Kickstart This: 'The Last Draw', 'Best Friends Forever' and '100 Yen'
by Ben Pearson
April 13, 2012
Welcome to another edition of Kickstart This, FirstShowing's weekly column dedicated to spreading the word about cool new independent projects that need your help to get made. This week, we'll be focusing on three different movies that need a helping hand. The Last Draw is a short film about a western duel in the afterlife; Brea Grant's Best Friends Forever follows two girls on a road trip during the apocalypse; and finally 100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience highlights the subculture of arcade gaming that's still happening in Japan. Read on to find out more about each one, and support these projects if you can!
First up, we've got The Last Draw. While writer/director Jon Earnest doesn't have any footage to show us quite yet, the concept for this film has me sold already: two cowboy figures get into a battle in the afterlife based on an incident in their previous life, locking them in eternal limbo until their conflict is resolved. The film is set in a purgatory-like state, which the director hopes will allow for the film to deal with themes like fate and destiny instead of simply being about two guys fighting it out between them. They're also going to be shooting on the Red Epic camera on location in Lancaster, California, so the movie will have a truly authentic western feel to it. Check out their pitch video here:
For more information on The Last Draw, or to help fund the project, visit their IndieGoGo page. Director Jon Earnest and the rest of his team is seeking $8,300 by April 30th, so any fans of westerns out there with a bit of extra cash to spare should definitely throw it their way.
Next, there's one for the ladies out there. Best Friends Forever is a movie about two girls who take a road trip through Texas together, only to find out that nuclear bombs are falling on American soil while they're in the middle of travelling. It was co-written and directed by Brea Grant (listen to Grant's interview with OpKino), who starred in Rob Zombie's Halloween II and has appeared in multiple episodes of "Heroes" and "Dexter." In her Kickstarter video, Grant and her co-star and co-writer Vera Miao talk about how important it is to get some female representation in the filmmaking community these days, and show a clip from the movie (which they shot on 16mm film). The clip may seem a bit melodramatic, but in the montage that follows, there are definitely some flashes of imagery familiar to those who love genre films. Their desolate Texas locations also really heighten the sense of doom that they're going for, but don't take my word for it:
For more information on Brea Grant's Best Friends Forever, visit the film's Kickstarter page. She and the rest of her cohorts are hoping to make $75,000 by April 24th, they only have a few days left for help!
"In Japan, it's not fun - it's our life to be the best." I know we've featured some video game stuff in past editions of this column, but Brad Crawford's 100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience looks like it has a pretty different slant than the projects we've covered before. Exploring similar territory as The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, 100 Yen is different because it emphasizes the cultural differences between arcade gaming in Japan and in the US and brings a unique perspective to a topic that's seemingly been covered from all angles before. Take a look at the trailer below, which includes interviews with "the best Street Fighter player of all time."
For more information on Brad Crawford's 100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience, or to help fund the project, visit the film's IndieGoGo page. Crawford just recently reached his budget, but if you want to see this film come to festivals near you with improved audio, 3D graphics, and more, feel free to donate.
That's it for this week's Kickstart This, we hope you liked this round up of projects. I'm always on the lookout for more great projects, so e-mail me at BenPears85@gmail.com if you come across anything cool that you'd like to see featured on the site. You guys have been awesome with the e-mails so far - keep them coming! As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to support indie projects out there. There's only so much the little guys can do on their own, so let's help make some dreams come true and see some kick-ass projects be made in return. Let us know what you think of these three projects in the comments below.