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Meet Mika, a girl who refuses to let her gender define her place in one of the harshest environments on earth - The Playground.
Meet Mika, a girl who refuses to let her gender define her place in one of the harshest environments on earth - The Playground.
218 backers pledged AU$ 12,900 to help bring this project to life.

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Everybody Else is Taken - Short Film

AU$ 12,900

218

A young child stands on the rugby field at her primary school, with mid-length shaggy hair. It is hard to tell immediately if we are looking at a boy or a girl. This is Mika, and Mika desperately wants to play cricket with the boys. Bullied by the girls, never picked for a team by the boys - Mika is having a hard time finding her place in the world, and her own skin. Her only ally is a little spider that looks out for her in her darkest moments, it gives her hope and courage and represents her inner-strength. This story explores the strength of a young spirit and her uncompromising sense of self.

Everybody Else is Taken closely examines gender roles: what it means to be a boy or a girl outside our physiology, and how society tries to define those roles for us. I feel the specificity of this story will achieve a universal connection, and I want to tell this story because of the unique way it deals with bullying, tolerance, self-acceptance, courage, peer-pressure, exclusion and grit. This is an important story for young girls.  The archetypes in this script live within us – I am the victim, I am the hero, I am the bully, I am the gate-keeper. I challenge the audience to look inside themselves at their own lives and consider what roles they are playing.

Emma Draper has done an amazing job of casting the film, we have Gala Baumfield in the lead role of MIKA, and veteran actor and director Nathaniel Lees playing GEOFFREY, her grandfather. Supporting roles are being played by Caleb Griffin, Huia Monroe, Pipi Corbett and George Nepia (pictured).

Top: Gala Baumfield, Nathaniel Lees Below: Caleb Griffin, Huia Monroe, Pipi Corbett, George Nepia
Top: Gala Baumfield, Nathaniel Lees Below: Caleb Griffin, Huia Monroe, Pipi Corbett, George Nepia

The funds I am raising through this Kickstarter campaign will go directly towards filming, and our producer Belindalee Hope has drawn up a budget for our shoot outlined below. I have included cast & crew fees, as ideally I would like to pay people for their work. This is usually the first thing to be axed from a budget when the total amount cannot be reached, please help us surpass our goal and pay people for their hard work and contribution! If we are lucky enough to reach / surpass our shoot budget ($12k) the remainder will go into post production - score, animation, VFX, sound and editing.

Paraparaumu (Location for the shoot)
Paraparaumu (Location for the shoot)
Kapiti (Location for the shoot)
Kapiti (Location for the shoot)
St. Theresa's Primary School, Plimmerton (Location for the shoot)
St. Theresa's Primary School, Plimmerton (Location for the shoot)

BUDGET (BASED ON A FOUR DAY SHOOT)

Technical Equipment (Cameras, Gear, Lighting etc): $3650
Production Design (Art department, costume, locations): $1250
Consumables (Drives, fuel, generator, printing): $950
Insurance (Public Liability, Contingency): $1450
Cast & Crew (17x crew members, 6x lead & support cast): $3990
Catering: $1960

TOTAL = $12,000

I have worked hard to bring together female crew in areas that I feel are underrepresented in our industry: 

Writer/Director: Jessica Grace Smith
Executive Producer: Danielle Cormack
Producer: Belindalee Hope
Cinematographer: Jess Charlton
Sound Design: Michelle Child

The rest of our crew is pretty stellar as well! 

Stunt Coordinator: Rodney Cook
Sound Recordist: Joel Smith
Costume Design: Gaby Stevenson
Drone Operator: Simon Baumfield
Locations: Jared Connon
Animator: Hadley Donaldson
Casting Director: Emma Draper

Catherine Fitzgerald and Ra Vincent have also agreed to mentor our crew in the areas of Producing and Production Design, which is an awesome contribution to our film and the growth of our talent. 

Please share this video with your circles and supporters of the arts, we need all the help we can get! Every dollar counts, we are determined to make this film!

Risks and challenges

- Weather: We have a lot of exterior locations, and when shooting in Wellington this can be a real issue. We plan to shoot the school scenes over the a weekend, and we will put in place a contingency/alternate shoot days if the weather is crap.

- Cast availability: One of the reasons I started this campaign is because I love our cast and currently they are available. This can change very quickly and I hope to shoot before anything changes. If availability does change we will have to reassess our shoot dates, and depending on the situation work around them.

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    Pledge AU$ 3 or more About US$ 2

    Cheers!! I will email you a signed photograph to say thank you!

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    Thanks so much for your support!! You will be publicly thanked on Instagram / Facebook!

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    Woop woop!! I will email you a signed photograph with a personalised message, follow you on Instagram and include your Instagram and/or Facebook account in a public thank-you & shout-out.

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    You rule!! You will receive a signed photograph of yours truly with a personalised message in the post, plus a follow on Instagram and your Instagram and/or Facebook account included in a public thank-you shout out.

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    THANK YOU amazing human!! You will be sent a private link to the film once it is finished.

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    Let's party!! You will receive a private link to the film as soon as it is finished and an invite to the cast & crew screening in Wellington!

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    Thank you SO much!!! You will receive a private link to the film as soon as it is finished, an invite to the cast & crew screening and a Thank You in the credits!

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    Pledge AU$ 150 or more About US$ 105

    SYDNEY ONLY: Full colour, balayage or foils / gloss treatment / style cut and blow dry by Rebecca Blissett (Instagram @rebeccablissett). Rebecca is my hairdresser and has donated this cut/colour package - valued at over $220. She works out of Cronulla mainly and is AMAZING!!

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    Pledge AU$ 250 or more About US$ 176

    You. Are. AMAZING!! You will receive a signed copy of the DVD as well as a private link to the film as soon as it is finished, an invite to the cast & crew screening, and a Thank You in the credits. I will post a promotional photo of yourself, business or products on the instagram account @jessgrace_smith.

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    Pledge AU$ 750 or more About US$ 527

    YEOWCH!! You will receive a signed copy of the DVD as well as a private link to the film as soon as it is finished, an invite to the wrap party in Wellington as well as the cast & crew private screening. You will also get a Thank You in the credits of our film. I will post a promotional photo of yourself, business or products on the instagram account @jessgrace_smith.

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    Pledge AU$ 2,500 or more About US$ 1,756

    SHOW ME THE MONEY!!! You will have an Executive Producer credit on the film, and your business' logo will appear before the opening credits. You will receive a signed copy of the DVD as well as a private link to the film as soon as it is finished. You will be invited to meet the cast and crew on set in Wellington, as well as to the wrap party. You will receive an invitation to the cast & crew screening of the film. I will post three promotional posts of yourself, your business or your products on my instagram account @jessgrace_smith.

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Funding period

- (42 days)