When the making of a movie starts with the creator turning $100 into $20,000 to fund the film, you know the story is going to be next level. As is the case for Uncle Ed’s Bucket List.
The indie film follows Uncle Ed (Phil Cook) as he tries to cross things off his life bucket list, or as he calls it “living 100,” after finding out he only has just six months left to live. To help him get it all done is his nephew, Jason (Kelby Joseph), and Life Coach, Ashley (Bamm Ericsen). The list include teaching a yoga class to rappers while on drugs, make a hit rap song, make a music video, and seemingly revenge a high school love story gone wrong.
While this all poses challenges, perhaps the biggest challenge was getting this film off the ground.
“What I’ve always realized is that no matter what, even if you make a 0 budget film, it requires money,” said Joseph, who is also the film’s creator. “I was determined to not wait around.”
So how does someone get the money to create a film, without the financial backing of a studio? For Joseph, it involved trusting a gambler who said he’d win the money to finance the film. This is not a joke.
“I remember having about $103 in my bank account,” said Joseph. “I gave him $100. And I needed that $100. Like, I needed it really bad. But I kept that $3 because I need to eat tomorrow. In case he loses that hundred dollars, at least I have $3 to like buy a sandwich the next day.”
Turns out, the first bet was a loss, and the gambler came back with just $50, half the initial investment. However, after multiple straight days of driving him back and forth to the casino the winnings came and came and came. At $20,000, Joseph pulled out and decided it was time.
Clearly Ed is the focal point of the film, but why the name Ed?
“I met a 60 something year old guy with that exact name, Ed Beauchamp, and he was from my hometown, Melbourne FL,” said Joseph, “and I just had that name stuck in my head and I think it just gave me the idea of what if that guy was somehow my uncle, but how could I justify that? It just triggered my creativity and boom, I got to writing.”
Now that the project is finished and waiting release, Joseph and others are eagerly awaiting the reaction of people watching, a reaction they hope catches them off guard.
“In some odd way I hope to receive a surprised reaction from the crowd. I say that because this film is getting released in a rather unconventional format and I think that leaves expectations pretty low. That’s right where we want them, when they watch the whole thing, they’ll hopefully go, ‘woah, I really liked that!'”
The Indie Film is sure to open with plenty of laughs when it premieres November. 26th.