If I Had a Time Machine, I’d be Rich

Breaking News… I’m producing a poker-themed, comedy short film entitled IF I HAD A TIME MACHINE, I’D BE RICH. It’s very funny with plot twists and a heart-warming ending. I should know… I wrote the screenplay.

Further Breaking News… I’m asking for your support, via a crowdfunding campaign to defray the costs of making this film. Hell yeah! All contributions will be transferred immediately to my production company’s bank account to pay for production of the film.


Every contribution helps and over 70 friends have donated so far. Can you send something today?

Crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo or Kickstarter typically charge 8% (5% platform fee + 3% payment processing fee). In reality, support will come mainly from people who already know and trust me, so I’m going the direct route. All contributions will come directly to me and I’ll promptly transfer the money to my film account.

Contribution levels and benefits:

$25 — “Three of a kind” — shoutout in a future blog post right here at They Always Have It

$50 — “Straight” — poker blog shoutout, plus a personal shoutout on Instagram

$100 — “Flush” — all of the above, plus Special Thanks recognition in the film credits

$150 — “Full House” – all of the above, plus an invitation to a live screening of the first completed cut of the film and after-party

$250 — “Quads” – all of the above, plus a chance to be in the film. (Deadline = Nov. 20th) Want to earn an official IMDb acting credit? See your name scroll up the screen as one of the actors? I’m reserving three seats in scenes that require a full poker table for Quads-level contributors, to be selected via a random drawing. Filming will be in the Triangle region of North Carolina. (Out-of-town travel expenses will be the contributor’s responsibility.)

$400 — “Straight Flush” — all of the above, plus a great looking, premium hoodie featuring the title and film poster artwork, plus a 2nd entry in the drawing to be in the film. Don’t these look great?

$1,000 — “Royal Flush” — all of the above, plus a full day on-set with filmmakers, cast and crew, plus a full-size movie poster signed by the filmmakers, plus recognition as a co-Executive Producer in the film credits.

If you already have my payment app details… please send a contribution today along with a short note. Otherwise, please reach out to me via text (919-247-7439) or email (dbass@nc.rr.com).


IF I HAD A TIME MACHINE, I’D BE RICH will be a short comedy film with an estimated run time of 15 minutes. The screenplay is complete and ready to go. The story follows DJ, a struggling young poker player on a search for that elusive information edge over his opponents. While his ex badgers him for child support. DJ suffers through yet another losing night. One opponent rubs his nose in a big bluff; another opponent hits a long-shot river card to crush DJ’s once-mighty stack. Sound familiar? Back at home, DJ queries an artificial intelligence chatbot about time travel and whether AI can design a time machine that actually works.

No spoilers yet, but rest assured that DJ’s journey is both hilarious and heartwarming, with lively, three-dimensional characters and a story that will entertain poker players and non-poker audiences alike.

My goal is to present the short film at multiple film festivals, then expand the premise into a full, feature-length film.


I’m thrilled to have assembled a very talented team of local filmmakers here in the NC Triangle Region.

David Bass – me – screenwriter and executive producer (Raleigh). The short version of a long story is that early in the pandemic-era I dove headfirst into comedy screenwriting. Simply put – people need to laugh more. My first short film PRIORITY BOARDING, a 10-minute satire style comedy, was completed in 2023 and accepted into multiple film festivals in NY and LA, winning an Audience Award at the Astoria (Queens, NY) Film Festival, and nominated for another award at the Burbank International Film Festival.

Several of my other screenplays have advanced to the top 20% and beyond in screenwriting competitions and are beginning to attract the interest of Hollywood producers. Read more about my screenwriting here.

Kiya Sabet – director (Chapel Hill). Kiya’s first narrative short film, The Thrift Shop, was an official selection at over 10 local and national film festivals, including a Best Director award at Raleigh’s Longleaf Film Festival and multiple award nominations at the Stranger Days Independent Film Festival. He has also worked on several documentaries, including Youngstown Boys and I Am Giant, that were aired on multiple streaming platforms. He presently is working on his second short film and several other projects.


Martin Brown – producer (Hillsborough). Martin received his B.A. in Radio Television and Motion Picture Production from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has attended both the International Film & Television Workshops and the Film Director’s Workshop. Beginning his television career in 1981, he has worked in all facets of commercial and broadcast television production.

He directed and shot the Emmy- nominated documentary Athletes: Back in the Game for Discovery Health. Other credits include: Beyond the Glory – Fox, The Operation – TLC, 21st Century Medicine – Discovery Health, Breed All About It – Animal Planet, February 1st – The Story of the Greensboro Four – PBS Independent Lens, Change Comes Knocking – “Best Documentary” at the Appalachian Film Festival, and Landscapes of the Heart – PBS.

Jafar Fallahi – cinematographer (Chapel Hill). An Emmy nominated cinematographer and photographer, Jafar has travelled to more than 25 countries in four continents working as a documentary filmmaker or photographer for organizations like Apple TV+, FOX, HBO, Gatorade, Fortune, World Bank, ESPN, CBS, USAID and many more…

See examples of Jafar’s excellent work here.

This promises to be an exhilarating ride. I’ll post regular updates on the status of this campaign here in the blog.


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