Danger Word selected for the Pan African Film Festival! (Feb. 6-17, 2014)

Happy New Year, everyone!

We have been busy. We had a great time at the BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta, where we were nominated for Best Short–and now we have been selected for the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles (Feb. 6-17). We will also have more news soon about “Danger Word” and the YA horror novel it was adapted from, Devil’s Wake.

Thank you so much for your patience. I know you are eager to see the film, but we are submitting it to film festivals before we can make it available to the public. You definitely will have a chance to see it in 2014!

For now, in case you missed it, here’s our trailer:

And here’s our official poster!

Official Danger Word poster

Official Danger Word poster

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We are funded! Thanks to you…and mother-daughter backers Alma and Allo Greer!

7/30/13 update: WE ARE FUNDED and no longer on Indiegogo. But you may still contribute on this site. 

We’re days away from the deadline for our post-production fundraising drive on Indiegogo–and by last week, we were worried.

But now two guardian angels stepped in with back-to-back $5,000 contributions–and we can finish the film you helped us get started.  

Meet Alma Greer and Allo Greer, our new co-producers.  They are mother-daughter book lovers from Detroit.  As the opening credits roll, after Dark Dream Productions and This Little Light Productions, a card will read In Association With…and the company names of their choice. We are so thrilled to have them aboard!  

It feels almost as if we conjured the Greer ladies.  Here’s why:

Last Friday, our Indiegogo total sat stubbornly below $2,500 and we needed to raise $10,000 more.  Our campaign had started strong, but slowed. (We’re told that July is not a good month for fundraising.)   And we had raised our production budget to shoot the film ($15,000) through Facebook and social media–before we began our post-production campaign on Indiegogo.  Maybe our friends, readers and family had given us all they could.  It was already a miracle we had come so far.

But we knew potential contributors would be discouraged by the gap to our goal.  Had we reached the end of the line?

At noon Friday, July 12, the producers had a conference call–director Luchina Fisher, screenwriters Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due, and producer Zainab Ali.  We needed a strategy. Oscar-winning screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher, visiting Spelman College last fall, told students: “You have to have a Plan B and Plan C to make Plan A jealous.”  It was time to come up with a Plan B.

The result felt like a prayer meeting.  Steve, a life coach as well as a writer, walked us through a four-step process that was like The Secret on steroids. Instead of feeling fear, we chose to feel gratitude.  We had plans to submit the film to Sundance, but we decided to create our own schedule.  We could compose our own music.  (Tananarive plays piano and keyboard.)   We would have a rougher version to exhibit and “clean it up” when more funds were available.  The list went on.  We would do the best with what we had.  We were blessed to have received so much already.  By the end of the call, we felt re-energized and excited.  Empowered.  “Amen!”

Twenty minutes after we hung up, Allo Greer contributed $5,000 to Indiegogo.  We were stunned. 

Two days later, her 80-year-old mother, Alma Greer, donated another $5,000 to match her daughter’s contribution.  Suddenly, we had the $10,000 we needed.  We were speechless.  We still are. 

Read the novel where Danger Word appears

Read the novel where Danger Word appears

Why doesn’t the total show up on Indiegogo?  Because for a very large contribution–so we have learned–Indiegogo has a rigid verification procedure.  The first $5,000 was temporarily withheld from our account.  Monday, the hold still was not resolved. Tuesday, Allo Greer decided to contribute to Danger Word through PayPal instead.  Thursday, her mother followed suit. 

So the fundraising total you see to the right is our actual total.  The total on our Indiegogo page is only a fraction of that.   Thanks to you and Alma and Allo Greer, we have come so far!

And you still have a chance to be a part of this community-funded film!  We have more than a week left on our Indiegogo campaign.  We’re still asking you to spread the dangerword.com link so we can climb as high as possible.  We have 50 Indiegogo backers and counting!  For a $25 contribution, backers receive a pdf of the screenplay.  (Though if you want to contribute $5,000, you might want to visit our CONTRIBUTE page through PayPayl instead. Just saying.)

Some Indiegogo visitors will see our low total and believe our post-production campaign is failing.  Or that we won’t be able to finish the film.  Not true at all!

We will finish Danger Word.  Every dollar we raise now will be used for marketing and publicity, film festival fees and to establish production offices for a feature film version of the novel Devil’s Wake, where Kendra’s story first appeared.  

We already have invitations to the Charlotte Black Film Festival and Atlanta’s BronzeLens Film festival.  Next stop…Sundance?  

We are moved and grateful beyond words.  Thanks to all of you–and our new co-producers, Alma and Allo Greer–for helping us make a beautiful film together.

Want a T-shirt? Or to be a producer? Click on the photo to go to Indiegogo!

Want a T-shirt? Or to be a producer? Click on the photo to go to Indiegogo!

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About Danger Word:

Also check out Tananarive Due’s recent post in The Grio about why we decided to make Danger Word ourselves: “Great pitch! But do the characters have to be black?” 

Danger Word has been covered in Shadow and ActThe Huffington Post, MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry” and The Grio

 

Danger Word moves fundraising to Indiegogo

We’re more than halfway there!

Since March, more than 200 contributors have visited this site to give between $1 and $1,000 toward the filming of Danger Word, which was shot over Memorial Day weekend (2013).  Primarily using Facebook and social media, we pulled off a tiny miracle through “community funding”–thanks to you!

Frankie Faison (Grandpa Joe) and Saoirse Scott (Kendra) face the zombie plague

Frankie Faison (Grandpa Joe) and Saoirse Scott (Kendra) face the zombie plague

Now we’ve moved our fundraising effort to the crowd funding platform Indiegogo for Phase II: post-production.  That’s the phase where we improve the images and sound to create a film that can be exhibited in the company of quality films.  (Who knows? Maybe even at Sundance!)  Right now, all we have is raw footage of great performances from our stars Frankie Faison and Saoirse Scott.

Technical experts will take Danger Word the rest of the way.

Check out our short Indiegogo pitch (and a sneak peek at the trailer!):

PLEASE SHARE our easy-to-remember Indiegogo fundraising page: www.dangerword.com

Also check out Tananarive Due’s recent post in The Grio about why we decided to make Danger Word ourselves: “Great pitch! But do the characters have to be black?” 

Even if you can’t give now, or have already given, please SHARE the site with  your friends and family.  Can you help us spread the word about Danger Word?

We will have an exciting new gift to offer soon!  And we have added a free PDF of the screenplay for contributors who give $25 or more.

The site will also soon expand to offer a NEWS & PRESS page:  Danger Word has been covered in Shadow and Act, The Huffington Post, MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry” and The Grio

Thank you for helping us make the dream real! 

DANGER WORD SCREEN poster-600x400

Danger Word film: we have a TRAILER!

Presenting…the first public footage from Danger Word, which we shot with community funding over Memorial Day weekend.  

Check it out!

Danger Word co-stars veteran actor Frankie Faison (The Wire, Banshee, The Silence of the Lambs) and promising newcomer Saoirse Scott (One Life to Live) as a grandfather and granddaughter who have survived the zombie plague in his wooded cabin…and how her birthday goes awry.   

This trailer was created by our talented editor, Terence Taylor (also a horror writer!).  We think it captures the character-driven nature of our scary little movie.

Our backers include groundbreaking film director Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust), Oscar nominee Josh Olson (Best Adapted Screenplay, A History of Violence), Tony nominee Stephanie D’Abruzzo (Avenue Q), and bestselling novelists Larry Niven, Connie Briscoe and Bernice L. McFadden, as well as nearly 200 other friends, family, readers and strangers who are ready to create a short horror film we can all be proud of.  (And we want to do a feature next!) 

We have launched our pre-production campaign to finish this film.  To contribute to Danger Word, click here.

Danger Word on Melissa Harris-Perry! (MSNBC)

On Sunday, our film’s co-screenwriter and co-producer Tananarive Due was a panelist on MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry” show.  During a segment on blacks and science fiction, Due explained how we are using community support to finance our short film,  Danger Word, which co-stars Frankie Faison (Banshee, The Wire, The Silence of the Lambs) and Saoirse Scott (One Life to Live).

An important fundraising announcement AND A TRAILER are coming SOON! 

Tananarive Due and panelist Tim Reid (CLICK ON PHOTO to see the clip)

Tananarive Due and panelist Tim Reid (CLICK ON PHOTO to see the clip)

Danger Word short film: shooting this weekend! (Can you donate today?)

“Why don’t we stop complaining about Hollywood and make our own film?”

Frankie Faison stars

Frankie Faison stars

Weeks ago, it was just a notion.  Now, thanks to you, the dream is real.   Our cast and crew are in rural Delancey, New York to shoot Danger Word over Memorial Day weekend.  Why would a veteran actor like Frankie Faison (“The Wire”) agree to drive himself to our rustic location on his break from shooting Cinemax’s “Banshee” to work on a 15-minute film?  (Hint: It’s not for the pay.)   

To tell a story no one else would tell.

His 12-year-old co-star, Saoirse Scott, has an Irish name that means Freedom. Freedom from stereotypes.  Freedom from limitations.  Freedom from invisibility.

Introducing  Saoirse Scott

Introducing
Saoirse Scott

Freedom begins with you.  (If you’re ready to help, please click here to learn about our donor gifts and to DONATE NOW.) 

On the surface, Danger Word is a zombie film.  

Based on the YA horror novel Devil’s Wake, it’s about a 13-year-old girl and her grandfather who have survived the zombie plague in his wooded cabin–and how her birthday goes badly awry.  (Learn more about Danger Word on our ABOUT page.)

But it’s mostly about a grandfather’s love for his grandchild, a changing world, the fear that we cannot keep our children and grandchildren safe from the hazards beyond our doors, and the shock of being forced to grow up too soon. Real-world issues many of us know all too well.

Through our donor family of more than 100 friends, readers, horror lovers and independent film lovers, we have raised nearly $10,000 of our shooting day goal of $15,000. 

But we don’t have enough funds to pay our crew what they were promised—and do everything we can to make this film is the best it can be.  (And that’s not counting our post-production costs.)      

Our donors have given as little as $5 and as much as $1,000.  Two of our associate producers are serving in Afghanistan (Muncko Kruize and Timika M. Wilson). One donor is an Oscar nominee (Josh Olson). A Tony Award nominee (Stephanie D’Abruzzo). Program director for the Charlotte Black Film Festival (Tré McGriff). An artist who auctioned her artwork (Candace Hunter).  All of them believe in the same dream.

Can you help us today?

 PLEASE DONATE NOW. 

Our creepy barn interior for Danger Word

Our creepy barn interior for Danger Word

Danger Word & “The Black Horror Revolution”: one week to go!

Frankie Faison stars

Frankie Faison stars

UPDATED 5/17: Last week, the cinema blog Shadow and Act called Danger Word a part of “The Black Horror Revolution.”  Our donors are diverse friends, family, fans, horror lovers and indie film supporters who believe in the same dream of telling our own stories.  

But the cast and crew will meet on the location A WEEK FROM TODAY, on Friday, May 24th–and we can’t make this film without you.  (Click here to DONATE.)

We’re not wasting  a dime.  Scenes have been trimmed and altered to fit the budget.  Our stars will drive themselves to the wooded upstate New York location.  The crew will stay in communal housing.  All of us are committed to creating the best work we can within our financial reality.  But we still need your  help to reach our goal.  

Danger Word is a short horror film in pre-production, directed by Luchina Fisher (Death in the Family), adapted for the screen by award-winning writers Steven Barnes (“The Outer Limits,” “The New Twilight Zone,” “Andromeda“) and Tananarive Due (My Soul to Keep). This film is about a 13-year-old girl and her grandfather who have survived the zombie plague in his wooded cabin–and how her birthday goes badly awry.    

Danger Word stars veteran film and television actor Frankie Faison (“The Wire,” “Banshee,” The Silence of the Lambs) as Grandpa Joe.  His granddaughter will be played by 12-year-old Saoirse Scott, who was shortlisted to play Rue in The Hunger Games and spent four years on ABC’s “One Life to Live.” She’s a terrific actress and a great addition to o ur cast–and she’ll make our coming-of-age story spring to life.

Introducing  Saoirse Scott

Introducing
Saoirse Scott

You have the chance to be a part of the black horror revolution as we raise funds for DANGER WORD.   To learn about incentives packages for donors, click on “DONATE”

Here’s Saoirse Scott in a Danger Word promo as she tries to reach Grandpa Joe via Skype.  Although this footage is from an actual Skype call and isn’t a part of the movie, it’s where our story begins.  Help Grandpa Joe rescue Kendra by donating today! 

When is a horror movie more than a horror movie? (Danger Word: 19 days to go!)

When is a horror movie more than a horror movie?

When it’s funded by a community.

When it gives black actors a chance to be heroes and heroines.

When it’s about teaching our children to be strong.

Danger Word began as a dream, but that dream is more and more real every day.  With only 19 days before the shoot, it’s time to buy plane tickets, put down deposits and meet contractual obligations.  And we’re not even halfway to our shooting day goal!  But we have faith.

In Harlem, when tenants were short on the month’s rent, they used to hold Rent Parties with food and entertainment to help make ends meet.  The Danger Word family of supporters is holding its own rent party—with donors giving as little as a dollar just be to be a part of our project…and some unexpected surprises.

Chlee Collage (Artist: Candace Hunter)

Chlee Collage (Artist: Candace Hunter)

Artist Candace Hunter, currently on exhibition at the famed DuSable Museum of African-American History in Chicago, has offered this original artwork for auction to raise money for Danger Word. (Click this link to eBay to learn more.) 

Yes, it’s like that.

Because Danger Word isn’t just a horror movie—it’s about taking control of our images on the screen, taking control of our art, and creating a road map to help our children follow their own dreams.

If this is the first you’ve heard about Danger Word, please check out the About page, our Cast and Crew, and learn more about this unique project.

If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to donate, this is it.  Please visit our DONATE page and learn about packages for donors—including a chance to be a zombie.

Will Danger Word be scary?  You bet!  If you watched the above promo video with talented young actress Saoirse Scott (Kendra) recorded from Skype, you got just a taste of the peril our young protagonist is facing.

But sometimes a horror movie is about so much more.

Articles about Danger Word:

From Shadow & Act (Indiewire): “Authors Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes Team up for Horror Short ‘Danger Word’ (fundraising)

From ComicMix: “Eulogy for the Sacrificial Negro

Danger Word: a short film (22 days to go!)

Meet Kendra (12-year-old actress Saoirse Scott)

Kendra is having a bad day.  A very bad day.  (Watch the video to see why.)

But remember: this is not actual footage from Danger Word, which will be shot over Memorial Day weekend in rural New York.  This is a simulated Skype call between Kendra and her Grandpa Joe, so you won’t see the hand of the top-notch production crew that will be on the set.  But it’s a prequel/promo that sets up our story and gives you a quick glimpse of our dynamic young actress.  Saoirse Scott, formerly of “One Life to Live,” will co-star in our film opposite veteran Frankie Faison (The Silence of the Lambs, “The Wire,” “Banshee”).

Frankie Faison (Grandpa Joe)

Frankie Faison (Grandpa Joe)

We have raised more than $6,000 toward our production costs, but we need you to reach our goal of $15,000.  As you’ll see from our Donor page, we have come a mighty long way, but we still have a mighty long way to go.  (After we shoot, we’ll have a separate campaign for post-production–but that won’t cost as much.)

This website has a lot to offer, so spend some time here and get to know our project.  Check out our Cast & Crew and our About pages to learn more.  We’re industry professionals who want to make movies, and we decided to make this one ourselves.  It’s just the first step, we hope, toward a feature.

And we’re giving a talented young actress her chance to shine.

Click here to DONATE.

Articles about Danger Word:

From Shadow & Act (Indiewire): “Authors Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes Team up for Horror Short ‘Danger Word’ (fundraising)

From ComicMix: “Eulogy for the Sacrificial Negro

Danger Word: a short film (26 days to go!)

animatedsmallphotoNOBORDEROur little film project really “grew up” in the past week, with a terrific piece about us in the black cinema blog Shadow and Act (Indiewire) and a boost from Hollywood’s Michael Davis, organizer of Comic-Con’s legendary “Black Panel,” who featured our essay “Eulogy for the Sacrificial Negro” on his blog.  The word is getting out that Danger Word is more than a horror film.  

We raced past the $4,000 threshold and are now closer to raising $5,000 of the $15,000 we need to start shooting May 25th.  But we still have a long way to go, and time is racing by too. 

Frankie Faison (Grandpa Joe)

Frankie Faison (Grandpa Joe)

We’re thrilled that we have cast veteran actor Frankie Faison (The Silence of the Lambs, Coming to America, “The Wire,” “Banshee”) and a talented newcomer, 12-year-old Saoirse Scott (“One Life to Live”) as Grandpa Joe and Kendra.  As soon as they read the script, they wanted to be a part of our Danger Word family.  If you’re just learning about Danger Word, find out more on the ABOUT page. 

All of us want to help create images of family ties and a primer for our children on how to be strong in the face of unthinkable adversity.  In the real world, we won’t be tested by a zombie plague (probably), but the tests always come.  We’re thrilled and humbled to be a part of this community-funded film and the excitement it is generating. 

Soirse Scott

Soirse Scott (Kendra)

Spend some time on our website to get to know us.  Check out the “About” page, our videos, our cast and crew.  Tell your friends, and support us if you can.

Let’s make a difference together.

Click here to learn about our DONOR PACKAGES

LINKS: “Authors Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes Team Up for Horror Short Danger Word (fundraising)” by Tembay Obenson (Shadow and Act / Indiewire) 4/25/13 

“Eulogy for the Sacrificial Negro: Danger Word (a short horror film)” by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due (Michael Davis World) 4/26/13