David's former college friends are now successful Internet content creators, having monetized the "Super Exciting Gang" comic book characters they drew together in the past. David, who quit the group before they made it big, finds himself back in the fold as the gang begin their biggest project yet.
Mission StatementThe short film is an allegory for cultural appropriation within the arts, poking fun at the tropes of Hollywood mogul personalities and their arrogance all from the perspective of the Black Artist.
About The Project
THE SUPER EXCITING GANG follows a Black artist reconnecting with his former college friends, who've become semi-famous from comic book characters he created for their art collective. He uses the opportunity to co-write their next big project after he hears that their comics are being turned into a live action motion picture. The group is heading to a remote cabin in the woods to write the movie, and insanity ensues.
This short film is an allegory for cultural appropriation within the arts. Tackling the subject through absurdist comedy (in the vein of "Sorry To Bother You", "Being John Malkovich", and "Living in Oblivion"), poking fun at the tropes of Hollywood mogul personalities and their arrogance all from the perspective of the Black artist. As a Black Latinx artist, I hope to bring an authentic voice to a topic that is all too common within my community. We are seeing more and more artists of color putting out their stories and growing audiences that relate to them. I feel like this is the time to be listening to people of color and their stories. This story is reflective of what we endure in art, where parts of us are taken and used for other's monetary gain. The Super Exciting Gang is extremely relative to what artists of color deal with on a day to day basis and this is why we want to put this film out there. Since I managed to contribute $5000 of my own money into the project, I was able to produce, hire, and film a majority of the movie.
We are currently in the middle of production, in need of funding for the rest of the project: one final shoot date, along with post production and the festival circuit. With COVID-19 at our grips, we are forced to procure a safe and healthy set for all involved. While all cast and crew are fully vaccinated, we are continuing to provide a safe environment with rapid antigen tests being done 48 hours before the shoot as well as the day of. Our producer, Josh, serves as the Covid Compliance Officer, provided with PPE, and such to run a safe and healthy environment.
The film is directed, co-produced, and will be edited by me. The screenplay was written by a college friend, Matthew Brian Cohen. This would be my 4th short film and I frequently collaborate with long time friends who are in the industry or people I've worked with in past. My long time friend, best man, and frequent collaborator Dean Luis Chuqui is the cinematographer. My long time friend and frequent collaborator and also former star of SciFi Face Off, Melanie Licata serves as practical effects and head makeup artist. A long time friend but new collaborator Scott Glazer is the sound mixer. Our new friend Joshua Coleman serves as the co-producer on this project.
Once the film is completed, a screening will be held in the New Jersey (location, date, time TBD), DVDs will be made available for contributors, and the film will be submitted to various film festivals around the world. Provided that we reach 100% of our goal, we will be matching every dollar that we raise beyond and making a personal donation towards Indigo Arts Alliance, an initiative dedicated to empowering the voices of artists of color.
Front page of the "Super Exciting Gang" comic book, one of the rewards for contributing to the campaign.
We are super excited to finish bringing this project to life and onto a screen near you. We are close to finishing principal photography and your support will help make sure this story is brought to life, and that we, the cast and crew, will be able to share our collective work with you.
ALL CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARDS THIS PROJECT ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE THROUGH THE 501(c)3 NON-PROFIT "UNION OF MAINE VISUAL ARTISTS"!
If you'd like to support us but can't do so monetarily, that's totally okay! Here's what you can do instead:
Just follow the campaign on Seed&Spark. It's 100% free! Once we hit 250 "followers," regardless of how many people contribute, we'll be eligible for thousands of dollars in discounts.
Truly, we can't succeed without YOU.
The best way to achieve our crowdfunding goal is to share this story beyond our networks. It would mean the world to us if you can share our campaign via your social media, email, or even word of mouth.
Feel free to copy and paste any of the examples below:
Help @ninetyfivefilms by supporting their short surreal comedy The Super Exciting Gang, about a Black artist reconnecting with his former art collective, who've screwed him over in the past. Join them on @seedandspark: https://bit.ly/3w6KfOf
I just watched @ninetyfivefilms Super Exciting Gang campaign video and it looks sweet! Help them make it happen! Also, pledging to their campaign is tax deductible, too! Support them on @seedandspark: https://bit.ly/3w6KfOf
It's finally great to see more artists of color making movies about their struggles. I'm really hoping The Super Exciting Gang makes it to fruition. Also, pledging to their campaign is tax deductible, too! Support them on @seedandspark: https://bit.ly/3w6KfOf
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About This Team
RICARDO LORENZO is a Black Latinx filmmaker with Dominican roots. He has written, produced, and directed several short films. His short films have touched on various social and psychological issues and have been nominated for several awards. He received his MPS from the School of Visual Arts. He’s shot, directed, and edited materials for Apple, Spindrift, Applegate, ROC Nation, Vice Magazine, Thrasher Magazine, Puma, and various local broadcast networks. Currently, he works as a freelance videographer and editor to support his artistic endeavors.
THE DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
DEAN LUIS CHUQUI has been the Director of Photography for every short film directed By Ricardo Lorenzo. Ricardo and Dean are childhood friends with an aspiration of becoming award winning filmmakers. Dean has written and directed three short films, and his cinematography and photography have been featured on NPR and several film festivals.
MARCUS ELLISON JR. is an LA based actor who got his start running the indie film circuit in the DMV (DC, Maryland & Virginia). Over the course of his career he's been on multiple media platforms ranging from feature films to YouTube medical reenactments, but his biggest film to date so far is A CHRISTMAS CANCELLATION which is available on Amazon Prime. When he's not acting he's usually editing or co-hosting on his gaming podcast, "Press X To Start" (available on all streaming platforms).
ANTHONY CARVELLO is an actor, writer, and producer originally from just north of Boston, MA. Despite a flair for dramatics and entertaining as a child (he cites early inspirations of Jim Carrey, Denzel Washington, and Robert De Niro), Anthony did not take the traditional actor’s route of drama club to BFA to MFA. Anthony has found himself working on a wide-range of characters - from John Wilkes Booth in the Emmy-Award winning CNN docuseries titled “Lincoln: Divided We Stand” to an unhinged aspiring music producer in award-winning Indie Short “Young Kanye”. Anthony most recently found himself on set of Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up” working across from the film’s leads. Although the scene did not make the final edit, this experience is surely a sign of things to come for Anthony!
SABINA ALMEIDA is a Brooklyn based Artist. Her work in the Indie dramedy The Breakup, recently earned her a Best Actress award in the New York City Short Comedy Film Festival. Currently in the pipeline is her comedy Indie film Relationshirt, which she Associate Produced and acted in, making its debut Summer 2022. She also made an appearance with Mario Cantone in TV Series Gravesend. Sabina has worked in the wardrobe department for Law & Order Organized Crime and FBI Most Wanted, giving her a multi-faceted perspective of the industry, in front and behind the camera. Two years ago she began as faculty at New York Film Academy as a youth acting Instructor, where she shares her love for the craft of acting, human emotion and psychology. When she is not on screen/on set in character, you will likely find her on horseback at Brooklyn Equine (or Prospect Park) where she brings her 15 years of experience as a rider and competitor, as an Equestrian Instructor for kids. When she is not on horseback, she is likely working from home doing graphic design for Indie Film Posters and other commissioned works.
THEA GARLID lives and works as an actor, model, voice actor and alexander technique teacher in NYC, where they balance their creative career with gardening, pickleball and other outdoor adventures. Thea is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to play RJ on location with Ricky and friends and can’t wait to continue the project.
NORA KAYE is a Brooklyn-based performer, writer and filmmaker passionate about telling comedic stories about the messiness of humanity, neuroscience and pasta. Her work includes an award-winning pilot, HYSTERICAL WOMEN (Catalyst Content, formerly ITV Fest, Seriesfest, New York Independent Film Festival, the Cannes Short Film Corner, Bentonville Film Festival), TUNA (a surrealist-sitcom micoseries) and THE COSMOS SISTERS (her first feature). Nora has developed content for Hooked Media, was a contributing writer on THE HATING GAME and co-hosts THE BIG PASTA PODCAST- a podcast about all things pasta. When not writing or podcasting, Nora loves to make up songs for her cat Frankly, who only tolerates it. Check out her website here!
IAN SCHULTZ grew up in Mystic, CT, diving into theatre through The Williams School, New London's Flock Theatre, and the Young People's Institute. He is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College with two semesters at the British American Drama Academy. While studying at HB Studio and Atlantic Acting School's evening conservatory (with the off-Broadway premiere of His Bedroom Is Eden), he portrayed Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest, Macduff in Macbeth (also asst. fight captain) and the sinister Meat Gentleman in the upcoming season of 21st Century Demon Hunter on Amazon Prime. Ian is signed with Ingrid French Management.
JOSHUA COLEMAN is a filmmaker and digital artist based out of New Jersey. His short film "Mother's Nature" won first place at the 2018 Kettle Creek Environmental Film Competition, and has since produced abstract shorts through his audiovisual project, "The Afternoon Hush".
ERIK KASE ROMERO is a Producer and Multi-Instrumentalist from New Jersey. With over 15 years of hands-on production experience and hundreds of indie and major label album credits, he is constantly collaborating and creating with bands and artists. He is currently the guitarist for The Front Bottoms and stillhungry.
MEL LICATA is a SFX and beauty makeup artist with over eight years of experience working in film, television and commercial shoots. She is a proud IATSE 798 union member and a licensed esthetician. She has worked on a variety of productions such as ‘Manifest’, ‘SNL’ and M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Servant’. She is most looking forward to the release of an A24 movie she keyed last summer called ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’.
SCOTT GLAZER is sound bae. Pouring his salt all over your ears. Just kidding, he's a sweetie that just wants to help. He helps a lot, but also with sound. He has most recently been involved with projects of his own, as well as helping with sound. Did I mention he does sound? Field on this project, but ya know... he does sound.