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CrowdFunding promotion A Better Place

posted Apr 9, 2015, 1:46 AM by J Shaw   [ updated Apr 9, 2015, 1:48 AM ]

Based on a book, 2 boys struggle to overcome hatred, abuse, betrayal, heartbreaks and hardships on a journey to find A Better Place.

About this project

1st Teaser Poster1st Teaser Poster

How would you like to see the film before it shows at a film festival?  Anyone that gets a digital download in their perk gets it before the film festival release!  How would you like to visit the set for a day, or two, or maybe more?  Or how would you like to see a special showing, or meet the cast?  These are just some of the things you get with the perks!

Do you have questions about the project?  If so, please click on "Contact Me" and ask away!!


  • 1) About a Better Place
  • 2) What has been said about the book
  • 3) Production
  • 4) Your donations
  • 5) What do you get in return
  • 6) More about me
  • 7) More details
  • 8) Special Rewards

1) About A Better Place:

This will be a movie about the book "A Better Place" by Mark Roeder. This is Marks #1 selling book so he said that the film rights will not be cheep.  We want to bring you a great film that you will want to watch over and over again so funding is important!  When raised, the funding will go towards securing the film rights to the book as well as music used in the movie, equipment, sets, pay for the cast and crew, etc.  More details on that will be bellow.

Think back to when you were in school.  Were you the one always picked on and the loner?  Maybe you were the most popular or a cheerleader or jock?  Maybe you were gay and having to hide it for fear of what might happen.  Did high school bring you a lot of pain and hardships?  If so, you will be able to relate to this movie when it is complete and it just might help show others going through what you went through that there is A Better Place out their.  

On a personal level, I know I can relate to this movie.  I was the loner type with not many friends if any that was always picked on in school.  Much of this came because of my love for Star Trek and for the film industry.  Always reading books and papers about how movies are made.  Always writing stories and scripts.  This made it easy to be classified the Nerd of my school.  On top of all of that, I was gay and had to hide it for fear of what might happen to me in school.  A Better Place, the movie, will be the first of several films in the series showing some of the pain, betrayals, hardships, heartbreaks, and friendships that many in the gay community have to go through in one form or another.  And hopefully, a movie that will also lift the spirits of those out their, showing them that their is a better place.

A Better Place is a gay love story about two boys that are from two different worlds who struggle to find themselves in a whirlwind of confusion. Can the strength that they find in each other be enough for them to overcome the hatred and abuse from others as they struggle through betrayals and hardships, friendships and heartbreaks, to find the deepest desire of their hearts.

Casper is the "invisible" and poorest boy in high school.  He is bullied by those around him, his father is distant, and his older brother makes his life a living hell.  Brendan is the varsity football team captain who has it all, fame, muscles, popularity, and money.  Brendan begins to take an interest in Casper, sending their friendship in a whole new direction.  Casper and Brendan share nothing in common in the surface, but under each of their reputation's is a yearning to be free and to find a better place.

2) What has been said about the book???

Out of 73 Customer reviews on Amazon, it has gotten 3.9 out of 5 stars!

87% of people on Goodreads liked the book.

Readers on selected the book as the 50th all time best gay book.

3) Production:

We hope to start production on the film this summer or fall as much of it takes place during those seasons and we have the winter months to contend with in South Dakota, with a summer 2016 completion and release of the film.

Here are some of the story boards that have been worked on for the film:

4) Your Donations:

So, what will my donation go towards you might be wondering.  Well, here it is:

Short version: Your donations will help us to cover the costs of Pre-Production, shooting, visual FX, props and costumes, studio and sets, equipment, talent (both actors and crew), post-productions, insurance, and any unforeseen costs that might come up during the making of this film.

Long Version: some of the things that your funding will help to cover include, cameras, video monitors, boom equipment, light meter, color meter, stedicam, audio equipment like a field mixer and digital recorder, the purchase of costumes for the cast to wear, insurance should anything happen on set we want to make sure everyone is covered, pay for the cast and crew since they will not want to do this for free, cost for the film rights to the book, costs to build sets as well as to use locations, cost for the rights to music that will be in the film, paying for a motel for the cast and crew on locations filming will be at, costs to enter and take A Better Place in film festivals like Sundance, and costs associated with initially producing DVD's.  This is just some of the many things that funding will go to.  Most importantly anything left over after we are done filming will be given to other projects on Kickstarter to help them out!

5) What do you get in return:

You might be asking yourself, what do I get in return.  Take a look at the right and you will see what you can get in return depending on the amount of your donation!  The goals are also based on if full funding is meet.  So make sure to spread the word so that we can get to full funding or this film can not be made either.  How about those goals that include travel like a set visit, etc.  Those also are based on if funding is meet, the dates are subject to scheduling, and travel and accommodations are not included.

Every single dollar counts and every new contributor adds to our success!  It helps to add more shooting days, better talent (actors and crew) etc. to this project to make sure that we turn out the best project that we can for you!  So please, fund this project today, then ask 10 of your friends to also fund this project and help us get to our goal!

6) More about me:

My name is John and I have formed Howling Moon Productions. I have a Bachelor degree in Business Management. I am also a perfectionist and strive to do the best I can in everything, because if I don’t, it bugs me, big time. Lol Because of this, I pay attention to the smallest things to make sure everything is done perfect the first time. We are going to be a small production company set in South Dakota producing small budget films and eventually commercials for local TV stations. A Better Place is going to be our launching film for the studio. In the beginning we will be based out of my home, and then eventually as we grow we will be based out of our own building.

I have always had a passion for the film industry studying everything I can about films in books and online. I have had small parts in local productions for the local college, USD, as well as directing a small production for my high school to advertise a new class that they created and that I was taking part in. It was in this class that I also got a chance to study at the local TV station, SDPB, South Dakota public broadcasting station. Besides studying film as I was growing up, I also, for fun, created special effects on the computer in my free time on everything from Star Trek to my own creations.  

While growing up, my family did not have much money. So the only production equipment I ever got to mess around with was an old VHS camcorder, two VHS machines set up side by side to do editing with. I had no way to put the film on computer to do much more editing than that. Because of this, I never had the chance to follow my dreams and passion in life. I am so excited to be creating Howling Moon Productions so that I may continue to follow my passion in life and have the proper equipment to do what I love.  

7) More Details:

Currently A Better Place is in script and funding stage. The script is being written while we raise funding for the project. After funding is raised, we will be purchasing all the necessary equipment that will be needed and start pre-production, scouting locations for the shoot, setting up contracts with places we will be filming in and at, putting out casting calls for cast and crew, etc. We hope to start filming in June or July of 2015 with a release date for the film of June 2016.  

The film will be available to purchase as a digital download and on DVD. We are also going to submit the film to a couple of film festivals as well. Most rewards will be sent out after the film is complete. The reason for this is because one, if you are getting a copy of the movie, obviously we cannot send it out if it is not finished, and two, if we send out say the script before the film is finished, then you already know what is going to happen, or others might know if the script gets leaked.  

Right now the film is budgeted at roughly around $785,000 which includes things like the cost of equipment that will be needed, purchasing rights to things like music for the film, paychecks for cast and crew, as well as cost to produce and send out rewards for backing the project, etc. This does not include the fee from Kickstarter if we are successful with our campaign as well as any taxes that Uncle Sam is going to want from the money since he always wants his cut in everything, including crowd funding if it is over a certain amount. We have also signed up so any funding left over after our project is done will be paid forward to other projects on Kickstarter!  All backers will get to follow a special Twitter account for A Better Place. This is where you will get to see what we are doing that day on the set as well as follow the production of the film and at times tweet with the cast during production. 

8) Special Rewards:

Please see updates for a special reward for donating! 

Most of all, I look forward to making you a great movie, and many more to come in the future!

Risks and challenges

What are some of the challenges and risks we might have to overcome? Well, their can be many. But everything we do in life has risks. Some challenges or risks that might come up include collaborator mishaps, permits, production delays, not getting the film rights, and weather are just a few. We hope we do not run into any of these, but their is always the slight chance we might and if we do, we will meet the challenge or risk head on to get through it for you so you have a quality product to watch in the end!