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In a world that can no longer sustain trees, a family takes a day trip to behold one of the last few preserved in a glass dome.
57 backers pledged $8,070 to help bring this project to life.

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$8,070

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THANK YOU! Initial Goal Reached!

Wow! We are absolutely inspired and humbled by all the support we have received! Thank you a million times! We are so thrilled to bring this film to life. With that said, there are still 21 days left and we would love to make this film the best it can possibly be.

$7,000 was our bare minimum to make the film. This was through some favors and with a very tight budget. From here, we can only make the film better in a variety of ways. Here’s a list of our Stretch Goals and what we could achieve with the extra funding.

$10,000 Stretch Goal - Locations/Traveling

• At $10,000 We can have options like traveling outside of the St. Louis area to places in the west to get the more desired, stripped down look for the backdrop of our film. This will also allow us to shoot more of the car scenes practically and further perfect background plates for any possible greenscreen car scenes.

$13,000 Stretch Goal - Crew/Gear/Time/Props

• At $13,000 We can get more gear, spend more time on props like the gas masks and add to our crew to make the whole process smoother and better for everyone involved. We can add time to our shooting schedule to have more freedom and more time with the actors. The backbone of any film production is the people on the ground working to bring it to life. Additional funding will allow us to expand our pool of top notch industry professionals who can help to elevate the look and feel of Breathe

$15,000 Stretch Goal - Talent

• At $15,000 We can hire the highest quality talent and afford to possibly fly in out of town male and female actors to up the scope and really ensure quality performances. Great science fiction has always had a tendency to not just explore how the world exists in the future but how we interact with it. How does our perception of life change due to advancements or in the case of Breathe, our mistakes? Having the best possible talent to convey these deep and yet subtle emotions is crucial to bringing our film to life. Any additional funds we gain will only further our ability to find the right cast to portray our family.

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Selected "Project of the Day" by INDIEwire magazine.

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A short parable of climate change

This short film seeks to setup a familiar scenario and end with a twist - a twist that will bring thought about what we are doing to our planet. A world without trees is not a great world to live in. By showing something as common and beautiful as trees becoming scarce, we create a simple metaphor for what we can lose if we don’t raise the bar to stop climate change. This is a film that entertains, provokes thought, and creates a call to action.

Concept Art
Concept Art

SYNOPSIS

targeted length approx 5-7 minutes

SUMMER 2031

Set in Midwest America where trees were once aplenty, the film opens with a family driving down the interstate. It’s a typical family vacation day trip, with grandparents and three children.


The kids play games, fight, and stare out the window as the adults chat and listen to an audiobook. The windows are never rolled down. Pretty typical family trip- but we’ll hear subtle hints and build the mystery as to where the family’s destination is.

 We’ll see a few interesting things out the window along the way. With the conversations and audiobook forming the malick-like voice over for stark scenery washing by.

 As we finally arrive at the now built up destination, the kids are very excited. But before everyone gets out, grandma gets strange looking masks out of the glove box for everyone and they all put them on and finally get out.

They walk a short trail and finally arrive at the destination - One lone tree inside a giant glass dome. There are other spectators there in awe at one of the last few trees on Earth.

Concept Art
Concept Art

VISUAL EFFECTS

VFX can be a powerful tool for filmmakers in the right hands. When VFX are used well they can help tell and support the story instead of distract from it. To do that correctly a lot of skill, attention to detail, collaboration and planning very carefully at all stages of the filmmaking process is a must. Co-Directors Josh and Tim are both experienced VFX artists. 

Josh has given presentations on VFX at a conferences and Film Festivals such as, SIGGRAPH, NAB and SXSW. He also spoke on a VFX panel at SIGGRAPH last year. Here's his presentation from SIGGRAPH 2015, Los Angeles.

Here's Josh's VFX Breakdown Reel for the feature film One & Two directed by the very talented Andrew Droz Palermo. Some reviews even gave praise to the VFX work in this Independent Film. Disorder Magazine said "Joshua James Johnson, the visual effects supervisor, deserves considerable praise for his work on this film and I'm still unable to shake the images of the siblings popping, zapping and shifting in and out of focus" Vanity Fair said "Shocking good effects". IONcinema said " But what Palermo is able to accomplish on such a limited budget manages to be innovative and impressive" Also, check out this cool article on the film from The Nerdist.

Being a freelance VFX Supervisor and artist as my day job (often night too) I need software that I can rely on. On this short film I'll be using some of my favorite software packages. MAXON's Cinema 4D is my primary 3D package. It's an extremely powerful program that has been used on TV shows, feature films and music videos to name a few. It allows me to be a versatile and efficient VFX generalist. It typically acts as my hub program for all my VFX work and I always render out of it. All of the 3D work in my reels and examples were created in Cinema 4D with the built-in renderer and the Arnold Renderer. Additionally, In this link you can see a short video I was commissioned to make for a new release of Cinema 4D.

I use Mocha for all my roto and 2D tracking work and on this short film I'm using a really cool specialty program called SpeedTree to create our hero tree. I've used it before on a few projects including the film One & Two for creating growing vines, grass and vegetation. If you have seen any blockbuster films over the past few years you have seen SpeedTree in action. It was recently used on Jungle Book, Star Wars The Force Awakens and Mad Max.

 

HISTORY

The seed of this tree concept started about two and half years ago in Columbia, MO. I was brainstorming ideas for a short film with one of my best friends, Kamau Bilal. At the time, we weren’t able to develop the concept into a 5-7-minute short film. So, we moved onto other stories and I shelved this idea.

Fast forward to October of 2015. My good friend Tim Maupin and I decided we are going to finally collaborate on a short film together. We spent a few months coming up with concepts that might work for a short film. We talked about many different ideas but then I brought up the endangered tree idea. He immediately took to it and he brought on one of his friends and screenwriter, Anthony Nicolau. Anthony then pitched us his simple concept for a family road trip visiting an endangered tree. We immediately began the story and writing process and now we are ready to kickstart our film!

CO-DIRECTORS/VFX ARTISTS

Josh Johsnon // vfxdaily.com
Josh Johsnon // vfxdaily.com

 

   Josh is a visual effects supervisor/artist, director and trainer. Josh has been in the industry for nearly 10 years working on commercials, feature films, and music videos. He worked on complex invisible effects for 2014 Sundance Documentary and Grand Jury Prize winner, Rich Hill. He also recently finished work on IFC Midnight feature film One & Two as the VFX Supervisor, Lead Compositor, and 3D Generalist. This film had its world premiere at Berlinale and had its U.S. premiere at SXSW.

His work has been featured in a variety of places such as 3D World Magazine, Vanity Fair, Nerdist, Studiodaily, MAXON, Its Art Mag, Post Magazine, and Digital Production Magazine. Josh holds a B.A. degree in Digital Cinema and has a passion for storytelling.

Tim Maupin // timmaupin.com
Tim Maupin // timmaupin.com

 

   Tim is a director, visual effects artist and Emmy award winning cinematographer. He has also worked as an editor, camera operator, and stereographer and has a variety of professional experience behind him, including working with clients such as CAT Footwear, Beretta, Sebago, Discovery, TLC, 3NET, and Nickelodeon. He holds a BA in Film Production from Webster University and has also served as an adjunct professor there.

His latest short film, the "The Last Generation to Die" is currently in the festival circuit. He has also directed 5 other short films that have played in a variety of festivals including San Diego Film Festival, IndieMemphis, Atlanta Shortfest, The 3D Film Festival (alongside Sundance) and has won awards for best dramatic short film, cinematography, and visual effects.

Trailer for Tim's last short film:

 WRITER/PRODUCER

Anthony Nicolau // anthonynicolau.com
Anthony Nicolau // anthonynicolau.com

 

Anthony is a producer and director living in Brooklyn, New York. He has experience working on projects with high profile clients such as CBS, AT&T, Farmer's Insurance, Lexus, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, YouTube, Pearson Education and Adorama.

He has produced and directed award winning films that have screened nationally. His last film "A Wedding Day" was awarded the the Audience Choice Award in 2013 by the Brooklyn Arts Council. His most recent film, “The Night Owl” was selected as part of the Sundance Short Film Connection.

Trailer for Anthony's last short film:

 ART DIRECTORS/WARDROBE/PROPS

Ria and Chadwell Ruthsatz
Ria and Chadwell Ruthsatz

 Chadwell and Ria are owners of the production company Tree9 Films. In addition to shooting many commercial productions through their company, they've also got an impeccable knack for production design and have worked as art directors on a handful of short films and music videos. They are an amazing addition to our team and will be specifically focusing on wardrobe and designing of the gas masks.

REWARDS

New Reward. Chose one photo print from Cahokia Mounds.

Here are a few designs for the t-shirts that you will be able to pick from. We plan to add a few more too.

Our new reward: Your Own Tree in a Glass Dome. Easy to grow and Eco-friendly. This also comes with a card that includes a line from our Screenplay.

 

Risks and challenges

This may seem like a small budget, and it certainly is. We have a lot of friends that are coming through to help out to make this happen. Additionally, we are both doing the visual effects and most of the post work (aside from sound) ourselves, thereby saving a lot of costs. Also, being a short 5-7 minute film helps as we are keeping the scope manageable and most of the film takes place in one car.

That said, unforeseen issues can always arise. Weather may be one issue we face in trying to schedule the primary shoot day. We have the ability to shoot some of the car scene on green screen if we are not able to get most of exteriors due to weather.

Things may take longer than expected since we'll be doing all the post work in our own free time, but we will do everything possible to keep on track. We appreciate your understanding.

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Funding period

- (28 days)