The Low End

Chicago, Illinois | Film Feature

Thriller, Experimental

Vikram Bhaduri

1 Campaigns | Illinois, United States

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This campaign raised $8,181 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

95 supporters | followers

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The Low End, down to its micro-budget, creates an intersection between counter cultural movements and film that is authentic and true to life. This type of storytelling is not possible with traditional high budget Hollywood movies that don't allow for the same experimentation in narrative structure.

About The Project

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

The Story


The Low End is a REVENGE THRILLER unlike anything that has ever been put on the big screen. 


Events over the course of forty-eight hours during a music festival unfold in forward and reverse chronological order, as recovering addict, Cal, attempts to rekindle his relationship with Dara by taking her on a weekend getaway. But with little money, he is forced to engage in a dangerous deal with a former lover-turned-drug-pusher to fund the weekend.


The Low End is a film that has the unique opportunity to showcase and explore what mainstream cinema has rarely approached. 


The Low End is a dark commentary on Western society and challenges the justification of revenge and the independence of both cause and effect. The film deals with themes of contemporary societal gender roles and the feelings and actions associated within this binary. The characters themselves come from communities traditionally overlooked by popular culture as it captures the tight-nit communities developed within the culture of music festivals. Micro-budget indie films like ours allows for an authentic exploration of these communities not possible through traditional story telling. 


This is a film that can only be made by us. No one else is as invested as the filmmakers, but we can still try and bring everyone into the process.  Originally envisioned in the crazy mind of writer Ryan Croft while in High School, a rough section of the script was put on paper as it meandered around in his head, drawing heavily from themes of addiction and relationships he has witnessed in his life. These themes culminated in a story set in the EDM community, but over the years that segment evolved, eventually forming, through his collaboration with Director Graham Schmidt, The Low End


We are extremely grateful to have the sponsorship of camera equipment company, Turbo Ace, who are generously aiding in providing equipment to make the film possible.


But excellent camera equipment does not make an excellent film, so to top it off, we need YOUR help to support this film, and get the funds that are needed to make the vision of The Low End a reality. 



Produced by Exponent Visuals 





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

Craft Services Food

Costs $2,000

We'll be feeding ourselves for the next 21 days, all we need is some grocery money!

Lighting Package

Costs $600

We're building our own LED lights as well as renting out a light kit.

Location fees

Costs $2,100

We're filming all around Chicago including at a Music Festival and it will only be possible if we can pay for reservations and tickets!


Costs $1,000

We have one of the most talented Art Departments in the city, they need the supplies to nail the details, especially SFX.

Camera Equipment

Costs $1,100

A film like this needs a unique visual style, thus the equipment to facilitate that is necessary.

Sound Equipment

Costs $1,200

Mixers, mics and booms don't run cheap, but clean audio is priceless.

Festival Fees

Costs $1,000

Festivals cost money! Distribution costs money! We want to show the film to as many people as possible and that costs money!

Rainy Day Fund

Costs $1,000

We're prepared, ready and eager to shoot The Low End no matter what, so we need to be ready when sh*t hits the fan.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team


Our crew has been made up of an incredibly talented group of student filmmakers with prior experience in the production of feature films. The characters found in The Low End’s narrative are based on individuals that exist in the everyday realms of our lives. From Camera to Art, each department is familiar with the minute details that will bring our story’s authenticity to your screen.



Writer + Director of Photography - Ryan Croft

An award-winning director of photography from Chicago, Ryan Croft has led teams of cinematographers and audio technicians on several productions including political campaigns, live performances, and feature length films. Some of his work has received press from, one of today's largest web-based film sites. Ryan's sense of visual style, story, and character all help to exemplify what this team is really about.



Graham Schmidt is a rising director from Kansas City. He’s worked on many short films at DePaul University as both an assistant director and a director. Graham has been a part of The Low End from its conception, co-creating the story and sharing his unique vision with the rest of the crew.


Producer + Editor - Vikram Bhaduri

Vikram Bhaduri is a rising Digital Cinema major from San Francisco, California. He has garnered awards for postproduction and documentary work from several film festivals, including the nationally recognized Delta Moon Festival. Vikram has had prior experience with non-linear story editing with the upcoming feature From Yesterday. His most recent music video for California based Eventide was featured on Good Music All Day, the #1 College Music Website in America.


Producer - Andy Behling

Andrew Behling is a sophomore student at DePaul University focused on screenwriting and directing. He is from Delafield, Wisconsin, where he has accomplished both writing a two-act play for a high school theater production and competing in the Kettle Moraine Film Festival. In Chicago, Andrew recently finished writing and directing his latest short film Calyx. His favorite movies include The Shawshank Redemption, Dances with Wolves, and The Departed.


1st AD - Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe is a director from Overland Park, Kansas. A junior at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts in Orange, California, Michael studies film production with a minor in showrunning. He has written, directed, and produced several short films, music videos, and documentaries and has interned for Richard "Dick" Donner and Lauren Shuler Donner at The Donners' Company as well as Michael London at Groundswell Productions. He can currently be found developing an up and coming short film and is in post-production for another to be released this May.


Production Sound - Scott Wietrzykowski

Scott Wietrzykowski is a writer/producer/sound designer currently studying filmmaking at DePaul University.  He has worked on a number of both independent and DePaul student films.  When not on set, he’s usually telling awful jokes, posting something for Springboard Theater Company, whose Facebook and Twitter accounts he manages, or catching up on sleep, that fleeting luxury. 


Art Direction - Khaela Correa

Khaela Correa is a sophomore at DePaul University majoring in digital cinema with a   concentration in production and a minor in writing for television and film. She has spent time working on her art for most of her life, receiving awards and recognition for her achievments in high school as a part of the National Art Honor Society. She has a passion for production design as well as writing and has worked on several sets including that for The Void and the upcoming project Flake.


Costume Design + BTS - Isabella Jorgensen

Isabella Jorgensen is a journalism and cinema studies major at DePaul University. Her time spent working as a sales associate at Urban Outfitters has allowed for experience in styling as well as collaboration. She can currently be found working on Shredded, an artistically spirited local webzine which she has helped to start. All she really wants in life is a travel mug that’ll keep her coffee hot for longer than twenty minutes.


Casting Director - Makaela Johnston

Makaela Johnston is a student at DePaul University studying film production. She has worked on many student and independent films in the Chicago and Cleveland areas. A producer and retired actor, Makaela has ten years of auditioning and casting experience under her belt.


1st AC - Ella Lubienski

Ella Lubienski is a writer/director/actor/squirrel-wrangler currently studying filmmaking at DePaul University.  She has worked both on and off camera on short films for both DePaul and Columbia College, as well as assisting on independent productions on the side. When she's not working on films she can be found improvising with the Passionate Mom Society, singing with The Fullertones, or sitting in her bed eating Double Stuf Oreos.


Producer - Charlie Bialobok

Production Sound - Scott Wietrzykowski

SFX/Makeup - Demi Schloefer + Catherine Woods


Cal - Played by Michael Kunicki

Michael Kunicki is a Chicago-based actor coming off of a lead role in the feature film Drinking Games. When he is not acting, Michael can be found spending time photographing his family and others that surround him. His ongoing pursuit for a greater empathic understanding of what lies around him perfectly exemplifies The Low End's emotional core. Michael is excited to be taking on his third feature film with this project.


Tommy - Played by Jesse Massaro

Jesse Massaro is a 23-year-old actor transplant from Columbus, OH. He graduated The Ohio State University with a B.A. in theatre having spent much of his time there on stage with the Columbus theatre community. His favorite credits include acting as Warren in This is Our Youth, Billy in The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, and Malvolio in an eighties-influenced production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Jesse’s previous experience in film can be seen in the feature Wings of the Wind (KICKS Flicks), in which he played a highly manipulative man with a gambling issue.


Aidan - Played by Chris Miller

Christopher Miller is an actor from Chicago honored to be a part of The Low End's cast. He has taken acting classes at various training facilities thorough out the city including Second City, Actors Studio Chicago, and Triton College. His previous work includes films such as School for Gods and He Don't Make Junk. Christopher is represented by Babes & Beaus Talent Group and hopes to spread enjoyment through his craft.


Damen - Played by Dan Wenzel

Dan Wenzel Jr. is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has appeared in multiple shows in Chicago, including Celebration, A Night Out (A Red Orchid Theatre); Marin, Shoedogs (Stoop Feast Theatre); and Much Ado About Nothing (Stone Soup Shakespeare). Dan's film credits include Just Like in the Movies, Runaway, Greencoat, Greyout, and the web series Rent Controlled.


Dara - Played by Sarah Joanou  

Sarah Joanou is an actor, writer, artist, and recent Chicago resident. She has lived several lives in her twenty-four years, taking her to Paris, San Francisco, Hawaii, Vancouver, and one summer, under several bridges and park benches in the small Indiana town of Mishawaka (novel forthcoming). Sarah is very proud, grateful, and excited to be working on this grassroots project with such a dedicated group of artists.  


Current Team