Alum ‘kickstarts’ first feature film
In an effort to make his first feature film, Towson University alumnus Jason Stefaniak has launched a Kickstarter campaign to support his new project, a film entitled “But Not For Me.”
Stefaniak, producer, collaborated with Ryan Carmichael, a writer/director and alum of the University of Michigan for the feature film’s concept.
“But Not For Me” blends elements of classical music and hip-hop to shape a philosophical love story that also grapples with socio-political issues in post-Occupy New York.
The campaign has the goal of raising the money needed to get the project from the page to the screen. Stefaniak said that the Kickstarter campaign will run from Sept. 23 to Nov. 1.
The crew is trying to raise $100,000. Stefaniak and Carmichael have planned multiple events to be held during the campaign, including Carmichael’s live-tweeted 20-mile run to raise money.
“We’re planning a live performance night at a monthly art series held by TU alum Siobhan O’Loughlin in Brooklyn,” Stefaniak said. “Also, a private house concert by Elena Urioste who plays the lead in the film, and Ryan is giving a master class at his alma mater.”
“But Not For Me” sends a message on how the inequality of capitalism has created an air of stifled ambition in the lives of young people.
Music, art and love play the role of breaking those systems.
“The response [to the campaign] has been great so far,” Stefaniak said. “People have really responded to our Kickstarter video and especially the film concept — a philosophical hip-hop musical love story that addresses a lot of socio-political themes that are pertinent to Millennials.”
Stefaniak has reached out to the Towson University community in efforts to promote the campaign.
He credits the school with helping him develop the skills and expertise needed to carry out a project of this scale.
“I’d like to connect the successes I’ve had and my ability to run the campaign to my experiences at TU, especially in URG [University Residence Government],” he said. “What I learned there about campaigning, event planning and management, communication, and managing a team are helping me now with the campaign plan.”
As of Oct. 7, the Kickstarter campaign has 153 backers and has raised $20,145.
Stefaniak says that he would love to engage with film students if they were interested in the project, or if they had any questions for him.
“I love to find ways to give back to TU students,” he said. “If students check out the page and support if they can, they should feel free to reach out to me with any questions about filmmaking, grad school, or crowdfunding campaigns. I would really appreciate their support and in return I would find a way to support them with advice or answering their questions.”