally, no matter where we've come from.
What excites me the most about this film is that I feel people haven’t really looked at Morrison as the amazing, visionary poet he was from the start. Clearly there is so much poetry in his lyrics, but he's still seen as just this rock star to most people. The title itself -- The Last Beat -- is important because of that. It's not just about the beat of a heart, or the beat within music, it really refers to Jim being one of the last in the line of the Beat Generation. You absolutely see a through-line between Morrison and Jack Kerouac, and in many ways Morrison is the son of Kerouac and we are the children of the 60’s.
But at the core of The Last Beat is the broken, tragic love story between our two main characters, Jay and Valerie, "The Lonely Lion" and "The Red Valkyrie" as Jay nicknames them in the film -- and it's this exploration of their bittersweet, wild, passionate, erotic love, from which everything else in the film revolves.
In the end, we believe this film will excite those who don’t know much about Morrison and the times, and for those that do, it will speak to them deeply.
DESERT, DREAMS AND DEATH IN INDIE DRAMA 'THE LAST BEAT' by Brian Truitt
FIRST LOOK: FINAL DAYS OF A ROCK STAR IN 'THE LAST BEAT' by Brian Truitt
EXCLUSIVE: LISTEN TO TWO SONGS FROM THE LAST BEAT, AN INDIE DRAMA LOOSELY BASED ON THE LAST DAYS OF JIM MORRISON by Matt Goldberg
The Role: Shawn will be playing Jay Douglas, our fictional character inspired by Jim Morrison.
Bio & Prior Work: Andrews has dedicated his career to provocative character driven work. He made his feature film debut as the uber cool ‘Kevin Pickford’ in Richard Linklater’s indie cult phenomenon Dazed and Confused. Andrews' other notable credits include: Fix (opposite Olivia Wilde), for which he won a Best Actor Award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival; Big Heart City (opposite Oscar nominee Seymour Cassel), for which Dennis Hopper likened his portrayal of ‘Frank Polowski’ to those of James Dean in his classic films; City of Ghosts (with Matt Dillon, James Caan, Natascha McElhone, Gerard Depardieu, Stellan Skarsgard and Rose Byrne); and After the Flood. Andrews studied under Arthur Penn at The Actors Studio in New York.
Robert’s first feature film, After the Flood, has played in competition at Dances With Films and the Austin Film Festival. It was subsequently invited to screen in competition at the 17th Mar del Plata International Film Festival in Argentina. The screenplay on which After the Flood is based (originally entitled "Cake") was also finalist in the 1997 Slamdance Screenplay Competition. He was also awarded the Grand Prize for Best Director at the 2002 Rhode Island International Film Festival for the film. Robert’s second feature film, White of Winter, for which he also wrote the screenplay, was an official selection to the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
Godspeed, Robert’s third feature film, premiered at the 2009 CineVegas Film Festival where it was subsequently awarded with a Special Jury Award for Exceptional Artistic Achievement. The film has also played such festivals as the Austin Film Festival and the prestigious Stockholm International Film Festival.
Robert also works as a producer, editor and post-production supervisor in both the independent film, music video, and live music industries, having produced and co-edited music videos for Keith Urban among other acts.
BEST DIRECTOR, 2002 Rhode Island International Film Festival for After the Flood
SPECIAL JURY AWARD, Exceptional Artistic Achievement, 2009 CineVegas Film Festival, for Godspeed (shared with Joseph McKelheer and Cory Knauf)Michael began his studies in filmmaking in high school, studying still photography and video production, landing a full time job as a news cameraman for a local ABC news affiliate. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Production from San Francisco State University in 1994 and worked as a visual effects camera assistant on the stop-motion feature film, James & the Giant Peach, joining the International Cinematographer’s Guild. Subsequently, he served as Visual Effects 1st Assistant for Industrial Light and Magic on the features Galaxy Quest, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith.
Michael was accepted into the American Film Institute where he was awarded a Master of Fine Arts in Cinematography. While in attendance he was also awarded the American Express Filmmaker’s Scholarship, sponsored by Tom Hanks.
As a Director of Photography, Michael has shot 8 feature films, numerous short subject narratives, music videos and commercials. He was awarded a Kodak Vision Award for his work in 1999, and the International Cinematographer’s Guild also awarded him an ICG Award for his outstanding cinematography.
The Last Beat will be Michael’s third collaboration with director Robert Saitzyk, having shot both White of Winter and Godspeed.Matthew S. Miller is a licensed attorney in Illinois (2003) and California (2007), specializing in entertainment and media law. For the past 7 years, Matt has acted as a legal consultant/outside counsel for various entertainment clients, including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., negotiating and drafting agreements touching on various aspects of the film and television industry, including licensing, interactive, marketing, home video, distribution, new technology, underlying rights and location based entertainment. Matt is also a co-owner of Cold Classic Records, where he oversees and manages all operations for indie artist Danny Chaimson and the 11th Hour, whose music has been licensed domestically and internationally, including to NBC’s Parenthood, Lakeshore Entertainment’s film The Lincoln Lawyer (and the soundtrack thereof) and the upcoming Ubisoft video game Watch Dogs.
Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2006, Matt was an estate planning associate with the Chicago law offices of Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon (now Edwards Wildman) and, subsequently, Hamilton, Thies & Lorch. Matt holds a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law (2003) and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Entertainment and Media Law from Southwestern University School of Law (2007).
Jeffrey Allard is President of Indie Entertainment, a film production company formed in 2002 and located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jeff's latest film, Ping Pong Summer starring Academy Award winner, Susan Sarandon was an official selection to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Additionally, Holy Ghost People starring Emma Greenwell (Shameless) and Brendan McCarthy (True Blood) premiered at the 2013SXSW Film Festival and is now widely available on VOD. Other recent productions include the psychological thriller, Liars All, starring Sara Paxton (Shark Night, Last House on the Left) and Matt Lanter (90210). Jeff also produced The Violent Kind which world premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Jeff executive produced with Michael Bay The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, one of the top grossing independent films of 2003 with over $100 million in box office sales and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which was released worldwide by New Line Cinema in 2006, grossing over $40 million.Shawn is, of course, playing our lead character, Jay Douglas, but is also one of the key producers on The Last Beat, which is Shawn's first film as producer.
Shawn has been on the film from the start, initiating the concept with director Robert Saitzyk. Along with all the core team on this film, Shawn is committed to bringing this story to life, and The Last Beat is truly a passion project close to his heart.
Jeeves founded Cinematic Red in 2012 to further bridge the publicity and producing worlds. Previously she was the head of the Film Division at Fifteen Minutes, with a background as both a talent & film publicist with expertise in award campaigns, independent film unit publicity, film festival, and theatrical releases, she oversaw all aspects of the campaigns personally. Jeeves joined Fifteen Minutes from IPG owned PMK/HBH, where she worked in both film & talent, and prior to that handled a number of international TV station re-launch campaigns, focused in corporate television and brand publicity at Pryor & Associates. Jeeves has served as a Co-Producer on indie online series Broken Toy, as well as indie thriller Raw Cut, set to release later this year.In 2002 Michelle Thomas started her entertainment career path working as an assistant in Motion Picture Talent at CAA. She later moved on to Rat Entertainment working for A-list director Brett Ratner who she assisted. Michelle has worked various production roles in the past on projects such as Prison Break, Asylum, Rush Hour 3, and The Dark Knight Rises.
Currently, Michelle is developing and producing several film projects. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, the Pittsburgh native graduated from University of Pittsburgh, while working on films shot in her hometown.
The Last Beat is Robert Saitzyk’s fourth feature film. Robert is a director/producer who specializes in making pictures look bigger and of a quality much higher than the shoe-string budgets they were made for. How many directors can say they made a film for approximately $100,000 that was an official selection into Sundance!?
We drafted up a budget for The Last Beat and then trimmed all of the excesses.
Although the film is a period piece (set in 1971) much of the film is composed of intimate scenes between our main characters, with a few larger sequences where much of the design, crew, & equipment costs will be allocated. Once again, we feel the quality of our photos and the first 9 minutes illustrate how we can create a great film at this budget level, including dealing with period costumes, props, etc.
Our goal is to raise $100,000 as a shot in the arm to:
(1) shoot as much of the film as we can (including Paris material!); and
(2) use the funds to leverage traditional equity financing and government incentives to raise the rest of the funds.
Of course, we are aiming as always for higher, with a stretch goal of $325,000 which we feel we can complete the Paris sequences of the film.
Your pledges will be applied directly to completing as much of our shoot in France as possible, including:
• US & French Crew Salaries
• Camera & Lighting Equipment
• Travel & Meal Costs
• SAG & French Actor Fees
• Costumes and Props
• Filming Permits
WHY THIS ROUTE?
We believe the fate of The Last Beat lies in our hands and the hands of our community - you guys!
This is a project that doesn't fit into the studio system mentality and has been difficult to finance traditionally for that reason. Similar to more well-known filmmakers like Spike Lee, we are turning to the audience we know will want to see films like ours (indie films and passion projects) to help us make this film a reality. Why? Because we know there is an audience and a market for films like The Last Beat and the current rise and success of Indiegogo and other crowd funding platforms and campaigns is proof of this, which we feel, is also the future of independent film finance.
We have felt very empowered shooting the first 9 minutes of the film, building this campaign and creating all of our perks for you guys -- our potential contributors -- more so than we ever have in the process of developing and seeking financing for The Last Beat.
We could wait around for years for the right independent production company or investor to come along and raise the entire budget, or we can take collective action now!
YOUR SUPPORT MEANS EVERYTHING!
We have created a campaign that, like the film itself, we believe is unique. We hope you are as excited about the perks as we were in creating them!
Your support will allow us to do what we do best, create, and it will allow us to do so immediately! Moreover, your support will provide us leverage with outside investors, governmental bodies, distributors and other key players who will help get this film to the big screen!
Support comes in many different forms. Whether you are able to make a pledge or not, we hope you will share our campaign with others on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media pages. And don't forget to use the Indiegogo share tools!
From each one of us here on The Last Beat team, we sincerely thank you for your time and support - this is the start of an amazing journey and we can't wait to share it with each of you!
LEGAL AND OTHER DETAILS
• For those of you who have selected perks that require your physical appearance (excluding appearances in the film itself), dates are to be determined. We will provide advance notice to allow you to make sufficient arrangements, including for travel and lodging. We will work with you on alternate dates where possible.
• For those of you acting in the film you will need to make yourself available during the production time of the film and arrange for your own travel and lodging. We will provide advance notice to allow you to make these arrangements.
• You must be over 18 to appear in the film or record music for the film/soundtrack. You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your plus one) to attend the premiere or visit the set.
• Some rewards may require additional paperwork. If you are appearing in the film or your music is in the film and/or on the soundtrack, you will be asked to sign a release and American Asylum LLC and its affiliated companies will be the sole owners of the results and proceeds of your services/performance and will have the exclusive right to exploit those results and proceeds in perpetuity, throughout the world, via any means of technology, whether now know or later discovered, without any compensation or other consideration due to you (except as specifically provided in the perk description itself).