Tell Your Children is a short film project that fuses original poetry and independent film to make a series of 4 fantastical micro-shorts (4-minute films). With 3 live action films and 1 animated film, we’re focusing on characters from myth, legend, and faery tale.
We’re here to explore intimate, magical stories found in poetry and bring them to life on film.
When artists collaborate, something magical happens. Something new that reflects many intentions, many ways of seeing and responding to the world. It’s easy to find beautiful, ongoing collaborations between poets and dancers, photographers, textile artists, and even graphics artists… but what about poets and independent, narrative filmmakers?
Tell Your Children is for people who love independent film, for people who love contemporary, original poetry, and for people who love faery tales, myths and legends. We want to create something new, something layered and engaging to present to an audience. Ultimately, we hope to inspire and encourage more collaboration among artists of varying genres.
Our main focus is to make a quality poetry short (the first of hopefully many!). The second is to fairly pay the professional cast & crew who will help us make it. That’s why we want to show our appreciation for YOUR support in 3 basic categories:
Digital rewards are delivered digitally, with no shipping overhead, and put your contribution directly into the film. For instance, The Poems at the $30 level will be delivered digitally, saving shipping and paper, and will be pretty enough for you to print out and display, share, or fold into a poetical origami swan, if you choose!
Artist rewards are works of art, created just for this campaign by artists whose work inspires us, and are placed at reward levels that allow us to compensate the creators for their time to craft and deliver.
- Producer-level rewards offer a big, personal thank you for Super Contributors.
...of course, we have a couple of extra special rewards for good measure!
For those who love our makeup co-artists, Espionage Cosmetics, we have a limited quantity of "Tell Your Children Faery Tale Nails," a specially curated 3-design set of high-quality, adhesive nail art (which includes the digital link to the film). Learn more about the Faery Tale Nails in the FAQ.
And for those of you who clicked over from the Dead Gentlemen, ZOE, or JourneyQuest, Emilie plans to have a little too much fun recording a series of downloadable Wren ringtones.
Our goal is $6,000, which will allow us to produce 3 live action poetry shorts. We also have several stretch goals, including...
- $8k—Produce the Animated 4th Short—Tell Your Children is intended to be a 4-short series, and this animated 4th short is the curling ribbon on the whole package. The poem is written, the animator is ready. Let’s get it made!
- $10K—Local Festival submissions and throwing a fabulous Screening Event (Live music, poetry readings, refreshments, free to the public at the Grand Cinema in Tacoma, WA)
- 12k...???? — We have many more ideas mapped out... including the addition of physical rewards and added films to the project. We can't wait to reveal them to you as the campaign progresses!
We are scheduled to shoot the 3 live-action films this coming November, 2015. Each short will be filmed (or drawn!) on location in the Pacific Northwest. We live in a beautiful, moody, mysterious place, and it’s bursting with creative talent at every seam.
The creator of Tell Your Children is Emilie Rommel Shimkus, a poet, actress, vocalist, and 3rd generation NW native. Her poetry has recently appeared in the anthologies Sarasvati Takes Pegasus as Her Mount and In Tahoma’s Shadow. As an actress, Emilie is perhaps best known as Wren, a bardic graduate student on the trail of her epic in the fantasy comedy JourneyQuest. Emilie has also appeared in many other short films, commercial campaigns, stage productions, playwrights' festivals, and as a voice actor in video games. In addition to writing the 4 poems in TYC, Emilie will direct 1 short, act in 1 short, and provide voice-over for the entire project.
Our producer, Rose Hall is also a PNW native and has produced short, feature, and commercial projects. Recent work includes Brothers, (writer, director), Valley of the Sasquatch (associate producer), Marla Mae (co-producer), and her feature film Fugue, currently in development (writer, producer, director).
Our directors and director of photography are all active, experienced members of the Puget Sound film, theatre, and poetry communities.
We are also lucky to add the varied talents and expertise from working artists for our animation, sound track, poster design, and makeup/special effects design.
Tell Your Children is the inaugural film production of The Northwest Renaissance, a non-profit (501c3) organization with more than 30 years committed to the mission to bring poetry to the communities of the Puget Sound area in Washington State. We do readings, workshops, and publications, and we’re excited to add film as a whole new way to inspire and welcome.
We are supported by our producing partners, The Tacoma Arts Commission and 4Culture—who have already awarded the Tacoma Artist’s Initiative Program grant to this project— and by Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, who will provide added distribution venues after we complete and publicly screen the films.
We are so proud to be a female-centric, inclusive, and family-friendly film set. That means that all of our key crew positions are female, including the creator, producers, directors, director of photography, assistant director, and several other positions. It also means our set and shooting schedule will be purposefully designed to accommodate working parents and mothers of infants.
Thank you so much for reading ALL of this! Thank you in advance for any contributions you are moved to make to help us create new, engaging art. And please help us spread the word! Tell your friends, your book group, your film-buff friends, your fellow lovers of poetry, film, magic, myth and fairy tales! THANK YOU!
Risks and challenges
Tell Your Children has already been through a rigorous vetting process. By applying for and receiving the grant money from the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program, we had already drafted a realistic budget, solicited some donated goods and services, and approached the community for support long before launching this Kickstarter campaign.
Most importantly, we have tackled 3 common issues for small independent film projects: We have secured a venue and have permission to screen (The Grand Cinema in Tacoma, date to be mutually agreed upon by us and the theatre); we have community support and publicity options (non-profit organization with existing audience base, arts commission support, local events, list serves, mailing lists); and we have already approached a distribution partner to help us get the film out in to the world after the screening (Zombie Orpheus Entertainment will offer our film as content to their current subscribers).
Because this is a film that will be shot out of doors in the great Pacific Northwest, we do run the risk of inclement weather. Our producers and 1st Assistant Director are seasoned NW filmmakers used to our ever-changing weather; they always have a rain contingency plan for minimal impact to schedule and budget. ("It's the NW. It Rains.")
Lastly: Our cast, crew, and production staff is made up of seasoned talent, both on and off-camera. For those making a living in a creative, talent-driven industry, organization, resourcefulness, and an ability to handle the unexpected are paramount.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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