To make an innovative dance film with a compelling narrative. The short film is called UNDERSTUDY.
What's UNDERSTUDY all about?
UNDERSTUDY reveals a captivating look at the story of an understudy dancer, someone who is struggling to be the best, but learning to be patient while waiting her turn. Her name is Clara Klein and she's an incredible dancer. However, Clara is still learning to perfect her understudy performance in a huge Salsa show hitting the streets of LA in just one week. Her biggest obstacle is that she suffers from a bad center of equilibrium, and must work extra hard to complete those spins vital for salsa performances. Intermixed with intoxicating visuals of choreographed salsa numbers, Clara struggles with her identity, and must make choices to overcome her long-term boyfriend’s infidelity, rid her self of jealousy over the lead role, redeem her integrity for past mistakes, and perfect those spins. Through it all, Clara is more skilled and ready for her turn as the lead, even if she doesn't get the chance to do so by the end of the movie. UNDERSTUDY is an inspirational story that brings hope and confidence to all underdogs.
Dance is such a powerful medium of expression. We chose to make this film because of how moved we feel when we watch a brilliantly choreographed dance number performed by flawless dancers. Through a compelling narrative, great acting, and the use of an exciting and innovative new dance style called Salsa Funk, we hope to make that same connection with our film's audience.
What makes UNDERSTUDY unique?
What separates this short film from all dance films is our story about an underdog who never gets the chance to shine. Stories of this genre are always about a struggling dancer who usually attains her goal. However, in UNDERSTUDY, Clara never receives that opportunity, but still believes that one day her time will come. Also unlike most movies in its genre, UNDERSTUDY has talented actors who are also incredible dancers. It's painful when a movie can't express the entire dance experience because the filmmakers are trying to hide the fact that the dancer actually can't dance. Furthermore, we’d like to take the audience on a backstage journey to experience the underground world of dance. In order to heighten this experience, we will be using a sensitive camera with a docu-style aesthetic to bring raw authenticity to the film.
What's our goal?
Our goal is to capture dance like no other film has ever done. With an incredible crew, we know UNDERSTUDY will be a compelling story with gorgeous imagery, and hope that festivals around the world will appreciate our work. We will be submitting to festivals internationally and to dozens of networks for national broadcast. Furthermore, we will also reach out to non profits that help women find themselves, like organizations for single moms, women in the arts, victims of domestic abuse, and educational programs. The film can even be an important tool for dance classes because it features a dance style that's not mainstream yet. Finally, the film will be submitted to award competitions, like the College Television Awards, and the Student Academy Awards, which are places to launch our careers. UNDERSTUDY can be a calling card for pursuing our filmmaking dreams.
What will we do with the money?
Making movies is very expensive. Especially when you are a graduate film school student living in Los Angeles. Making a movie requires over a dozen departments with dozens of people. This is a list of several departments, what they do, and how much they need to make it happen:
1. Locations - $4,000 - we have 4 different locations we need to rent, including a lavish theater to shoot the final performance of the film. We also need to design the sets, and make the final performance the spectacle we have been waiting for the entire movie.
2. Wardrobe - $1,500 - 22 dancers are casted in the final performance, and we need to fit all of them in beautiful costumes. The women will all need high heels, which can become very expensive. That on top of the everyday clothes that five characters wear on several different days. As for the lead's costume, it plays a big role in the plot of the film, and must be a stunning piece of work by a talented costume designer.
3. Food - $1,500 - we need to feed and provide drinks to the 5 actors, 22 dancers, and our crew of over 30 people during the course of six straight 12-hour days. Feeding people who help make our film come to life is the least we can do.
4. Equipment - $1,500 - we need tripods, handheld rigs, lights etc to give the film that cinematic quality.
So you're wondering what kind of filmmakers we are?
We are aspiring artists living in the Los Angeles area who are like Clara - we are working extra hard, and hoping to one day have successful filmmaking careers. We already have an incredible crew who is extremely passionate about UNDERSTUDY. Our choreographer has worked with Gloria Estefan, Toni Braxton, Alicia Keys, and Paula Abdul. Collectively, our crew has worked on several Oscar short listed films, movies screened on HBO, and films that have premiered at Sundance, Tribecca, and Slamdance Film Festivals. Despite the successes, many of us are still struggling filmmakers in school, and need your support to help make UNDERSTUDY a great ride for any audience.
You can check out more of our work at:
How will we thank you?
Besides our sincere gratitude, a long list of items that are posted in the side bar.
Thank you so much for taking the time to consider our project! We are very grateful!! If you'd like to read the script, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!!