It’s kind of hard to explain the video announcing Ranger Up’s plan to parachute into the movie business with the feature-length military action comedy “Range 15.”
The video that announced a $325,000 Indiegogo fundraising campaign for the movie was filmed at Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery. It includes at least one frat guy getting killed with a cucumber, veterans making fun of Hollywood’s cliché slow motion salutes and appearances by two Medal of Honor recipients and a B movie actor and writer.
It is not hard to explain the campaign’s success since its March 12 launch.
The 10 opportunities to give a $1,000 in exchange for being in the movie sold out in 10 minutes. The three opportunities to pay $5,000 for a speaking part sold out in nearly five hours. As of 5:20 p.m. Monday, 2,819 people had given a total of $361,596.
As the total continues to rise, so will the scale of the explosion-laden ending, said Ranger Up’s President Nick Palmisciano.
The Durham-based patriotic apparel company has gone from selling T-shirts in an apartment to building a company on target to bring in about $9 million in revenue this year. The movie, Palmisciano said, is just another avenue for the in-your-face patriotic brand to expand its business.
“If you are not doing something new and exciting all the time, then you are dying,” he said.
Palmisciano said he considers Ranger Up not a T-shirt brand but a lifestyle brand that also oversees military blog site the Rhino Den.
“Range 15” is a project of Ranger Up and Article 15, an El Paso, Texas company. Each company put up $250,000 for the movie before launching the campaign.
Palmisciano gave Article 15’s owners advice nearly two years ago on launching an apparel side of a business that initially centered on YouTube videos and other creative content. Ever since, he said, the two companies have been looking for a project to work on together.
Other movie stakeholders include Medal of Honor recipients retired U.S. Army Sgt. Leroy Petry and former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, who was engaged to Bristol Palin, daughter of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Tim Kennedy, a Green Beret sniper and a professional mixed martial artist, is also a stakeholder in the project.
Ross Patterson will direct the movie. Patterson also directed and wrote “Helen Keller vs Nightwolves,” and starred in “$50K and a Call Girl: A Love Story” and “Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury.”
They plan to shoot the video in October in Hollywood and release it in spring 2016.
Meanwhile, other celebrities want to get in on the action, Palmisciano said, including retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, who co-authored a book that was turned into the movie “Lone Survivor” and others.
“We can’t announce them until they sign their contracts,” Palmisciano said. “… We are talking real A-list-type people both in the military and in Hollywood.”