A feature film written by a nurse for nurses and for anyone who is forced to face a life or death decision that effects a loved one.
THE SHIFT is the story of one 12-hour night shift in the ER where a veteran nurse, who struggles with the haunting guilt of his brother’s drowning, is forced to train a new nurse. The veteran nurse, Kayle, and the new nurse, Amanda, are at odds throughout the story because, while they both struggle with the spiritual turmoil of what is right and wrong, they have both come to very different conclusions. Kayle believes in doing whatever is best for the patient, even if that means letting them rest in peace. Amanda believes you should fight for everyone until there is nothing left. While Kayle and Amanda take care of several patients that night, there is one patient, a young girl named Emily, who makes them question their beliefs. Emily is dying of cancer and has come to the ER due to another infection. The dichotomy of Emily’s bravery and her mother’s distress eats at the hearts of the two nurses. When Emily’s situation suddenly becomes more serious, Kayle and Amanda are forced to make impossible decisions.
The goal of THE SHIFT is to entertain, to educate and to inspire. The movie entertains its audience by taking them on a roller coaster of emotions as the nurses care for each patient they receive. As filmmakers, we want to show people the serious nature of life and death decisions and how it affects the way we care for those we love. Ultimately we want people to be inspired by the story and make their own decision about what they would do when faced with prospect of losing someone they love.
THE SHIFT is being shot by a very small independent film crew and under the SAG ultra-low budget contract. The content of the project brought some of South Florida's leading industry people to assist in this low budget project. Principle photography of THE SHIFT began on October 3, 2011. Two days into the shoot, the hospital, where 95% of the film was going to be shot, had to open their overflow ICU wing for patients, thereby putting the production out on the streets. After four days of intense location scouting and a plethora of phone calls, the production was forced to shut down because no other hospital in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach County could accommodate them. Actors returned home, and crew moved on to other jobs with the promise that before the end of the year, production would resume on this amazing project.
The production lost a third of the budget in this delay. With no hospital or urgent care location available in Florida, the entire film was forced to relocate and search for another means to make this story come to life. On November 13th, 2011, LAC USC Hospital confirmed dates for the shoot to take place January 2012. A full reboot is underway to shoot and complete principal photography by February 2012. With your help, we can recover the funds we need in order to complete the project and put out a story that needs to be told.
The Creative Team
Writer/Lead Actor: Leonel Oliva, born and raised in Miami, FL, and a Graduate of the University of Miami School of Nursing, has been a practicing nurse for the past five years in both the ICU and ER. In addition to being a registered nurse, Leonel is a trained actor. On July 25th, 2009, Leonel officially became a graduate of the Sanford Meisner Studio in Burbank, California, having completed two intense years under the instruction of Alex Taylor. Always willing to lend a hand, Leonel maintains deep-rooted values of dedication, hard work, friendship and honesty that provide a fresh departure from the often cutthroat atmosphere of show business in LA. Still, his straightforward attitude, hard work and steadfast drive when it comes to acting have lead many of his friends to nickname him "The Business".
Director: Lee Cipolla has been in the entertainment industry his whole life. In high school, he underwent intense theatrical training at Dr. Michael M.Krop Senior High School in Miami, Fl. Lee directed several short films throughout his high school career. One, Taken Away, shot in his senior year, would win thirteen film festivals in five months and get the attention of industry heavyweights. While finishing his college degree, Lee directed his first feature film, Harder They Fall, a tale of two Miami martial artists who compete for a kickboxing title. The film would go on to screen at thirteen film festivals, competing against the likes of multi million dollar features with major stars. The film generated a major buzz in the Miami film industry, thus leading Lee to his next endeavor, a chance to direct Know Thy Enemy, a heartfelt drama about a young rap artist’s ventures into the music industry. Eventually, Lee got a two-picture buyout for Know Thy Enemy and Harder They Fall with the prestigious LionsGate films and Grindstone entertainment.
Producer: Melanie DiPietro was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She recently graduated from the Honors Motion Pictures Program at the University of Miami. She has edited two features for Christ Effect Entertainment and co-produced one of them, YOUTH OF CHRIST. Two of her short films, THE DREAMER and BREAKAWAY STREET, have won the Dean’s Choice Award at the University of Miami Film Festival and have been screened at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. BREAKAWAY STREET also won the Best Student Film of the Year from UM in the Miami International Film Festival CinemaSlam Competition. For her latest short film, THE PROBLEM WITH MR. WITHERS, she secured funding from the University of Miami Ethics Programs and received an award for achievement in producing at the 2011 University of Miami Film Festival. Melanie just Co-Produced and Assistant Directed another independent feature film, EL EMPANTANADO, starring Colombia’s leading man, Diego Cadavid.
Producer: Also a Florida native, Jeremy Mitchell was the first producer to start with The Shift back in its inception in 2008. Having produced, written and sold his film, KNOW THY ENEMY, with Lee Cipolla to Lionsgate, Jeremy's experience comes in handy on both the creative and business side of production. From helping to mold the script to casting, budgeting and connecting the crew, Jeremy has been a huge help to this films progress. Currently he is multitasking with writing and producing his own feature film The Tour, while still staying actively involved with The Shift.
Producer: A businesswoman, artist, and producer, Michelle Jubilee Gonzalez is a rising star in the horizon of the entertainment industries. Armed with formal training in business, the performing arts, and along with steadily acquired professional experiences, Michelle has developed a strong understanding of the type of caliber, communication, and effectiveness needed both in front and behind of the camera. Michelle’s most recent producer credit is for an indie film, Summer’s Babes, in which she worked with Tony Adler (American Beauty Academy Award Winner), and director of photography Jon Philion (The Avengers 2010, True Blood, Fast & Furious). Earlier this year, she had the honor of working with writer/actor Leonel Oliva on a powerful short film, Spoils of War, and is excited to work his full-length feature film, The Shift.
The story was written by a nurse and explores a common world in cinema, the hospital, but from the perspective we never see: that of the nurse. The focus is on total authenticity and realism. The script pays close attention to detail and the look we are striving for is similar to some of the current neo-neo-realism films such as The Wrestler, Sin Nombre, Raising Victor Vargas, Sugar and Blue Valentine.
Message from the Writer
Imagine having someone lying in a hospital bed asking you to fight as hard as you can to save his life. Now imagine someone else begging you to have the compassion to end it for him. This can happen on any particular night when you are at the bedside of someone in need. I, and many other nurses, have experienced this many times throughout our careers as RNs. The ethical and moral decisions and actions we take after these pleading moments are ours and ours alone to live with. While we care for people day in and day out, there is barely ever anyone there to care for us. This is why there is such a high occurrence of career burn-out in the nursing field, as well as why we find that so many of our co-workers turn to prescription drugs to cope with our profession. This movie, THE SHIFT, is my cathartic exploration of what nurses deal with while caring for people during end of life situations. It is my tribute to all of us who work so hard for our patients, while exploring the reasons why we care and fight so much for others. It is my thank you to all the nurses I've worked with, and all the patients and family members who have allowed me to share in their lives and deaths. I chose not to avoid what family's and patients deal with during these times to make sure that the audience gets a well rounded view of what caring for someone is. THE SHIFT is an action packed, intense drama set during the course of one 12 hour night shift in the ER that explores what makes us all human, and how we fight for those we love when their time is near.
Since August of 2008, I have painstakingly labored over this story to make sure that it stays true to what it claims to be: The most difficult 12 hour night shift in the ER that our lead character Kayle has ever faced. I have cleaned up the story so that only the elements necessary to tell it are present. No fluff. No sugarcoating. Only the gritty real experiences of a registered nurse are detailed throughout the story to a point that makes you feel every second of this night.
I worked myself to the point where I was hospitalized during the writing and preproduction of this movie. I was working my fifth 12 hour shift in a row, while re-writing during my hours off so that I could raise funds as well as do the story justice in the little time I had to get it all together. I found myself in my own ER trying to recover from a migraine that had me unable to think, speak or walk straight.
I've tried to tell myself that I am not a writer for the past three years, but when looking at the evidence in front of me displayed by the amount of help and support I have received because of the script I have written, it is difficult for me to deny it any longer. I am a writer, at least this once. I've done all I can to make this movie come true and am now asking for you to join me in making this project a great success.
-Leonel Oliva, RN
The film is being produced as a co-production between Oliva Productions, Inc. and M.A.D. Elephant, Inc. Leonel Oliva, primarily known in the entertainment industry as an actor, founded Oliva Productions, Inc. in July 2011. After spending three years writing and developing the script for THE SHIFT, Leonel decided it was time to bring the story to life. Instead of waiting for the perfect company to come along and pick up his script, he decided to start his own production company to house the project. With a corporate structure in place, Leonel was able to attract producers and a director to the project. One of these producers, Melanie DiPietro, has recently brought on the support of her corporate structure to aid in the new revitalized LA production.
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pledged of $15,000 goal
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Nov 17, 2011 - Jan 1, 2012 (45 days)
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Letter from the Writer - Letter from Leo himself telling you exactly how you helped us in our endeavor.Estimated delivery: May 2012
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Previous Reward + Set Photos - Get behind the Scenes photos of the cast and crew as they set out to finish THE SHIFT thanks to you!Estimated delivery: May 2012
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Previous Rewards + DVD of the Finished FilmEstimated delivery: Jul 2012
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Previous Rewards + THE SHIFT Shooting Script - get a copy of the actual script the filmmakers used on setEstimated delivery: Jul 2012
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Previous Rewards + Get a character named after you in the film!Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
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Previous Rewards + Special Thanks in the Credits of the Film and an invitation to one of the PremiersEstimated delivery: Aug 2012
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Previous Rewards + Costume worn by one of the Characters in the Film accompanied by a signed Picture from the Actor and a personal letter from him/herEstimated delivery: Aug 2012