Our film will reveal the untold story of Dare Wright, with all of the adventures, romance and tragedies that wove through this ethereal beauty's life.
We’ll explore her life’s mysteries. Why did her parents separate Dare from her beloved brother Blaine when they were small children? What happened after she and Blaine were reunited as adults? How did their mother’s intense bond with Dare affect Dare’s relationships with her suitors? What really happened when an alleged affair landed Dare in court and on the pages of New York’s newspapers? What secrets shattered her engagement to a dashing RAF WWII pilot? Who was the powerful man she admitted was the only one she ever loved? Why did Dare’s imaginative world of dolls and bears and wizards and fairy tales finally dissolve?
Dare’s mother was the celebrated portrait painter Edith Stevenson Wright whose subjects included Sir Winston Churchill and U.S. President Calvin Coolidge. Dare achieved her own fame for the children’s book series launched in 1957 with her iconic title, “The Lonely Doll.” The books, which made The New York Times Best Seller List, feature Dare’s own childhood doll, whom she called Edith after her mother, and Edith’s two friends, Mr. Bear and Little Bear.
Dare also wrote and illustrated “Lona, A Fairy Tale” where she photographed herself in the role of a princess who is transformed into a miniature of herself by an evil enchantment. It is Lona, not the usual handsome prince, who braves dangers to save the kingdom from the sorcerer’s wicked spells. Lona's journey of courage and self-sacrifice would parallel Dare's struggles later in life.
The haunting black and white photographs that illustrate Dare's books have enthralled three generations of children and adults.
Dare’s companions and the stars of her tales, Edith, Little Bear, Mr. Bear, Lona and Persis will make special appearances in the film.
Dare restyled her Edith doll into a 22-inch replica of herself, with matching blond ponytail and gold hoop earrings.
Dare never understood the power or danger of her sensual beauty. Her fantasy life echoed the favorite fairy tales of her childhood that told of naiads and selkies...seductive half-human sea creatures that could never be fully real.
She posed for captivating self-portraits, many of which will be seen in the film. Although she romanticized a perfect love without physical intimacy, Dare felt paradoxically at ease as she lay on a deserted beach, draped only in kelp until the time-lapse shutter clicked on her Rolleiflex camera.
Dare's personal story, like her books, was seeped in mystery, forbidden yearnings, heroic quests, and fear of abandonment.
Her vulnerability and innocence ultimately offered no protection from tragedy, violence and terrible loss.
We look forward to this opportunity, with your help, to bring Dare’s story to the screen!
About Us: Brook Ashley and John Ogilvie created Dare Wright Media in 2011 in order to catalog and preserve Dare’s estate, republish her children’s books, and bring her story to the public. We re-mastered and republished nine of Dare's books in 2013.
We own Dare’s children's book rights and her more than 20,000 prints and negatives. We have her home videos, artwork, scrapbooks and personal memorabilia that enable us to tell her story as no one else can. This also means that we do not have to incur the licensing fees that can greatly increase a documentary's budget.
Brook was Dare’s godchild, and as a young girl was often at Dare’s side as she created the photographic scenes for her books. And in the end, Brook was Dare’s guardian when Dare was too ill to care for herself.
Dare Wright Media has teamed up with award-winning documentary filmmakers Susan Marks and John Kurtis Dehn because of their uniquely beautiful, artistic approach to storytelling on film. We chose them, too, because of their mastery of the technical side of filming: its creative content, videography, script, voice-over narration, music, special effects, editing and post-production.
We’ve already begun filming those who were close to Dare, and will add interviews with eminent contemporary artists and photographers who were profoundly influenced by Dare’s work. The filmmakers will have access to Brook Ashley’s memoir of her life with Dare which is now in pre-publication editing.
Combining both new footage and Dare's own photographs, the documentary will portray Dare in the places where she lived, worked and played, including New York City, Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the hills of upstate New York, Sicily’s rugged coast, and on Brook’s family's farm on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay.
For Our Contributors
Estimated Timing: We plan to begin the filming on location by May of this year, and to complete all of the core elements before the end of 2014. Afterward, we will complete the film’s editing, voice-overs, music, the filming of surprise elements, and all of the post-production work that goes into the making of an acclaimed documentary.
We will stay in touch with our backers, sending periodic descriptions of interesting experiences and fun stuff as it happens (without revealing all of the film’s surprises).
We will be sending the rewards that each of our backers has earned, not all at once, but on a staged basis. Some of the rewards will be delivered sooner than others.
Thank you for being an essential part in the making of this film. We are thrilled to have you on our team!
WANT TO SEE THE INCREDIBLE REWARDS WE HAVE FOR OUR BACKERS?
Our reward levels are named after characters in Dare’s books. We think you’ll find them just as irresistible.
Ocracoke Nestlings - Pledge $1 Or More and you will receive a downloadable high resolution image file of a Dare Wright photo in which Edith has penned a special thank you note. You’re now a part of the team!
Little Bear’s Puppy - Pledge $10 Or More and, along with Edith’s thank you note, you will receive a specially designed bookmark representing A Lonely Doll ~ The Dare Wright Story.
Edith’s Duckling - Pledge $30 Or More: You will get the rewards described in the previous brackets plus you will receive a DVD of the completed film, A Lonely Doll ~ The Dare Wright Story.
Edith’s Kitten - Pledge $50 Or More: You will get everything described in the previous brackets plus our beautiful custom designed t-shirt, in both men and women's sizing, featuring an iconic self-portrait Dare took back in the 1950s.
Central Park Squirrel - Pledge $75 Or More: You will get everything described in the previous brackets plus a 10”x10” unframed print, restored from Dare’s negatives and selected from Dare Wright’s children’s stories, with an authentication label affixed to the back side of the photo.
Midnight The Pony - Pledge $100 Or More: You will get everything described in the previous brackets plus a movie poster of A Lonely Doll ~ The Dare Wright Story.
Persis The Little Doll - Pledge $150 Or More: You will get everything described in the previous brackets plus a limited edition 12”x12” unframed print selected from Dare Wright’s children’s stories with an authentication label and a handwritten note of appreciation from the producers affixed to the back side of the photo. Each photo edition will be limited to 100 prints of the same image.
Lona The Princess - Pledge $250 Or More: You will get everything described in the previous brackets plus a copy of our special limited edition collector’s book entitled A Lonely Doll ~ The Filming Of The Dare Wright Story featuring narratives, photo highlights from the filming of the documentary, and a selection of Dare's photos appearing in the film.
Little Bear - Pledge $500 Or More: You will get everything described in the previous brackets plus your name will be on the screen! We’ll include you in the movie credits in our “Special Thanks” section.
Mr. Bear - Pledge $1,500 Or More: You will get everything described in the previous brackets plus a 12”x18” limited edition unframed print selected from Dare Wright’s children’s stories with an authentication label and a handwritten note of appreciation from the producers affixed to the back side of the photo. Each photo edition will be limited to 30 prints of the same image.
Edith & The Bears - Pledge $5,000 Or More: Wow! You will get Associate Producer credit on A Lonely Doll ~ The Dare Wright Story, which gives you credit on the film’s IMDB page, and an invitation for you and a guest to a dinner in Beverly Hills hosted by the producers (travel and lodging not included). And, backers at this level will get everything described in the previous brackets.
Dare’s Level – Pledge $10,000 Or More: Such an exceptional contribution will bring you an exceptional museum-quality limited edition collector’s 24”x24” print selected from Dare Wright’s children’s stories (or, at your choice, selected from among Dare’s self-portraits) with an authentication label and a handwritten note of appreciation from the producers affixed to the back side of the photo. Each photo edition will be limited to five prints of the same image. And, naturally, backers at this level will get everything described in the previous brackets.
Risks and challenges
Every documentary film production has inherent risks and challenges because the genre is unscripted and revelations are unpredictable. Dare Wright Media and the filmmakers are excited by what we might unearth. Our team will need to examine every aspect of Dare’s story carefully, thoughtfully and always truthfully. We are confident that we have properly addressed the film’s practical aspects, including its budget and logistics. Our group is comprised of individuals having both the creative and extensive business management skills necessary to accomplish its goals. These include the challenges in making a world-class film, as well as those inherent in packaging, reproduction and distribution. Our goal is to film Dare's story as it has never been revealed before.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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