In a work of extraordinary chutzpah, a group of movie makers who raised over $75,000 in crowdfunding for their new film have taken the money, and spent it on limousines, champagne and holidays to Italy.
And then made a film about it.
FND Films from Chicago made nearly $78,000 in all two years ago, but those donating money had become increasingly concerned that they had not produced a film, nor any of the promised perks.
But what they do have now is a trailer for a movie called ‘It’s All Good’, in which the movie-makers are seen funding the movie, then taking the money and spending it all.
FND is actually a sketch comedy troupe, and they’ve had to keep their plans secret for two years, while investors became increasingly angry and started threatening legal action.
FND ‘president’ Aaron Fronk released a video apology last week, admitting that the film ‘could no longer be completed’ due to ‘complications and things beyond our control’.
Cue an avalanche of fury, notably after seeing pictures of the filmmakers appearing to be on holiday in Italy on Facebook.
“Are you f**king serious???? Where’s the f**king money??” wrote one angry user, while others posted personal details of the filmmakers online in revenge.
The crew even managed to spoof their local branch of Fox News, who interviewed them about the ‘scam’, and managed to remain completely straight-faced.
Fronk told Esquire: “It’s been awful. So stressful. Lying to people for two and a half years is rough – we’ve had to take a hit in our careers because we wanted to make it look like we disappeared.
“We couldn’t tell certain actors in the film what the movie was about, and you’ve got these people who donated thousands of dollars based on the most vague pitch that you can’t clue in. I’ve so badly wanted to say, ‘No no no, it’s just a joke’.
“The ugliest email I got was someone who wrote the word MURDER, like a hundred times over, in the email. So — not that bad. I don’t fear my safety.
“We’ve had a lot of people let us know they’re contacting their lawyers to get their money back, but that’s the crazy thing about crowdfunding — there’s no repercussions in place. People can’t do anything, aside from like, stalk us down and kill us.”
The synopsis of the movie reads: “Aaron, Vinny and Cooper are dead broke and ready to give up on their pursuit of becoming big shot filmmakers. Desperate to keep the dream alive, they turn to crowdfunding for their first feature film and raise $75,000 dollars. However, they are overtaken by greed and instead blow the money on frivolous luxuries. Now they must face the consequences, including some shady acquaintances interested in their fortune, and an onslaught of angry donors who have been deceived.”
Most people have now got to grips with the idea that it’s a film about making a film, but some it appears are still sore about the trolling.
As for the Fox News, Fronk says he owes them an apology: “I think I need to send the reporter who interviewed me at Fox a gift basket. It would have been easier if he was a total d**k — I envisioned him as one of those typical aggressive investigative reporters bursting through the door, but he was just really nice and I lied to his face. I need to make it up to him.
“And I’m sure there will be people who are forever rubbed the wrong way from this, but I think most of our followers who know us will get it, they’ll be fine with it. It was a passion project for us, and hopefully they’ll enjoy the roller coaster of emotions we took them on.”
The movie is due out on October 21.
Image credits: FND Films