Investment

Nothing Pictures is currently seeking small-scale investment for production of the feature film XMAS IN JULY.

What follows is an overview of the story of the film, the people involved, and the marketing plan. For more detailed investment information, please contact Joel Clark at nothingpictures@gmail.com.

 

 first reading 4.6.14

first reading 4.6.14

THE STORY.

EB and CRATCHIT are a young Brooklyn couple, artists and scrapers-by. As they struggle through a life of patchwork gigs, soul-sucking office jobs, and worthless performances, DICKENS (Eb) and DARWIN (Cratchit) struggle in a heavenly library, over what will be the dominant force in the lives of these two protagonists—love or competition.

 Lulu, hacked animatronic cat, GHOST OF XMAS PRESENT

Lulu, hacked animatronic cat, GHOST OF XMAS PRESENT

A bizarre dream sequence featuring a sentient ANIMATRONIC CAT and an XMAS TREE MONSTER, awakes Eb with a start, to immediately notice he has grown an epic moustache, and rather than his partner Cratchit in the bed next to him, there sleeps a rocker junky claiming to be his girlfriend. Downstairs, weirdo band members inform Eb that he is a famous musician. Money and drugs relieve Eb of his concern for the loss of Cratchit and his old life, while she enacts horrors upon her body just across town as a famous 're-performance artist.' A rock show derails as Eb hallucinates XMAS TREE MONSTERS instead of fans, and he promptly drowns in his own vomit.

 EBENEZER & CRATCHIT, famous

EBENEZER & CRATCHIT, famous

Waking again from a strange dream, Eb finds, to his relief, Cratchit sleeping next to him, but this time in a clean country house with a baby in the next room. Having left the city for a pastoral life, garish television programming harkens back to the perversion of mass culture, but despite the reinforcement of their decision to leave the city, Eb and Cratchit find themselves creatively suffocated by the isolation. To make matters worse, two children age unrealistically, played by CHILD MANNEQUINS. Cratchit’s countryside lamp fetish and Eb’s failed attempts at farming lead the two to fight against each other, for lack of a better enemy.

 EBENEZER & CRATCHIT, isolated

EBENEZER & CRATCHIT, isolated

 JEAN-LUC, fake child

JEAN-LUC, fake child

Another dream, another reality dawns--this time, Eb and Cratchit are back in NYC with a new set of perfect teeth, fake noses, perfect tans, and bleached hair. Eb’s new life as a commercial actor finds him eating too much truffled popcorn, and Cratchit's hand modeling career comes with its own pitfalls (read: burning liquid chocolate). Surrounded by false friends and incredibly rich, Eb and Cratchit spend their days working on commercials for meaningless products, until it dawns on the two that they are cheating on each other with the same person. A knock down drag out fight over the infidelity is immediately derailed by a mix up in the couples latte order, and they make up by instagramming a cute ANIMATRONIC CAT on a leash.

 CRATCHIT, fortune, hand-modeling

CRATCHIT, fortune, hand-modeling

After too much cocaine, Eb and Cratchit come face to face with their superficial lives and collapse into bed, exhausted by the nightmare of choices and no right answers. When they wake, they are struggling once again. Obviously the only course of action left to the unfortunate couple, is massive, purposeful commercial property destruction.

 

THE VISION.

A community of New York City artists is capable of many things--perhaps not keeping their apartment clean or paying their credit card bills--but collaboration is the most incredible feat. In the right context, eight dancers, a hardcore band, a bee-keeper and a Santa impersonator can create something to behold, and potentially even exalt. 

Indie film is a strange genre--a non-genre, really, but there are tropes that make a film a typical indie--long, contemplative shots, moody mumbles, etc. That's all well and good, but we are less making film than building a ride--a ride where expectations are made to be picked apart, be seen for all their horror, and finally laughed at and tossed aside--film is a magic medium that can trick the mind and inspire the will by creating alternate realities full of color and sound. If there is such a thing as a 'loud indie' this would be it. 

Richard Gartrell (director of photography) is well-versed in the emotional filmmaking of luminaries like John Cassevetes and Gillo Pontecorvo, and his background in live-shooting from the world of experimental theater, combined with his industry know-how and genius creative ability will establish a playful and lively picture, a brisk jog with unexpected turns, horrible monsters, and angelic strangers.

Joel Clark (director, EBENEZER) comes from the world of comedy writing and performance, creative adaptation and production, and 8 years of writing films. His celluloid influences run more along the lines of Milo & Otis, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Fugitive, and the like.

An epic mash of new wave filmmaking, music, and performance and character-driven comedy, XMAS IN JULY will deliver a powerful psychedelic punch with an oh so sweet afterburn. A shocking film for a culture that requires a shock to even register the existence of a given piece of media.

THE TEAM.

Joel Clark is an award-winning screenwriter whose most recent film MAN FROM RENO, a collaboration with rising indie director Dave Boyle, won the Jury Prize for best narrative feature at the 2014 LA Film Fest. His other titles with Boyle include SURROGATE VALENTINE (2011) and DAYLIGHT SAVINGS (2012), both of which premiered at SXSW, and WHITE ON RICE (2009), which won the Best Screenwriting prize at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival. He got his start in comedy with Olde English (oldeenglish.org) as a founding member in 2003, and co-wrote for THE EXQUISITE CORPSE PROJECT (2012), winner of the Audience Award at Dances With Films.

Crichton Atkinson is a writer, director and performance artist whose work has been exhibited in Crush the Serpent at The Tea Factory in Bushwick, NY; N2NM: Exchange in Santa Fe, NM; Space Witch, Bushwick, NY; It Is What It Is, 331 Gallery, Beacon, NY; and Composing the Tinnitus Suites: 2014, Nothing Space, Bushwick, NY. She has performed in The Missing Book of Spurs by Marianne Vitale for Performa 13; Spartacus Chetwynd: Home Made Tasers at the New Museum, New York; Bona Park’s The box in the plastic bag (la boîte-en-sac plastique) New York version (2012); and Positions: An Action by Public Movement which was part of Performa11.

THE DEAL.

XMAS IN JULY will be shot, scored, mixed, and color corrected for under 100K. Indie filmmakers are used to pulling rabbits out of hats and making films that look like a million bucks for the pennies of a microbudget feature. Having been through the process five times, Clark and the team have learned the hazards and pitfalls of short shooting schedules, borrowed equipment, and improvised locations, and will bring this experience to the production of this film.

Feature film investing comes with a lot of risk, and the possibility of grand returns is, realistically, fairly slim. However, there are a few things that make this project stand out from the incessant crowd of films looking to be funded: the experience of five feature films, each with its own production and distribution models, the excitement/clickability of a weirdo Christmas movie, and the dedication of an entire community of artists signed on to contribute to the making of this film.

For more detailed investment information, please contact Joel Clark at nothingpictures@gmail.com.