A USC short film about a robot named Rae, a girl named Katelyn, and the unstable third wheel named Richard.
"RAE" tells the story of a bright-eyed office robot, named Rae, who falls in love with the kindhearted girl from reception, Katelyn. On the surface, all is well, but the IT specialist of the office, Richard, has never been one for change. Rae must try to find a way to express his feelings toward Katelyn without disturbing the delicate balance between the three of them.
For years, technology evolving faster than our ability to control it has been a reoccurring theme in Hollywood, as illustrated by films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, Terminator, The Matrix, and i Robot. Though similarities can be drawn between these films and "RAE," "RAE" does not focus on the technological themes brought on by its protagonist. Instead, these ideas serve as the backdrop to a very human story of love, loss, and obsession.
"RAE" is a USC undergraduate animation thesis film. As an animation thesis, "RAE" is unusual because rather than being animated, the film is 90% live-action (filmed with a camera). This might be thought of as a disadvantage, but it actually affords the film a number of freedoms that are not normally available in USC undergraduate films. These freedoms include an ability to raise funds, use equipment from outside the school, and hire professionals currently working in the film industry.
Rather than a more traditional animated film, "RAE" holds an emphasis on visual effects not usually seen in a student production. This is most apparent in the film's main character, Rae, who's robotic features are achieved through the integration of CGI (computer generated imagery) with the original live-action footage.
With the help of "RAE's" experienced producers and USC faculty, the films preliminary budget has been set at $10,000. We will be using this money for the following departments...
Production Design- Set in the near future, this film will require some environments and many smaller props to be built from the ground up. These sets and props will help to convey an interesting, yet believable future in which the story of our characters can unfold naturally.
Equipment Rental- As a film with a healthy dose of visual effects, being able to capture a high resolution image during production is integral. For this reason, cameras may need to be rented from outside of USC's production school..
Location- Though some of "RAE's" environments will be built on set, a number of scenes will still be shot "on location." Booking locations for filming can be costly, but it is often worth it, as it is nearly impossible to mach the level of detail found in the real world when on set.
Wardrobe- The main character Rae will be created through a mixture of CGI and practical costume elements. To effectively sell certain parts of the body such as the hands and the feet in comparison to the CG head, we will need to invest in wardrobe and costume design.
Aaron Rovner (Writer/Director)
Aaron Rovner was born on the island of Manhattan, New York City, New York, but spent the majority of his young years growing up in South Burlington, Vermont. Besides watching the "making of" videos for films such as "The Matrix" and "The Lord of the Rings" over and over and making short films with his parent's video camera, it was in his high school's technology department that his passion for animation and visual effects first took root. In pursuit of that passion, Aaron traveled across the country to attend USC for a degree in animation and visual effects. Since that time Aaron has worked on a number of student and professional films as visual effects supervisor and artist. In addition he has worked on design and animation of visual music performances for musicians including Skrillex, Bjork, Madeon, Zedd, and others.
Michael Fink (Faculty Mentor)
An Academy Award winning visual effects supervisor. Michael Fink earned degrees in the visual arts from California State University Northridge, San Francisco Art Institute, and California Institute of the Arts. After a time working as a starving artist, Michael stumbled onto the set of his first film. He has since become a powerful force in the world of VFX, overseeing visual effects for more than 45 films including: Blade Runner, Braveheart, Batman Returns, X-Men, and Avatar. In 2007 Fink won an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for the Golden Compass.
Andres Mendez (Producer)
Andres Mendez was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to Orlando, Florida when he was 11 years old. Currently, Andres is majoring in Film and Television Production at the University of Southern California and following his dream of becoming a successful filmmaker. He is engaged in different projects and likes to experiment with diverse genres and stories. He has held many positions within the production process, from producer and director to editor and casting director, but has found his true calling in producing where he can be a part of the entire creative process. He has participated as an associate producer on the independent production titled, “Buckley” as well as producing two senior thesis films for USC titled “The Grift,” and “Midnight.”
Oivind Naess (Producer)
Oivind was born in Oslo, Norway. Raised in Kongsberg, Norway, where he worked for a local newspaper. He started creating short films at the age of 11. In high school, Oivind produced a documentary, which received awards at local film festivals and was since distributed on the DVD market. He spent a year studying film production at the Danvik School of Media and Communication, before working one year for TV Company Tellus Works. In 2010, Oivind moved to LA to attend USC’s, School of Cinematic Arts. He has interned for film Management Company, Infinity Management, MTV Networks and Bunim/Murray Productions.
Kara Keiffer (DP)
Kara was born and raised in Boulder, CO where she developed a visual eye by working as a photographers assistant, as well as serving on the staff of local publications. She spent two years studying film production at Syracuse University in New York. There she gained valuable experience with both 16mm and 35mm film stocks and cameras. In 2010, Kara moved to Los Angeles to accept a spot at USC’s, School of Cinematic Arts. Since then, she has gained experience interning with the Stand Up to Cancer Foundation at Laura Ziskin Productions working with SONY Pictures Studios and Academy Award winners. Kara's latest film Waking Up won Best Cinematography at the Women of Cinematic Arts Film Festival, Best Short at the Japan Film Festival and Best Film at the Asian on Film Festival.
Matthew Kaundart (Editor)
Born and raised in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Matthew Kaundart moved to Los Angeles after high school, where he eventually graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts with a BA in Production and a BA in Critical Studies with a minor in Animation and Digital Arts. He served as a Sound Designer on “Waking Up,” a USC 480 production in Fall 2011, and as a Picture Editor on “The Chemist,” a 480 production in Spring 2012. Other film credits include “recovery,” an award-winning, live-action film dealing with drug addiction, and “twin(s),” a mixed media project about Matthew’s own experiences as a twin. Matthew is most interested in using the editing and postproduction crafts as a way to enhance the emotional authenticity of a filmed story.
Lila Scott (PD)
Lila Scott was born in LA, but moved to Northern Calirfornia after her parents realized they missed trees. There she grew up pursuing a variety of creative endeavors including writing stories, acting in plays and drawing floor plans for dream houses. In high school she realized all these eclectic pursuits could be combined into a passion for film and that she had to go to back to LA and study at USC. Now going into her senior year, Lila has fallen in love with production design after designing Tina for President and The Don Draper Challenge.
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pledged of $10,000 goal
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Aug 8, 2012 - Sep 7, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $5 or more
Receive a hi-res RAE desktop background attached to a thank-you email from the director.Estimated delivery: May 2013
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Previous level reward, plus access to an HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the finished film.Estimated delivery: May 2013
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All previous level rewards, plus a RAE POSTER signed by the cast and crew, mailed to your doorstep.Estimated delivery: May 2013
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All previous level rewards, plus YOUR NAME IN THE FILM as a line of code on Richard's tablet! Also receive a DVD HARD COPY of the film with behind the scenes footage.Estimated delivery: May 2013
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All previous level rewards, plus a FIGURINE OF THE CHARACTER RAE, printed directly from the 3D model used in the film. Also a SPECIAL THANKS in the credits at the end of the film.Estimated delivery: May 2013
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All previous level rewards, plus PRINTS OF ORIGINAL ARTWORK and a copy of the film's soundtrack.Estimated delivery: May 2013
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0 backers Limited (4 of 4 left)
All previous level rewards, plus receive a ROBOTIC PROSTHETIC used in the film and a VERY SPECIAL THANKS in the credits.Estimated delivery: May 2013
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1 backer Limited (3 of 4 left)
All previous rewards plus 2 TICKETS to the premiere or a festival screening nearest you. Also receive an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit at the end of the film.Estimated delivery: May 2013
Pledge $2,000 or more
0 backers Limited (1 of 1 left)
All previous rewards, plus Richard's working tablet from the movie, with custom cover, preloaded with an HD copy of film, the score from the movie, behind the scenes footage, and all the artwork that went into the production of RAE!Estimated delivery: May 2013