Saturday, August 16, 2014

Help us Kickstart Tenspotting

At 2013 San Diego Comic Con, my friend Michael Patrick Sullivan and I came up with an idea for a short about Doctor Who cosplayers. That night over drinks, we expanded it with a couple of friends, and by the time we got back to our hotel rooms, we already had a plan.
Michael wrote a first draft, then I took over from there. Marisa Stotter, who we met that very night at SDCC, agreed to come on and produce. She is a producer who used Kickstarter to fund her feature documentary She Makes Comics with Respect Films, who she is also partnering with to put together our little film.

This is our Kickstarter page.

The story is about a woman named Angel, who fell in love with a Tenth Doctor cosplayer at last year's con, only she never got his number or his name, and now all she wants is to find him again. The problem? There are a zillion other Tenth Doctor cosplayers all around her, so she needs a strategy to find the perfect one - that one man who gets her and loves all the same things she does.

I mean, we've all been there, right? You have a hobby or an obsession. We all do, and we've all dated people who don't get it. I sat in on emocore concerts and Steelers games at Hooters and watched countless games of Halo trying to form a bond with someone. Wouldn't it be easier if the person you love is also obsessed with the stuff you love already?

But it goes beyond having stuff in common. Many of us come into relationships with a list of criteria we expect our partner to meet. Nobody likes to wast time, right? So how can you be sure you've found somebody worth your time? That's something we all struggle to figure out, no matter what genre TV shows we do or do not watch.

So Angel wants a Doctor Who fan, and now that she's met the perfect one, nobody else will do. She enlists her friend Tiffany to help her track him down. Can she find the right Doctor among all those men wearing the same costume? Or will she find something else instead?

That's the story. It's a nerd romcom. I know - Emily wrote a romcom? Crazy, right? I did write a brief fight scene into the script, though. No way am I letting this thing happen without at least somebody slapping somebody else in the face.

But it's really fun. It's filled with Doctor Who in-jokes, but we made sure it's also approachable for anyone who's not a fan of the show. It's just a fun story about a geek girl looking for a perfect match.

That's why Chloe Dykstra signed on to play Angel. She's one of the stars of Heroes of Cosplay and has hosted a million geek shows. If you know anything about cosplay, you probably know who she is. She's absolutely fantastic and I'm over the moon about working with her. She was our first choice for the role.

Angel's best friend Tamara will be played by Tiffany Smith, who you may recognize from G4's legendary Attack of the Show. She also hosts a zillion shows about geek culture. She's a huge comic book fan and is really excited about getting to play in this sandbox.

What I love most about having these two amazing women in our cast is that they are geek girls, out and proud. I've been in love with genre TV and film for a very long time, but I kept the level of my devotion largely to myself because geek girls aren't cool, right? If you're a girl and you like sci-fi shows or comic books or gaming or anything generally associated with geek culture, The common theory is that you're probably a fake, just doing it to get attention. Besides, only losers who live in their moms' basements like that stuff, right? That's the stereotype, but I think most of us know now that the stereotype is bullshit, and women like Chloe and Tiffany and Felicia Day are part of the reason why.

That's why this story is important to me. I love telling a story about a girl whose love of Doctor Who is a perfectly normal thing, just like loving a sports team.

Anyhow, our male lead, named Ben, is played by Kit Williamson, who writes/directs/stars in a series called Eastsiders and has played Ed on Mad Men for the last couple of seasons. He's perfect for this role on account of how he's fucking adorable.

So as you can see, we have a legit cast, a legit script, a legit crew and a legit producer. We have an interesting, largely unexplored setting (The Guild is the closest example) and a plan for distribution. What we don't have yet is all of our funding.

We're offering some cool rewards in return. We have some good stuff for filmmakers: a private tutorial on editing from our excellent director, Patrick Meaney; a private tutorial on cinematography from our excellent cinematographer, Jordan Rennert; I'm offering script notes, and we have script copies and a production diary available as well. Plus, you can get a one-of-a-kind drawing of yourself as the Doctor's companion or a cosplay photoshoot.

The video features my excited mug and charming cosplayer Stephan Reese, who made me laugh so hard we almost had to call the whole thing off. It's less than three minutes long, so take a look. And if you like any part of it, or if at some point in the last few years I have given you any insight into anything, or made you laugh, or motivated you at all - consider contributing to this short. It would mean the world to me.

Help us bring more great art into the world. Check out Tenspotting and then give us some money. Please.

And if that's not persuasive enough, listen to my adorable dog.