Jack Rabbit: My MFA Thesis Film!

Hello! My name is Dio Traverso and I am a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin in the Radio, Television, and Film department.

For the last four years I have been learning all that I can about film production at UT. Now I am at the moment where I need to put all of what I learned into making a graduate thesis film. However, because I am a self-funded student, I need financial support in order to finish my coursework.

I hope to raise $3,000 in order to complete my thesis year. Your support will go toward production costs for the film (i.e. feeding the volunteer crew), building the sets, and purchasing costumes. While I have secured a small grant of $2800 through the University of Texas, I do not have the means to finish the film on my own. So I need your help!

Every single person who helps me will be credited in the film, a well as recieve a digital download.

My Thesis Film

In the dryest desert, far from civilization, eight-year-old Luke lives off the land with his grandmother, MawMaw. Trapping rabbits by day and watching “stories” on the TV at night, Luke and MawMaw carve out a simple existence. However, MawMaw’s 3-pack-a-day lifestyle starts to catch up with her. Luke, unable to imagine a life without his grandmother, has taken to home-remedies to stave off her consumption. But MawMaw is a creature of habit, and her condition worsens over time.

One day, MawMaw is too sick to join in on the days chores, so Luke is left in the desert alone. By chance, his trap springs on Jack Rabbit, a magical bunnyman with a pair of death-seeing goggles. Upon hearing this, and thinking of his dying grandmother, Luke makes off with the goggles and sets out to keep death from taking MawMaw.

Costs of Making a Student Film

While the University of Texas provides free equipment rentals and studio spaces to students, it is up to the writer/director's to meet the other costs associated with filmmaking. For Jack Rabbit, these include:

Catering for cast and crew - $4500, estimated at $15 a day (2 meals) for 30 people and 10 shooting days.

Set construction - $5000 to build 4 sets, including a trailer, a desert landscape, and a forest. By building our sets in the studio at UT, we are lowering our location costs and fees.

Wardrobe and Makeup - $700, for four characters, including a magical bunnyman.

Every bit of support will go towards making this film, which will complete my coursework at the University of Texas. As of this year I am no longer able to take out student loans, so I need your help.

Why GoFundMe and not Kickstarter?

I want to be honest and transparent about this campaign - this is to help me finish my MFA coursework and get my film degree. While in the past I have used other crowdfunding platforms to raise funds, I felt like I was spending too much time "selling" a film that wasn't even made yet, and not focusing on what your support was really going to. By supporting this campaign, you're helping a kid from Chicago achieve his dream of being a storyteller.

Every single person who helps me will be credited in the film, a well as recieve a digital download.

Thank you all who have supported me in the thousands of way I can't count. I wouldn't be here without you. 

My previous films at UT:

"Miles and the Monster"




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Dio Traverso 
Austin, TX
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