by Bri Castellini
In November 2016, my good friend Colin and I decided to write a horror short film together. Colin had just finished a stint as Carl in season 2 of Brains (a web series I created and also starred in) and as Kevin in Ace and Anxious (a short film I had written/directed).
He was a big fan of horror and I had been wanting to try my own hand at it, so it was decided: a short film in the horror genre with an idea of our production restrictions in mind as they developed the script. We knew we wanted to keep the cast small, the location singular, and the horror psychological, and within a month we’d written the first draft of what would become Buy In, the story of a charming young salesman and a strange, lonely traveler who find themselves locked in a struggle for control over their own destinies.
Production commenced in January 2018, with a tiny cast and crew of seven people total (4 crew, 3 cast), and post-production was completed the following year in January 2019. Buy In then began its successful festival run, racking up several nominations and award wins.
Why did it take so long?
Money. We were a team of volunteers, who loved working together and wanted to make a creepy film about the horrors of multilevel marketing schemes. Colin and I financed production and post-production with our day job salaries, and we couldn’t be prouder of what we put together. Now, we want to give our short a splashy entrance to the world, and we need your help to once again live burden free.
But isn’t Buy In finished? What’s the money for?
First and foremost, we need your help to settle our debts. We bought in to make this film, and to get it to your screens, we need to pay up, to our incredibly talented cast and crew who also bought in.
More importantly, though, we have an exciting proposition for you. Would you, [insert name here], like to buy in to an exciting new opportunity? It’s called Buy In on Seed&Spark, and here’s how it works:
Step 1: Pledge to & follow the campaign! Any pledge amount to one of the team member salaries on our Wish List page or to the campaign at large.
Step 2: Recruit others to pledge to and follow the campaign! Every new pledge you bring gets you closer to the top. The top of what? Why, our Buy In on Seed&Spark leader board! Compete to become the most valuable salesperson in our international community! Each new level you rise to will unlock a new employee ID card to show off your success to other salespeople, in addition to seeing your name move up our Employee Rankings list on the campaign page.
Please note: this is not a pyramid scheme and we take any claim that it is to be deeply hurtful.
Level 1: Limbo
You have been recruited to the Buy In on Seed&Spark team by pledging and following our campaign. Welcome to the team! Now get recruiting by sharing the following message with your friends, enemies, and followers:
Help me climb the ranks of the exciting definitely-not-a-pyramid-scheme by supporting the psychological horror project #BuyInFilm on @seedandspark! Join the team and climb the ranks yourself: seedandspark.com/fund/buy-in
Level 2: Lust
You have recruited 1 additional teammate to the Buy In on Seed&Spark community. Tweet proof of your new recruit’s pledge to us here.
Level 3: Gluttony
You have recruited 2 additional teammates to the Buy In on Seed&Spark community. Tweet proof of your new recruit’s pledges to us here.
Level 4: Greed
You have recruited 4 additional teammates to the Buy In on Seed&Spark community. Tweet proof of your new recruit’s pledges to us here.
Level 5: Platinum Executive Diamond
You and your recruits have personally pledged $666 or more to the Buy In on Seed&Spark community. Tweet proof of your and your recruit’s pledge total to us here.
Is there anything else you need, my supreme overlords?
There is no need for such formalities. As your supreme overlords, we graciously request you simply call us ‘teammate.’
Thank you, truly, for helping us bring this project to a screen near you and to seize the means of production. We are so proud of this project, and we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we’re going to enjoy sucking out your souls into our eternal soul bank. Terms and services apply.
Bri Castellini is an indie filmmaker and Film Community Manager for Seed&Spark, a film crowdfunding platform, as well as an adjunct professor for two MFA programs. Watch the remarkable Ms. Castellini’s award-winning web series, Brains, HERE. See Sam And Pat Are Depressed HERE. This post first appeared on Bri’s wonderfully refreshing blog.