STATEN ISLAND — A Staten Island filmmaker is raising money for a new movie about a Morrissey fan who wants to become a luchador.
Geoff Celis, 32, has started a campaign to raise money for his short film “Some Guys are Bigger Than Others.” It tells the story of Jim, who decides to prove his mainlines by becoming a masked wrestler in Mexico.
“It’s just a story about how even the most unlikely can succeed, even though it's unexpected,” Celis said.
The film has already received grants from local Staten Island arts groups and Celis, who works as a camera operator for the television series Impractical Jokers, has started a campaign on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo for the rest.
Celis hopes to raise $11,000 on Indiegogo and has offered various gifts for pledges including signed DVDs of the film and "Made in SI" t-shirts.
Celis started to sell the t-shirts earlier in the year. He made them for friends after a music video shoot, and has used the sales to help fund his movie.
“It’s been getting a good response,” he said about the t-shirts. “People are proud to be able to wear something that they believe in. This has been a good piggy back to this campaign.”
Celis hopes to use the 15 minute Lucha Libre comedy to show prospective investors and production houses, and persuade them to support a feature film he has written.
Underneath everything he does, Celis said he wants to instill a sense of pride in his hometown to Staten Island, which can often be overlooked or criticized by residents of other boroughs.
“They think of the dump or this closed minded borough,” he said. “Theres a lot more to it than that. I’ve always been proud coming from here.”
Celis will try to start filming in late June, if the project successfully funds online. He has also got local wrestling organization The Warriors of Wrestling on board to do stunts for the film.
“I imagined a series of luchadors that are just these menacing guys,” he said. “The last was a white guy in a luchador mask, not understanding what everybody’s saying in Spanish and having no idea how he got here.”
Aside from Duffy, Celis brought on comedian Kevin Devlin and Impractical Joker's writer Casey Jost to flesh out a script for the film.
The pair helped bring in the idea of Jim being a Morrissey fan. In the film, Jim gets his first big break in the ring because the promoter and him share a love for the British singer.
Currently, Celis’ Indiegogo campaign has raised $3,190, with 23 days left to reach his goal.