18 1/2 - A Feature Film
When a Nixon stenographer tries to leak the infamous 18 1/2-minute tape to a reporter in this kick-ass 70s-era Watergate conspiracy thriller/dark comedy, nothing is quite what it seems. Perfect for our times, 18 1/2 will resonate today and remain relevant for years to come.
Inclusion Statement18 1/2 is the story of a young woman in the 1970s who's finding her way in a man's world and gains empowerment and agency over her own life and over the fate of the country. Behind the scenes, the film will adhere to principles of inclusion, diversity and pay equity. FYI, no guns or cigarettes.
About The Project
18 1⁄2 is an original 1970s-era Watergate conspiracy thriller/dark comedy with a strong female protagonist. It's akin to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf meets Three Days of the Condor... but a little funnier than either of those. Award-winning director Dan Mirvish (co-founder of the Slamdance Film Festival) has collaborated on the screenplay with Daniel Moya, and the plan is to shoot the film primarily in Greenport, New York, in January 2020.
We've already gotten some famous actors committed to the film (become a backer to find out who!), and we're still deep in the thick of casting. Our locations are already secured and we've started to crew up. We've raised some of our budget already, but we need your help to get the rest! For further info on the project (synopsis, bios, production plan, and how to invest, underwrite as a tax-deductible donation and/or do product integration), feel free to download our full 18 1/2 business plan PDF.
No independent film project is guaranteed to be successful either critically or commercially. But 18 1⁄2 has a tremendous amount going for it, not least of which is the fact that it is based on the most famous political scandal in American history. Perhaps more important, Dan Mirvish and the production team are very well known and respected in the Hollywood community and have already proven they can get an amazing, recognizable cast for this film.
The money we raised thusfar has allowed us to confidently set our start date, and has been used for all the boring stuff: hiring a casting director, paying for our lawyer, and filing lots of boring forms with the state and feds. But we need your help to actually shoot the movie with something bigger than an iPhone (not that there's anything wrong with that). This is a period film. We need to rent 70s-era costumes, props, cars and especially a few reel-to-reel players! We're shooting in winter (which will look great!) but we need to pay to heat the otherwise free sets and thousing we're getting for the cast and crew at the Silver Sands Motel in Greenport. And we need to be able to pay the cast and crew, as well as feed them. We don't want hangry actors or grips ruining the mood.
While making his recent feature, Bernard and Huey, Dan Mirvish would often visit that film's Oscar/Pulitzer- winning screenwriter Jules Feiffer, who lives on Shelter Island in the Hamptons. Before taking the ferry to see Jules, Dan sometimes visited his old friend and fellow filmmaker, Terry Keefe, who also manages his family's vintage motel, the Silver Sands, in the picturesque town of Greenport, New York.
Hundreds of fashion shoots and music videos have filmed at the Silver Sands over the years, but no one has ever shot a whole feature there. So when Terry invited Dan to come up with a period script that could be done at the Silver Sands over the underutilized winter months, Dan concocted the story behind 18 1⁄2.
Dan has roots working in, and writing about, Washington, DC. As a former Senate speechwriter, and co-author of the critically- acclaimed political satire novel, I Am Martin Eisenstadt, Dan is uniquely qualified to direct a 70s political thriller. With Bernard and Huey, Dan shot period flashbacks and spent months researching the look and feel of films like Carnal Knowledge, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Klute, All The President’s Men, The Conversation and Three Days of the Condor.
To write the script for 18 1⁄2, Dan teamed up with recent USC-grad Daniel Moya, who'd also worked on Bernarad and Huey. Coincidentally, Daniel's aunt and uncle own the Front Street Station Diner - a converted railroad car that's just a half mile from the Silver Sands. Another perfect location for the film!
The team has already workshopped the script at the University of North Texas’ Film Department, and feel confident that it’s ready to shoot. They plan to film this coming winter.
Mirvish literally wrote the book on how to make independent films (The Cheerful Subversive's Guide to Independent Film) so he knows how to shoot on a tight schedule and an efficient budget. And then he knows how to get his films seen and sold once they’re done.
When it comes to casting, Dan has the proven Hollywood connections that have brought Oscar, Golden Globe and Tony winning and nominated actors to his films. Mirvish gets the most out of his casts, directing them to career-best performances that win awards and accolades. With that in mind, the characters in 18 1⁄2 have the kind of depth and sharp dialogue that will attract the best possible talent, regardless of budget level.
Aesthetically, the film will have a unique period look and style. And thematically, a film about Watergate and government secrets is resonant with the current political climate, and will stay relevant for years to come.
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About This Team
Dan Mirvish - Director, Producer, Co-Story
Dan is a director, screenwriter, producer, and author. His award-winning last film, Bernard and Huey, was scripted by Oscar/Pulitzer-winner Jules Feiffer, and starred Oscar-winner Jim Rash, David Koechner, Mae Whitman, Sasha Alexander, Nancy Travis and Bellamy Young. After 30 film festivals on 5 continents, the film had a successful US theatrical release, with very "fresh" reviews from The New York Times, Washington Post, Village Voice, The Hollywood Reporter among others. The film has been sold in 40 countries and will be seen on Emirates Airlines.
Dan's film Between Us, which starred Julia Stiles, David Harbour, Taye Diggs and Melissa George, had a 50+ city US theatrical release, sold to 144 countries, and ran on Netflix, Showtime, and Starz. In 2004, Dan’s real estate musical film Open House rewrote the rules of the Academy Awards when it spearheaded the Best Original Musical category.
Dan was mentored by Robert Altman on his first film, Omaha (the movie), which led Dan to co-found the Slamdance Film Festival which just celebrated its 25th anniversary. Slamdance is known for showing the first works of such filmmakers as The Russo Brothers, Rian Johnson, Christopher Nolan, Lena Dunham, Sean Baker, Lynn Shelton, Frederic Forestier and recent Palme d'Or-winner Bong Joon-Ho.
Dan is the author of The Cheerful Subversive’s Guide to Independent Filmmaking (Focal Press) which in addition to its English-language version is also going to be translated and sold in China. Dan has guest lectured at over 30 film schools and universities around the world. He co-wrote the critically-acclaimed political satire novel I Am Martin Eisenstadt (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) which was the #3 "Book of the Year" according to The Washington Monthly in 2009.
Dan was a Capitol Hill speechwriter for US Senator Tom Harkin after double majoring in history & political science at Washington University in St. Louis and studying under Sen. Thomas Eagleton. Dan got his masters in film production at University of Southern California (USC), where George Lucas and Steven Spielberg handed him his diploma. Dan is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA). To see Dan’s directing reel, links to his books, articles and extended information on his filmmography, go to www.DanMirvish.com.
Daniel Moya – Writer, Co-Producer
Daniel Moya is the writer and co-producer of 18 1⁄2. After studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute for ten years, he went on to graduate from the University of Southern California with a degree in Film/TV Production. His debut film, Rental, which he wrote, directed and produced, played several festivals and is now available on IndieFlix. His last co-writing/producing effort, Killer Kate! enjoyed a theatrical release via Freestyle/Entertainment Studios and is currently being sold internationally. He has several projects in development, including the satirical feature The Doctrine of Discontent for West 36 Productions. Daniel also worked on Dan Mirvish's film Bernard and Huey in various capacities, throughout pre-production, production, and post-production. Daniel has been working on 18 1⁄2 since July 2017.
Terry Keefe – Co-Producer
Terry Keefe is a writer-filmmaker who recently produced the feature film Altered Minds, starring Judd Hirsch (Taxi) and Jamie Ray Newman (The Punisher), which was theatrically released and played in film festivals worldwide. Terry ran the internet production company Primitive Pictures and co-created the hit web series The Last Date, which has garnered over 100 million views on YouTube. Terry is the co-founder and editor of the popular film blog The Hollywood Interview, and was features editor of the Los Angeles-based monthly magazine Venice for over a decade. A graduate of USC Film School, Terry created and wrote the popular comic book series Supernovas and Tesla. Terry also runs the Silver Sands Motel in Greenport, New York: www.silversands-motel.com
Luis Guerra – Composer
Luis Guerra is an award-winning composer and music producer. He composed the theme, and additional music for Malcolm Gladwell’s chart-topping podcast Revisionist History. Luis also has published a series of compositions for Freakonomics Radio with Stephen Dubner, and recently toured with Dubner in a series of live shows on the West Coast. Luis was the composer/music producer for Dan Mirvish’s Bernard and Huey. Other film scores include the Netflix documentary Art of Conflict. He also composed music for the TV documentary, Superthief, and has had music placed in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot with Tina Fey. Luis has worked on TV shows, Doc McStuffins and Henry Hugglemonster. His music has been featured on commercials for Honda, Samsung, and Mentos.
With a particular expertise in Latin and Brazilian music, Luis has already been working with Dan Mirvish on some of the critical bossa nova themes and songs that will be an integral part of the 18 1⁄2 soundtrack. For more, go to www.luisguerramusic.com
Bess Fifer, CSA – Casting Director
Bess cut her teeth at New York's most in-demand casting office, Telsey + Company, where she worked on a diverse range of high-profile projects, such as Sex And The City: The Movie, Jonah Hex, I Love You Phillip Morris, The Drowsy Chaperone, Rent, In The Heights, and over 100 national commercials. After striking out on her own in 2010, Bess' keen eye for talent and her professionalism have been consistently sought after. Bess’s most recent projects include the Emmy Nominated series It’s Bruno (Netflix), Dan Schechter’s new feature Safe Spaces, and the independent feature Lingua Franca, which premiered this year in Venice.
Prior features include SXSW’s 2017 Audience Award Winner The Light Of The Moon, Pottersville (Netflix), and The Humbling starring Al Pacino and helmed by Barry Levinson. Associate Casting Director work includes the Emmy Nominated Showtime series Escape At Dannemora as well as 2014’s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, both directed by Ben Stiller, Seasons 1 and 2 of Marvel/Netflix's Daredevil as well as Season 1 of Luke Cage, and acting as the New York Casting Associate on Season 1 of Stranger Things. Bess also had the pleasure of working with the legendary Peter Bogdanovich on She's Funny That Way.
Dana Altman – Co-Executive Producer
Dana has carved out a distinct niche as Omaha’s preeminent film producer. A longtime producing partner with Dan Mirvish, Dana has worked on most of Dan’s films, including Omaha (the movie), Between Us and Bernard and Huey. Dana’s also produced Omaha- native Nik Fackler’s Spirit Award Nominee Lovely, Still and Sick Birds Die Easy. He’s currently prepping the Nebraska-based film, Going for Two.
Dana is president and founder of North Sea Films, an award- winning production company that has produced seven narrative features, three network television specials, seven documentaries and numerous commercials. Dana also worked with his grandfather Robert Altman on a number of his films, including Popeye, Kansas City and Dr. T & The Women.