“We are what we choose to be. Fortunate kids learn this truth early on – from a parent, a mentor, a committed teacher, a friend. But not all are so fortunate as to have such guides. This is where stories can make a real difference." -- Graham Salisbury, author of Under the Blood-Red Sun
UPDATE: A MESSAGE FROM GRAHAM
Graham Salisbury shares a special message about what being a writer means to him:
Kids have been writing to author Graham Salisbury for the last twenty years about his book, Under the Blood-Red Sun-- are the characters real? Did you ever have a best friend like Billy? When does Tomi’s dad come home? When is it going to be a movie?
We are excited to finally announce that a live-action feature film of Under the Blood-Red Sun has been in development for some time.
For the past year our team has been in pre-production on Under the Blood-Red Sun, planning and pulling together all of the resources required to make a movie that will do the book-- and its millions of fans-- justice.
We’re nearly there, but now we need your support to make Under the Blood-Red Sun a reality.
The book’s author, Graham Salisbury, has even written the screenplay. It captures the essence of the book and adds several new scenes to bring the story to life like never before.
All of the pieces to make this film are coming together, including an amazingly talented cast, a crew that can do anything, incredible locations, authentic period wardrobe, and much of the funding. Our Kickstarter goal represents the final push we need to be able to start shooting this November.
Please help us say “Action” this November by backing this project and joining us in bringing the world of Under the Blood-Red Sun to life.
December 7, 1941 — thirteen-year-old Tomikazu Nakaji and his best friend, Billy Davis, are playing baseball in a field near their homes when Japan launches a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
As Tomi looks up at the sky and recognizes the Blood-Red Sun emblem on the amber fighter planes, he knows that his life has changed forever.
His father and grandfather, both Japanese Americans, are quickly arrested and taken to internment camps. His mother loses her job just because she is Japanese.
With the absence of his father, Tomi must quickly learn to provide for his family while also dealing with the increased scrutiny he and his family receive simply due to the color of their skin.
Loyalties are questioned, friendships are strained, and Tomi's strong sense of duty and honor is put to the biggest test of his life.
We are excited to have a talented all-star cast ready to bring your favorite characters from Under the Blood-Red Sun to life:
- Kyler Shim Sakamoto as Tomikazu “Tomi” Nakaji
- Kalama Epstein as Billy Davis
- Academy Award-Winner, Chris Tashima as Papa Taro Nakaji - He
- Autumn Ogawa as Mama Nakaji
- Dann Seki as Grampa (Ojii-chan)
- Wil Kahele as Charlie
- Bryce Lee Moore as Keet Wilson
- Benen Weir as Jake Davis
- Shiro Kawai as Sanji the fisherman
- Ming Kay Miyamoto as Reiko, Sanji’s wife
- Mina Kohara as Kimi Nakaji
- Aidan James & Marco Lopez as Mose and Rico
Under the Blood-Red Sun is loved by millions of readers of all ages. Here are just some of the book’s many accolades:
- Estimated total readership of over 3 million
- Over 655,000 copies sold
- Required reading in middle schools across the nation
- 20th Anniversary Edition to be published in 2014 by Random House
- Phoenix Honor Book Award from the Children's Literature Association for "high literary merit and lasting significance" (2014)
- American Library Association - Best Books for Young Adults
- Parent's Choice Honor Award
- Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
- Library of Congress: Notable Children's Book of the Year
At the helm, we have a veritable dream team of people who are all passionate about making Under the Blood-Red Sun:
GRAHAM SALISBURY - AUTHOR/SCREENWRITER
Graham is the author of 18 award-winning young-adult novels, including Night of the Howling Dogs, Eyes of the Emperor, House of the Red Fish, and the popular Calvin Coconut series.
Graham grew up in Kona, Hawaii, surfed with a shark, got stung by a Portuguese man o’ war, swam for his life from a moray eel, didn’t wear shoes until the 6th grade, didn’t see snow until he was 19, and was the lead singer in a rock band called The Millennium. Yup, all true.
TIM SAVAGE - DIRECTOR
Director of critically acclaimed productions such as Goodbye Paradise,numerous TV programs, specials, and films including award-winning The Lemon Tree Billiards House about a young guy who thinks a curse at birth is holding him back from living a good life.
Tim has directed over 100 TV commercials, received at least 12 awards, 1 wife, 2 kids, 2 yappy dogs, and a genuinely great guy with a bazillion friends - everyone knows Tim. Yup, all true.
DANA SATLER HANKINS - PRODUCER
Over 30 years in the film industry with production credits in films such as The Tempest (directed Julie Taymor, starring Helen Mirren), Chief (Official Sundance Selection), Picture Bride (Official Sundance and Cannes Film Festival Selections), Bird On A Wire, Stakeout, Short Circuit, American Flyers, WarGames, Blue Thunder, 4 more short films, over 100 TV commercials.
She is married to 1 retired USN submarine captain husband, has twin 23 year-old redheaded daughters, and is great at multitasking and carrying on two conversations at once. Yup, all true.
We shoot in November. We're prepped, we're ready, we've called in all the favors we've amassed over many years in the industry working on everything from feature films to commercials.
We've raised funds from grants, foundations, non-profit organizations, corporations, and wealthy aunts/uncles.
We have a great cast, terrific locations, MacGyver-trained crew, period props (real baseball gloves from the 1940s - phew!), Lucky the dog, and the support from family and friends.
Now we're reaching out to ask for your support during this final stage to raise the remaining funds we'll need to begin shooting in November.
What we need (hint: it’s YOU)
Please join us on this journey. We need your help in reaching out to everyone who's ever read the book in school, or read it by choice, and has been moved by young Tomi's courage.
We're offering some great rewards for backers. Your contribution will go toward paying our talented actors and seasoned crew of MacGuyver-trained pros, location fees, and for renting period vehicles, props, and wardrobe.
Graham, Dana, and Tim have deferred all fees and expenses so that every pledge goes directly to making the film.
Why we need it
It's tough to find funding for an exciting, dramatic film with a great story and terrific characters if it doesn't also have sex, drugs, violence, wizards with flying broomsticks, or an apocalyptic end to the world as we know it.
Your support will bring a unique character-driven story that is perfect for the entire family with strong values and colorful characters to life.
Why you should join us
The experiences of characters like Tomi and Billy will shape young people’s ideas of how other people ought to be treated.
Under the Blood-Red Sun is a film that helps young people learn tolerance and respect for others’ differences. Tolerance is a way of thinking and feeling — but most importantly, of acting — that gives us peace in our individuality, respect for those unlike us, the wisdom to discern humane values, and the courage to act upon them.
Many thanks and much aloha for joining us on this journey,
-- Graham, Tim and Dana
Music: "Don't Close Your Eyes" by Josh Woodward
Risks and challenges
As with any feature film production, there are inherent risks, but we have actively taken steps to offset many of these risks through contingency plans and a seasoned team of professionals with decades of experience in the film and television industry.
Regarding reward fulfillment to backers, we have already set up an infrastructure for handling fulfillment, including making arrangements with suppliers to accommodate the production and distribution of rewards to backers in a timely manner.
At the end of the day though, we are so passionate about Under the Blood-Red Sun that we will plow through any obstacles that threaten to keep us from bringing this powerful story to you, our wonderful fans.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)