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An impressionable young boy's determination to be accepted by his older brother leads him head-on into trouble.
An impressionable young boy's determination to be accepted by his older brother leads him head-on into trouble.
102 backers pledged $6,046 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Story

Warm Springs, a USC student short film written and directed by Sean Wang. 

Warm Springs is a coming of age film about a 7-year old boy named Ryan. Naive and impressionable, Ryan wants nothing more than to be accepted by his older brother, Van, and his two friends Kevin and Richie; to Ryan, Van and his friends are gods. In reality, the three boys aren’t much brighter than Ryan, searching for trouble just to pass the time in the blistering summer. When Van, Kevin, and Richie steal some fireworks and sneak off one night to go set them off, Ryan forces them to bring him along — and their recklessness combined with Ryan’s overeagerness to grow up places Ryan in harm’s way.

Locations

The film will be shot entirely on-location in Warm Springs and the greater Fremont area.

Crew

Writer / Director: Sean Wang

Sean Wang is an undergraduate film production student at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. A Fremont — the larger city in which Warm Springs is located — native, Sean spent his youth hanging out with his friends with reckless abandon and skateboarding. Through skateboarding (and Spike Jonze), Sean’s passion for the sport naturally segued into a passion for filmmaking and storytelling. Sean has shot and directed everything from short narrative and documentary films, weddings, music videos, action sports, and he still enjoys hanging out with his friends.

Producer: Nick De Bellis

Nick is an undergraduate Film and Television Production major at USC's School of Cinematic Arts. He is currently a physical production intern at Good Universe, a film production and global sales company in Beverly Hills. Nick enjoys producing projects with his fellow students at USC, whom he hopes to work with frequently in the future. He is excited to work on this project with Sean and bring his vision of Warm Springs to life. 

Co-Producer: Jon Wong

Jon is a Film & TV Production student at USC, and grew up in Cupertino, CA. He is currently an intern at The CW Television Network, where he is working toward his dream of working in television. Jon enjoys nothing more than taking long walks on the beach, having deep conversations while watching the sunset, pruning the garden, and sharing spaghetti and meatballs.

Co-Producer: Fahad Manzur

Fahad is a student at USC studying economics and screenwriting. Sean and Fahad share their hometown of Fremont, and grew up playing in Warm Springs together. Fahad works during the day as an investment banker in Los Angeles and focuses on his passion of writing at night and on the weekends. He enjoys stand up comedy, crepes and playing poker with his friends. As co producer Fahad hopes to help Sean capture the distinct feeling of nostalgia in this story.

Director of Photography: Sam Davis

Sam hails from Potterville, Michigan, the world’s only “Gizzard City”. He’s an undergraduate production major at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Sam has shot television commercials, music videos, documentary, and narrative short films. His ultimate goal is to work as a Director of Photography on major feature films, TV series, and commercials. He's happiest when he has a camera in his hands.

Production Designer / 1st Assistant Director: Rayka Zehtabchi

Rayka came to discover her passion for filmmaking in high school after a childhood of theater acting. At 19, Rayka became Festival Director at the reputable Orange County Film Festival, which attracted thousands of attendees from across the county. Meanwhile, Rayka also involved herself in a number of film projects such as I Hurt Too, Too Young to Know Better, and Fardles, which all have gained attention at various film festivals. In 2014, after interning for Nicolas Chartier at Voltage Pictures, Rayka transferred over to USC’s School of Cinematic Arts to study Film Production and focus her attention on Directing.

Editor: Adrian Ehlman

Adrian (aka Ace) grew up in Woodland, CA, where he discovered a lifelong passion for the art of magic. He quickly realized the connection between illusion and film and made the shift from professional magician into a Film & TV Production major at USC where he is currently in his final year. Adrian has directed, edited, and shot numerous short films and music videos and will continue to combine the thinking behind both magic and film in an effort to create media that connects and moves his audience.

Colorist / Post-Production Supervisor: Brian M. Tang

Brian is a filmmaker from New Jersey and currently is a production student at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He is passionate about cinematography, post production sound, classical piano, and Chick-fil-A. Brian has directed, shot, edited, anything from narrative short films, to music videos to commercials, to feature length films.

VFX Supervisor: Josh Jackson

Hailing from New York, Josh Jackson is a motion graphics and VFX artist known for his music video and indie film work. He is a huge animation fan and has seen Inside Out four times in theaters. He loves rice pudding, ramen, taco trucks, and has a large Adam’s apple.

Behind-The-Scenes Photography: Julian Olea

Julian is a a biology major hailing from Norwalk, California. Growing up in a small town in the suburbs, he comes from a somewhat similar background as a bulk of the crew. He enjoys hiking, long boarding around the beach, knife spinning, and good times.

Director's Statement

Told underneath the backdrop of Warm Springs, the quiet, suburban town that was home to the more formative years of my youth, Warm Springs is my way of exploring the complicated and uninhibited emotions of childhood. Largely inspired by my childhood experiences and feelings, I know that if I can capture the wild spirit of the shenanigans that my friends and I got into along with the tender moments of intimacy that we all experience, then I can make a worthy short film.


Although still relatively small compared to the majority of productions happening everyday in Los Angeles and other parts of the world, Warm Springs is the biggest project that I have ever attempted to make. It is my way of paying homage to a place and a community that has provided me with encouragement and never-ending inspiration as a budding filmmaker. Our goal with this film is to (hopefully, fingers crossed) have a life in the festival circuit after it is finished. However, regardless of what happens with the film, I hope to make something that will capture what I think is an authentic portrayal of childhood under the microscope of Warm Springs, but resonate with audiences everywhere.

Your Support

Your help in making this project will assist us with the significant expenses of making a short film. The decision to shoot the project on location in Warm Springs compounds many of these expenses, and forces us to work on a more logistically challenging, remote basis. Your support will be crucial to the following considerations:

- Camera and lighting equipment (i.e. Arri Alexa package) 
- Catering and craft services for the cast and crew (12 crew, 5 cast members)
- Production Design
- Wardrobe
- Stunt Coordination
- Post-Production (Composer, Sound Mixing)

Risks and challenges

The crew working on Warm Springs is taking all necessary precautions to ensure our shoot runs smoothly. We understand that are a number of obstacles that can potentially arise at any given moment. Although we have prepared for the commencement of Warm Spring's production for the past few months, if any complications or setbacks emerge, we are confident our capable and experienced crew will provide additional support to alleviate any issues.

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    - A private screening of the completed film in Los Angeles
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    - A unique, handwritten thank you note from the director
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    - Executive Producer credit
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    - An 18x24" copy of the poster of the film
    - A unique, handwritten thank you note from the director
    - A digital link to the completed film
    - A special thanks in the credits of the film

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Funding period

- (15 days)