The Denigration of Carl Skiln

Atlanta, Georgia | Film Short

Comedy, Satire

Alec Lowrey

1 Campaigns | Georgia, United States

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This campaign raised $2,150 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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A psychotic and narcissistic screenwriter seeks revenge for the negative reception towards his films. He forces an especially influential and scathing critic of his to delete her reviews of his work at gunpoint. This threatens to backfire just as his attempts to please his critics have before.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Criticism can be helpful to any artist's development. However, if it is abused or an artist gives it too much importance, it runs the risk of demotivating them. Our film will address this through satire and an idiosyncratic approach to film form.

The Story

Carl Skiln is a psychotic, compulsive, and self-important (albeit semi-accomplished) screenwriter of schlocky and absurd comedies. He simply expects to produce a classic and to be lauded as the next Monty Python. He's obsessed with film criticism yet cannot accept any negative feedback directed towards his work.

Our story begins with him alone in his hotel room amid a bout of writer's block brought about by his desperation to please the critics. Unfortunately, he's never been able to do that. He can’t get the mixed-to-negative reviews of his latest feature out of his head, not even the backlash against his previous work. Also, he's still unprepared for his next big pitch meeting in the morning. He must do something about this, and he knows just where to start.

Not long after, Loraine Kanns, an influential film blogger and Skiln's harshest critic, calls it a day and chills out in front of the TV. Suddenly, Skiln breaks in, ties her up, and threatens to kill her if she doesn't delete her reviews of his work. However, they have to be quick: Skiln's plane to L.A. leaves shortly, and Kanns' sweetheart isn't too far from home. What follows may shock you. It may even amuse you.

With this film, we will acknowledge (and satirize) critics' contributions to the art of cinema.

The Denigration of Carl Skiln takes elements from classic tales of madness and revenge and spins them into a surreal and darkly hilarious yet thought-provoking experience. It will also take on an inventive approach to film form inspired by the pioneers of experimental cinema. We will use these elements and sources of inspiration as a gateway into the characters' minds and demonstrate free expression and creativity. Some examples can be seen below:

 

Alec Lowrey has been producing, directing, editing, and otherwise assisting with various narrative and experimental films since 2015. He has also released five electronic music albums under the PixelRust alias. He is currently working toward his B.F.A. in Film and Television at SCAD. He hopes to go on to write and direct eccentric yet entertaining independent films and to go on to become a unique name in Atlanta’s bustling filmmaking scene.

 

Zoe Gherman has had a passion for filmmaking since she was a child. She produced, directed, and edited videos for a YouTube channel that garnered over a million subscribers over three and a half years. She is currently working toward her B.F.A. in Film and Television at SCAD. She has produced and otherwise worked on numerous student films and projects, including the SCAD annual pilot, What Remains of Emily. She hopes to produce feature films after graduation.

 

Ethan Becker has loved filmmaking since he was young, creating and posting weekly homemade films on YouTube. He realized that filmmaking was his true passion in High School while working as the lead editor for one of his school’s television programs. During his time at SCAD, he has been focusing on cinematography. For the past two years, he has worked in the industry lend on everything from feature films and commercials to music videos for high-profile artists. This work has helped him gain a firm grasp on lighting and the subtleties of lighting, to improve his eye and skills as a cinematographer.

 

"Part of the process of artistic growth is coming to terms with criticism. Constructive feedback is necessary to develop professionalism, know-how, and comportment in all fields. Nevertheless, this can get nebulous as far as the high subjectivity of art is concerned. Media and art criticism has long been a subject of personal contemplation for me.

"I have noticed that critics usually write to inform or enlighten the general public, not artists. Many are well-versed and knowledgeable in the field (some are artists themselves) and can offer insight into the semantics of a work. They may even provide entertainment value. However, no matter how objective or reasonable their critiques, their perspectives can be highly subjective. Fruitful conversation and even creative inspiration can arise, but not much else in terms of suggestions as to how an artist can better themselves creatively or technically.

"Some criticism is not very constructive at all; some critics "jump the bandwagon" and champion better-known works, while others engage in ridicule and denigration of "lesser" or "pretentious" art and the audiences it attracts.

"There was a time when I watched and read a lot of media criticism. I felt that I was gaining vast knowledge that I could apply to my work to improve it. But when I adopted a "consensus" opinion, I found myself running into creative blocks and shortages of inspiration (not unlike Mr. Skiln). Then I had an epiphany: I was more engaged in what these commentators thought than on what artists are supposed to do: create!

"Criticism can be helpful to an artist's development. However, its inherently opinionated nature, particularly when abused, or if an artist gives it too much importance, runs the risk of demotivating us. For the rest of my career, I aspire to create art that I and those who experience it will find entertaining and enlightening. Nevertheless, I am aware that it's impossible to please everybody, and attempting to do so will never be successful. This satirical film will embody that idea, and I hope that my audience can learn from it just as I did from my own experiences."
- Alec Lowrey, Writer-Director

 

With your help, we can bring Skiln's twisted revenge fantasy into reality.

Although SCAD will provide us with most of the industry-standard filmmaking equipment we need (camera, lights, stabilizers, what have you), we still need funds to cover the other important aspects of filmmaking:

  • Actors
  • Catering
  • Props
  • Locations
  • COVID-19 safety
  • Postproduction
  • A shot at getting into some film festivals


When you pledge to this project, you'll get some fantastic perks in return, whether it be digital goodies, personalized artwork, excerpts of Skiln's ramblings, admission to screenings of the film, producer credits, or a tried-and-true "thank you." And we'll keep you up to speed with the process even long after we wrap!

The safety of our cast and crew in the face of the ongoing pandemic is a major priority. Here's what we plan to do to reduce the risk of infection while shooting:

  • A certified Occupational Risk Prevention (ORP) person will supervise the shoot.
  • No more than 13 people (10 crew, 3 actors) will be working on set.
  • Temperatures will be taken at the start and end of each shoot day.
  • Cast and crew will be screened to ensure COVID-safe activity throughout production. Testing and/or quarantining is highly recommended.
  • We will enforce social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing wherever possible. Staging and blocking plans will also address this.
  • Equipment and locations will be regularly wiped down and disinfected.
  • We will give individual meals and drinks to the cast and crew.
  • We will have a backup lineup of cast and crew in case anybody must leave the set.
  • We will put up signage to encourage mask-wearing, social distancing, and hand-washing.
  • Any cast or crew not needed at a given time will be outside the shooting location.
  • We will open doors and windows to improve ventilation when shooting indoors.

 

Now let's show those pesky critics who's God!

 

Wishlist

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

The Players

Costs $813

Support our incredibly talented cast who will be bringing our characters to life!

Location

Costs $317

A green screen just isn't going to cut it.

Props

Costs $60

We only need two extra props: a bus stop sign, and something for Skiln to threaten his critics with.

Food

Costs $525

Even those with only revenge on their mind need to eat!

Post-Production/Hard Drives

Costs $150

Give the footage a few places to hang out while we assemble the final product.

COVID-19 Safety

Costs $150

Help us ensure the health and safety of our cast and crew!

Film Festival Submissions

Costs $200

"More people need to see this!"

Miscellaneous Expenses

Costs $460

Just in case!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

WRITER, DIRECTOR EDITOR, COMPOSER: Alec Lowrey
Alec Lowrey has been producing, directing, editing, and otherwise assisting with various narrative and experimental films since 2015. He has also released five electronic music albums under the PixelRust alias. He is currently working toward his B.F.A. in Film and Television at SCAD. He hopes to go on to write and direct eccentric yet entertaining independent films and to go on to become a unique name in Atlanta’s bustling filmmaking scene.
Instagram and Twitter
Website: suuordfite.com

PRODUCER: Zoe Gherman
Zoe Gherman has had a passion for filmmaking since she was a child. She produced, directed, and edited videos for a YouTube channel that garnered over a million subscribers over three and a half years. She is currently working toward her B.F.A. in Film and Television at SCAD. She has produced and otherwise worked on numerous student films and projects, including the SCAD annual pilot, What Remains of Emily. She hopes to produce feature films after graduation.
Website: zoegherman.com

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ethan Becker
Ethan Becker has loved filmmaking since he was young, creating and posting weekly homemade films on YouTube. He realized that filmmaking was his true passion in High School while working as the lead editor for one of his school’s television programs. During his time at SCAD, he has been focusing on cinematography. For the past two years, he has worked in the industry lend on everything from feature films and commercials to music videos for high-profile artists. This work has helped him gain a firm grasp on lighting and the subtleties of lighting, to improve his eye and skills as a cinematographer.
Instagram

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