A short comedy-drama about a man and his soon-to-be stepson driving across the country to scatter the ashes of the family dog.
About this project
Have you ever taken a road trip across America? Have you ever moved across a large distance with family before? Have you ever been stuck in a small enclosed space with someone you despise and a dead dog?
Chances are, you’ve experienced one of these scenarios and this is the short film for you.Pickle is a Chapman University Graduate Thesis film about change, loss and dead dogs. Sounds depressing right? Well on top of all of this, it’s a comedy. Because comedy = tragedy + time.
Pickle follows the story of Oscar, a well-meaning man with a bit of a tragic past. He has finally found in Molly, his fiancé, something that he never thought he would have again. The only problem is Cooper, his soon-to-be stepson who is heavily resisting Oscar’s attempts to make a new family. After moving the family from San Francisco to Denver, Cooper has seemingly reached his breaking point. That is, until Pickle, the beloved family dog of 14 years, finally passes on in what may or may not be circumstances that are Oscar’s fault.
Oscar, sensing that his prospects to recreate a family he once lost are fading fast, volunteers to drive Cooper and Pickle back across the country. In an attempt to spend some alone time bonding, Oscar may finally succeed in getting through to his step son or undoing everything he’s been rapidly building over the last year.
All of our main crew are graduate students from Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University, giving us a lot of benefits that come with our education. We’ll be using equipment from the school for Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production, and Dodge offers some of the best for all of that. It also means that this film is going to be completed, because we have to earn that degree we’ve all paid so much for. That’s why we need your help.
Our film is a unique challenge because it is a physical journey as much as an emotional one. While we’re not going to be driving all the way to Colorado, we are looking to shoot our film entirely practical. The rural American landscape is a truly cinematic experience, something that we believe cannot be faithfully recreated on a stage with green screen. We’re looking to shoot our driving sequences with a process trailer on location in California. For that we’ll be hiring the best professionals.
We’ve already begun location scouting across California in Lancaster, Borrego Springs, Big Bear and Point Vicente to really bring life to the pages of the script. We have not cast our film yet, but will be around the time the Kickstarter is over. We are intending on shooting on industry professional cameras to really take advantage of our locations and bring a true full definition to our film.
Our production dates are October 6th-16th, and these are locked. One way or another, this film is happening. No need to be scared backers, the funds raised are not the only funding going into our film. Instead, we’ll be taking this extra $5,500 and applying to really secure the best of the best in talent, locations and equipment.
It’s no secret that outside of major studios, films are scraped together through good faith and favors. This is no exception. In fact, as a student film we only have more working against us. In case it wasn’t clear anywhere, we are not being paid salaries for this project. This is solely a passion project that we want told (and to help some of us graduate).
This means that every single dollar counts, and we’ll gladly accept anything you can give. Every little bit helps. We’ve tried to create a realistic goal with rewards we think people will enjoy. We want YOU to be a part of our journey to making a unique short film.
Either way, be sure to like us on Facebook for continuing updates about our project!
Thank you so much for your time,
The Pickle Crew
Risks and challenges
As with any short film, there are many challenges, and you have to remain flexible as you face them head-on. Fortunately for us, this is no one’s first rodeo. We’ve all been on student film sets before and we’re serious about making this project.
Our two biggest challenges left in pre-production are locking our locations and cast down. We’ve been constantly driving across the California landscape to find the right look (and price) for our film. We’re dedicated to maintaining our budget while also making it as beautiful of a film as possible. We’ve also been working on laying down ground work with a casting director and hopefully will have updates regarding our three main characters very soon.
We’ve got a dedicated crew for post-production, but our intention with this film is to make something very programmable for film festivals. That means telling the best story in the shortest amount of time, a serious challenge when looking at fine tuning things down to the last drop. We’ll no doubt be working hard after filming to really craft the best possible movie.