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What Child Is This

A twisted tale of grace in a lawless west

Mammoth Lakes, CA, United States


"A true story wrapped in a multi-faceted fictional twisting storyline of characters"

Support our film and join the supporter list for as little as a dollar... 

The purpose of this project is to: 

1) Film the opening scene atop Mammoth Mountain and utilize it as the company performer reel attachment to our Private Placement Memorandum. 

2) The funding for our budgetary line production and biz plan for inclusion in and creation of a Private Placement Memorandum contract by an SEC Certified film funding atty who has successfully created the PPM plans for 58 funded feature films.

3) Complete the "development financing" phase for the preproduction documentation of the film for the PPM.

We then deliver those 3 items over to our prospective PPM investors to make a state and federal legal offering to those investors for the Phase two financing of the "primary production and principle photography aspects" of the feature films production, then delivering the film to the distributers, both foreign and domestic. 

You are all crucial in making that happen, and we totally appreciate each and every single one of you. As well, we absolutely need each and every one of you to help us get this amazing story up by closing the gap on this initial developmental funding phase of the financing of this major film production!

This project will get this scene filmed, on top of a mountain, in a blizzard, that overlooks a 360 degree view, for hundreds of square miles -  filming to blockbuster insertable quality to our feature film. 

Poster What Child Is This

 What Does This Teaser Aspect Achieve?

Upon completion of this Teaser Aspect short film opening scene, the feature film photography is tentatively scheduled for the Fall of 2015 and continues through completion "wrap" in Winter 2016, with a tentative worldwide big screen release date of Summer 2017.

The Nail Biting Bits!!!

The law, the guns, the outlaws, the convicts, hate and betrayal, corruption and false testimonies. 

Encompassed in rape, murder, this is the true story of the robbery of $40,000 in US gold mint, which has never been recovered to this day! Gold still buried in some "coyote hole out in the desert"'s value, $2,800,000.

There are stories of Chinese and African immigrants, mining, cowboys, and the sufferings and persecution of prominent historical and famous American Paiute/Shoshone Indians...

East to west migration of the "white man" ...some with their slaves after the civil war had ended...who carried deep bitterness and strife to that loss and "right."

This is contrasted by grace, forgiveness, redemption and the unbreakable bonds of deep and sacrificial our honorable and heroic characters..... some real and some fictionally twisted in to close the historic gaps in the true story.

 What Child Is This©® is a “time capsule” of completed feature film script built in the tradition of courage, heroism, integrity and honor. 

Beginning in 1870, this courage is passed over generation to generation: First from a beautiful immigrant, African American half American Indian young woman, to her loving and courageous man, our courageous hero, then passed from him to his adoptive son born of a rape to that woman by an evil white man, and on to that child’s grandson in 1944.

 Texas Jack of the Movie Tombstone, Peter Sherayko

Utilizing the extensive inventory of Caravan West Productions and its owner Peter Sherayko's Arabian, quarter horses and Mustangs..authentic wardrobe, props and armory, this story has truly locked in the fable of true California history.

It is encompassed by amazingly beautiful snowy scenery and landscapes - landscapes of the majestic beauty on display in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.  

A movie lover and cinematographers dream!!

An 1851 Colt Navy Cap n Ball Black Powder Revolver, Fully Engraved ...a gift from Peter to me.... in Mint Firing Condition... Note the percussion cap blast and ball out the barrel... quite a gift!!

 How and Why?  In a blowing snow blizzard, miles from civilization - how are we gonna film this Teaser Aspect?

For absolutely one reason!!! Realism in authenticity!!!

100% of the funds raised in THIS project will be directed towards the filming of this flash forward, opening scene of the feature film, a 5 minute "stand alone" short film cliffhanger portion of the actual Feature Film production.  

A cliffhanging scene, that will leave the audience "wanting" the feature completed!!!!! 

Peter Sherayko as "Texas Jack" in the movie "Tombstone"

Peter Sherayko 2014

It will be Executive Produced by Peter Sherayko, the owner of Caravan West Productions and the actor portrayed as Texas Jack in Tombstone, the movie. 

All of you remember that film Tombstone, I'm sure, starring Val Kilmer and Kurt Russell ...among others. 

Peter has Owned Caravan West and has been involved in the hard side of film for over 25 years, providing period accurate guns. (over 1200 mint firing antiques in his armory of the 1800's periods). 7000 pieces of authentic wardrobe, livestock, special props, saddlery, equipment, wranglers, buckaroos, stunt riders and their stunt horses. 

This is Peter's specialty!!! 

Caravan West Productions Armory

He was the principal provider of these same assets in Tombstone and many other western period films over the years and we have become very close friends working in multiple productions together. 

Peter has come on board eagerly for this project and is very excited about it for its period accuracy, legendary staying power presence in western genre film and obviously from those years, Peter knows the people we will approach to fill the lead roles of the feature aspect of this production. 

The Great War Chief Numaga of the Paiute Shoshone nation

The Great Chief Numaga, Kevin Warpony Browning

 This feature film once completed, we all believe, will be a film to watch for many years to come...a blockbuster!!

Peter IS the western authenticator of Hollywood western genre film making and the author of "The Fringe of Hollywood-The Art of Making a Western" (ISBN: 1466225237), as well as "Tombstone-The Guns and Gear" (ISBN: 1453626514) He is the "go to" man for directors and producers in the arena of western film making. 

That's why Peter believes in this film, it's very real and authentic in character, location, story and historical value of the people, and he truly wants to get this one right for our audience in its authenticity and emotional impact.

View our earlier work! - "Peace of Mind"

We filmed Peace of Mind in April/2014. The work was precise as we completed our shot schedule and came in 25% under budget, despite some distinct challenges that had arose.

We overcame those challenges, despite the 100 degree heat in the middle of the desert. 

It was filmed in 10 hours, all 36 shots, not missing one. We used the natural light of the sun as we had camped overnight on location at Whitehorse Ranch, out near Landers California, rising early for sunrise filming on shoot day. 

It received First Runner Up Award at the OIFF and Official Selection at The BBLIFF in Big Bear Lakes, California

OIFF First Runner Up Peoples Choice Award

Officially Selected BBLIFF

We will not cut any corners in authenticity or historical re-creation during the production of What Child Is This.

Hence why we are filming - "in the heat of the storm atop that mountain."

Upon completion of that goal we will then go to our major film investors with the guidelines they have given us to achieve in the objective of this opening scene project.

Lake El Diablo, a real historic shootout took place here between 30 men.

This Short Film Kills Three Birds With One Stone...

1) The 5 minute opening scene of the feature film, specific to this project.

2) A portion of the opening scenes of the feature that are insertable quality spec footage to the Feature Filming Aspect. 

3) It is a "flash forward" scene in the feature, is insertable to the feature closing scenes, repeating itself... as it replays complete towards the end of the feature film when all the worlds collide...... but those secrets are not revealed through this teaser....

This fact saves the feature investors 10 minutes of feature filming of a 2:40 minute total feature production time. 

Location of opening scene

Location of opening scene filming

 What Does This Mean To You, Our Teaser Investors?

You, Megafounders have this opportunity to be potentially a big part of that feature and that process, by seeing this short film completed and possibly, once feature aspect is completed, your names in the credits of the Feature Film as well, as our casting CSA will look to the supporters first to fill the countless background and supporting actors required to make this film. (See the items on the right)

No promises, but potentially. 

We believe, you will believe as much as we believe, that this is going to happen. The feature releasing in early 2017!!!!

This Opening Scene "Teaser" is full of suspense and mystery. The unknown, of what is going to come on down the road once the feature film is completed. This "Teaser" is a "non-spoiler" to the feature.

Quite the opposite in fact!!!

It is a suspense filled "Cliffhanger"!!!

In addition it has the excitement and tension of the real weather element, the fear, the remoteness and the randomness of circumstance.... 

It is a masterpiece blockbuster project. Again, not seen since Open Range, Unforgiven or Tombstone in its authentication of the real life facets of the early west tough and lawless life of Eastern California.


The Historic Hut

Looking North Towards Mono Lake

The Town of Mammoth Lakes

The whole California high desert and Eastern Sierra regions are filled with inspirational, intriguing, amazing and incredible stories of historical relevance to any Californian or American. This story twists many of those stories together, and this Teaser is crucial in making that happen!

Mono County, California

Don't think of it as a "typical" trailer.

This 5 minute "Teaser Aspect" is a stand alone, non spoiler, short film that works without the feature due to its cliffhanger nature!!!!

Standing alone, it could very well overtake the film competitions and festival circuits early next year!!

Teaser production filming is at "One" location for this scene.

The scene location is at 9074' atop Bald Mtn, just outside the historical warming hut you see in the video introduction of this Megafounder project. The hut overlooks the whole Central Sierra Range, Long Valley Caldera, Mammoth Mountain, Mono Lake and Mono Basin region, 360 degrees, for miles. We will be doing the portion of that scene that can actually be filmed on Mammoth Mountain....using they're Snowmaking equipment to generate the storm..... this way we control the weather!!!!

Our cinimatography will be choreographing a blinding blizzard in which the scene takes place, reflecting the mystery of our project Film Poster... the majestic Sierra range lies in the background, this hut overlooks on top of a treeless mountain.

South Face, Mt Laurel - The Sevannah Cliffs, and myself at Lake El Diablo, a Key Location in The Feature film viewed from 20 miles away in the opening scene. Ive climbed and skied this face and three others on that mountain!

I lived for 7 years in the area developing a strong passion and intrigue for it and have continued my relationship with the area and life for 17 more.

That passion and intrigue of its amazing history inspired me to write this film.

Lake Dorothy, West Face Mt. Laurel, and a morning shadow of the historic Mt Morrison, a key Historic character of the Feature Film

I have climbed and skied the descents of 24 peaks in the area and have been to all the historical locations selected for the feature film..... in all weather conditions.....

I self rescued into the historical warming hut on Bald Mountain on one adventure back in 97'. 

It happened with a best friend, who today has been recovering from a severe brain stem injury incurred last October 25th, 2013 in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

During our back country ski adventure on that self rescue in 97', this "hut" built in the middle of the 1800's saved our lives. 

That relationship and that adventure, along with many others with him, has additionally inspired this story and its conception.

It has impacted a very personal influence on this key scene.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

We have the passionate support of the Town of Mammoth Lakes, The Mammoth Museum, The Southern Mono Historical Society, and the Eastern California Museum. Additionally, we've received guidance from The Laws Museum in Bishop.... who have all contributed generously their knowledge and wisdom during our extensive research process.

 In addition, Mono County, Inyo County, the local Paiute/Shoshone tribes and their history books, have all been key in understanding the truth of what really happened back then.

Key among Company support to this project has been The Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, who will be providing all the crucial logistical support we need and have included in our budgets to make this thing happen. 

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and the Town of Mammoth Lakes

We are indebted to Steve Morrison, Film and Entertainment Manager, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and Clifford Mann, General Manager of Mountain Operations.... our Transportation Captain to this project with his awesome "Snowcat" fleet.

Mammoth Mountain Snow-Cat/Troop Carrier

Clifford and his crew of experts will be providing Snowcats and troop carriers, snowmaking equipment and crews along with other important logistical items, safely and professionally. We will be providing for all companies involved additionally insured certs within our insurance policy we have set to purchase, once funded.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area will be providing that transportation and snowmaking logistic. But that is not the only aspect of their provision to this project.

Their Film and Location manager I mentioned, Steve Morrison, has coordinated with his team the Lodging, catering, and busing of the crew and teaser actors from their Main Lodge facility. ..placing us in the "Snowcats", and transporting everything and everyone out into the remote high altitude location approximately two miles up a road into the high Sierras, atop Mammoth Mountain.

MMSA and specifically Mountain Operations General manager Clifford Mann worked on and coordinated the "life-raft" scene filmed on the "Face of Chair Three" of the MMSA resort for the feature film "Indiana Jones, and the Temple Of Doom. 

They also did the setwork and action location management for the feature film "Golden Child", among many, many, other projects.

So the people we have on board have the deep rooted experience to pull this scene off safely and cost effectively!!!

We are so proud to have their devoted and passionate interest and respect for our script and this project. 

It spoke volumns to have them come on board eagerly with their passion, such excitement and willingness to help provided towards What Child Is This. 

Their help not only allows us to accomplish this shot, but as well helps us to provide the potential financial impact and value to the whole region and its communities economically once we receive the full feature funding that this whole project is really all about!! 

Cinematographic Team and Crew Director

The shot schedule has been finalized by the Director, David Gutel and Cinematographer, Kyle Klebe. They are both awesome!!. 

I have personally been working with them for almost a full year.

They are extremely efficient, well beyond their years.

They are so well versed in their task, on schedule, and under budget. Most importantly, they remain super calm and courteous on set to everyone.

That's why they won the job for this project after the offering to "named" direction teams. I watched all of them and had worked with many of the "named" people one would typically run to on a project like this.

But they were consumed in the wrong passions for me and Peter Sherayko for this project to succed.

David and Kyle and our team have been the most professional by far, focused on the right things and passions for this project in their own lives. After four months of watching that market, these boys won the job by actions, not words, hands down. They will go very far in their careers, mark my words! I have been in entertainment for 35 years... and attitude encompassed in skill and professionalism is everything, and they are coming along with us on this adventure. 

Our Devoted Crew on the "set" of Peace of Mind

We have received the crew's devoted and passionate commitment, from the 30 or so crew required for this teaser shot....the same crew of 30 we worked with on Peace of Mind.... Many of them with film accomplishements of their own.

Authority and Use Permit 

US Forest Service, Inyo National Forest

We also have mega support from the US Forest Service and The Inyo National Forest, with their liaison rangers, Jon Kazmeirsky and Lawson Reif. These two men have been unbelievable in their support and assistance.

They will work closely and directly with us on this project... and we are grateful having them basically at our disposal.

Lawson Reif, USFS, Inyo National Forest

We have permits from them forthcoming once funded, and as well have been working directly with the local company DJ's Snowmobile Adventures, (Don and Jewell Little), who are the issued "Winter Use Permit" holders for the location and are very excited we are going to restore the hut.

DJ's Snowmobile Adventures... Winter Use Permit Holders At Our Teaser Location

We have come to a sweet agreement of the restoration of the historical cabin built around 1850. It needed about $4000 in restoration work and graffitti removed, among other various tasks that will be left for the future, our youth and the general public to enjoy from then on out, post filming.

Production Schedule

We will transport out to and from location over a 4 day period. 1 day to scope the exact location for this scene we are to film in this project. 

Then while there that day we will set up the "storyboard and shot sequence" with stills and perform a run-through along with a rehearsal.

That evening we will review every camera shot on our story board, rehearsing one more time with the production team those shots and camera sets for the next day. 

We will then film the next morning, hitting it early. We calculate approximately 8 to 10 hours on location that day atop that mountain for this scene.

Development Process and Location Scouting 

Historic Hut on Bald Mountain and Set Condition for Filming of the Opening Scene

The production team has already taken a five day camping trip to the location with myself as their guide. We reviewed and rehearsed all shot angles and took stills, then utilized that data in the creation of our storyboard for this opening scene. We visited multiple other locations for the total production, but really placed our focus on this opening scene. We will do the same for all the the scenes of the feature, begining during post production of this scene.

We held conference with the Mammoth Lakes Visitor Bureau and with the USFS, Inyo National Forest rangers as well as Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. 

We feel totally ready and developed to get her done!!!

View From Hut Location In Opening Scene, Lake Diablo, Mt Laurel, and Mt Morrison, Key Feature Locations in Background

Post Prod Rewards and Screenings

We will then return home to Southern California, all of us, and complete Foley work, ADR.... and Post Production processing by February 15th, then releasing the "REWARDS/ITEMS" program post haste at that point of completion to all of you.

Once that is done, we will hold the private screening for the contributors of this Megafounder Teaser project per the item program attached.

During Post Production of this opening scene we will begin casting and setting the schedule for the full length feature film.

Thank you for your interest, possible contribution, and preponderance of the the above in our great project!!

Team and Story

Hello.... My name is Kurtis Anton, the writer and producer of What Child Is This, the movie.

We completed the Opening Scene shot adventure out in the Sierras.... It was awesome.... all thirty people did an amazing job to get it done. I really wish to thank Mammoth Mountain Ski area, Clifford Mann and Steve Morrison, as well as Lawson Reif of the USFS!!! Thanks so much!

Thankyou for your continued support of the campaign, as we have some pickup shots we will complete on 3-3-15 then complete the edit, go to color correction, fx's, sound design, and music composition and score, credit roll, and final edit of this opening scene.

We should have the PPM ready by 5-1-15 and have all the rewards shipped out soon thereafter.

Awesome!! and thankyou!! is a pic of yer shirt for those who chose that reward level.... we will be producing them here shortly as we tweak the final design. The DVD art is looking awesome as well!!

Thank you!!!

Kurtis Anton

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