Chalks - Shortfilm

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Los Angeles (CA)

My name is José Javier Valero Ballesteros. Because it is difficult to remember four long words in the same name, I present myself as José Val Bal. I am a graduate film student, and I walked a long way to be able to study film. To make a long story short, I am here thanks to a scholarship that I won in 2010 for my independent work in video making and photography. What I want to say with this is that film is what I love the most in my life; and since I was 8 years old it has been what I wanted to do for the rest of my existence. I pay my efforts, and now, it is my time for Masters Thesis. I have an idea, that has become a story, and this story has become a script. Its name is 'Chalks' and it narrates the story of Francisco, a Spanish street artist that earns his coins reproducing classical art paintings from the Renaissance in the main cities of the world. One day, Francisco gets to a borrowed empty apartment of Los Angeles, where he stays during three days waiting a connection flight in his way to Madrid. Once there, he finds out there is somebody squatting the place. From that point on, Francisco makes a few choices, that might or might not be the most adequate; but definitely based on the wrong assumptions. This is a story about miscommunication between human beings, the prejudgments it creates in our minds, and the fear these prejudgments install inside ourselves. Probably it sounds familiar to you to hear "oh, don't go there, they say it is a dangerous place", or "people in that country are crazy", or "their way of thinking is five hundred years behind". I firmly believe that 99,9% of the cases these statements have a base on misinformation, and what it is worse, on lack of willingness to discover "the others' perspective". My goal in this story is to help destroying intercultural ignorance by making people think twice before making certain assumptions; to encourage viewers to contrast information, and to "check it yourself" if you can. In other words, to understand other points of view, to accept that not only yours is valid, and that you might be mistaken. My film is budgeted in $9300. This means that with this amount I can make the movie not compromising creative decisions, partially avoiding time constraints on locations, and guaranteeing the movie to be submitted around the main festivals around the world. My goal is to raise $5000 that summed up to my savings will complete the budget. Down here I roughly breakdown the budget and explain a bit where the donations would go: - Locations ($2326): there are two locations; a studio apartment (4 days) and a lighthouse (3 days). The studio apartment is built in flats in a sound-stage. The budget for a 7 days rental of the space with the flats and utilities included is $2000. The lighthouse is only $26 for the permit, but $100 per day for a ranger that will control we don't damage the location or set the park on fire. - Transport ($600): We need a truck in order to move the equipment from equipment room to location 1; location 1 to location 2; and location 2 to equipment room. Plus, gas for the crew, that will carpool. The rent for the 3 days we need the truck plus gas makes it $300 approximately; gas for the crew cars are budgeted in $300. - Food ($1512): we need food, water and coffee to work 100%. The average cost is $12 per person per day; which makes it $1512 for a crew of 18 people (14 crew members, 4 actors). Notice we don't go to restaurants at all; we will have a craft service that bring us the food at lunch time and that work special rates for students. In the other hand, part of that budget goes for having breakfast that we prepare ourselves every morning. - Production design ($900): "Dressing the frame", from the color of the walls to what kind of socks the actors will wear. - François Pelletier's Flight Ticket ($700): François is the painter who is going to reproduce The Girl with the Pearl Earing by Vermeer. As you might have guessed, the character of François is based on him. He is coming from Ottawa (Canada) to make the painting for no money, but his expenses must be covered. It might arise the question "why not getting a local painter?". There are a few reasons for this. The size of the painting is around 3 meters by 2 meters, which not everyone is able to do in the little time we have to shoot. Secondly, François is an expert on reproducing this painting, since he has done it in a number of festivals around the world. Thirdly, in case of finding somebody in Los Angeles that is able to do it, they would charge a larger amount than the $700 that François ticket costs. And the most important reason, I trust François. - Studio Teacher ($300): One of our actors is a ten years old child; and law in the state of California obliges you to have a studio teacher on set. - Taxi Rental ($100): We need a taxi for the opening scene. It is our biggest prop (or our smaller location). - Contingency Percentage (10% of Production Budget- $600): Budget that pretends to cover unexpected issues that arise during production (one extra day of shooting, broken piece of production design etc...). - Insurance of Camera Lenses ($500): we are asking Panavision to borrow a set of their lenses. And these lenses are more expensive than my whole tuition. Therefore, they ask for insurance for all the time we are using them. - Post-Production ($500): basic CGI and advanced coloring. Music licenses. - Rehearsals ($200): I am rehearsing with my actors from April 1st until May 15th for at least once a week. They commit to act for free, but it is on the director to provide their gas and lunch in every rehearsal. - Festival and competition submissions ($1000): Once film is done it will not go to the shelf. It will go to every possible festival on Earth. What happens if I don't make it to the budget? I will still make this short-film, but as I said, creative decisions will be compromised. We'll be less people, working less days on location, not having the appropriate post-production process, not the necessary rehearsals, and it won't be submitted to as many festivals as possible. Basically, every stage gets cut down in a percentage and we will figure out how to get the best of what we have. Apart from donating or not, you can help me spreading the word. Facebook, Tuenti, Twitter and other social networks reach to the less expected people. So please share this campaign on your wall. According to the theory of the '6 people chain', we can reach anybody in the world. THANX!!

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SPAINred's picture
$5000 for Chalks! Let's spread the word!

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