Murder Ballads is an independent feature film set in the rock 'n' roll world of well... rock 'n' roll. It's a dark comedy of six interconnected stories that chart the rapid rise and violent fall of dysfunctional rock band 'Stack of Corpses', who are willing to do anything for success!
Hi, we're Mitchell Tolliday (writer/director) and Neil Rickatson (writer/producer) two childhood friends who watched way too many horror films way too young and want to turn their lifelong dream of making a movie into a reality.
We're here to talk about our latest project Murder Ballads and hopefully, when we get to the end, you'll be humming to our tune and will consider giving a donation.
Murder Ballads builds on a short film we made back in 2019 entitled Everything Is Going To Be Fine about three bandmates who are horribly injured in a car crash and rather than help each other out, they try to kill each other.
We took the short on the festival circuit where it played in the US and UK. It won both Best Screenplay and Best Horror Comedy awards at the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival but there was a nagging feeling that we could have done so much more with our amazing cast and crew.
So in 2020 we started writing a script that would incorporate the 15 minute short we'd made into a 90 minute feature. What we've done is written the film as a collection of short stories about a group of characters rather than a single protagonist. It’s like Pulp Fiction (but with 100% less John Travolta).
The result is Murder Ballads, a fast paced, funny, outrageous film that centres around Keys, a classically trained pianist who joins a hardcore rock band only to find out each band member - Drums, Bass, Brian - and their manager Larry have equally terrible and illegal methods of getting to number one that result in bloody consequences. Seriously, these guys seem to be unable to go three feet without causing a catalogue of destruction, major injuries and (as you can guess from our title) bodies.
This is NOT a quiet character study. This is NOT one of those dark comedies where you sit there and only laugh twice. This is a BIG, CRAZY, HILARIOUS story that will leave you wincing and laughing in equal measure.
As the original 15 minute short - Everything Is Going To Be Fine - will be used as one of the segments. This is both a WIN FOR US AND YOU the potential donor because:-
1) you can see what we've made already. It’s not hypothetical. We have the footage and you can see it here.
2) rather than funding a full 90 minute feature. We only need to fund the remaining 75 minutes!
We are so confident you'll like what you see - if you donate £25 or more - we will send you a private link to the full short and if you're not happy we will refund it. No questions asked.
If you don't want spoilers but want some hints of the type of comedy this is, here's a few of our influences.
There have only been a few music comedies over the years. This is Spinal Tap was a fantastic mockumentary, Walk Hard was a hilarious spoof of Oscar-baiting music biopics, The Commitments was sweet comedy drama. That's about it! Murder Ballads is different in that it's a farce about a group of mismatched people who should never have formed a band in the first place. Also none of those examples needed 7 gallons of fake blood like we do.
The short – which we self-funded on a budget of £2000 – taught us a lot and we've used that knowledge to make the feature the best it can be. Our script focuses on larger than life characters finding themselves in tricky situations and to keep it within an achievable budget we've kept the size of the cast and the number of locations to a minimum.
This is a passion project for the entire cast and crew, we are all working for expenses only because we feel so strongly about how badass this film is going to be.
So why do we need the money? We need to cover:-
£10,000 is the amount we are aiming to raise to get this film made. This is a crazy low amount for a feature but it is NOT unheard of. We've assembled a really good crew and made as much savings as possible. And remember – because we’re using the short – 1/6 of the film is DONE!
Fingers crossed we're aiming to be filming towards the end of 2020 and get it into the festival run of 2021.
If you know any of us who are involved in the film – either one of the cast members or one of us the other side of the camera - then you know we each have a burning desire to break into the film industry.
Everything Is Going To Be Fine was our first step. Murder Ballads is going to be our proving ground, a big bold ‘calling card’ that we can use to say “Look at what we can do with just £10,000. Give us some more and we’ll really knock your socks off”. The hope is that this is the only film we’re ever going to need to crowdfund for.
We truly believe that this can be the next big British cult comedy and you can be part of it.
Grab a backstage pass. Join the band. Make the film. This is going to rock.
You'd be helping a movie get produced. Not a short film that only gets seen in a tiny festival in the middle of nowhere or in the void of youtube.
A FEATURE FILM.
Something that you'll have your name attached to forever. When you're old and grey your grandkids will find a DVD of Murder Ballads and ask you what it is and you'll say:
But seriously, we've got big plans for Murder Ballads. We intend to get it properly distributed and sold. We can't make any guarantees that a service like Netflix will take it but that's the level we're aiming for.
Also unlike a lot of crowdfunders we can give you one perk immediately. We know how it feels to donate and have to wait ages to see the result. A £25 donation or above will give you access to see the original short and see where we are heading with the film. We’ll also be regularly updating progress for all our donors throughout the shoot and beyond. We want our film to feel like it’s your film too.
We have some excellent perks up for grabs (scroll to the bottom of the page if you’re on mobile), including film and music downloads, premiere and after party tickets, bit parts and much more!
We cannot make this film without your help. You can support us financially, or just by spreading the word. Here are additional ways you can help:
- Sharing this campaign on Facebook, Twitter, or any social media
- Emailing the campaign to your friends
- Follow us on social media and keep the positivity going on our pages
Every single penny raised will go to completing Murder Ballads!