‘Walking Dead,’ ‘Desperate Housewives’ Actors Turn to Indiegogo for Romantic Comedy

NYU-Tisch grad Katharine Emmer wrote and will direct the indie movie “Mary/Homer,” in which she’ll star opposite Josh McDermitt

Like many aspiring young actresses, Katharine Emmer had grown tired of sitting around and waiting for the phone to ring.

Worried that her life was becoming a showbiz cliche, the NYU-Tisch grad set out to make her own destiny by writing herself a lead role. That project, a grounded romantic comedy titled “Mary/Homer,” is now accepting donations via popular crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

A bubbly 29 year-old redhead who has appeared on “Desperate Housewives” and in several national commercial campaigns for brands such as Target, Lowe’s and UPS, Emmer was inspired to take charge of her own career by the early films of Lena Dunham (“Tiny Furniture”) and the Duplass brothers (“The Puffy Chair”), whose DIY attitudes led to bigger things.

She wrote the original screenplay for “Mary/Homer” in a mere 10 days, then spent six months honing the script with the helpful advice of friends who are working writers in Hollywood.

In a boon to female filmmakers, Emmer will direct the $30,000 movie and star alongside Josh McDermitt, who plays Dr. Eugene Porter on AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead.”

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The cast also includes comedian Adam Lustick, who has recurred on “The Office” and “Punk’d,” as well as Nikki DeLoach, who plays Lacey Hamilton on MTV’s “Awkward.” The producers plan to cast several other notable names as well as a handful of rising stand-up comedians, while McDermitt will use his past experience on “Last Comic Standing” to inform his character.

In true indie spirit, “Mary/Homer” will chronicle the struggle of young professionals to find themselves and explore what it takes to change when life has got you down.

The character-driven story follows live-in-nanny Mary (Emmer) and struggling comedian Homer (McDermitt) as they meet at a young boy’s birthday party and are both fired by the end of the day. With nowhere to go, they’re forced to house-sit together for Homer’s successful yet pompous childhood friend (Lustick).

Though Mary and Homer get off to a rocky start, they quickly realize the gravity of their shared situation. Will this odd couple help each other overcome their painful pasts and possibly fall in love or will their time together end in disaster?

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“Mary/Homer” boasts the support of Lance Johnson, an executive at Escape Artists who will serve as a creative consultant on the project. Johnson has produced several award-winning short films that premiered at prominent festivals, and he recently served as an associate producer on the Meryl StreepTommy Lee Jones comedy “Hope Springs.”

Additionally, Meg Ramsay, who served as an editor on Dave Grohl’s documentary “Sound City,” will supervise the editing process.

The “Mary/Homer” filmmakers aim to raise $30,000 before Jan. 2 and so far, they’ve received $2,570. Unlike its rival Kickstarter, Indiegogo allows filmmakers to keep all funds raised, even if they fail to meet their goal. Indiegogo contributions will go towards paying for the crew, production equipment, locations, filming permits, insurance, craft services, music rights and post-production.

The filmmakers are also offering perks to “Mary/Homer” supporters, including personalized audio and video messages, the opportunity to name a character, lunch with the cast and producers, set visits, personalized script notes, a small role in the movie, associate producer and executive producer credits and a “Walking Dead” poster signed by the cast of Season 4.

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While thousands of projects vie for attention on Indiegogo and Kickstarter, some of which hail from millionaires like Zach Braff and Rob Thomas, “Mary/Homer” is a labor of love that is worthy of support from fans of independent film. After all, what would pop culture look like if Lena Dunham or the Duplass brothers didn’t throw caution to the wind and make their own indie movies against all odds? You can help finance “Mary/Homer” by clicking here.