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A Door short film Pre-production costs actors read

$255 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 7 people in 1 month
Link to previous films 

Hello!  My name is Ben Welington and I'm a Brasilian born, Midwest raised, Brooklyn based filmmaker and musician.  I'm directing for my first short film called "A Door" and need a little help getting started.

About the Filmmaker

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I was born in Recife Brasil on April 11th, 1984.  At least that’s what they tell me. I don’t actually have any record of my birth other than the fact that I exist.  I was found in the orphanage of Ochechego in October of 1984 by Bill and Marie Leonard, a conservative Catholic couple from North Dakota.  They went down to adopt one boy, and came back with two. My brother David was also at the orphanage yet half my age. He was 3 months old, I was 6 months old.  We flew back to the bitter coldness of North Dakota, and after one year, they went back to the same orphanage and adopted my sister Beverly, born on April 11th, 1985. Same day as me.  More on that later…


We were the Three Caballeros, Three Amigos, Three Musketeers, however ya like it!  We were raised as our white parents own, never once considering they didn’t love us as much even though we knew we looked different. We were raised by the ideals of Jesus Christ to love and be kind to everyone, and treat those less fortunate than you with the the most respect.  They were a godsend. I owe them my life. They fed us a healthy dose of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, the Muppets, 80’s Saturday morning cartoons and Reading Rainbow.  All in an attempt to foster our love of reading and education as much as possible. We would sit around the dinner table, discuss what we learned that day and Mom and Dad would always speak to us as young adults.  Not children, not babies, not black kids, as young adults on the same intellectual level as them.

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Mom and Dad ran (and still run) a photo lab and camera store called Rainbow Photo Lab.  Growing up with a second generation photographer and small business man, I was instilled with a love for framing, lighting and photo capture, as well as a respect for the good old fashioned art of being in business for yourself.  Opening up a shop to put food on the table for your family and being respectful of your community and a healthy contributor to it. It was early on that I was the one that, if I wanted to, would be the most apt to take over since I was the only one with a strong curiousity about what Dad did.  Since we had early access to the latest camera and video tech, that meant being one of the first families to have recordable VHS tapes. Are you kidding? You can record a live TV show and watch it later? We lived like KINGS my brother and sister and I thought. Sometime in the late 80’s, CBS aired the original theatrical Star Wars.  Then, everything changed.


All I remember is the chills that to THIS DAY I still get when Luke blows up the Death Star and Obi Wan says “The Force will be with you….always.”  Finally I thought. Something had finally made all the sense in the world to me. I distinctly remember thinking “Oh, I get it! You can do anything you want in the world! Anything is possible!  Okay, I was wondering about that” So David and I would switch between Luke and Han depending on the scene, and Beverly, well she’s Leia...more on that in a bit. That opened up my imagination, as well as millions of others I didn’t know were out there.  Imagine knowing about Star Wars in your own home only and having NO IDEA that it changed the rest of the world…We taped it and I would later watch that VHS copy before taking my younger sister Vicky, adopted in 1993 to the Force Awakens telling her “this is MY Star Wars.”


Then it happened.  It was a Sunday. March 19th, 1989.  The first Star Wars film I remember watching all the way through.  It premiered after a rerun of Family Ties when young Alex P. Keaton (Marty McFly in our house) was confronted with racism and made the choice to stand up against it  Who knows, maybe Mom and Dad taped that episode on accident, maybe on purpose ;) So then, Return of the Jedi starts. We see Vader again, looking a little slower than usual...We see my boys R2 and C3PO back on Tatooine talking about some dude called Lando Calrissian (Somehow,  I didn’t see Empire until a few years later. Made this first viewing of Jedi extra interesting) Then, the doors to Jabba's Palace opens, some badass with the dopest costume of all time force chokes two Gamorrean Guards and there he was. Luke? Dude, when did you become such a badass?  The Sail Barge scene happens and one thing becomes clear in my head. Green is my favorite color.


Later in the film, Luke and Leia have a quiet moment.  Luke tells her that she’s actually his sister. Wait a minute I thought, that means Beverly must be my actual sister!  Hell, we were both born on the same day only a year apart, we both had names that started with the same letter, we both were orphaned.  m
My five year old self quickly made sense of it.  To this day, she is the Leia to my Luke Skywalker.


The next year, Mom and Dad must’ve made a little extra scratch since they took us all to Disney World!  You gotta be kidding me! I was walking around Endor a year after seeing the film. Then on the original Star Tours ride. I was watching the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and the scenes from Raiders right before me!  I can STILL feel the heat from the fire as a simulated explosion blew up the plane. I will never forget that. I guess now I know why.


Those experiences guaranteed that I was going to be a filmmaker one day, but it wasn’t until 2004 when I had watched the amazing 800 hour long appendices to the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy that I knew it was my calling.  It was so cool! So many amazing dedicated artists all to accomplish the vision of one Sir Peter Jackson. Then, the wrap happened. Mr Jackson was standing in front of some 300 cast and crew, balling. These were his family members.  He could barely make audible words to express his love and affection for each and every one of them for helping him achieve what I’m sure he thought would never have been possible. That was it. That did it. That’s why you make movies.  I was going to be like my heroes George Lucas, Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Peter Jackson and I was gonna make movies for the rest of my life. I was 20.


Five years later, after a 10 year stint playing in a rock band with my high school best friends and after seeing the first President that looked like me sworn into office, I would apply to film school at MCTC.  It was a great school. I took up editing because that’s what George Lucas did. I then went into cinematography because that’s what George Lucas did. Then after about 5 years of doing that, I started writing and directing because that’s what George Lucas did.  I produced a feature length film, a beautiful piece of art directed by my mentor and oldest friend in the industry, Alex Gutterman you can watch our film on Amazon Prime here https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=in+winter

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In 2014, I moved to New York.  It was rough dude. I had $2500, two bags of clothes a guitar and a camera.  Somehow I got a gig working at fashion week that fall and within 10 days, I was at a party at a loft on 42nd St watching the sun come up over Central Park.  Life’s a trip. I worked random editing jobs, studio camera gigs, and eventually ended up at Saturday Night Live. At last years season finale, I met my favorite head writer of the show, Tina Fey.  I was tasked with hanging with Tina (tasked was the wrong word HONORED) in between setups. We were in the hall on 17 near the lobby and opposite Lorne’s office where every former cast photo hangs. Tina had a reminiscent smile on her face and she looked at each cast photo, every once in a while saying “Oh, he was really nice!” Or “She was the best, I miss her!”  I’ve never been more star struck and humbled to be in the presence of someone I admired in my life and I don’t suppose I ever will be. No Tina, you’re the best.


As I work on my second season at SNL, I started to really appreciate what they do, how the crew and cast operates, and started writing a lot more.  I was compelled upon meeting our lead Lindsey Sherwin to write a script with her as the lead. After two years of getting the story right, we are now ready to show our project to the world.  We are asking that anyone interested in either my story or the one below donate $5 to help us make this a possibility. The $10,000 we ask for will be going to:

-Locking down the leads of dept. and cast with the first round on compensation

-Renting a space to do a table read and Q and A that will be made available on YouTube March 10th

-Marketing costs and community outreach


We have a tentative plan to shoot on Fri April 26th-Sunday April 28th, and Friday May 3rd-Sunday May 5th.  

A Door....A Millienial Urban Not Love Story

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A Door is about a woman named Lizzie, who works currently as a full time flight attendant and part time as a sex worker, although we meet her when she is actively trying to transition out of that profession.  She meets Anton and starts a relationship with him, but he is unclear about how he feels about her past.  

Lindsey Sherwin as Lizzie

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Dan Chen as Anton                                                                                                                                                                   Instagram: @dramalaw

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ANTON:
Colin’s friend and Lizzie’s new love interest.  After another boring relationship and breakup, finds Lizzie a nice change of pace, and possible candidate for a solid new start.  Can’t deal with the dated perceptions of male entitlement he tries to hide under a veil of looking out for others.

Barry K Gibbs Jr. as Colin                                                                                                                                                         Instagram: @thiqpapi

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COLIN:
  Lizzie’s new roommate.  He’s a social butterfly, talks about more than he knows about, but comes off pretty chill and is kind.  Has known Anton since working with him at his first job out of school but quickly moved on to a bigger better one in contrast to Anton.

Sophia Gutchinov as Freda                                                                                                                                   Instagram: @sophiagutchinov

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FREDA: 
Very distant with a sad, aged soul well beyond her/their years. Effortless and airy in presence, yet she/they are confident and strong willed.  Was Lizzie’s best friend and roommate who got her into the sex work industry.

Thanks for looking at our project!  Keep updated by following this site. 
For more info, email benwelington@gmail.com
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$255 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 7 people in 1 month
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$20
Dale Botten
1 month ago
$25
Anonymous
1 month ago
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$25
Susan Gutterman
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$10
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$100
Alexander Gutterman
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