Root For The Villain

New York City, New York | Series

Comedy, Drama

Max Rissman

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $20,011 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

270 supporters | followers

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We are fascinated with the mythology of comic books and superhero movies, but we were getting tired of black and white narratives about good guys saving the world from bad guys. We want to tell a fresh story about people living in the superhero universe who are just struggling to get by.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

The Story

In a world where 1% of the population has super powers, famous superheroes and super-villains clash over the fate of civilization and dominate the news headlines. What doesn’t make the papers, however, are the thousands of nonviolent criminals with not-so-useful powers, who commit petty crimes and get locked up in Valentine Correctional Facility for a stint in the slammer. When they are let out on parole, they need help readjusting to society.


That’s where Lana comes in. She’s a young parole officer specializing in super-villain ex-cons, and she busts her ass every day to keep them out of prison and help them get back on their feet. She is particularly well suited for the job, considering her late father was once one of the city’s most notorious super-villains, and she has a super power of her own – the ability to literally smell bullshit. But as a single female cop in her late twenties, she has a whole host of personal problems to deal with.


Though useful for her job, her human lie detector abilities are horrible when it comes to dating, and she finds it tough to relate to ordinary people having grown up in her father’s secret underground lair for most of her childhood. Her identity is in flux, as she is torn between her duty as a police officer and her loyalty to her super-villain family. And to make matters worse, her recently paroled super-villain uncle decides Lana’s couch is the perfect place to crash while he gets his act together.


I and my producing team are graduate filmmaking students at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and have been making films together for the past three years under the teutelage and guidance of independent film ledgends such as Spike Lee. I came up with the idea for this project as my capstone thesis because I am fascinated with the mythology and world of comic books and superhero movies, but I was tired of seeing black and white narratives about good guys saving the world from bad guys. I wanted to see a story about people living in the superhero world who were struggling to just get by, and the notion of delving into the life of someone who works with super-villains to try and rehabilitate them captivated me. In addition, though it takes place in the superhero universe, this story deals with real world issues such as criminal justice reform and police brutality that are relevant to our current society.


Come join us on this incredible journey, and together let’s create something that we can all be truly proud of.


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Lana's apartment and fire escape

Costs $1,000

Our protagonist's home

Coffee Shop

Costs $400

A scene in which Lana tracks down a parole takes place in a coffee shop.

Yoga Apparel Store

Costs $500

A scene in which Lana confronts her nemesis takes place in a yoga store

Lana's Office

Costs $600

Our protagonist's office

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Casting Director

Costs $500

Find the best actors possible!

Stunt Coordinator

Costs $300

To pull of some sweet stunts, like a fight in a coffee shop!


Costs $1,600

No actors = no movie (unless it's a movie about animals...or minerals...or vegetables)

Unit Production Manager

Costs $400

Someone's gotta keep everything organized.

1st Assistant Director

Costs $400

Someone's gotta keep everything humming along right on schedule.

Script Supervisor

Costs $400


Production Design

Costs $1,400

To create the world.

Key Grip plus equipment

Costs $800

Lots of rigging to be rigged!


Costs $1,800

Mad props to the prop master.


Costs $1,400

So the actors won't be naked.

Hair & Makeup

Costs $2,000

Gotta keep people looking pretty...and like mutant super-villains.

Gaffer plus equipment

Costs $800

Gaffers gotta gaff.

Camera assistants plus accessories

Costs $1,100

Our camera is provided by NYU, but we need ACs and accessories.

Production Sound Mixer

Costs $1,000

Bad sound = a horrible, painful death


Costs $800

Gotta get from point A to point B

Craft Services Food

Costs $3,500

People get hungry...or they get cranky.

Set Photographer

Costs $300

Stills come in handy later.

Steady Cam Operator

Costs $1,000

For cool moving shots!

About This Team

Our team is made up of graduate filmmaking students at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and we have been making films together for the past three years under the tutelage and guidance of independent film legends such as Spike Lee. As we each prepare to crack through the protective shell of film school and venture out into the chaotic world of indie filmmaking, we do so knowing that we are part of a community of fearless artists who have our backs just as we have theirs.

Current Team