Brendan Shick | Freelance Film, Broadcast, & Digital Media

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To Turn Back Time: Worthy Kickstarter Film Campaign

Apr 04 2012 by Brendan Shick Add Your Thoughts

Although I usually try to avoid asking people for money here or otherwise (read my site disclaimer for details, see also the note at the end of this post), this is a fairly worthy cause that I feel is worth such a rare post.

Even if you don’t feel led to or can’t financially support the project, read on for some exciting details about what I’ve been working on. Now that the video is live and certain information is public, I can talk about some things that were previously protected by my non-disclosure agreement with the producers.

In brief, some of my filmmaking buddies from Several Houses Productions have put together a project under the working title “To Turn Back Time.” The official plot synopsis (POTENTIAL SPOILERS) is below:

“‘To Turn Back Time’  is the story of John, who has just graduated college, when he wakes up one morning to discover that his long deceased father is alive. After getting to know his father—something he’s longed for his entire life—he discovers his dad’s presence isn’t the only thing that’s different. The rest of his family has changed too, along with his own ability to help his girlfriend Alyssa through the death of her mother.  In the end, he’s faced with a terrible choice: to stay in the world where his father lives and lose the man he’s become, or give it up for the sake of the love of those around him.”

As you can tell from the video (shot and edited by yours truly – if you watched it before today you saw the version with a temp score and should check out the new version), this script is highly personal for the writer/director and has resulted in a level of ambition and commitment from both him and the others attached to the project that you don’t see everyday (there’s a certain drive among the crew to take home an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short next year…). It must show because they raised $2,500 in the first twenty-four hours, 25% of the budget they’d hoped to raise over the next 3 weeks!

Production Notes

Framegrab from the kickstarter campaign for "To Turn Back Time"In some ways, this is a big step for a lot of the crew. Although they have worked on a number of independent films before, to my knowledge they’ve never had the opportunity afforded to them by this sort of budget before, they’ve never had the ability to fly actors halfway across the country like this, and they’ve never worked on a project that’s been submitted to one (let alone multiple) Academy Award qualifying festivals before (although many have certainly worked on titles worthy of such an honor).

But what’s important is that they are committed to making all of these things happen – and they’ve proven in the past that they have the talent to use such resources knowledgeably and effectively.

The producers have set up a production website and blog, which I will likely be posting to at some point, hopefully in written and video blog (BTS featurettes) format. I may also be able to post occasional updates right here once production begins.

Personal Notes

There wasn’t room to include everything from my interview in the kickstarter video, but on a personal note, I’ve worked on a lot of projects before, and it’s fairly amazing how quickly the funding for this one has already started to come in – and it’s entirely donations based.

This goes beyond the kickstarter campaign. People from the community and elsewhere have also been more than willing to volunteer their time, talent, and resources because they believe in what these filmmakers are doing with this project.

As a filmmaker, seeing others who believe in you and who sacrifice something to help like this is always an encouraging sign that really helps motivate us artists to put out top quality work and effort day-in and day-out. Honestly, with all the outside support we’ve already been seeing, I can’t wait to join the producers on set to help make this project a reality.

Framegrab from the kickstarter campaign for "To Turn Back Time"


Disclaimer: I am attached to this project as the director of photography and as a consultant to the producers. However, I am not receiving direct monetary benefits based on the results of this kickstarter campaign. The results will, however, influence the final film’s budget significantly. So if we raise enough to rent some nice Zeiss CP.2 lenses, I will in fact be indirectly profiting at heart. Take that how you will.

As always, investing in film projects involves a high degree of risk and should always be considered a donation or a speculative investment. Neither I, nor the producers of “To Turn Back Time” can make any claims of potential ROI nor, at this time, can we produce reasonable guarantees that the film will be completed in a form that guarantees it will be accepted by film festivals or otherwise find a sufficient outlet for mass distribution.


Brendan Shick

Brendan Shick is a freelance DP, gaffer, and sports broadcaster serving primarily the Chicago, IL; Pittsburgh, PA; Grand Rapids, MI; and Fort Wayne, IN, regions. You can find out more by following this blog, his recent work on Vimeo, or by connecting with him on Twitter or LinkedIn. Brendan is also an occasional contributor to the Project Updates feed for one of his most recent films, To Turn Back Time.


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