About The Project
I’ve been working on the script for “The Prayer” for years and it’s gone through many iterations, titles, rewrites and locations.
What I find most exciting about this horror movie and what I expect audiences will be drawn to, is that we will be filming in Ethiopia: and it will be the first time anyone has ever filmed a horror movie there.
I’ve shot three features there between 2008 to 2012 with Teddy Teshome, who has been dubbed “the Steven Spielberg of Ethiopia”, and has recently won several African Academy Awards for Triangle, a film we made together. He is going to help produce the movie with me in Ethiopia, a gorgeous place inhabited by beautiful people with a rich culture.
This exotic location will provide the perfect backdrop for the story. Two teenagers in love, an American boy and an Ethiopian girl, have their relationship severely tested when the boy becomes possessed by a demon. Ethiopia is a very religious country, where folklore and mysticism are an integral part of the day to day life and culture. This naturalism will help the topic feel raw and realistic, unlike any other film in the genre.
The first money into a project is always the hardest money to find. Although the film won’t be made entirely with the requested $30,000, it is the the most important part of the budget. It allows for the film’s framework to be built.
Where will the money go?
In order to raise the rest of the money (an estimated $200,000 more from private investors) we need to:
1. Hire a lawyer to set up the business and draw up all sorts of contracts. Lawyers become very expensive quickly.
2. Get an artist to draw storyboards. Investors like visuals. Before we make the movie, every shot and camera move has to be drawn out. It’s like a comic book of the movie, with camera direction. It’s essential to have this visual reference for the entire crew to be on the same page while shooting the movie.
3. Attach a casting director. The most important piece of the fundraising puzzle is attaching actors that promise financial returns. Who finds these talented thespians? The Casting Director.
4. Hire a Line Producer to breakdown the script and the budget.
5. Scout locations. The director and I will have to scout locations to finalize the script and make sure very scene is written to fully exploit the amazing locale.
6. Office Expenses: Photocopies of scripts, storyboards, breakdowns, investor’s packages etc.
Finally, here is a short synopsis of the film:
Mick is an American teenager whose father is a doctor in the organization “Doctors Without Borders”. Living in Addis Ababa and attending an international high school,
Mick is subject to a great amount of teasing and physical abuse by the local boys. His loyal girlfriend Selam rushes to his defense. Selam decides that the best thing to do would be to say a prayer of protection to keep Mick from harm. To
increase the likelihood of the prayer’s success, she brings Mick to a special place outside of the city, a spiritual sylvan glade where exorcisms have been known
to take place.
It is here that Mick comes to be imbued by Asmodeus, the demon-god of lust. It does not take long before Mick enters into a fugue state and engages in more and more violent and sexually perverse behavior. Realizing something has gone
very wrong, Selam has to struggle with Mick’s erratic and dangerous behavior and the possibility that his condition may in fact be due to what she’s done.
The guilt she holds and the revenge Meklit seeks, carries the film through to its unpredictable climax, which suggests both the power of self-sacrifice and the
redeeming nature of love.