HOT SPRINGS – When Justin Gausman was 12 years old, he became a fan of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.
Fresh off the success of his films “Jamie Klotz’s Diary” and “Jamie Klotz’s Diary 2” Gausman is expanding his horizon toward Memphis, Tenn., with his new film, “Never Been to Graceland.”
Gausman has gone to Kickstarter – the internet fundraising site – to find investors for his Never Been to Graceland project. He is attempting to have $15,000 pledged by Aug. 21 to greenlight the start of production. For more information on how to contribute, go to www.kickstarter.com/projects/1765543161/never-been-to-graceland.
“Never Been to Graceland is, at its heart, a ‘road movie,’” Gausman said of his new endeavor. “It is an ordinary story, about ordinary people with ordinary problems, who are on an extraordinary adventure.”
In Never Been to Graceland, a long-lost Elvis Presley recording is believed to have been found. Characters are met and join the journey, each bringing his or her own reason for wanting to make the trip.
“People should contribute to help make this movie if they believe in a story about average Elvis fans, by real Elvis fans,” Gausman said. “Nobody dresses like Elvis, there is no illegitimate child and nobody does an Elvis impersonation or drops odd Elvis facts. It’s about normal people, one of whom just happens to be a huge Elvis fan.”
More importantly, the film examines how the current generation – who were born after Presley’s death in August of 1977 – view his legacy when those who were around while he was alive, are all gone as well.
Different funding levels – with Elvis Presley tie-ins – come with different perks, including being credited as a producer or executive producer.
“I started writing “NB2G” back in late 2013,” Gausman said. “When we are funded, we will begin hiring cast and crew over this fall and winter, scout locations and lock that down through winter and spring and film next summer.”
Gausman plans to film in Nebraska and South Dakota, mirroring locations used for filming Presley’s final television special from the year he passed away. Post production work with a premiere planned in time for what would have been Elvis’ 82nd birthday, on January 8 of 2017.
“I am excited to announce that Ryan Brewer of Spearfish will be collaborating with me on the film as director of cinematography,” Gausman said. “Ryan is an actor and director who recently produced a web series called “Larry & The Monsters” and an H.P. Lovecraft-inspired film called “Nyar.”
Gausman added that he’s had recent discussions with a costume designer, a casting coordinator and a nationally known actor/musician who may feature in the film, pending project funding.
“There’s never been a story that I’ve cared about or believed in more than this one,” Gausman said, “and I’m grateful to everyone in the Hot Springs area who has sincerely supported my films as they increase in size and improve in quality by leaps and bounds each time.”