Set to begin shooting this August through the end of September in Louisville and surrounding areas in Kentucky, filmmaker Archie Borders and co-producer Michael Fitzer have announced the first feature film, “Pleased to Meet Me,” to be produced by the newly created 180 Degrees Production Company.
“Pleased to Meet Me,” is the story of musician Pete Jones, lead singer of a seminal punk band, who experiences a slump in both his professional and personal life. Struggling to complete his latest album, he’s approached by former partner and indie producer, Laura Klein, to appear on a segment of the syndicated radio show, “This American Life.” He’ll unite with an eclectic group of musicians who have never met to produce their one and only song in one day of studio magic.
Adapted from the script of “Everyone Speaks Elton John” featured on PRI’s “This American Life,” “Pleased to Meet Me” is a comical look into unfulfilled dreams and possibilities in the music industry.
Currently, John Doe, from punk group “X” will star in the film with actor and Grammy-winning musician Loudon Wainwright III. Singer-songwriter and actress, Aimee Mann and Grammy award-winning musician, producer and music supervisor Joe Henry have also signed onto the project.
A few smaller roles are still available and are expected to be filled by local talent. “We filled the big shoes with out-of-town cast and then we’ve really tried to populate with local musicians who are just as talented and just as capable; they just live here,” said Fitzer, an Emmy award-winning writer, producer, director of photography and editor.
There will also be opportunities to appear as an extra in the film for a crowd scene shot at the Brown Theatre, Borders said. But if you’re not one to stand in front of the camera, you can still play an extremely crucial role in the film through funding.
Via crowd-funding website, Kickstarter, Borders and Fitzer have begun a campaign to raise an additional $44,000 for the film in order to hire production assistants, rent supplement lighting and camera packages and complete the on-line edit, color-timing, final audio mix and production of the movie’s soundtrack. Donations to the film may be pledged in any amount $1 and above. The catch, however, is the project will only be funded if at least $44,000 is pledged by Friday, Aug. 10. If more than the goal amount is raised, Borders and Fitzer will utilize the extra money to further promote the film.
“Crowd funding and what Kickstarter does (is), if you want to put in $50 you can put in $50, if you want to put in $100, you can put in $100. So people who (say) I wish I could help, they can help,” Borders said. “And it promotes the arts here, it provides jobs for here, the money comes back into the community.”
“It really has become a phenomenon and one thing that we like about Kickstarter is it’s the all-or-nothing approach,” Fitzer said. In return for donations, patrons receive incentives based on dollar amounts. Prizes range from a signed production photo to a full day recording session with your band in the same studio used in the film.
To wrap up the Kickstarter campaign, Borders and Fitzer will host a party Aug. 9 at the Butchertown Market from 5 to 9 p.m. that may feature some surprise musical performances.
Once the film has been completed, Borders and Fitzer would like to shop the film to the South By Southwest festival and possibly Sundance. And, more importantly, spread a message of hope for a dream deferred, while shining the spotlight on local musicians and actors still holding out for their big break.
“It was kind of cool to write something and hear that ‘This American Life’ piece about people who are at the point where they’re like, do I keep doing this or do I go to work in a doctor’s office or something,” Borders said. “And that’s a crucial moment in your life when you’re trying to decide, is this what I want to do? … (Two) of our cast members … were in bands that did well, or were kind of at that point like, are they going to make it or not, and both of them have decided to (try different careers). … But they’re about to star in a film with John Doe and Aimee Mann too. They’re going to be thrown together with people who have been successful, and are successful in that industry. So it’s going to be some real fireworks I think on camera.”
To help crowd-fund “Pleased to Meet Me,” visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/1694269900/pleased-to-meet-me-project. For more information on the film, visit www.pleasedtomeetmemovie.com.
Contact writer Ashley Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org, 502.498.2051.