About this project
People hold on to the idea that there is a right way to say goodbye, that a moment will come when it makes sense to surrender to death. EMPYREAN is a short film about finding the grace in letting go.
THE PROJECT: Based on a true story, this 20+ minute narrative short from filmmaker Sophia Savage will be shot in January 2012 with cinematographer Chayse Irvin and an experienced group of actors, maximizing the natural light and beauty of rustic Topanga Canyon, CA.
EMPYREAN is currently in pre-production, with the cast and crew donating their time and expertise. It's a story to be shared and experienced by everyone, but it can't be done without your help! $10,000 is the bare minimum we need to produce the film; any additional funds raised will help us in post-production.
THE STORY/SYNOPSIS: Two months ago Jim was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer. He no longer recognizes his wife, his five children or the permaculture community he devoted his life to building. Jim's daughter, Sadie, returns home to help her family care for him. They must protect him from himself within a home that has become a threat instead of a sanctuary, given his deteriorating body and mind. The family must adapt to the chaos in order for Jim to finish his life the way he fought to live it--and ultimately, so they are able to let him go.
CAST & CREW BIOS:
Sophia Savage (writer-director-producer, "Sadie")
Sophia was raised in a very creative environment. She has been performing on stage and writing since the age of five. She has starred in several stage productions and had both her writing and artwork published. Upon graduation from Smith College (where she double majored in Film & Theater, studying Dramatic Writing, Directing and Acting) she received the institution's yearly writing award (for a stage play that was subsequently produced) and starred in the season's closing production of Noel Coward's "Family Album." After continuing to study and perform abroad (including lead roles in Christopher Hampton's "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," William Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus" and the world premiere of "The Serena Syndrome"), Sophia landed in Los Angeles where she has established herself as a staff writer for notable online film industry publications Thompson on Hollywood! and IndieWire.
Sophia continues to train as an actor and develop projects; EMPYREAN marks her directorial debut in film.
Chayse Irvin (cinematographer)
(Kickstarter video was shot & edited by producer Randy Ross, as Chayse was shooting a feature film)
Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Chayse has had a passion for film production and storytelling since he was eight years old, when he was making short films with friends and family members. Chayse’s began his career at 16 as an Art Department assistant; four years later he transitioned into cinematography. At film school, Chayse discovered his obsession for cinematography studying with cinematographer Attila Szalay, HSC, CSC, and producer and production designer David Willson.
Chayse’s first feature film, "Son of the Sunshine," received critical acclaim for his emotional photography; it had a very successful festival run, winning numerous awards across North America.
He has garnered respect from many of his colleagues, including David Mullen, ASC, David Moxness, CSC. A dual citizen currently residing in Los Angeles, Chayse has quickly become one of North America’s brightest emerging cinematography talents, bringing a new eye to cinematography and its contribution to cinema.
Suzanne Ford ("Jane")
Suzanne trained in NYC with Stella Adler and William Esper, and has appeared in over 100 theatre productions there, on tour, and regionally, including recently at The Laguna Playhouse, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, Rogue Machine and Pacific Resident Theatre.
She has guest-starred on dozens of TV shows (incl. “House,” “Bones,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Monk,” “Friends”), has many supporting credits in studio films (incl. "The Informers," "Fatal Attraction" and the upcoming "The Apparition") and recently shot leading roles in the indie films “MoniKa,” “God’s Country,” “Darkening Sky" with Rider Strong, “Uncross the Stars” with Barbara Hershey and Ron Perlman, and “Of Silence” with writer/director/star Jeremiah Sayys.
Sonny King ("Jim")
Sonny Alfred King is from Washington, D.C. His early introduction to 'showbusiness' was performing comedy, drama and music sketches his
mother wrote while the leader of his Cubscout Troop. Sonny continued to
perform on stage throughout his youth and at the University of Maryland.
After a tour in Vietnam, Sonny married the girl of his dreams. They've been married 39 years, have two daughters, a son and four
grandchildren. They moved to the Los Angeles area in 1982, where Sonny
has worked as an actor, musician and electrician. Sonny's credits
include many studio and independent films, including Cameron Crowe's
"Elizabethtown," Warner Bros.' "Eraser" and "Murder in the First," as well as TV shows
"Reno 911" and "The Magnificent Seven."
Sonny has a great life, wishes Blessings to you and yours, and is proud to be a part of EMPYREAN.
Jimmy Heazlewood ("Sam")
Before moving to Los Angeles to study at The Stella Adler Academy, Jimmy studied acting at the South Seas Film & Television School in his native New Zealand, where his entire family is immersed in the entertainment business in one way or another. A true Kiwi, Jimmy is adventurous and a nature lover. He is excited to be working on this project as he establishes himself in the industry.
Tyler Dawson ("Tucker")
Born in Vancouver, Canada, Tyler began doing theater at a young age and transitioned into film and television as a teenager. In 2000, he moved to Los Angeles to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Most recently, Tyler appeared as Aiden in the critically acclaimed indie film "Bellflower." He has appeared in several short films, was a regular on the cult web series "Boss of The Glory" and served as host for the company STIM TV. He likes cats, bazookas and a warm glass of milk before bed.
Carolyn Chriss ("May")
Carolyn has appeared in numerous films, television shows and national commercials, including personal favorite "Seems Like Old Times" with Chevy Chase. She has also worked as a playwright's agent, story analyst and assistant producer/director for the Los Angeles' long-running hit play, "Bleacher Bums." She also worked as a researcher on HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon," ABC's "The Past to 9/11," Imagine Entertainment's "Frost/Nixon," and many other productions. Carolyn has recently returned to acting--her first love--and is appearing regularly as a sketch actress on "The Conan O'Brian Show." Her motto: Life is full of surprises – if you’re lucky.
Lindsay Lucas-Bartlett (co-producer, "Joy")
Lindsay grew up in England loving musical theater, so it was only natural that she would end up training at The Central School of Speech and Drama, where she completer her Masters in 2007. Lindsay then traveled throughout Europe and Australia before relocating to Los Angeles, where she continues her training as an actor and is starting to gain experience in production.
Randy Ross (producer)
Born in Toronto, Canada, Randy moved to west to study acting with the
LYRIC School of Acting. After a brief acting career he found his voice
behind the camera. He has written, directed and produced multiple
feature, short, experiment and commercial films. He is also an
accomplished Graphic and Web designer. He is currently developing a
handful of passion projects in the feature and episodic realms.
Randy is honored to be part of such a talented team and is devoted to facilitating Sophia's vision for this film.
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