Manic Pixie Dream Wife is a comedy web series created by M. Elizabeth Eller that examines the pop-culture trope of the manic pixie dream girl – the effervescent, carefree, quirky woman who arrives in a man’s life with a singular purpose: to help him become a better version of himself. Who is this woman? Where does she come from, and what is she like in everyday life?
Blending humor and drama, MPDW is both playfully sardonic as it examines the popular caricature, and thoughtful as it explores relationships, and the roles people bring into them. The series follows Chance and Simone as they navigate married life from two very different perspectives.
Chance is at the end of his rope when we meet him – he knows he sounds ungrateful, but his delightful wife is driving him to madness. She sends in their bills with colorful drawings instead of checks, because “money is such a restrictive concept.” She sends him to the hospital after an impromptu burn party in their kitchen. As Chance explains, she is a menace to herself and him because of her inability to function in the real world. But is that true?
As the series goes deeper into their life, questions of how they define themselves arise, and it becomes clear that each is playing a number of roles – but to what end?
Our cast is loaded with amazing local talent, including:
- Amy Hill (Simone), a talented actress with film and stage credits in Los Angeles, Seattle, and the surrounding area. She was most recently seen in the critically acclaimed production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe? at Seattle Repertory Theater. Yes, that was her lovely mug you saw on the side of busses this spring.
- Cody Smith (Chance), a hilarious local comedian and actor. Recently you may have seen Cody doing stand-up at one of the local comedy clubs, performing a sensitive (and poignantly hilarious – yes, that’s a thing) monologue as part of the stage production of B Sides and Rarities, or joining the ensemble cast for Live Girls! Quickies 15.
- Sharon Barto (Serenity), a chameleon actress with more credits than we can shake a stick at, including iDiscovery Channel's Murder in Law, and this summer's outdoor production of Around the World in 8 Stories with 14/48.
- Ashley Bagwell (Vincent), a talented performer of stage (Balagan Theatre’s August: Osage County and Jerry Springer: The Opera) and a seasoned collaborator on local webseries Frank Hardon: Life Coach ...just to name a few.
How We'll Use Your Contribution
Our budget has been whittled down to the barest essentials. Filmmaking involves many days of long, hard hours put in by the cast and crew. Your generous donations will be used for MPDW’s production and post-production costs for the entire series, which will be shot all at once.
We are very excited to produce this series, as each episode stands on its own, but the series has an overall arc that will be completed by the final episode. Shooting all at once cuts down costs, and ensures a cohesive beginning, middle, and end to the story. We have amassed an impressive group of professionals who have worked on major motion pictures, local theatre productions, and television shows. Our cast and crew are passionate about this project. They have agreed to donate their time and expertise, taking a fraction of their normal pay for long days, or altogether waiving any payment aside from food.
Your donation goes toward attracting these talented individuals, and it also helps to pay for everything behind the camera - including the camera itself, production, design and art departments, plus feeding the crew and actors. It takes a lot out of a person to frolic with the appropriate level of joie de virve without sustenance; after awhile they get peckish and the magic is gone. So, we have to feed them. We’re feeding the magic, people. So, when you think of it like that, your donations are making the magic happen.
We are sincerely grateful to you for visiting and helping us bring this funny, sweet series to life.
Other Ways You Can Help
- Donate resources for craft services, office services / supplies, locations, production equipment, etc.
- Share our site with all of your friends on your networks.
- Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/manicpixiedreamwife).
- Ask your friends to follow us, too!
- Host a Manic Pixie Dream Party (It’s easy and it’s fun! E-mail us for all the information and supplies you’ll need to make it happen.)
Why You Should Back This Series
We need more stories that examine female tropes. We need more female voices. Manic Pixie Dream Wife is unique and wonderful, because it doesn’t just skewer a trope – that would be too easy. It examines the tropes and roles we all bring into our relationships, and by the end it will have you looking at all of the characters in a different way. Plus, it’s really darn funny. We especially like that part, and we think you will too. Your donations make it possible to tell Chance and Simone’s story.
We are Seattlites and take a lot of pride in the caliber of artistry and talent we have amassed, all from the great PNW. In addition to telling a great story, we are showing off our beautiful region with a 100% local cast and crew – and we’re also showing off the scenic beauty and color of our region (Farmer’s Markets, Pioneer Square, San Juan Islands, oh my!).
We aim to entertain you with a comedic look at a relationship almost everyone can identify with. Beyond that, though, we want to provoke conversation about the roles we give to women in the stories being told today; why is the manic pixie dream girl so popular? You need some laughs, we need some financial support – together we can help Manic Pixie Dream Wife reach the worldwide audience it deserves.
Other Stuff About Us
Our team is chock full of brilliance. Behind MPDW is a crew that represents the best of Seattle filmmaking and storytelling. Our collective list of awesome projects include the Emmy-nominated feature documentary Welcome to Doe Bay, the narrative feature film B.F.E. (Seattle International Film Festival Official Selection 2014), web series from Frank Hardon: Life Coach to the Telly-nominated non-fiction series Dinner Dialogues, narrative shorts including From the Sky and The Only Time We Have (Seattle International Film Festival Fly Filmmaking Challenge 2013), and documentary shorts like The Beast Inside (Part of Seattle University's American Refugees Project). We pay our bills with commercial media work too numerous to name here, but our love for good story drives us back to passion projects with people whose generosity match their professionalism. The caliber of our work speaks for itself, but ultimately independent filmmaking is as much about the final product as it is about the process. This project would not be possible without the strength of relationships characterized in our crew members.
All still photography provided by Elldub Photography. He's a cool dude, you should check him out.
Risks and challenges
We are meeting this challenge head-on by having some of the best minds in the business work the schedule to make sure all the moving parts are in place before we begin. Our cast and crew are in high demand, and everyone will be making sacrifices in paid work to be part of this project. That said, the schedule will be our biggest challenge, as we are asking for twelve hour days from our crew, for a fifteen day shoot that will be spread out over weeks in order to accommodate work schedules as much as possible.
Keeping everyone well fed and happy is essential under such conditions, but to minimize cost, all crew members are taking on the duties of 3 - 5 crew members (under normal conditions) in order to keep only the essential people on set. Once filming begins, each department (Camera, Make-up, Grip, etc.) must work seamlessly in order to maximize time efficiency. A well run set minimizes time loss and the possibility of overruns. If we are able to surpass our funding goal, our first stretch goal will be aimed towards paying the cast and crew a stipend to offset the time demands and sacrifices in paid work (and sleep!) they will be making.
Thanks again for visiting this campaign and contributing! Please, like us on Facebook, share this page and help spread the word! www.facebook.com/manicpixiedreamwifeLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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