Andy Richards (MFA Film Production ’13) is in the pre-production process for his newest film, “The Call.”   To organize funds and build excitement about the film during the development process, his team has been using every tool at their disposal to create an online presence for the short.  Read on to learn more about the film, the team, and how you can help!

Andy Richards

Andy writes to us,
I’ve been developing the script under the guidance of Dodge faculty and Oscar-winning screenwriter David Ward. We are currently in the process of casting and location scouting. Production begins January 31st, 2013.

The story follows Dr. Jack Alman, a trauma surgeon who spends his evenings at home with his wife and seven-year-old daughter. When his family is taken from him in a hit-and-run car accident, Jack struggles with finding peace. He is lonely, as well as angry at the man who took their lives; a typically peaceful person, Jack is haunted by fantasies of vengeance. He is tested when the man who caused the accident shows up three weeks later, not in handcuffs, but on the operating table. The perpetrator in critical condition, Jack must decide if he will save him, or sabotage the operation and let him die.

Tonally, the film is a cross between medical procedurals, like 
and crime thrillers, such as 
21 Grams
. Alejandro González Iñárritu (director,
21 Grams
Amorres Perros
) is a filmmaker I admire; his films unfold in a way that keep the viewer guessing. You’re never quite sure what’s going on until the final scene, and I think that encourages an active audience.

Like his films,
The Call
 is non-linear — scenes are presented out of chronological order, leaving the viewer to piece them together.

We’re working with a stunt coordinator and VFX artists to create a car crash. By utilizing digital techniques, we can composite several pieces of footage into a single visual effects shot. 
Another Earth
, a film by Brit Marling an Mike Cahill, has a similar effect which was achieved for about $200.
It’s very convincing.

Digital effects can expand the possibilities you have as a storyteller, especially at the low-budget level.

We are currently in the process of casting and location scouting; production begins January 31st, 2013, and we’re working hard to get all the funding we can get out hands on, to make the high-stakes production values as professional and seamless as possible.  Essentially, we are raising funds to help cover production costs. This is a crucial phase for a project of this kind, and the more money we can raise now, the more cinematic risks we can take, and the further we can push the envelope of a student film can accomplish.  Here’s our fundraising pitch, where you can meet our key teammembers:

It’s not all about money – but as anyone in the industry will tell you, the difference between a micro- and a shoestring-budget is often the difference between being able to make a film for fun to show your
, and to make the film of your dreams to show at
film festivals
. We’re very seriously pursuing our dreams and trying to bring this to life. 
Can you help

You can also see some of my directing style in
my previous work on my Vimeo account
to get a better idea of what I like to create.

Please feel free to reach out to us with questions or encouragement on our social media accounts:


Thanks for checking us out – we can’t wait to show you the finished film!

Andry Richards (MFA ’13)