Pittsburgh-based filmmaking cousins Justin and Pat Francart are looking for funding for a short film that recreates the magic of sci-fi television like “The Twilight Zone” and “The Outer Limits.” “Meet Your Maker” is the story of a scientist who must confront the sole survivors of a universe he unwittingly created.
The filmmakers turned to Kickstarter.com to finance their project. Kickstarter provides an alternative to traditional fundraising by offering a platform for soliciting many small donations from individuals. The Francarts are looking to raise $7,500 of their $10,000 budget through Kickstarter. Each donation tier, from $10 to $450, comes with kickbacks for those who donate. Backers can get t-shirts, posters, DVDs and mentions in the credits. The campaign ends March 1.
“We liked Kickstarter because it is all or nothing,” Justin says. “If we don’t meet our funding goal by March 1, no money changes hands. It gives the campaign more urgency.”
“Crowdfunding provokes a sense of participation,” Pat says. “We’re building an audience who is literally invested in the project, and it gives us a sense of responsibility to that audience.”
Justin, who wrote and will direct the film, came upon the concept for “Meet Your Maker” while bouncing ideas for “Twilight Zone” episodes back and forth with his brother. “Apparently everyone in our family loves this stuff,” Justin says. “Bygone genre television and cinema captures the imagination of the viewer with an innocent authenticity that is rarely found in entertainment today. Growing up with this material instills a lifelong affinity towards it.” He continues, “We intend to deliver a fantasy in which topical themes are presented in a vintage format, from design to dialogue.”
Pat, the film’s cinematographer, also came to the project with the same affinities. “The fable-like quality of these shows makes it easy for audiences to suspend their disbelief.” He says, “Their genre archetypes offer a shortcut for viewers into stories that can be very powerful artistic statements.”
The Francarts plan to shoot on black and white 16mm film, keeping with the retro aesthetic. “Black and white is more abstract than color. It’s another reason why these often far-fetched fantasy plots played so well,” Pat says. “And film is just about gone. This might be one of our last chances to work in the medium.”
“Just as interest in these fantastic stories sparked our imaginations,” Justin says, “our greatest hope with this film is to create that same feeling in our audience, to transport them to a world of the fantastic.” The film is slated for production in the spring.
The film can be found on Kickstarter at: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1360191534/meet-your-maker
About the filmmakers:
Justin Francart (writer, director) is a Pittsburgh-based genre storyteller focusing primarily on screenwriting. Recognized previous works include “ZomB.C.” (screenplay finalist at the ’11 New Orleans Horror Film Festival) and “The Father, The Son” (semi-finalist at ’12 Screamfest Horror Film Festival). “Meet Your Maker” marks Justin’s return to production.
Pat Francart (cinematographer) is a filmmaker living in Pittsburgh. He is a graduate of Point Park University and Pittsburgh Filmmakers, where he is a teaching assistant and member. His previous work has played at Film Kitchen, the SoCal Film Festival and the Big Easy International Film Festival. He works at the video production/installation outfit The Magic Lantern.