Kickstarting the House of Usher

One thing I will never understand is why there is always traffic, for no apparent reason, as soon as I cross state lines into Connecticut when returning home from vacation.

Let me backtrack. This morning I was wrapping up an AWESOME, relaxing weekend I spent with Kim and our friends Heidi and Vince at a remote cottage in the woods in Pennsylvania. If you want to know how the weekend went, you’ll have to read Heidi Fuqua’s poetic accounting of it in the guest book left behind at the Francena Cottage.

Before Kim and I left on our 7 and a half hour drive back to Connecticut I “PRESSED THE BUTTON” and launched the www.Kickstarter.com campaign for my next motion picture project: The Fall of the House of Usher.

The Fall of the House of Usher is a short film adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s masterpiece by the same name and will star William Beckett lead singer of the music group The Academy Is... I will be directing the short film this December from a script that I wrote.

Kickstarter is a tool that we will be using to help fund this project. The Fall of the House of Usher is, without a doubt, my most ambitious and challenging project yet and raising independent funds for this project is crucial to being able to make it the way that it deserves to be made. Kickstarter allows us to raise funds in the form of donations from our fans, friends and family. Anybody* can donate funds to our project to help us reach our goal. If we reach our goal we get all of the funds pledged to us, and you get a great reward. If we don’t reach our goal we don’t get any of the funds that were pledged. As you can see, it’s very important that we make that goal, in order to do that we will need help spreading the word to people interested in generously supporting this project, so make sure to tell your friends, parents, siblings, tweeps, fb friends etc etc. basically, tell everyone.

This morning William Beckett announced this project on his blog and had a hugely positive reaction from his fans. Within the comments that immediately started pelting his blog was a bunch of questions that I’ll answer now. If you have more questions, check out the FAQ at Kickstarter or drop a comment here and I’ll answer it.

Q) William [Beckett], will you appear on the film, or will it be only your voice narrating the story, as in Poe’s tale? (by Vanessa Freitas)

A) Although Mr. Beckett’s character is called “The Narrator” in the script, this ‘name’ is simply an identifier of the character in the script based on how the character in Poe’s original tale is often referred to in analysis. The fact is that in Poe’s original short story The Narrator’s name is never given, however the entire horror of the House of Usher is witnessed through his eyes. Rather than create a fake name to identify the character I simply adopted “The Narrator”. To answer your question, in short, William Beckett will be on screen for virtually every scene of the movie. I highly recommend reading the original short story.    

Q) If we don’t have any money to donate and/or a debit/credit card to use to donate money, is there any other way we can be of service? Because this sounds really cool and I would really like to help. (by DJ_Jazzy_J)

A) YES! There is a way that you can help that doesn’t cost anything: TELL EVERYONE THAT YOU KNOW! And encourage them to generously support this project. Copy and paste this link to tweet, blog, e-mail, comment etc: http://kck.st/9OTOhu . Just make sure that you aren’t spamming people.

Q) How will your [William Beckett’s] work on this interfere with the band? Touring, Writing, the album coming out, that kind of thing? (Heidi_S)

A) William Beckett responded: “The project will in no way delay work on Album 4. This is a short film, and while filming will be grueling, it won’t take a long period of time.” I’ll add: I’ve wanted to work with Bill for a long time and this project was a perfect opportunity because we’ll be able to get an incredible, dedicated performance out of Bill without taking away from his work on Album 4.

Q) Are people allowed to come watch filming?

A) Nope. Filmmaking and performing for film is a very intimate, stressful, anxiety inducing process that requires a ton of focus and concentration. Any deviation from whatever comfort zone has been established on-set can be very distracting to the performers and crew that are trying desperately to make something worthwhile. However, donating at the $1,000 and up levels does allow 1 or more short, non-invasive visits to the set.

Q) I’ve maxed out my credit card this month, but I promise you I’ll be donating the first day of August…

A) It’s important to note that your pledge will only be charged against your card when the Campaign is OVER on OCTOBER 1st! So it’s important that you have the funds available when your card is charged in OCTOBER.

Q) I don’t want to be negative – but what happens if we pledge money but it doesn’t make it to the $15,000?

A) If you pledge money and we don’t make the goal then your credit card is not charged and we do not receive any of the money that was pledged.

Q) Will that affect production?

A) I can’t really answer this until October 1st when the Kickstarter campaign ends. If we make the goal then we never need to think about this question. I am confident that we will exceed our goal, however, I know that we will only make it with your support and your help spreading the word. If you’re concerned that we won’t make our goal and you really want to see William Beckett portray this iconic character in a production of The Fall of the House of Usher that truly captures the essence of the original Poe short story, then you have all the motivation in the world to spread the word and get people involved. I’m sure we’ll make it… with your help.

Please go to our Kickstarter Project page where you can find out all about the project


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3 Responses to “Kickstarting the House of Usher”

  1. Lindsay Says:

    will this, once it’s done, be available to watch online or on netflix?

    • nwrann Says:

      It’s hard to say. Who knows if people will even be watching videos online or if Netflix will still exist next year (when this project is estimated to be complete).

      We do have some tentative distribution plans that will stay secret for the time being. The main thing to understand is that if The Fall of the House of Usher is COMPLETELY funded by the fans (via kickstarter) then we will have many, many more opportunities, possibilities and ways to distribute it than we will if an “investor” needs to recoup their investment.

      The best way to guarantee that you get to see it is to support this campaign at one of the levels that offers a DVD for a reward ($35 or up).

  2. Underground Film Links: July 18, 2010 | Bad Lit Says:

    […] Nathan Wrann reports on some great success on getting funding for his next film, The Fall of the House of Usher. Screw Kickstarter. […]

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