An exciting feature film from AGAINST ALL ODDS PICTURES
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In this intense dramatic thriller, a group of office workers seek to steal millions from their corporate masters. Their plan goes awry when office politics, social issues and paranoia begin to interfere.
Ardeth, George and a small group of colleagues have discovered a way out of their corporate prison: within a certain timeframe on a particular day, they will intercept the electronic deposit of a government tax credit rebate to their company, an amount large enough to ensure financial security for the rest of their lives. As the day progresses the co-conspirators feel immense stress resting on their shoulders as they play their part and avoid drawing attention to themselves.
Things get complicated when Zoe, an intern kept out of the plan, sees ominous government letters. When she tells Ardeth and the others about them, they now have a new hurdle of discovering if they are being set up for a sting. As the clock ticks down and the day comes to an end, the authorities storm into the building. To their great surprise, they see the CEO out in handcuffs and learn he was the one under investigation. Before the company's account shuts down forever George makes one last check, the transfer went through.
At its core, Severance Day is a sophisticated dramatic thriller aimed at adults over 35. Its story is both blue and white collar and anyone who has ever worked in an office will be able to relate with its characters and their struggle. It is Glengarry Glen Ross meets The Wire.
Not only are we in a post #MeToo world but the divide between people on the political spectrum is growing at an alarming rate. Each character in Severance Day, aside from their role in the conspiracy, also represent a position, an issue or a point of view. Because of the hard-hitting nature of the dialogue, we can expect several outcomes.
First, no one in the audience will remain indifferent and this will undoubtedly create debate and discussion long after viewing the film. Second, those further to the left or right will react the strongest and in turn will spread the word in their circles, sustaining the buzz surrounding the film.
With a recession on the horizon, this unfortunate low in our economy can have a tremendous impact on Severance Day. Indeed, it will extend its reach and widened its audience as the struggles endured by our characters will hit home then more than ever.
Sophisticated high dramas have always fared well not only at the box office but also in festivals and award season. I do not buy the rhetoric that people have short attention spans; many successful films and popular TV shows have extremely complex stories, oftentimes without much exposition, and are talked about and viewed years after release.
These sophisticated reference films were lauded by the critics and the public, and Severance Day will humbly follow in their footsteps.
Budget: $3.5 million
Domestic: $5.3 million
Foreign: $19.5 million
Total: $24.8 million
Budget: $20 million
Domestic: $45 million
Foreign: $53 million
Total: $98 million
Budget: $25 million
Domestic: $49 million
Foreign: $44 million
Total: $93 million
Lastly, according to Rightstrade, dramas and thrillers are in high demand but in short supply, so the timing is impeccable to produce Severance Day.
The film's development is done!
The script is final (except some polishing of course)
The budget has been created and is set at $2.2 million CDN
We have great Canadian talent attached (see below)
If you watch Final Exam (available below), you will see what I call “Kinetic dialogue”, where discussions between characters never settle in “shot/reverse shot” for long as they always move within their space. I want to treat Severance Day the same way because it adds to the tension, and keeps people on their toes. Additionally, most thrillers ramp up the tension from zero to ten but Severance Day will start at six.
Long focal lens, deep focus and practical lighting will make up the core of the visuals. The first two will sustain and enhance the tension as the colleagues in the background appear very close and are visible, so the fear that the heroes can be within earshot is real. I want that office to have a crisp, orderly look while being regular so that the audience can feel at ease with the environment and focus on the story.
This is a cold and ruthless corporate setting and color doesn’t occupy an important part as we delve in shades of grays and faded colors. Vivid colors will be present but will be relegated to key objects in the decor and accessories worn by the characters.
For more details, please ask me for the director’s statement.
(The Boondock Saints)
as Cory Jon
(How to Train Your Dragon)
(Orange is the New Black)
* You can watch them both in Final Exam below
Director Philippe Gosselin grew up in Quebec City, Canada, discovering his love for movies at 15 upon seeing Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. A hands-on individual, in 2006 he founded a video production company, and mastered the art of directing taking on a multitude of projects, including producing and directing number one music videos that aired on Musimax.
After moving to Toronto in 2014, Philippe made two short films, Blind Date, and Final Exam which enjoyed a festival run and has won numerous awards, including the Grand River Festival, Canada Shorts and Hamilton Music & Film Festival. Severance Day will be his first feature.
Writer Devon Richards is the author of more than 20 screenplays, some of which are currently under option in L.A. His work in front and behind the camera includes stunt work on Nikita, Covert Affairs and Pompeii, acting on Bomb Girls and Reign, serving as Director of Photography on the short film Candy, and a plethora of radio and television voice over-work.
We also have on board John Tarver, a two-time Emmy award-winning cinematographer and Steve Baine, the lead foley artist on The Shape of Water, A Quiet Place and many other high profile features.
This is Final Exam, Philippe's latest short film. A testament to the level of quality he aims for and put out.