The Fantastical Life of Max

My name is Cecil Houser.  In 2014 I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to sexual abuse from someone whom was supposed to be a care provider for me as a child.  I have been haunted by this event my entire life. The remnants of this event have shaped my life through boughts of depression, thoughts of suicide and self-deprecation. The manifestation of this event has become more intense as I get older and I now take medicine prescribed by my psychiatrist to help with anxiety allowing me to function day to day.  

I am  however very blessed to have the support of  a  loving  wife  and  two  beautiful  daughters.  In  addition,  I  am  very  fortunate  to  have  been  given  the  opportunity  to  complete  a  college  education  currently  working  to  complete  a  Master  of  Fine  Arts  Degree  in  Film.  

This movie concept is something that started as the dream of a child. Although it has some autobiographical content, the movie is filled with the fantastical imagination of a ten year old boy and his journey to find himself.  Thank you for taking some time to look at this page and to consider becoming a collaborator on this project. 


I  am  working  to  raise  the  funds  to create my thesis film entitled "The Fantastical Life of Max".   Drawn from my childhood, Max is a 10 year old boy who has lost his father at a very young age, and who's mother works very hard to provide a stable home for Max on her own. Max however is a bit socially awkward and shy which creates a challenge for him with most of his peers.  In short Max is an outcast, he is bullied and mocked for his inability to connect.  Max, however, is a beautifully talented artful boy who creates fantastic worlds from his dreams with the help of his father's collection of movie stories from the 80's.  Max's closest friend is a movie projectionist named Henry who provides Max with an escape from his bullying peers by giving him a theatrical oasis in which to allow his mind to be free. Henry and Max bond as they escape into worlds of wonder from the collection of movies left behind by Max's father.  As Max is continually met with mockery and bullying, he must find the courage to find his way ultimate standing up for himself to provide closure to his once timid boyish life bringing reality to his own creations.  

This  story  mimics  many  of  the  films  which  I  found  solace  in  as  a  child.  The  movie  will  be  a  tribute  to  anyone  whom  has  ever  felt  alone,  hurt  or  scared  because  they  were  thought  to  be  different.  


The  money  raised  will  be  used  for  preproduction,  production  and  post-production  costs.  Because  making  a  movie  is  never  a  small  endeavor,  it  is  in  the  best  interest  of  the  filmmaker  to  collaborate  with  very  skilled  crews  to  accomplish  the  best  Cinematic  experience  they  can deliver.  This  means  hiring  the  most  talented  people  for key positions on  the  crew.  In  addition  to  having  a  great  crew,  a  movie  production  requires  great  production  design,  great  costume  design  and  great locations.  This  movie  will  employ  all of the above.  We  will  be  running  production  in  three  states  (Ohio, Pennsylvania).  The funds  will  cover  all  production  costs  including travel, equipment, talent and crew with  the  exception  of festival  entires  and  distribution  which  I  plan  to  cover  once  the  movie  has  wrapped.

I am currently preproduction phase with story breakdown, concept art and scripting. Also, I am in the process of pre-casting looking at possibilities for each of the main characters. There are alot of set designs and pieces that will be in play once we have locked down our final few locations. This is where time becomes a challenge. Currently, I have 5 locations locked with two pending.  It is my goal to be in production no later than the beginning of August 2019 which means casting needs to be done by February along with set and costume design so that going into march we can have our first read-through rehearsal. 
This means all funds need to be raised by August 12, 2019 in order to begin production.  Having the support for funding this movie means a life's dream for me as it draws from my own experiences reflecting upon how a child deals with overcoming abuse, loneliness and doubt.  I strongly believe this movie will have a profound impact on anyone who views it.  Because of the timing of the movie, I really feel this will be a great way to discuss what is often left in the shadows, behind locked doors in an otherwise shame-filled past.  For me its time to open that door and have a conversation. One that will give hope and peace to those who feel the burden of pain from someone else's selfish actions. 

In  making  this  movie,  I  am  finally  giving  a  voice  to  the  child  who  never  really  had  the  opportunity  to  be  a child.  Not  only  does  your  contribution  help  a  beautiful  visual  creation,  but  it  also  aids  in mending  the  broken  heart  of  a  middle-aged  man  who  desires  to  leave  a  legacy  of  perseverance for  his  children.  

Thank  you  for  taking  the  time  to  consider  this  as  a  worthy  cause.  Your  help  will  certainly make all the difference in  the  world.

Warmest  Regards

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Cecil Houser II 
Athens, OH

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