There are times when we drift a little apart, when we feel lost, hopeless. It seems like we have left our set path, when in fact we have just left ourselves. This movie is about finding a way back to yourself. A long and difficult journey that begins with one single step: love and acceptance for who you are.
Welcome to WONDER, our first Kickstarter film campaign!
My name is Melanie and I am the writer, director and producer of this film, a short that we plan to shoot at the beginning of September 2016.
What is the movie about?
A short synopsis:
Waking from unconsciousness, Zoe (28) finds herself in an abandoned hospital ward, realizing her suicide attempt has failed. She starts wandering around the seedy, empty building and learns it is her unconscious playground, a place of repressed memories which are locked behind closed doors. Searching for a way out, Zoe encounters a mysterious little girl - her 8 year old younger self. She begins to bond with the child, but the sudden closeness becomes increasingly unbearable until she pushes the girl away. Perceiving her absence, Zoe starts to understand the child’s importance and the necessity in finding her. Opening the door to a significant childhood memory, Zoe steps back into her painful past and learns to care for herself, beginning to love the little girl she once used to be.
Why support the film?
“We are all broken—that’s how the light gets in.” - Ernest Hemingway
Zoe’s story is our story. She represents the brokenness in our lives and the desire to find happiness. Learning to love yourself can be a difficult task in a society that demands perfection, fosters shallowness and encourages us to seek immediate admiration from our social circles. Inspiring people to accept themselves for who they are and what they have been through is a message we believe resonates in us all.
This movie is going to form the centerpiece of my application for a master’s degree to film universities in the United States. Your support can bring me closer to my dream of becoming a filmmaker and can give me the chance to share powerful stories, while deepening my understanding of this wonderful medium.
Shooting will take place in my home city Budapest at the beginning of September 2016 with an international team of talented and motivated students.
We’ve got a beautiful abandoned art nouveau mansion as our main location which was built around the turn of the nineteenth century and functioned as the rehabilitation center of a mental hospital in the 1960s. For Zoe’s memory sequence we’ve found a residential apartment that serves as her childhood home.
Production design plays a key role in the construction of Zoe’s unconsciousness and her net of vivid memories. We’ve recruited an art department team which will be working hard to bring Zoe’s inner world as close to the audience as possible.
Our aim is to deliver the completed film by December 1st.
Kickstarter is a great community that brings together many diverse people from around the world. We believe it is the best platform for sharing our vision with like-minded individuals and receive the support we need to shoot the film.
Key cast and crew
Bernadette Brugos (as Zoe) - 28, from Hungary
Bernadette is an emerging talent, who worked as journalist for 6 years before she embarked on an acting career in 2014. She participated in a number of international commercials for Coca-Cola and Vodafone, and is currently studying acting in Budapest under the mentorship of renowned Hungarian actress Banfalvy Agi.
Zorka (as young Zoe) - 9, from Hungary
Zorka has enjoyed being in front of the camera since she was a baby. She has already modeled for several fashion brands and participated in photoshoots and commercials. This part will be her first film role.
Melanie Grams (Writer, Director, Producer) - 24, German, Hungarian
Melanie began shooting her first short film projects at the age of 16. She studied directing for film and television at The Media Academy in Berlin, during which period she directed, produced and AD’d on 4 narrative short films. Beside her studies, Melanie worked as a director, cinematographer and editor for a Berlin-based company called Kidsfaces, shooting commercials, image clips and educational campaigns for Berlin’s Senate Department for Education Youth and Science and special schools.
Balazs Istvan Balazs (Director of Photography) - 30, from Hungary
Balazs provides several years of professional experience as a cinematographer. He has worked on shorts, documentaries, commercials, music videos and feature films, shooting on 35mm, 16mm and digital. With his film House he won the KODAK Student Cinematography Award in the category Honorable Mention in 2014. Balazs is currently enrolled in a cinematography master’s program at the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest.
His showreel: https://vimeo.com/103236336
What are we spending the money on?
WONDER is a low budget project. This means that the money we raise will be used to cover all our production costs, including expenses on preparations, shooting and post production, but cast and crew will be working on a voluntary basis. The budget will be spent on the necessary equipment for the shoot, costumes, props, catering, travel expenses, fees and insurance. We’ve also calculated the 5% Kickstarter fee and a 10% contingency budget to cover any extra costs that might arise.
Risks and challenges
It is always risky and a bit scary to launch a new film project, especially when it requires the immediate involvement of those around us. The biggest challenge so far seems to be raising enough money to facilitate a professional shoot. We hope to receive support and find sponsors once the campaign has begun.
Beside the financial aspect, shooting involves the coordination of cast, crew, locations, equipment and in our case close cooperation with a child.
Finding the right aesthetical and contextual balance between Zoe’s unconscious dreamworld and her terrible memories will also be a challenge, but the successful expression of this procedure is what makes our story fascinating.
We have put everything into this project, but in order to bring it to life we have to rely on the faith and support of our audience.
Thank you for your interest. We can’t wait to start the cameras rolling!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (8 days)