Film & TV

Chad Johnson's Overtown Movie Adds Walking Dead, True Blood Actors, Launches Kickstarter

Movie magic can be expensive, and even big time directors find themselves strapped for cash when filming a movie.

That is the beauty of crowdfunding: ask the fans who would see the flick to help pay for it. If Veronica Mars can raise over $5 million in 30 days, maybe Cess Silvera's Overtown -- AKA Chad Johnson's movie project -- can reach its $200,000 goal by mid-November.

See also: Chad Johnson Stars in New Overtown Movie Filming in Miami

A few weeks back, we announced that Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson had signed on to star in Silvera's latest project: Overtown, the movie. Since then, other notable actors like Vinnie Jones (X-Men), Kelly Overton (True Blood), and Lew Temple (The Walking Dead) have signed on as well. In what is being called the "follow-up to Silvera's Jamaican gangster cult classic" by Morningstar Films, Overtown will also tell a gripping tale of the streets here in Miami.

This week, Silvera and his team launched a Kickstarter fundraiser to cover the cost of filming, which has gone over-budget since the buzz surrounding the film has grown, according to Morningstar.

Silvera reaches out to fans with a brief campaign video, where he states, "I'm calling on all my fans, the millions of Shottas fans out there, let's get together and let's show Hollywood Overtown."

He continues to describe the film as one with a lot of heart and one that will also have plenty of blood, bullets, and guts. "I'm making this movie for the hood, I'm making this movie for the streets - I can't make Hollywood movies. So I'm calling on my people, let's do this crowdfunding thing."

With great fundraising power come great prizes. Most campaigns give out prizes when you donate funds in the double digits, but Silvera begins his list at $1 with a "word on the street" package.

From there, there are five different prize packs is for backers who donate $10,000 or more...and one of those has already been claimed. The "day in the life" deal gives five backers the opportunity to spend the day with Silvera as he shows you around the streets of Overtown, buys you lunch, and then treats you and a friend to a Miami Heat game. Silvera says he's on a first name basis with the Big Three, so those tickets might score you some sweet seats.

Another $10K backer will get the 1951 Chevy Deluxe used in the film for a car chase (delivery is estimated for a June 2014 date, so whoever gets this prize will have to wait quite a bit). You can also be an Executive Producer, have a speaking role in the film, or die in the film for $10,000.

Silvera's message, however, is more than just blood, bullets, and guts. He says he wants to "bring attention to the violent, drug-ridden culture of poor neighborhoods, but with more authenticity than big-budget Hollywood films." Silvera grew up on the streets of Overtown, so he's uniquely poised to tell a true story of one of Miami's neighborhoods. The director promises to deliver a film that the "streets [will] love and cherish."

The premise for the film is a story of three friends struggling to make ends meet, when one day they decide to break into the house of a drug lord. As plans go awry, Dusty (Johnson), Raul (Khotan Fernandez), and Tammy (Overton) "are left with blood on their hands, drugs in their trunk, and the most dangerous people in Miami out to get them."

If you think that sounds like a movie you would want to see, head on over to Kickstarter and back, back, back it up. Also listed on the campaign page are all the details you could ever want regarding the production, the actors, the filming locations, the budget breakdown, and of course, the prizes.

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Carolina del Busto is a freelance writer for Miami New Times. She nurtured her love of words at Boston College before moving back home to Miami and has been covering arts and culture in the Magic City since 2013.