Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 21, 2012.


Love was in their hands, but their hands ran away...

STARRING Kali Rocha & Pat Healy
STARRING Kali Rocha & Pat Healy

"Lend a Hand for Love" is a short film about two people who are so terrified to confess the love they have been secretly harboring for one another that their hands escape from their bodies and share a love affair of their own.    

We’re raising money to finish filming a few scenes & to improve the hand prosthetics so that they will look even better!!!!!    

Fundraising Update: 

80% of our filming is complete! We just need $18,500 to make the wonderful prosthetics and finish filming the last few bits! Help us get there!  We're willing to do pushups!

Why this Film: 

When I was young, the muscles in my jaw did not work well. I could hardly speak, and when I did, I quietly mumbled mispronounced words. With time, I overcame my speech problems, but my habits didn't change. EVERYTHING stayed IN. My passions, opinions, feelings and dreams were a mystery to everyone but me. By the time I discovered film, I had years of pent-up dreams to put on the screen. 

I believe that, most people go through their lives without sharing their true passions and feelings with others. “Lend a Hand for Love” is about pushing past that fear and opening oneself to the beauty and magic in the world. 

Filming Technique and Style 

In the spirit of magical realism, "Lend a Hand for Love" exists in a world that is  slightly fantastic, slightly outside of our own.  To create this world, we constructed highly stylized model miniatures, filmed our actors against green screen, and then composited our actors into the model world. Every bit of our sets - from the buildings to the books to the laundry lines to the stars - was hand crafted by our art department. 

By nature this is a slow and arduous process, requiring that we film everything twice: once with the model miniatures and once with our actors. Every shot’s movement and lighting must precisely match its corresponding shot. Otherwise, the footage is useless. Fortunately, all of our crew has been meticulous in its preparation, and the result is one uniquely beautiful world. 

Ultimate Goal 

My team and I would like to share the message of "Lend a Hand for Love" with as many people as possible, and we think the best way to do this is to make a great film. For this reason we aim to win an Academy Award for best Live Action Short Film.  We know this is a huge goal, but we wouldn't ask for contributions if we didn't think we could reach the goal.


"Lend a Hand for Love" started with a generous grant from the Princess Grace Awards, a foundation created by Grace Kelly to champion creativity in the fields of dance, theater and film. Prior to winning this grant, I was fortunate enough to have films screen at the Sundance and Tribeca film festivals. I was also fortunate enough to win a Heineken-sponsored national music video competition and to be nominated for a Student Academy Award for an experimental short film I made during my graduate studies at the University of Southern California.  You can learn more about my work at 

Killer Cast, Crew & Support Team 

Pat Healy (Clarence): A favorite in the independent film scene, Pat, who recently delivered a powerful performance in the critically acclaimed film Compliance, carries "Lend a Hand for Love" with nuance, humor and restraint. After Pat's first scene, the crew said, "Ok, this film is gonna be good." 

Kali Rocha (Ernestine): Widely known for her recurring characters in Grey's Anatomy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Sherri, Kali meets Pat's woeful awkwardness with a depth of sweetness and loneliness that pulls viewers further and further into every scene. She and Pat are the perfect match.  

The Legendary Robert Wagner (Narrator): What can we say? Robert has been making women swoon for over fifty years and his voice is no different. His warm, masculine timbre reassures us that there is magic in the world and that romance certainly is not dead.  We are incredibly honored to have Robert in our film, and we can't wait for you all to hear his performance! 

Amy Thompson (Producer): Amy, my sister, works in the realm of commercials, television, documentaries, and independent narrative film. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but has joined me in Los Angeles to make “Lend a Hand for Love.” While she manages to continually stretch our pennies, she also continually provides invaluable creative feedback. I couldn’t do this without her.  

Seth Resnik (Co-Producer): is a screenwriter and producer whose work has been honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (Nicholl Fellowship for "Fire in a Coal Mine"; Student Academy Award Nomination for "F__ho_se"), and the Sundance Labs ("Fire in a Coal Mine").  Seth is also a graduate of the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, where he and I met before either of us knew a thing.

Tim and Mary Larson (Executive Producers): After years of working in publishing educational books, Mary and Tim transitioned into their dream of making movies. Right before this transition I briefly met them in 2007 at The Sundance Film Festival. Years later, when they caught wind of "Lend a Hand for Love" they pitched in to help with advice, relationships, and resources; as they had just finished producing their first feature Homecoming and are now working on their follow up.  Besides being a wonderful help, they have also become wonderful friends :)    

Dan Simon (Executive Producer): has no formal film training or film experience, but he is that invaluable friend who I call when I'm in a jam and he always says "lemme see what I can do" and usually... he gets me out of the jam.  He's that buddy who has endless hope and passion and support and lifts you up when you feel like crap.  People like Dan are invaluable.  When you do your project, make sure you’ve got a “Dan”!

Andrew Russo (Director of Photography): Andrew has been with this film from the very start. He has received many accolades for his work, notably a Heritage Award from the American Society of Cinematographers. Andrew and I have collaborated on several projects, one of which (BLACK WHITE BLACK WHITE) screened at the Tribeca Film Festival. It’s always a pleasure to work with Andrew. You can learn more about his work at 

Johnny Renzulli (Visual Effects Supervisor):  Johnny is a high-end visual effects artist who has consulted on nearly every technical aspect of this film. Johnny has worked on many projects, including CSI, Fringe, Mad Men, Hancock, Chronicles of Narnia, Public Enemies, Gulliver’s Travels, Eagle Eye, and The Incredible Hulk. His enthusiasm for this project has been humbling to say the least. 

Martin Vallejo (Co-Production Designer): has been an integral part of "Lend a Hand for Love". Martin dove into this project in spring 2011, and he still hasn't come up for air! Not only has Martin lent us his incredible creativity and ability to work within a small budget, he has lead the art department with positivity, integrity, and style! Outside of "Lend a Hand for Love" Martin co-owns a production design business, Design by ME, and works on commercials, independent films, and spots for the web. Most recently Martin has production designed for Comedy Central, "The Nerdist Chanel", as well as over 50 short films for "Funny or Die" with actors such as Will Ferrel, Zack Galifianakis, John O'Hurley and Hillary Duff.

Ellie del Campo (Set Decorator): has added beauty to every nook and cranny of the set. From the dew on the plants to the sheets on the bed, Ellie makes sure that everything on screen is magical! We are proud and grateful to have her not only for her talent but for her tireless work ethic and enthusiasm for the film. Outside of "Lend a Hand for Love" Ellie co-owns a production design business, ME, with our co-production designer, Martin Vallejo. Together the two of them pack a powerful ONE TWO punch!

The Full 176 Person Support Team!

Many, many other artisans, technicians, friends, friends of friends, and total strangers have made this film possible through donations of time, gear and funds!  The first time we did this it was Old School—phonecalls, lunches, physical pitch packet, and a basic website. We're excited to join the modern world and to launch this kickstarter account for fundraising (and to pitch in and donate to other projects)!  BUT we want to give a tip of the hat to those who donated for the first round!  So watch as my sister reads all 176 names alphabetically!!!  Note: the name reading starts 82 seconds into the 17 minute "Thank You & Happy New Year!!!" video from January 3rd, 2012...

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Right now our greatest challenge is capturing our “hand sequences”. We have already filmed our actors’ full body performances. Now we just need to focus on their hands! Some of the hand sequences that we have already captured include: Clarence’s hand detaching from Clarence’s body and sliding across a laundry line in search of Ernestine’s hand, both hands “kissing” under the moon, both hands riding on top of a railroad car, and both hands being chased by a dog. Some examples of what we still need to film are: the hands hitching a ride from a pigeon, Clarence’s hand wearing a little gondolier shirt as he rows Ernestine’s hand down a gutter in a cardboard hotdog holder, both hands reattaching to their bodies.

“Lend a Hand for Love” is the culmination of over 150 people’s time, talent, and money. Our greatest risk was to take on a project of this magnitude, and our greatest challenge is to make a film worthy of these people’s contributions.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

– John & Amy ☺


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    FUN SIZE DONOR I will: Put your name and self portrait in our film’s credits as part of a mosaic of everyone who has helped make the film, so that viewers will SEE & FEEL who made the film possible! • Keep you up-to-date on the film’s progress • Invite you to all festival screenings • And you'll get super-awesome karma for life!

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