A Matter of Poultry

By Nandini Bapat
$1,268 raised (15% of $8,000)
26 supporters
21 days, 7 hours left
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Goal: $8,000
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What would you want, if this were you?
A Matter of Poultry
Film

A Matter of Poultry: 

 

When an ordinary man on the cusp of starting his dream job becomes ‘pregnant’ with an alien parasite, he flashes back to the time he told his teenage girlfriend to not get an abortion.

 

This film is about Keith, a kid-phobic, aspiring wildlife photographer who finds himself ‘schmoopant’ (aka ‘pregnant’) with an alien baby. 

 

The Schmoop are an alien race who lost their planet due to a climate catastrophe and came to Earth for a new home. They used their superior technology to solve our climate crisis in exchange for one thing: humanity acting as host bodies to ensure the survival of the Schmoop species.

 

So, when Keith accidentally winds up Schmoopant just as he’s landed his dream job to travel around the world taking pictures of endangered species, he wants nothing more than to get rid of the Schmoop parasite and move on with his life. But when he finds out that anti-abortion laws apply to Schmoop babies as well, Keith is reminded of the time when he told his teenage girlfriend to not get an abortion. After all, pregnancy is just a few months of your life and then you can move on… right?

 

 

When Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, I like many people in this country felt frustrated and powerless. Our agency, our right to choose what is best for ourselves, our children and our families was taken away from us and put in the hands of cis-men with little to no experience of what it really means to be able to get pregnant. 

 

Immediately, I thought of what my mother used to tell me as a child: ‘what goes around, comes around.’ It didn’t feel right, that cis-men would never experience the repercussions of the laws they put in place. The ones they voted for. And then I thought… what if they did?

 

And so, A Matter of Poultry was born. 

 

 

Last week, I put a call out for help in making this film and, to my complete surprise, a wave of people volunteered to donate their time and energy to making Poultry a reality. While I am using some personal savings to finance the film, we’re not quite there yet. 

 

The funds we raise from this campaign, in addition to any film grants or funds we can tap, will be used towards production and post-production costs such as renting reliable and efficient equipment (camera and lenses, lights, production design and props), designing and creating the alien prosthetics, enhancing the story with visual effects and paying our hard-working cast, crew and production staff who have worked so hard to develop, shoot and bring this story to life! 

 

While all initial funds will go toward vital expenses (such as buying or renting equipment, prosthetics, and post-production), any additional funds past that will go to paying all of our volunteers a livable and sustainable wage, as they rightly deserve, or will contribute to our film festival campaign. We plan to take Poultry all the way to the top, including Oscar-qualifying competitions like Hollyshorts, Outfest, Palm Springs, Slamdance and so many more! 

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit our page and reading this. 

I truly believe in this film. I think it holds a powerful message about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes, particularly in a time when a few loud voices are using their wealth and political power to impose their beliefs on others.

 

These are not their bodies. They are ours. Everyone should have the right to make decisions about their own bodies, whether they are men, women, non-binary or gender-nonconforming. It’s not about whether or not that person is pregnant with a future human life. It’s about the person who is currently living, existing and thinking in this world and what they want from that life.  

 

If you think this story, this message, is worth spreading, please like and share this campaign. If you can afford to contribute or provide in-kind services that could help us make the film, I would very much appreciate it. (For the latter, please feel free to reach out to me via matterofpoultry@gmail.com.) 

 

I can’t afford to fund this film by myself and pay all the people who have humbled me with their willingness to jump in and create this story anyway. Your contributions will allow me to compensate them for their time away from their families, children and loved ones. 

 

So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for supporting these truly compassionate and passionate human beings and the art they create. Thank you for supporting the reproductive rights for all and helping us support a person’s individual right to choose.

 

Team-member photo
Nandini Bapat
Writer/Director, Producer

Nandini Bapat is a queer, Indian-American actress, most known for her recurring roles on HBO’s Silicon Valley, NBC’s Good Girls and APPLE TV +’s Mythic Quest. She also writes TV genre dramas about unlikely characters who ‘find their Excalibur’ and step up to save the world. She staffed previously on a video game adaptation of DC comics properties, wrote and produced award-winning short films and several of her scripts have won Semifinalist and Quarterfinalist awards on Big Break and WeScreenplay screenwriting contests. 

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Ellen Jung
Producer

Ellen Jung (Producer) studied Production and Design (P&D) at Orange County School of the Arts focusing on artistic pieces such as musicals and theater performances. Later, she found a passion for movies and majored in Film and Electronic Arts with a specialty in Production Management. Ellen has synesthesia, where she perceives color or shapes while listening to music and experiences colors in addition to daily life, enabling her to see the world
colorfully; it helps her with creativity and allows her to be open-minded. She has taken on numerous production assistant and runner roles for commercials and films, where she assisted the crew through the stages of pre-production to production.

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Shift Orion
Producer

Shift Orion is a seasoned creative with a diverse background that spans theater, film, audio, and writing. He thrives in the collaborative environment of live and pre-recorded production with adaptable approaches as a writer, story developer, producer, sound engineer, and production assistant. His experience encompasses creative consulting and coordination with interest in the power of sound design to enhance narratives and create immersive experiences. As a versatile strategist, Shift excels at tackling complex projects and finding innovative solutions.
 

A creative with scope! Shift is also a musician and composer, bringing an additional layer of artistic expression to his work. His passion for humanity is evident throughout his career, which has seen him navigate a fascinating range of industries. From case management and theater projection to door-to-door sales and birthwork/infant care, Shift has a unique perspective cultivated through a wide spectrum of experiences. This multifaceted background allows him to connect with diverse audiences and bring fresh ideas to the table.
 

A master of collaboration, Shift's strength lies not just in his own creativity, but in his ability to elevate the work of others. He is a skilled collaborator, working effectively with co-writers and clients to refine characters, plot points, story arcs, immersive elements, loglines, and promotional and funding strategy. He fosters a creative environment where ideas can flourish, ensuring that every story reaches its full potential.
 

Supporting new voice champions, Shift's passion extends beyond crafting exceptional stories. He is a strong advocate for under-heard storytellers, actively facilitating access to mentorship and tools they need to highlight their voices.
 

Shift Orion is a creative powerhouse with a proven ability to thrive in dynamic environments. His versatility, strategic thinking, and passion for storytelling, coupled with his collaborative spirit and dedication to empowering new voices, make him a valuable asset to any team.

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Vaibhavi Bansal
1st AD

Vaibhavi Bansal is a film director, producer, and an assistant director. Born and raised in India, Vaibhavi's academic journey started with a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, a foundation that enriched her storytelling abilities and added depth to her understanding of human narratives. However, it was the call of the silver screen that beckoned her to new horizons.

 

She embarked on a transformative journey pursuing a Master’s in Film Production at Full Sail University. Here, she immersed herself in the art and science of filmmaking, learning the intricacies of the craft from industry veterans and fellow enthusiasts.During her tenure at Full Sail, Vaibhavi not only expanded her technical prowess but also cultivated essential soft skills crucial for the collaborative world of filmmaking.

 

Her experience speaks volumes about her adept communication skills, remarkable teamwork, and a flair for leadership roles. These attributes have proven invaluable as she navigates the dynamic and multifaceted landscape of film production. Her foray into assistant directing provided her with a comprehensive understanding of the intricate dance between cast and crew, solidifying her reputation as a director with a keen eye for detail and a collaborative spirit.

 

Beyond the glitz and glamour of the film industry, Vaibhavi Bansal is a proponent of continuous learning and community building. Her journey exemplifies the possibilities that unfold when passion meets dedication, and her story is an inspiration for aspiring filmmakers globally. In the ever-evolving landscape of cinema, Vaibhavi continues to make waves, pushing the boundaries of storytelling and leaving an indelible mark on the tapestry of world cinema.

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Anne Akhila
Cast

Anne Akhila (she/her) is proudly biracial: South Indian on her mom’s side, and Jewish on her dad’s side. Hailing from a lineage of Indian classical artists, Anne specializes in Bharatha Natyam. As an actress, she had her breakout lead in indie feature, My Best Friend's Famous, (w/ the late Ryan O'Neal and Mindy Sterling). Anne is a recent East West Players NBCUniversal scholarship winner. An improviser at heart, she’s a Groundlings and UCB improv alum (multiple diversity scholarship winner), ABC South Asian Workshop participant, and writes & performs sketch comedy. Training includes: East West Players, Acting Center, Baron Brown Studio. Upcoming releases include: Hand of God, Big Yikes, and Ronnie California. Anne is represented by A&R Management and Activity Talent, commercially.

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Zhuolin Hong
Cinematographer

Zhuolin Hong is a cinematographer currently based in LA. He was born and raised in China and moved to New York by himself at the age of 15, away from his family. Later, he found his passion in filmmaking and completed his BFA degree in film production at the University of Colorado, Boulder. 

 

Drawing from his multicultural roots, Zhuolin's work spans a diverse spectrum, encompassing narrative films, commercials, and music videos. His distinctive cinematography style mirrors the vibrant tapestry of colors that define his worldview. Notably, his work has graced esteemed platforms such as the Los Angeles Cinematography AWARDS, Denver Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival, VETTY Awards®, etc. 

 

Dedicated to championing underrepresented voices, Zhuolin is committed to shining lights on narratives that often dwell in the shadows, breathing life into colorful stories.

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tanay shah
1st AC
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Brandon Wong
2nd AC
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Wenhan zhang
Gaffer

Wenhan Zhang is a professional working Gaffer in both Los Angeles and Chicago. His work contains gaffing for the Chicago Blackhawks, Lollapalooza, and many other famous personals. With a 3 year lighting experience, Wenhan is going to use all his experience in lighting A Matter of Poultry. Wenhan also works at Columbia College Chicago’s Film Lighting Cage to help students with equipment checkouts while also teacher assisting with classes such as Lighting 1 and 2. Wenhan is excited to be part of the team behind A Matter of Poultry to make this film come to life!

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Brian Navarro
Key Grip
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Chanthen Nene
GRIP & Electric SWING

Chanthen Nene is a rising film maker, recent film school graduate, and an avid advocate for low vision/blind individuals in the film industry. He helped create several short films as well as being the host of his own YouTube cooking channel.

 

As an advocate, Nene was appointed twice to the Virginia State Rehabilitation Council, which helped promote the well-being of visually impaired individuals. He was also a mentor to those with various disabilities ranging from those with Autism to completely blind individuals. 

 

Chanthen is excited to explore all aspects of filmmaking, from working as an Assistant Director on 'Kurta Pants' to one day directing films and commercials, and also  creating accurate representation for those with visual impairments. 

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Alexander Anikin
Sound Mixer/Boom Operator

Alexander is a highly skilled sound engineer with a proven track record of success in the global media production landscape. With a foundation built on sound engineering principles and video production techniques, he brings creativity, innovation to every project. 

 

His career journey has taken him from Kyiv University of Culture and Arts to Los Angeles, where he’s contributed to some of the industry's studios and productions, such as We Make Movies, Glasscore Entertainment, Lany Entertainment, Ante Up Productions, Movieverse Entertainment and Lfilm Productions in Fort Lauderdale, FL. 

 

He has leveraged expertise in sound engineering and design to shape the sonic landscapes of blockbuster films and high-profile productions, played an integral role in studio operations and recording processes, and ensured the seamless execution of projects. 

 

He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sound Engineering from Kyiv University of Culture and Arts, Kyiv, Ukraine, is proficient in sound engineering principles and techniques, experienced in video production and post-production processes, and skilled in sound design and recording.

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Nandini minocha
Production Designer

As an Actor I don't have much to show for set design however as the daughter of a painter who decorated her home very creatively & tastefully, I have a great appreciation for color, design and decor. I love taking really messed up homes & recreating them full of life & color. In the Bay Area I remodelled a home that was so decrepit that in that insanely hot market, we were the only buyers. I absolutely relished the task of picking every tile, color, drape & painting for the walls. Nothing gives me more pleasure than going to some flea market or open air arts festival & finding knick knacks that I decorate my home with. I feel like set design would be a great deal of fun and a likely extension of my passion & skills. So if I don't get to act, I still get to be on set & surround myself with my kind of people. 

Thank you Nandini for giving me the opportunity to cut my teeth on your clever & thought provoking project. All the very best !!

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Sahara Staicu
Set Dresser/Art Dept Asst

Sahara Staicu is a film student at West Los Angeles College under the Set Dressing Pathway. She has recently become a candidate for the Hollywood CPR program which is a huge goal for her as she is working towards becoming an IATSE Local 44 union member. Coming from a multicultural background, she has always enjoyed learning about different countries and customs, which have also transpired into her work style. Having visited more than 8 countries by the age of 18 has really inspired her work on film sets and the Art Department. Watching the Harry Potter films growing up was the start of her ever-growing interest in the film industry and continues to be her favorite series of all time. Although she's a rookie, she has gained tons of on-set experience in just the 2 months that she has begun to work and is excited to continue learning and meeting new people.

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Lynette Stroud
Script Supervisor

Starting at four years old, Lynnette began traveling the country as an actor and performer raising civil rights awareness with Mamie Till Mobley, mother of the slain Emmett Till. This icon taught her the power of activism through storytelling and the importance of love in the face of hate. These lessons have burned passionately in everything Lynnette undertakes, from volunteerism to work in the entertainment industry -- a field in which she considers herself a lifelong learner. 

 

She's worked as a production assistant in the office and behind the camera, learning the trade on projects for the Travel Channel, the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE), The Africa Channel, and The Emmys to name a few! As a performer, she has shared a stage with Eartha Kitt, and Halle Berry (even bringing the latter to tears), performed at The Kennedy Center, been featured in events for history-making campaign trails, and shifted from behind the camera to the front of it to lend her image to several of Hollywood's movies and TV shows, counting Grey's Anatomy and Abbott Elementary as some of her more memorable industry experiences. 

 

Lynnette is currently studying Filmmaking at LACC's stellar Golden Globes endowed program to supplement her background in the arts. Through film and unique vision, she aspires to share a most enduring life lesson: the importance of empathy in communal healing.

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Sreejith Nair
Prosthetics/SFX Director

Sreejith Nair, a Chicago-born Malayalee filmmaker who grew up obsessively studying dinosaurs, mythical creatures, horror icons, and monsters from all cultures. His dream as a filmmaker was always to create monster movies, but with South Asian leads.

 

Sreejith is best known for making the first ever Indian dinosaur movie Rajasaur, which received international festival praise in the US and India. 

 

He is also a recent graduate of Make-Up Designory where he studied special effects and creature makeup. 

 

Quote: “Movies like Nandini’s project always excite me. It’s always encouraging to see South Asians like myself explore themes they are passionate about, while using characters who are not human. I often feel like South Asians never give themselves the chance to dive into the worlds or sci-fi or fantasy. I’ve been hearing Nandini passionately talking about this project for years, and happy that we all get to finally make it.”

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April and megan
Hair and Make-Up Artist
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Abra kadab
Composer

Abra Kadab is a multifaceted artist living in and operating out of Los Angeles, CA. They are a recording artist, composer, actor, and social activist. Their mission is to be loud and unapologetic about commenting on injustice through their art, and highlighting their perspective as a gender fluid individual.

 

Abra Kadab has roughly 20 years of experience working within the music and entertainment industry. They come from a classical background and are proficient on drums, keyboards, and vocals. They were classically trained on piano beginning at age 7. At 15, they began percussion in high school band and were selected to go to the coveted Governor's School For The Arts in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to study drums and percussion under Dr. Monte Coulter. KUBIK is a musical project founded in 2016 by Abra Kadab. 

 

Their dark, politically charged EP "World On Fire" debuted in 2018 and was released through eRecords. Their second EP "The Empty Space" explores a profound void that humanity as a whole seems to experience, and was released in 2022. They are currently working on two new albums. The release dates are TBA.

 

They have collaborated with industry legends such as Scarlet Rivera (Bob Dylan), Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd) and Rick Torres (Supreme Beings of Leisure) as well as Michael A. Levine (former Governor of the Emmy Awards). In 2016, they modeled for photographer/musician Jack Grisham (T.S.O.L) and were featured in art galleries in downtown Los Angeles. In 2016 they played keys at a welcoming home reception held in West Hollywood for the Los Angeles Rams.

 

Their musical compositions outside of their KUBIK project include film scores, jingles for commercial television placement, experimental/noise tracks, audio/psychodramas, hard rock, and electronica. Horror, suspense, and comedy are their specialty genres when acting in and scoring films. They are currently signed with MPath Publishing.

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chhaya nene
Set Photographer/crafty/set pa

Chhaya Nene is an actress, director, and journalist. As an actress, she's appeared on ABC's Big Sky, General Hospital, and Speechless. In addition, you can catch her on Netflix's The OA, and BET's Sacrifice. 

 

As a writer/director, Nene in post production on an episode she wrote and directed for an award winning series. She also has articles published in The Washington Post, The Global Post, and Reader's Digest. 

 

Chhaya is never afraid of a challenge. Whether it's creating social justice focused mixed medium artwork (currently on display at 'Basecamp Dinette' in Burbank),  being trilingual (English, French, Marathi-a language of West India) or writing and performing in the South Asian version of the Vagina Monologues, she welcomes the adventure.
 

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Erika Martinez
DIT/PA
MINIMUM GOAL REACHED -- $5439 to COVER PRODUCTION!!
Tue. April 16, 9:09 PM PDT

Woohoo, we made it to our MINIMUM GOAL!! Thank you to all of our supporters who helped us get to $1000 – we are now guaranteed to receive all the donated money and put it towards the film!

 

Here’s an update on what we’ve been able to cover with your funds and what is waiting in the wings. If you know some ardent film fans who are able to support us too, please let them know that our campaign ends in less than 12 days! We really need their help if we’re going to be able to start shooting next Saturday!!

 

Insurance - $225 (COVERED!)
Location Rental - $300 (COVERED!)
Film Permits - $100 (COVERED!)
Camera - $2300
Sound - $750
Lighting - $600
Make-up/Hair/Prosthetics – $850 (PARTIALLY FUNDED - $450 NEEDED!)
Wardrobe - $100
Production Design and Props - $350 (PARTIALLY FUNDED - $135 NEEDED)
Food & Water for Cast and Crew - $600

As of now, we’re at $1,236… so only $5,439 left to go! Haha, but seriously – if you have a second to donate $5 to help us make this film, please do. 

 

I really do believe that this project could change hearts and minds, opening us up into a world where everyone has the right to make their own choices about their body. Wouldn’t you want to say one day that you did something that made a difference?

$700 and Clucking Forward!
Wed. April 10, 7:30 PM PDT

Thank you so much to all of our supporters who have donated so far! I wanted to drop a line and give y’all a preview as to our basic budget breakdown for A Matter of Poultry! We really do need to hit our max in order to cover all of our costs. If you can contribute or support us with even $5, that would be enormously helpful to get us to production. 

 

Insurance - $225 (COVERED!)
Location Rental - $300 (COVERED!)
Film Permits - $100 (COVERED!)
Camera - $2300
Sound - $750
Lighting - $600
Make-up/Hair/Prosthetics – $850
Wardrobe - $100
Production Design and Props - $350
Food & Water for Cast and Crew - $600

 

The minimum total to film this project would be $6,675.00, just for materials and equipment. To pay our production cast and crew a livable wage, we would need to raise $5,500 more. 

 

To finish the film, our post-production costs would include:

Editor - $1500
Colorist - $500-1000
Post-Prod Sound - $1000-2500 
Composer - $1000

Together, everything would cost around $17,000. Haha, a stretch goal for sure! But I think we can at least cover the production costs of our film in the next 18 days – with YOUR help. Even $5 from you can take us a little closer to our goal… so if you have a moment to contribute, please do!

Incentives
($1+)
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Only 1 left!
Insta-Thank You! ($5+)
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Thank you so much for donating! To honor your contribution, we will post your name (or anonymous if you prefer) and pledge to our film's Instagram!
Unlimited supply.
You've Got Poultry--I Mean E-mail! ($10+)
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We will send you a digital thank you featuring artwork from the film as a way of showing our gratitude!
Unlimited supply.
See the Egg, Be the Egg... ($25+)
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Upon the film's release, you will be invited to an exclusive, online screening of our film!
Unlimited supply.
Poultry-fy Your Wall! ($50+)
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We will send you an original, exclusive film poster for the film that you can post and display for everyone you know!
Unlimited supply.
Soundtrack of the Hen House ($75+)
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Upon the release of the film, you will receive an exclusive copy of our film's soundtrack created by our masterful composer, __. Limited to 50.
Only 50 left!
Jill Hencock for Your Wall ($75+)
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Receive a SIGNED poster of the film by the Director, Writer and Lead Cast as our thank you for making this project possible!
Unlimited supply.
A Jill Hencock Just For You... ($100+)
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As a symbol of our gratitude, you will receive a personalized, autographed copy of this film's script in exchange for your generous contribution.
Unlimited supply.
The Hen Circle ($250+)
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You will be invited to a private in-person screening and Q&A in Los Angeles as a thank you for kind contribution.
Unlimited supply.
Your Poultry Swag Bag ($500+)
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For being a super contributor, you'll receive an exclusive Poultry-themed swag as our way of saying 'thank you for being in our Poultry Family!'
Only 50 left!
Cluck Down That Red Carpet ($1000+)
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As a thank you for contributing to the making of our film, you will be invited to the red-carpet, worldwide premiere of A Matter of Poultry!
Only 10 left!
You Might as well Join the Cluckin' Team! ($2000+)
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For contributing an amount beyond our wildest dreams, we invite you to become an honorary member of the beheaded chickens (aka the producers...)
Only 10 left!
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