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$9,301 pledged of $15,000 goal
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By Emily Troedson
$9,301 pledged of $15,000 goal
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About this project

THE STORY

“Blue Balloons” centers on a religious, Midwestern family as they struggle to care for their mother after she's diagnosed with cancer, and at the heart lie three fundamental questions of human existence: Why is there suffering? How do we make sense of our pain? How do we find hope in the midst of hardship? These questions are the focus of the story, and the characters are caught between a world of opposites: the body and the spirit, faith and reason, life and death. The script was recently named a quarter-finalist for the Act One screenplay competition.

THE INSPIRATION

I began writing the story during the two years my mother was treated for colon cancer that spread to her lungs and brain—a time when my family endured immense physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges. Though many filmmakers have attempted to depict cancer in movies, while my mother was in treatment, I was struck by how few of these stories seemed to portray cancer in an honest way that reflected the complexities involved. Most narrative feature films dealing with this subject tend to present the physical and emotional difficulties associated with the disease in a tidy and oversimplified manner. Yet in my experience and conversations with those affected by cancer, nothing about it was simple. I found that it affected every area of a person’s life and identity. I yearned to go beyond the surface and find portrayals that seemed authentic, dignified, and relevant. As I searched, it became apparent to me there was a lack of such portrayals.

What makes "Blue Balloons" unique is its honesty, its realism, and its humanity. Furthermore, it is told from the perspective of a young adult caretaker—a group of caretakers who are becoming increasingly common yet overlooked and unheard; thus I feel compelled to tell this story and believe it will deeply resonate with audiences, young and old.

THE COLLABORATION

For those new to Kickstarter, it is an all-or-nothing style of fundraising. Your contributions will only be received if the goal is met by the deadline. This will be my first feature film and, as mentioned in the video, the goal of $15,000 is a bare minimum budget and will go towards the entire production, from pre-production to post. Primarily, the funds will be spent on: 

  • Equipment
  • License Fees
  • Locations
  • Post-Production - music, sound, editing, color correction

Making a movie is an enormous endeavor and making one on little-to-no budget is even harder. But it's possible. Many first-time directors have done so and have gone on to have illustrious careers as a result. I intend to add my name to that list. 

By backing this project, you make a powerful statement that stories of this nature are wanted and vital. People of various age, culture, and background grapple with loss, grief, and doubt, and you will be giving voice to such universal feelings. With the support of your generous contributions, you will not only be participating in something unique, original, and artistic; you will be instrumental in bringing this story to life and in the development of my filmmaking career. Feel free to share with your friends and help spread the word. Let's make this happen.

I deeply thank you for your time and consideration of my project.

Risks and challenges

With nearly a decade of experience working on film sets, I understand the myriad of hurdles that may arise when making a movie—bad weather, illness, equipment problems—but the biggest challenge I face in making this is time. With a limited budget, most of my cast and crew will likely maintain full-time jobs in addition to the full-time work they put in on this project, myself included. Assembling a team and coordinating locations to fit a tight schedule and budget will mean relying somewhat on the stars to align (and I don't mean a queue of celebrities). Astrology aside though, I believe it's essential to be resourceful, maintain clear, open communication with all involved, and keep things small and simple to remain cost effective and efficient. And with the right amount of determination and creative D.I.Y. grit, time and budget constraints will become nothing more than mere stepping stones.

Have a question? Want to be involved? Feel free to contact Emily directly using the "Contact Me" link above.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A digital download of Emily singing a version of Odetta's "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," produced by her husband, Josh.

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    A postcard of a still from set with a personal "Thank You" message hand-written from the director.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A DVD copy of the movie with "Thank You" postcard.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    A DVD copy AUTOGRAPHED by cast and crew, a digital download of the soundtrack, plus all of the above.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    A DVD copy of the movie and a poster, plus all of the above.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A limited edition poster AUTOGRAPHED by the director, plus all of the above.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A collector set of 8x10 stills AUTOGRAPHED by cast and crew, plus all of the above.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A "Special Thanks" credit in the movie, plus all of the above.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Invitation to a private screening with cast and crew, plus all of the above.

    (Travel and lodging not included.)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    A chance to visit set for a day and/or be an extra in a scene, plus all of the above. (Travel and lodging not included.)

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    An "Associate Producer" credit in the movie and on all promotional materials, tickets to the premiere with seats next to cast and crew, plus all of the above.

    (Travel and lodging not included.)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A "Co-Executive Producer" credit in the movie and on all promotional materials, plus all of the above, including five copies of the movie, poster, and collector stills.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    An "Executive Producer" credit in the movie and on all promotional materials, an invitation to all festival events, tickets to any festival screenings of your choice, plus all of the above in whatever quantity you want.

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Funding period

- (30 days)