The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

May 8, 2013

PHS alumni seeking Kickstarter funds for independent short film

By CHERIL VERNON
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — An up-and-coming Palestine High School alumni and college graduate who has written and directed more than 10 short films and worked on three feature-length films, is asking for funding support of his new independent short film project. As of today, he has 14 days left to raise pledges of a little less than $2,400 for his Kickstarter crowdfunding platform fundraising effort for the movie.

Michael Millichamp, son of Cindy Millichamp, moved to Palestine when he was 10 years old, graduating from Palestine High School in 2008. His sister is Elizabeth Millichamp and his aunt and uncle, Roddy and Susan Millichamp, own an antique shop in downtown Palestine.

“It started when I was 15 making flip books in science class, which progressed into making claymation videos in art class, which led to winning multiple UIL events and winning state recognition two years in a row, which got me an MTV scholarship from AIGA World Studio Scholarship Foundation. That allowed me to go to college and make countless short films, which gave me experience to make this movie,” Millichamp said.

After graduating from high school, he went on to Stephen F. Austin State University where he got a degree in cinematography.

“Since then I have written and directed over 10 short films and worked on over 40. I have worked on three feature length films as well,” Millichamp said.

Millichamp shot a short film in 2012 while in college that placed second in a nationwide contest hosted by RED Digital Cinema.

“I was only 22 when I made that short film and I was competing against professionals nationwide. It was a shock when we were picked by Michael Cioni, CEO of Light Iron, to be in the top 10, but it was even more of a shock when we were hand picked by Jarred Land, president of RED Digital Cinema, and Jim Jannard, founder of RED Digital Cinema, to win second place,” Millchamp said.

RED Digital Cinema designs cameras used on movies such as “The Amazing Spiderman,” Social Network,” “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Hobbit” and “Blue Valentine.”

Since then, Millichamp graduated from college and began working in Dallas, writing in his spare time.

“I had the idea for the movie after seeing relationships fail, but the two people still trying to pursue each other, thinking things would be different. So I decided to write a script about a failed relationship and a second chance, but I needed to make it unique, so that’s when I decided on making it about a living guy and his ex girlfriend who is killed in a car accident,” Millichamp said about his independent film project “Necrophilia: A Love Story.” 

“You have this couple that consists of a man, who is living and growing, partnered with a dead girl who is rapidly decaying and possibly holding him down, but they have this second chance they would never have, so how do they overcome it? At heart, the movie is a metaphor about love and second chances.”

In order to raise $10,000, the minimum to make the short film, Millichamp has launched the Kickstarter fundraising campaign.

“Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that is pretty simple: You set a goal, and you have a set amount of days to reach that goal. If you don’t reach your goal, you don’t get any of the money and no one is charged anything,” Millichamp said. “It is a crowdfunding platform based on everyone believing in the project together, otherwise nothing happens. We have until May 23 to reach our goal and we need all the support we can get!”

So far, Millchamp has 66 backers who have pledged a total of $7, 614. But Millichamp needs pledges to total $10,000 by May 23 in order to receive the funds. Pledgers are not charged any money unless the goal is reached by the deadline.

“Growing up I was taught that no matter what comes your way, you don’t give up on the task at hand. You have a backup plan always, and if worse comes to worst, act on that plan,” Millichamp said. “The biggest risk in doing this, is not fulfilling the needed amount from our Kickstarter goal. If that happens we receive nothing — which leaves us with only money out of our pockets and having to go back to friends and family and ask for more.”

So far, Millichamp has cast the entire film, shot the first scene of the movie, secured locations and secured all of the crew.

“This isn’t just a project that I want people to see for myself. This is a project that I want everyone to see because of all of the hard work everyone has put into it, from Kickstarter backers all the way to crew members. Everyone is equally as important and deserves to have the work, they participated in, shown,” Millichamp said.

Pledges can be made in any amount and there are special cumulative rewards for those donating $5 up to $1,500. Those donating at least $15 will get their name in the credits. Those donating $25 will receive a digital download of the movie after its completion. Those donating at least $50 will get a blue-ray with special features, including a behind-the-scene making-of-the-film feature.

“The rewards go all the way up to $1,500, which gives you executive producer credit and tickets to any film festival we go to,” Millichamp said.

If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, Millichamp hopes to take the completed movie to several festivals including: Sundance, Tribeca, South by Southwest, Cannes, Slamdance, Cinequest, Austin Film Festival and more.

The best way to learn more about this project is to visit the Kickstarter campaign page — http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/michaelmillichamp/necrophilia-a-love-story — which includes a short video where he explains the project and viwers can watch the first scene; video of his award-winning short film; a breakdown of how the $10,000 will be spent; and more details about the project and about Millichamp.

Other ways to help Millichamp with the project besides donating is to share his Kickstarter page on social media via Facebook or Twitter, especially.

For more information about the campaign or the short film, visit his Kickstarter page or e-mail michaelmillichamp@yahoo.com