Ventana Sierra launches Indiegogo campaign for Crank: The Movie

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Ellen Hopkins attends Crank: The Movie launch. Courtesy of producers.

Ellen Hopkins attends Crank: The Movie
launch. Photo courtesy of Craig Lew.

Ventana Sierra, a non-profit organisation founded by Ellen Hopkins in 2012, launched a new project to bring the theatrical adaptation of Hopkins’ best-selling young adult novel Crank to film.  The proceeds from the filmed play will fund Ventana Sierra’s efforts to help at risk youth.

Crank is a contemporary young adult novel written in free verse, which follows the struggles of 16-year-old Kristina as she becomes addicted to crystal meth, or “crank” and transforms from a straight-A honor roll student to a drug dealer.  Earlier this year, the novel was adapted by Hopkins and TheaterWorks of Northern Nevada into a stage play titled Flirtin’ With the Monster.

Ventana Sierra provide safe housing and resources such as tuition, medical care and life skills classes to enable at-risk youth to further their education and accomplish their career goals.  The team behind Crank: The Movie hope that bringing the adaptation of Hopkins’ bestselling, award-winning novel to film will help raise funds for Ventana Sierra over a long period of time.

“I have received a few comments from fans wanting a full feature film version with mainstream stars but this project is not for profit gain… this project and this Crank film is to be used by Ventana Sierra to help youth at risk,” explained producer and director Craig Lew.

The play has already been filmed and now moves into post-production.  The producers hope to raise $30,000 through crowdfunding on Indiegogo, which will enable them to edit the film and create the final product.

“Ellen had the idea to make a filmed version of Crank for her fans.  As a filmmaker, my vision is to give Ellen’s fans a more cinematic experience.  During a staging of the play in Carson City, we filmed close ups of the actors during the dress rehearsals, placing cameras on stage to get a perspective that an audience in the playhouse would not be able to view.  These takes will be edited into the performance footage to create something edgy with the addition of Visual Effects and snappy film editing,” said Lew.

To raise awareness, the team behind Crank: The Movie held a soft launch of the campaign at San Diego Comic Con, where they handed out info cards to more than 600 people.

“It was wonderful to have conversations with Ellen’s young fans and to hear stories of their personal struggles and how reading Crank had been inspirational in their lives,” said producer Tina Barnett.

The official launch party for the Crank: The Movie campaign was held on August 1st in conjunction with the L.A. Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference.

“We thought this would be the perfect time to get the word out about the project by reaching out to Ellen’s colleagues and fans.  The response from the folks in LA was enthusiastic and full of respect for Ellen and Ventana Sierra and the efforts made on behalf of kids at risk,” said Barnett.

Both Lew and Barnett are excited about the response they have already received, but admit that they have a long way to go.

“We’ve had a good deal of support from fans but we need much much more,” said Lew.

“We have had a great response to the campaign so far and will be doing more outreach via social media in the coming weeks,” added Barnett.

The campaign ends on September 1st. To learn more, visit the Crank: The Movie Indiegogo page.

All photos in feature image courtesy of Craig Lew.

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Lucy Nisbet

Lucy is an English teacher-in-training and a self-confessed book nerd. She often buys more books than she can reasonably afford or possibly have time to read. Her Hogwarts letter is now several years too late, but she’s sure it’s just gotten lost in the post.

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