Fund This Film: Make a ‘Deal’ With Joss Whedon’s Assistant

The Deal

One might imagine that it wouldn’t be hard for someone with proximity to one of Hollywood’s most newly profitable filmmakers to get some money to make a short film. A simple phone call to a few friends from the red carpet and you’ve got more than you need. That sort of logic shows a fundamental lack of understanding about how this business works. Just because someone is Joss Whedon’s assistant and co-producer on Much Ado About Nothing, it doesn’t mean people are going to line up to throw cash at their first attempt to become a filmmaker.

But after you hear this pitch from newcomer (and red carpet photo bomber) Daniel Kaminsky, you might throw a little money at him. Because everybody has a dream, and this one sounds a little twisted.

The project, called The Deal, would be Kaminsky’s directorial debut — it’s a short he wants to make with a group of talented people for about $20,000. And since being an assistant of any kind in Hollywood doesn’t usually lead to having $20k in a bathtub, he’s taken to IndieGoGo for help.

As you’ll see on their IndieGoGo page, the creative team behind The Deal has an intricate plan for where the money is going to go (most of which is to sets, equipment and crew) and plenty of experience around the industry. What kind of movie would a Hollywood assistant, a production assistant, a production accountant and two cinematographers make? Here is the plot of the would-be intimate thriller:

BRYCE (19, Athletic) has had a bad year. After surviving a car accident, he had to miss his senior year of high school, including his varsity season as quarterback. His best friend HECTOR (19, life of the party) took his spot on the team and was able to get a scholarship, he’s now playing starting qb for a top school. The only person who stuck with Bryce through all this was his girlfriend, MONICA (18, pretty for a small town). She too had to sidetrack her future as an actress and is starting to regret it. So when Monica and Bryce arrive at a party to see their old friends – Bryce slowly realizes everyone has changed a lot since high school, but not all for the better. In fact, Bryce suspects JAMES (19, nerdy) may be responsible for all the changes happening in everyone’s lives and he sets out to find the truth. But that pursuit leads him down a path he will surely regret.

Call me a hopeless romantic, but there’s something sort of great about seeing people rise from the ashes of some of Hollywood’s least appreciated roles — assistant, accountant, PA — to becoming filmmakers themselves. And the goal here is relatively modest. Would you rather give some money to Spike Lee, a guy who shouldn’t really have trouble getting films made, or a hopeful filmmaker guy looking to make his first mark on the world of cinema? After seeing this good-humored pitch video, I’m inclined to go with the hopeful guy.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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