SILICONE SOUL- A DOCUMENTARY
When having a relationship with a real human being is too hard, where do you turn?
WHAT IS THIS DOCUMENTARY ABOUT?
Silicone Soul explores the emotional connection some people have to their synthetic companions and what that means for the future of human relationships. Ultimately, this is a film about love, loneliness, secrets and, perhaps, acceptance. Who are we to judge who…or what…people choose to love?
WHO AM I?
My name is Melody Gilbert and I have been making feature-length independent documentaries for 15 years (click here to see my website with links to trailers for all my films). Some of you may know my films A LIFE WITHOUT PAIN (about 3 kids who can’t feel pain), or URBAN EXPLORERS: INTO THE DARKNESS (about people who explore places most people would never go) or WHOLE (about healthy people who want to be an amputee). Or maybe you saw my very first film, MARRIED AT THE MALL, about people who get married at the largest shopping mall in the U.S., or my doc about the former Vice President of the United States under Jimmy Carter, FRITZ: THE WALTER MONDALE STORY, or my most recent film, THE SUMMER HELP. All of my docs have been in prestigious film festivals and received international distribution (and most were on Netflix and iTunes). I have also been the producer of several award-winning documentaries, including the recent film festival hit and James Beard winner THE STARFISH THROWERS as well as WOMEN OUTWARD BOUND. My new project, SILICONE SOUL, will be my seventh feature-length film as a director/producer/cinematographer. I’m asking you — the people who know me as a filmmaker or are interested in this subject or maybe you are just someone who wants to support true independent filmmakers — to be part of my newest journey!
WHY AM I MAKING THIS FILM AND WHY NOW?
“I couldn’t imagine how you could possibly make me care about these people. And you did.” — A viewer of the rough cut of Silicone Soul
I have always been drawn to outsiders, underdogs and subcultures. I’ve made films about urban explorers, amputee-wannabes and kids who can’t feel pain (read more about my previous films here). Recently, I became interested in the growing subculture of people who live with and love life-sized and lifelike silicone dolls that look real and feel real. For the past three years, I have delved into this world. It might not be for everyone, but hopefully you’re thinking: “Fascinating.”
These are the kinds of topics and people I’m drawn to. I'm excited to have an opportunity to tell non-judgmental stories about interesting people who bravely open up and share their secrets and stories with me.
I believe this film will force people to look deep inside themselves and find empathy and acceptance for those who live along the fringes of society.
Here are a few other reactions to the rough cut:
• “You could have so easily mocked, but you chose to tell their story with compassion."
• “All of the characters are extremely interesting.”
• “The way you get these folks to open up and show their genuine love for their synthetic partners was awesome.”
The psychologist and author Dr. Danielle Knafo (check out her new book on this subject) is the only expert studying this topic and she tells me that in 20 years, synthetic relationships will be normal. Think about that!
Silicone Soul is about people who live with and love dolls, yes. But ultimately, it’s a documentary about so much more. It challenges us to ask questions about who we are and where we are going as a society and portends some difficult questions about the future of human relationships.
In the end, my films don’t tell you what to think, they create conversations. I hope you will consider being a partner with me on that journey with Silicone Soul.
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
My filmmaking journey has taken me through many phases. This one has taken me back to my roots as a filmmaker, where I work mostly solo. Like most of my earlier films, that means I directed, produced and shot most of the footage (although this time I am sharing the cinematography credit with a talented former student of mine from AUBG — Igor Myakotin, a budding documentary filmmaker who recently graduated from The New School in N.Y.) .
We have a rough cut! Your support of this campaign will give the film everything it needs to get closer to reaching the masses:
- professional editing
- sound designer
- sound mixer
- color grading
These are among the things that go into mastering and finishing the final cut along with preparations for a world premiere in 2018. (Note: we have interest from a prestigious film festival for the premiere, but I can't say where yet, but it's a very exciting possibility!).
This is the bare minimum I need to finish the rough cut. Most of the team is working for deferred compensation, which means I will pay them when I raise some funds. So please help me pay them!
I am so close, but I need your help to get over the finish line. All contributions come with a reward, which you can see in the column on the right. If I don't reach the goal, I do not get to keep the funds, so it's important to not wait to donate.
It's not easy for me to ask for help, and I am grateful to each and every one of you. So I thank you in advance for any contribution.
PLEASE HELP ME SPREAD THE WORD!
If you can’t donate, you can help by spreading the word. Do you know someone who likes to help independent filmmakers? Please share this campaign with them! Spread the word on social media (and follow and tag Melody on FB and Twitter and Instagram.). And please "like" the FB page for the movie. Also, please share a link to this campaign with your friends via email with a personal message telling them about this project. It’s been proven that successful campaigns happen when supporters share the campaign directly via email and ask others to get involved. Thank you!
These are the people you will be supporting with your contributions:
- DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: MELODY GILBERT
- EDITOR: MILES PAINTER
- CINEMATOGRAPHERS: MELODY GILBERT & IGOR MYAKOTIN
- COMPOSER: CHARLIE MCCARRON
- ANIMATORS: JOHN AKRE, BETH PELOFF, GILLES TIMMS
- SOUND MIX: JESSE MARKS
- ADDITIONAL EDITING: MAGDALENA HERNANDEZ, BRIAN KANTOR
- ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: DUMITRITA PACICOVSCHI
- GRAPHICS: ANI DEVADARIANI
Read more about the team here on the Silicone Soul website.
Thanks for your support and for being part of my newest filmmaking journey!
Yours in Docs, Melody Gilbert
Risks and challenges
Documentary filmmaking has inherent risks and challenges. One of the biggest challenges is anything that can stall production. Because we’ve completed the filming and the vast majority of the editing, we feel confident we can deliver a finished film in the next six months. All of my previous films have screened internationally at prestigious film festivals and been broadcast around the world as well as on iTunes and Netflix. I am well known for finishing the projects that I start. Fundraising has been the biggest challenge, and with your help we will finish this film and share it with the world and get some conversations started!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (18 days)