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By Film Threat Staff | April 29, 2001

This e-mail was sent out en masse by a Canadian student filmmaker in the hopes of getting money for his film. Hey, it’s better than an e-mail chain letter or junk mail. His proposal almost sounds sane, but we’ll let you decide. We get some really crazy letters sometimes and we just have to share this one with you…
To whom it may concern: ^ I am writing you with a proposal which I believe you will find quite interesting. ^ My name is Scott Krahn. I recently completed my first year at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. I am writing you on behalf of a filmmaking team which includes myself, two University of Western Ontario students (Matt Pennings and Brent Visscher), a Brock University student (Paul Smith), and a Queen’s University student (Kari Francis). We would like to ask your help in financing the reproduction of a project which we initally undertook while in our final year of high school in St. Thomas, Ontario, which we think you will find quite original, thought-provoking, and meaningful in a time when most commercial products directed towards young people are so profoundly devoid of meaning. Due to the film’s success thus far, we are hoping to reproduce it in preparation for distribution.
Among the requirements for our senior English class was the production of a student film which had to be at least ten minutes in length. Inspired by our teacher, Mr. Cook, who had introduced us to the life-changing works of Robert Pirsig (the philosophy books “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenace” and “Lila”) and the brilliant 1968 film “Easy Rider” by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, Pennings and I came up with an idea for a longer feature which encapsulated our thoughts on the ideal lifestyle relative to the existing, more popular ideal. The result is a very unorthodox film (what else could be expected when merging the aforementioned influences with others including Jack Kerouac, George Orwell, J.D. Salinger, Bob Dylan and The Beatles?) which explores the nature of personal freedom in a superficial and material world. ^ After Pennings and I spent many hours writing the script and casting (Francis, Smith, Visscher and I play the prominent roles, while Pennings directs), we filmed and edited the film over the course of a week with a budget of about $60. The result drew a perfect mark from Mr. Cook and a certificate and letter which stated:
“Consider my reticence immediately following the screening of your film symptomatic of admiration, perhaps amazement… I loved your film. I thought it was a masterful student production. I’ve not seen a more thoroughly sustained, mature, creative piece of original student film making in my teaching career… the camera work/editing/special effects enhanced the film’s message – and one doesn’t often see that in a high school film production… Thanks for immersing yourselves in the project. Thanks for searching out quality. Pirsig would be proud of you.” ^ Mr. Cook asked for a copy of the film and will be showing it to future classes. ^ Over the winter, Pennings showed the film to a large group of people who knew him but did not know anyone who appears in the film, without saying anything about the film before hand, and it captured their attention and interest for the full 75 minutes. Their reaction led him to ask me and the others if we would like to reproduce the film without the time and budget constraints we were faced with last time. We are now finished the school year and preparing to redo the film over the course of the summer. We estimate this will require a budget of about $400. ^ We hope you are interested in this project and will consider working with us in some capacity. Please reply to this address as soon as possible so that we can further discuss your involvement, which would be much appreciated and, we think, well rewarded. It’s a very real film.
Thank you. ^ Scott Krahn
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