Kickstarter surpassed goal for brothers’ short film

Cast of ‘The Liar’

Just as Lana and Andy Wachowski cut their cinematic teeth in the Windy City, 2012 sees another sibling pair shooting for the stars here: Rami and Remsy Atassi. 

Both recently graduated Loyola University and are putting the finishing touches on their short film, The Liar, for the 2013 spring festival circuit.

Chances are you haven’t heard of the Atassi brothers, who only have one other short to their credit, a 15-minute work from late 2010 called Boxer. But that could soon change, given how they’re now two-for-two in the realm of Kickstarter fundraising for their film projects — and with more ambitious plans in the works. 

“It’s a huge part of what filmmaking is now,” says Remsy Atassi, 23, who wrote and directed The Liar. “Even a lot of the bigger guys feel that they are losing touch with what’s going on now, where you can go out there and find your own community.

“And the technology is such that there’s a lot of democratizing going on, where you don’t have a huge budget to achieve a good production value.”

The plot of The Liar involves two criminals lost on a forest, and a third man who could show them the way out … or set the bad guys against each other. It is set in the 1900s was shot in the Indiana Dunes.

For their 23-minute film, the Atassis set out to raise $5,000 on Kickstarter.com in 30 days. Not only did they surpass their goal — raising $5,452 from 57 backers — they also attracted the interest of individual investors, who kicked in another $3,200.

To accomplish this, they set an ambitious campaign in motion based on what they learned raising $2,500 from Boxer: As early as six months before the Kickstarter fundraising, they started working social media.

The brothers took to Twitter (@liar_film), created a Facebook page and made daily entries on a Liar film blog to get potential fans pumped about the project. With what they learned, the two sibs could teach a class on getting a grass roots buzz going.

Investors looking towards next venture

Is it too soon to look beyond The Liar’s completion? The Atassis don’t think so. “The largest backers are already excited about what the next film is going to be,” Remsi Atassi says.

“So as soon as we finish this film in March or April of 2013, we’re going to start another feature project right after that.”

And next time out the fundraising target will be much bigger, the brothers say: between $50,000 and $100,000.

To follow The Liar’s progress, visit the film blog at liarfilmchicago.wordpress.com/

Starting Monday, Dec. 10, Lou Carlozo, former Chicago Tribune movies co-editor and DVD columnist, starts weekly coverage of Chicago’s vibrant music scene.  A freelance contributor to Reuters and the Christian Century, he co-owns Kingsize Sound Labs, a major Chicago recording studio.
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