Pending a successful Kickstarter campaign, principal photography is set to begin in November on a short horror film directed by Damien LeVeck titled The Cleansing Hour, starring Sam Jaeger (Parenthood, American Sniper) and Heather Morris (Glee, Spring Breakers). Jaeger is playing a failed actor who has found success appearing as a fake priest on a popular webcast that streams exorcisms staged to look real. When Jaeger unknowingly hires an actress whose actually possessed (Morris), he’ll be forced to reckon with his online charade in front of 20 million viewers worldwide.
LeVeck says his aim is for his film to stand out from other exorcism movies because of it’s a compelling story and its unique take on the genre. “Not to mention, the audience is going to be seeing Sam and Heather in roles we have never seen them play – that of a sleazy priest impersonator who’s knee deep in a public, escalating situation and Heather as an aspiring actress possessed by evil spirits. We’re going to give the viewers quite a ride,” LeVeck said.
The Cleansing Hour was written by Aaron Horwitz (Roommate Wanted) and will also feature YouTube star Teala Dunn (Enchanted, Expelled), John Griffin (Priest, Jersey Boys), and Catherine Marin (The Tequila Sisters, Chimera) in supporting roles. Jesse Feldman (Veep, Homeland) is the director of photography and Cameron Dale (Hart of Dixie, Pretty little Liars) is the costume designer.
Shirit Bradley, who worked on last year’s summer blockbuster Godzilla and the upcoming comedy-horror film Krampus (Michael Dougherty) is producing alongside entertainment attorney, Natalie LeVeck. “From the moment Damien pitched this project to me, I was in. He has such a fun and clear vision and I was thrilled to be a part of his team and produce something that has a larger message,” Bradley said.
LeVeck is seeking to raise $30,000 to fund the short film via Kickstarter at http://www.cleansinghourmovie.com/kickstarter. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website that allows people to pledge money to films, products, and causes that are meaningful to them in exchange for a reward or “perk” for their participation in the project. LeVeck raised his first $5,000 for the film within 5 hours of his Kickstarter launch on Wednesday.
Some of the “perks” The Cleansing Hour is offering in exchange for contributions include props from the film signed by its cast members, skype calls with Jaeger and Morris, an opportunity to visit the set of the film, LeVeck’s prized motorcycle and even a special edition Tales of the Crypt pinball shipped to any household in the US.
When asked about his reasoning for seeking funds via crowdfunding efforts instead of private investors, LeVeck explained “Making a movie is a collective and collaborative effort. It takes a village. Through Kickstarter, I am giving all backers an opportunity to participate in making a movie! I hope to have a large group of backers behind me, who will share in the process of filmmaking and be a valued member of The Cleansing Hour team.”
LeVeck’s directing career began in 2000, when as a high school senior living in the small Central Illinois town of Mattoon, he directed a war drama featuring real Civil War reenactors and actual explosions in its battle scenes. LeVeck funded the film, called From Cows to Calvary by selling tickets to the film’s premiere at his hometown’s movie theater.
Fifteen years later LeVeck has accumulated editing and producing credits on the films, Corso—The Last Beat (Ethan Hawke) and Take Me Home (Sam Jaeger) and for TV shows on ABC Family, Fox, VH1, SyFy, MTV, TBS, TruTV and Oxygen. He is now set to direct The Cleansing Hour with a star-studded cast and crew members who worked on such projects such as Insidious: Chapter 3, Sons of Anarchy, American Crime Story, Rampart and the upcoming film Kong: Skull Island.
“Throughout my career in entertainment I have always strived to be supportive and collaborative, helping out friends and colleagues whenever I can,” LeVeck explained. “In return, I have been overwhelmed by the incredible team who has come on board for The Cleansing Hour and who share my passion for the project. I hope our excitement will catch fire and lead to a fervor of support on Kickstarter so we can make this film a reality.”
Check out The Cleansing Hour at http://www.cleansinghourmovie.com/kickstarter to learn more about how you can help support the project or visit http://www.cleansinghourmovie.com/ for more information about the film, including a full list of cast and crew. Daily updates about the project can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/cleansinghourmovie, https://instagram.com/cleansinghourmovie, https://twitter.com/cleansinghour and on Snapchat @CleansingHour