In the near future, survivors of a global epidemic are plagued by a debilitating symptom of the disease - double amnesia. Read more
This project was successfully funded on December 4, 2013.
About this project
Join our team! We've wanted to make a movie together since we first got to know each other! We co-wrote the screenplay and have been developing the project for the last two years. It's finally ready and we want you to be a part of making it with us.
embers is set in the future, nine years after the world has been infected with a neurological disease. Similar in effect to Korsakoff’s Syndrome, this disease creates a double amnesia in which past memories beyond early childhood cannot be recalled and new memories cannot be preserved. The infected are forced to live in an endless present.
This is a film about what remains after the end.
Five interwoven stories ask, without memory, how would we learn? love? communicate? What would we chose to do if there were no moral repercussions for any actions?
We follow a young boy as he loses his guardian and searches for a new home beyond the limits of the city. We share the confusion and intimacy of two lovers who wake up no longer recognizing each other but feeling strangely familiar. What will happen when they get separated? We experience struggle from the perspective of a young man in the midst of chaos and violence, where guilt is something forgotten by the next morning. When he becomes the victim, will he change? We see an old professor who can no longer remember how to read even his own books, as he realizes that to learn, he must teach.
Across the world, isolated in a high-tech, subterranean bunker, a girl and her father can afford protection from the disease – but at the expense of all other human contact. She questions the point of remembering your past if you have no future.
Trapped by their circumstances, our characters must find meaning in their lives not in progress through years but in the experience of moments. By looking at a vision of the world without memory, embers proves just how essential memory is to being human, and that our humanity is something that is impossible to forget.
WHY THIS? (A MESSAGE FROM CLAIRE)
Making a movie has been my goal in life since I was in elementary school. Followed closely by having a cat. I've spent the past 10 years training and developing my directing skills first as an assistant and then as a music video and commercial director and editor and I'm ready! I have a great cat, and It's time for the feature.
As you can imagine, choosing what to make your first movie about is really hard - it could be about anything! To try to figure out what's my unique perspective, what kind of story I could tell that is deeply personal to me, I had to question what makes me "me." In trying to describe my individual identity - I kept coming back to memory.
Everything I've experienced in my life so far has shaped who I am today, and many things I've learned or seen or read have inspired my dreams for the future. Without memory, what's left, who would I be? The idea of a world without memory where it is only possible to live in the present is both fascinating and terrifying to me.
Not only is science fiction my favorite genre, but it is the best forum for asking questions about the nature of our world through fiction - setting up a thought experiment like a living diorama and watching how things might play out if the variables were different.
embers is my way of adding to the incredible science fiction that has shaped my world while plunging into my own fears, nightmares, and dreams - my questions about what makes me who I am and what makes us uniquely human.
Your backing of this project is absolutely essential to making it happen! We can't make this movie without you!
embers has a modest budget as far as feature films go, but this is an ambitious project and we need you to make it happen. From years of experience in commercial and music video production, we know how to use a budget smartly and economically, creating production value for the lowest cost possible and making virtues out of limitations - making for a film that feels much bigger than the budget would suggest.
We already have use of an HD camera package that was generously donated to us as well as a company that has come on board to do all of the VFX for the film at an enormous discount. That is the equivalent of $80,000 for free! The $20,000 we raise on Kickstarter from you will be combined with a matching investment so that we can shoot the movie.
Your backing will be used to pay for location fees, equipment rentals, art department materials, and minimum scale for the actors who are generously giving their time to be a part of this project.
After we complete our rough cut, we have other investors who are willing to come on board to pay crew deferrals and finishing costs. But we need your backing first to make it happen!
Raising money on Kickstarter is really important for our project because unlike using purely traditional film financing methods, audience supported financing allows us to make a movie that is more independent, more our vision, and driven by creativity and artistry instead of the box office demands of larger, traditionally financed movies.
It means that we have to answer to less gatekeepers so we can make something that is the realization of our artistic vision instead something decided by a financial committee.
We (Claire & Charles) are a married creative team working together to realize our dreams. We believe that the role of film is not to simply entertain; but to create new images, perspectives, and ways of seeing.
Our crew is made up of professionals who have considerable experience in the film industry, but they are also our friends! This team has grown with us over nearly a decade. We've filmed together all over the world in some of the most geographically and culturally challenging locations. We’ve developed our working communication and short hand, we’ve strategized and problem solved, and – most important – have spent hundreds of days on-set developing our filmmaking skills, talents, and techniques.
We know how to take a modest budget and create a film that is ambitious, stylish, and looks like a million bucks!
Claire attended film school at NYU and graduated from UCLA with a degree in Comparative Literature. She works professionally as a director and editor of music videos and commercials. Her work has been screened in film festivals internationally and featured in magazines ranging from Shoot to Dazed and Confused to Danish film magazine Ekko. See her work at www.clairesquare.com
Sundance Fellow Charles Spano considers himself a follower of the Werner Herzog ideology of “rogue filmmaking” - an expert at guerrilla tactics, renegade budgeting, and filming in adverse conditions. He is an IFP No Borders Alumni, attended the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, had a project featured at the Sundance Producing Summit, and was invited to the inaugural Sundance Catalyst Weekend. His writing focuses on themes of communication and miscommunication, humans against nature, and humans against human nature.
Todd Somodevilla attended the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He has shot numerous commercials, music videos, and promos for clients including Victoria’s Secret, Verizon, Virgin Mobile, Travelocity, ESPN, and Syfy, and artists including Beyoncé, CeeLo, Will.i.am, Lou Reed, the Gossip, and Iggy Pop. Recently he shot the independent feature Lily & Kat. His short Sea Pavilion, co-written and co-directed with Marysia Makowska, won the Audience Award at the Brooklyn Film Festival. See his work at www.tas-dp.com
Gray Scott is a futurist / technology-philosopher, artist and writer. He is founder and CEO of SERIOUS WONDER™ a futuristic technology magazine and “idea lab" based in New York. He is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists as well as professional member of The World Future Society. Gray is quickly becoming widely recognized as one of the most exciting, and inspiring futurists of our time, speaking and writing on a variety of future technologies including artificial intelligence, wearable technologies, biomimetic design, transhumanism, sexbots, and digital life extension. View his work at www.grayscott.com
Risks and challenges
Any project this ambitious has risks involved, and undertaking an independent film production has it's own special challenges - but overcoming them is part of what makes it so exciting.
PERSEVERANCE - Shooting long hours on location in the ruins of abandoned buildings or out in the woods day after day is physically and emotionally challenging. We will be exhausted. It is going to test our willpower. But we will never give up.
TO USE LOGISTICAL AND FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS TO OUR ADVANTAGE - This is a small movie of big ideas. We don't want to make a cheap version of a blockbuster movie, we want to make a unique, exciting, and challenging independent movie which explores powerful ideas on its own terms. We need to use our financial limitations to inspire creative thinking and problem solving that will make a movie that stands on its own.
TIMING - Independent films not only require a compelling story, but threading the needle on a complex set of logistics. There is always the chance of delays because of location availability or actor schedules. When people are donating their time and services for free, it is necessary to work around their commitments: editorial and VFX can take longer than planned, we might have to wait for a time slot to open up for sound design. Financing can fall through, requiring us to go out and find more funding. In short, things can take longer than planned. But we will finish and release this movie!
TO REACH OUR AUDIENCE - These days with the proliferation of avenues of distribution the question is not how to get an indie film distributed, but how to connect it with it's audience. We have an audience engagement plan using story extensions and cross-platform media to find and get in direct contact with the people who will be fans of this film. We don't want to trick people into seeing this with deceptive marketing or pretending the movie is something it is not, we want to find our genuine audience!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Pledge $3 or more
THANK YOU. Our heartfelt thanks. Plus a DIGITAL THANKS posted to Facebook and Twitter.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or more
ONLINE FILM COMMUNITY ACCESS. This pledge will give you PASSWORD ACCESS to our online film community featuring posts, on-set pics, as well as special dailies and sneak peaks of completed scenes. We want you to be a part of our film and truly engage with the project! We'll involve you from pre-production to completion. Plus a DIGITAL THANKS posted to Facebook and Twitter. We'll also return your generosity by posting and tweeting your future Kickstarter project!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
DIGITAL COPY OF THE MOVIE and COMMUNITY ACCESS. After our (fingers crossed) festival premiere, we'll send you a digital download of the film when it can only be seen on the festival circuit.
And of course, we'll give you a DIGITAL THANK YOU on Facebook and Twitter, and holler for your Kickstarter projects!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $35 or more
SPECIAL THANKS IN THE CREDITS and a SPECIAL THANKS credit on IMDB. Plus a DIGITAL COPY OF THE MOVIE and PASSWORD ACCESS to our online film community. And of course, DIGITAL THANK YOUS and SHOUT OUTS!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or more
POSTCARD with a hand-written note sent to you from one of our shooting locations! Plus community PASSWORD ACCESS, a DIGITAL THANK YOU, and SPECIAL THANKS in the credits.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $60 or more
5 backers All gone!
SIGNED COPY of POSTCARDS HOME. A photo book by our friend, the photographer Henry Jacobson (www.henryjacobsonphotography.com). Henry was generous enough to donate 5 signed copies of his beautiful book of photographs. These images, taken by Henry on his iphone, are truly evocative of the strange, fleeting, profoundly personal sensations of memory. We'll also give you a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD, ONLINE COMMUNITY ACCESS, and a SPECIAL THANKS in the credits.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $75 or more
ONE-OF-A-KIND POLAROID. We'll take a Polaroid picture on set and mail it to you with a signed note. A great piece of history to remind you of the movie you helped make! Plus, DIGITAL COPY, PASSWORD ACCESS, DIGITAL THANK YOU and we'll give you a SPECIAL THANKS IN THE CREDITS and on IMDB!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $100 or more
CAST AND CREW SCREENING. You are invited to attend the cast and crew screening with us in New York. We look forward to seeing you there! Plus DIGITAL COPY, ONLINE COMMUNITY ACCESS, and SPECIAL THANKS IN THE CREDITS. (Travel not provided.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or more
A special CURATED SELECTION OF 4 BOOKS that influenced and inspired us to make this project including a signed note detailing how the books influenced the idea for the film and our process. Plus a DIGITAL COPY OF THE MOVIE and PASSWORD ACCESS to our online film community. Not to mention SPECIAL THANKS in the credits and on IMDB, and an invitation to the CAST AND CREW SCREENING.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $200 or more
5 backers Limited (13 left of 18)
AUTOGRAPHED SLATE. We'll send you one of the actual slates that we use during filming, autographed and with the information from the last scene it was used for. We are going to use a new slate each shoot day so that there will be 18 of these available! PLUS a DIGITAL COPY of the movie, PASSWORD ACCESS, SPECIAL THANKS in the credits, and an invitation to the CAST AND CREW SCREENING.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $300 or more
10 backers Limited (5 left of 15)
HANDMADE SCREEN PRINTS by artist LILLI CARRÉ. Claire's sister -- graphic novelist and animator Lilli Carré (www.lillicarre.com and www.lillicarre.blogspot.com) is making a limited edition of handmade screen prints inspired by the movie. This is a very very special backer reward available in an extremely limited edition, so get 'em while you can. We'll also give you a DIGITAL COPY, online community PASSWORD ACCESS, a SPECIAL THANKS in the credits, and an invitation to the CAST AND CREW SCREENING.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $400 or more
0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)
CONSULTATION. We'd love to share with you all we've learned about screenwriting and directing, camera packages and editing, perseverance and storytelling -- everything it takes to get a micro budget movie happening. Or if you prefer we can talk with you about making professional music videos and commercials (something we've done a lot of) - everything from treatment writing to bidding to pitching. We'll answer your questions, offer our best advice and will give you feedback on your project, your screenplay, or treatment. Plus, DIGITAL COPY, PASSWORD ACCESS, and invitation to the CAST AND CREW SCREENING. (Travel expenses not included. We'll see you in New York or on Skype or over the phone.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or more
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT. You'll not only be part of the team, but you'll be recognized as one of the filmmakers in the credits and on IMDB honoring the vital role you played in making this movie. We'll send you special one-of-a-kind MEMORABILIA from the shoot, plus a DIGITAL COPY and PASSWORD ACCESS to our online community. You'll be invited to the CAST AND CREW SCREENING, and we will rave about your involvement in this project on social media!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $5,000 or more
0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
We'll make a CUSTOM FILM for you inspired by one of your memories and provide you with a limited edition, signed, fine art DVD as well as a digital copy. This short, experimental film directed by Claire Carré will be a work of art that takes your memory as its inspiration and point of departure. This could be an amazing and incredibly personal present for someone. We'll also give you an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT on our project, an invitation to the CAST AND CREW SCREENING, a DIGITAL COPY of the film, and PASSWORD ACCESS to our online film community.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
CO-PRODUCER CREDIT. To honor your huge contribution to our movie at a time when we need it most, you'll be recognized as one of the primary filmmakers on this project, in the credits, in the billing block on the posters, and on IMDB. You'll see the movie before it is released and we hope you will be a regular part of our online film community and that you'll come to the CAST AND CREW SCREENING (travel not provided). We'll find some special, one-of-a-kind MEMORABILIA just for you from the shoot, and we'll send you a FRAMED POSTER as well.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
- (28 days)