We started a new series called “Fund this Kickstarter Project” where we find exciting projects and we give you a look behind the scenes and talk to the people involved with it.
We are very excited to interview David Larsen and Anthony Berk the filmmakers and producers of the short film “The Break Up Message“. Here’s the summary of the movie on their Kickstarter page:
After Spencer gets into a petty jealousy argument with his girlfriend, Zoe, he impulsively breaks up with her on her answering machine, only to regret it immediately afterwards. In order to fix his mistake and save his relationship, Spencer must get to Zoe’s apartment and erase the message before she gets home in this suburban comedy adventure.
I love the idea of this movie and I want to see this movie, rather I want this movie to be made and I’m sure you will want that too once you read this interview with the filmmakers. They’re really nice guys and they believe in this movie and they’re working hard to bring it to life, so you got to back them up on Kickstarter and follow all the steps of their adventure on Facebook.
Hi guys, how are you?
David: Good, thanks.
Anthony: Doing well, thank you.
Tell us who you are and what is the project you have on Kickstarter. Is this your first project on Kickstarter? Do you get a lot of messages from strangers like me there?
David: (laughs) The project we have on Kickstarter is for a short film of ours called The Break-Up Message. It’s a comedy adventure about a guy who regrets breaking up with his girlfriend on her answering machine and has to erase the message before she gets home.
Anthony: This is the first time we’ve ever used Kickstarter, and we’re somewhat taken aback by the support the film has received so far. We’ve actually received a few messages from people reaching out to us, but you’re the first one we’re following through on.
So who got dumped and where did the inspiration for the story come from?
David: The inspiration actually came when we were struggling with another short film script. We were getting frustrated with the complexity of that story, and so for fun we started thinking of other story ideas.
Anthony: Yeah, and during that spitball session, Dave came up with the barebones premise of The Break-Up Message, and it immediately seemed like an entertaining idea to us: guy breaks up with girl on answering machine, guy regrets his decision, guy wants to erase the message. It’s a simple idea with a clear through-line, and we saw the potential for a fun mini-adventure in that.
David: It also appealed to us because the character goals were emotionally grounded. While the story didn’t actually happen to either of us in real life, we feel like a lot of the central elements are pretty relatable, especially the desire to take back something you said. I think we’ve all been there before.
I know you two met in your film class in high school and you guys were shooting Amaranth, a movie that never came to light. Tell us more about this partnership and what kind of movies you bonded together.
Anthony: I first became aware of Dave’s talent when I saw his music video project in my film class. I thought it was really cool, so I made it a point to talk to him about it.
David: Yeah, and I had actually thought the same thing about Anthony’s music video, so we instantly hit it off.
Anthony: Then we started getting together every weekend and watching tons of movies. Every Friday, Dave would come over to my place and we’d have a double or triple feature. The films we first bonded over were from directors like P.T. Anderson, Tarantino, Nolan, and Kubrick.
David: And pretty soon after that, we started making short films together. We helped out on all of each other’s projects in high school, and even though we ended up going to different colleges, we still contributed as much as possible to each other’s work.
Anthony: It was once we graduated and were in the same area again that we officially made the pact to stick together as a filmmaking team and be as disciplined as possible in our writing process. So ever since then, we’ve been getting together every day after work in pursuit of that goal.
We want to get people involved in your project! How do the backers get to be involved with The Break Up Message? What is the best perk for them?
David: We have a lot of fun rewards that they’ll get for backing our project: copies of the film, posters, T-shirts, stuff like that. But more importantly, we’ve always been interested in showcasing the behind-the-scenes process as much as possible, so we’ll always be updating our Facebook page with behind-the-scenes updates as the film progresses.
Anthony: Yeah, so rather than feeling like they’re putting their money into a black hole, backers will get to see the progression of the film. We want our backers and our audience to feel like they’re engaged in the whole process rather than having to wait until the film comes out, and we hope that’ll be a fun experience for everybody.
How is the pre-production process going? Any fun stories to share?
Anthony: Pre-production is moving along nicely. You always wish you had more time, of course, but slowly but surely the pieces are falling into place. And there are always some interesting stories along the way. Should we tell the breaking and entering one?
David: (laughs) Sure! When we were making our Kickstarter video, we had to pick up some equipment from our Director of Photography’s apartment, so earlier that day he gave us his key and told us where we could find the equipment, since we’d never been there before. When we got there, the door was unlocked, so we let ourselves in. And as we’re walking around, we start thinking, “Wow, Ryan has a really big place for just one person.” Then, while we’re looking around for the equipment, Anthony sees a chore chart on the fridge with about six people’s names on it.
Anthony: Yeah, and as I’m looking at the chart, I don’t see Ryan’s name anywhere on it. Plus, Ryan told us that he didn’t have any roommates, so this wasn’t adding up. So I rush to the front door and test the key in the lock, and it doesn’t work! We were in the wrong apartment! So we high-tail it out of there as quickly as possible, and that’s when we called Ryan up and found out that he had forgotten to tell us the unit number.
David: Yeah, luckily the people who lived in the apartment weren’t there. It would’ve been very awkward to try to explain everything to them.