By MJ Brickey
Independent film director Harris Demel only has three days left and is a little less than $4,000 shy of reaching his Kickstarter goal for his groundbreaking film, “Flipped.”
Demel quit his job as a technology executive to direct not only his first feature film, but a first-of-a-kind movie where the actors were filmed upside-down for the majority of the movie.
The premise surrounds a famous model played by Stella Maeve who is trapped inside an upside-down car, reaches a mysterious man played by Michael Madsen on her damaged cell phone. However, roadside assistance is the last thing on the stranger’s mind.
Evan Taubenfeld, plays the model’s boyfriend with whom she is trapped, but he hangs unconscious next to her.
“We could shoot for about a half-hour at a time, forty minutes at most, but as the day dwindled, so did the filming window as the actors became increasingly dizzy and uncomfortable,” Demel said. “Stella (Maeve) had the bulk of the acting, so this is a real testament to the enormity of her talent.”
Demel who funded, produced, directed, and co-wrote the movie, said, “I quit my job in the middle of the recession to create a work of art, which is both thrilling and terrifying.”
An alum of Ithaca College, Demel possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree with an art major, computer science minor, and audio production minor, he chose to pursue his creative aspirations following the death of his younger brother.
He said at the time he created the idea for the movie, the influence of celebrity domestic abuse and violence against women was everywhere in the news.
“News was coming out about celebrities in abusive relationships, and it struck me as incredibly ironic that while my brother was born with a defect, those who seemed to have it all were manufacturing their own defects,” he said.
After the production phase, Demel said, “We knew we had a great story. We captured brilliant acting and great cinematography, but after filming, a number of fortunate circumstances led to the decision to launch a Kickstarter campaign to maximize the production value.”
“Kickstarter is groundbreaking in that it allows people outside of the industry and across the world to be part of a virtual film crew, interactively helping to bring movies to life while boosting their quality,” Demel said.
He said remaining work on the film includes music composition, sound processing, visual and sound effects, and color correction.
Demel said cast members were, “Phenomenal in their highly-unique, incredibly challenging roles.”
Maeve co-stars on CBS’s “Golden Boy,” in the role of Agnes Clark.
She’s been on television shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House M.D.,” “Bones,” “Ghost Town,” “Gossip Girl,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Law & Order: CI,” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” Demel said.
She’s been in films such as “The Runaways,” “Brooklyn’s Finest,” “Transamerica,” and several other independent productions.
Demel said Michael Madsen’s incredibly impressive film resume includes “Reservoir Dogs,” “Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2,” “Donnie Brasco,” “Thelma & Louise,” “Die Another Day,” “Sin City,” “War Games” and his television credits include “24,” “CSI: Miami,” “Blue Bloods,” “The Mob Doctor,” “Golden Boy” — coincidentally as Stella Maeve’s character’s father — and a long list of others.
Taubenfeld has made appearances in various television shows “All That,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” “Props,” “Private,” “The MTV Music Awards.” Taubenfeld makes his feature-film debut in Flipped. Taubenfeld was the Executive Music Director for the MTV show, “Kaya,” and has worked with Avril Lavigne as her guitarist, co-writer, and opening act.
Contact MJ Bricket by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.