My name is Andre Joseph and I am an award-winning independent filmmaker and actor based in Staten Island, NY. On behalf of my production team, we ask you to join us on the start of our journey towards bringing to life our most ambitious live action feature film project to date: AMERICAN GUNSLINGERS.
Growing up to be an aspiring filmmaker, one of my dream projects was to make a western in the tradition of classics such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Magnificent Seven, and Unforgiven to name a few. Two years ago, my close actor friend, Chris Corulla , and I came up with the idea of two brothers from different ethnic backgrounds: A black preacher and a white outlaw. Separated as children due to their parents’ tragic murder, they reunite as men in the late 1880s to find a buried treasure left behind by their father who had pieces of a map tattooed on their arms as kids. During their journey, the brothers are targeted by a corrupt Marshall with ties to their past and he hires a band of vicious bounty hunters to track them down. We then passed the idea to Drew Henriksen, the multi-award winning screenwriter of the short film, Power of Prayer. Drew who would go on to flesh out the story and write the full script which recently won “Best Feature Length Screenplay” at the 2019 World Music & Independent Film Festival as well as making semi-finalist status at the Utah Film Festival.
But in the midst of planning the full feature film last year, we realized the logistical and financial obstacles in producing an independent western movie in vintage New York restoration parks with period costumes, props, and of course horses. That’s when we decided to start small by building our audience first before we can attract the right resources to produce a professionally made feature length film.
We want to shoot a 3 minute trailer for the project which will involve the outlaw brother standing off in a duel against an aging gunfighter. The intense stand-off will inter-cut with a series of shots of the preacher brother and 5 other central characters in the story who will recite a dramatic monologue against the backdrop of 1880s tintype portraits. The trailer will end with a symbolic shot of two horses riding past camera. What we want to depict is not the usual good guys vs. bad guys type of western. Instead, we want to tell a multi-cultural, character-driven tale about the power of love: How it can redeem a lost soul and how it can also destroy a good one. This trailer will not only serve the purpose of film festival screenings but also be utilized as a “proof-of-concept” to present to potential investors and production companies that will help us make the full film into a reality.
We have 2 shoot dates planned for June 2nd and June 9th. Our target goal of $5000 will cover the rental costs for period costumes and props, the use of 2 horses, production insurance, the location fee for a horse corral in Long Island, providing meals on set, and to compensate our production and post-production team. While any and all donations are accepted, we will provide special incentives for the following fundraising levels:
$5 – Your name in the Special Thanks section of the end credits.
$15 – A digital teaser poster of the film and the Special Thanks credit.
$30 – A Personalized Handwritten Letter from the Director and all lower tier incentives.
$50 – A Physical Copy of the Screenplay Signed by the Director, Screenwriter, and Actors and all lower tier incentives.
$75 – Access to Behind the Scenes Content and all lower tier incentives.
$100 - An early preview of the completed trailer and all lower tier incentives.
$250 – A special Skype call with the Director, Screenwriter, and Actor as well as all lower tier incentives.
$500 – An invitation to visit the set of the trailer shoot on June 9th and all lower tier incentives.
We would greatly appreciate receiving all funds by May 25th to give us enough time to cover all production needs at least a week before shooting. In the event that we meet our goal, any additional funds will go towards the production of the full length feature film.
Our Cast in the Trailer
Andre Joseph (“Jesse”)
Chris Corulla (“Randy”)
Drew Henriksen (“Dragoon”)
Bryan Williams (“Bourigeard”)
Ann Flanigan (“Glenda”)
Christie Desir (“Hana”)
Tony Simonetti (“Horserider 1”)
Michael Simonetti (“Horserider 2”)
Teel James Glenn ("Old Gunslinger")
Additional Actors to be announced at a later date.
The time is right to make a western movie that reflects the call for justice, love, and equality in our current climate in America. Your support will be more than just a contribution. We are asking you to join our posse on a magnificent journey that is just beginning.