What We're Meant For is about a 13-year-old girl, Jamie, and her relationship with her dad, shortly after her mom died. Each is dealing with the situation in an opposite way: Jamie overcome with emotion and her father emotionally shutting down, resulting in them alienating themselves when they need each other the most. This story specifically focuses on the moment when all this comes to a head (through the loss of Jamie's horse, also her best friend), when Jamie and her father must confront their differences and find a healthy way to deal with their demons, otherwise those demons will destroy them.
Our film is a drama with fantasy and thriller elements, the latter of which occur when Jamie, not getting what she needs from her dad, retreats into her depression in an attempt to be with those who care. The film looks at serious topics like loss, family, and mental health, and does so in an honest and authentic way, but it is also uplifting and inspirational, presenting our world as hopeful and worth experiencing, even if it isn't ideal.
Why do we want to make this film? Great question!
Beyond our love for filmmaking, animation, and storytelling, we want to make this film because of how powerful the story is, and how personal it is to us. Whether it's losing a loved one, difficulties with family, or dealing with mental health, the issues our film explores have directly affected our lives. What we went through and how we got through it, what we dealt with and are continuing to deal with, we put it all into this story, and we're putting it all into this film.
As filmmakers, we really want to highlight these key ideas:
- Loss and death are part of life, and the best way to deal with this is to make the most of and appreciate the time you have
- Family/loved ones are critical to the above, through their love, caring, support, and understanding
- Life is amazing and completely worth living, even if it isn't ideal
Another key purpose of our film is highlighting mental health, both mental health issues and awareness. Specifically, this film looks at both suicide and depression. We think these are critically important topics, one that haven't been adequately addressed in film. This is partially because film is a visual medium and mental health is not visual, but it is also because many filmmakers don't have or haven't tapped into the experiences necessary to tackle these topics, and also because studios tend to prefer less heavy and risky storytelling.
Our story, however, is different. We've found a way to visualize depression, a way that is inspirational, powerful, and real. And while this topic may be too risky for Hollywood, it is perfect for independent filmmakers like us. This is why we are so excited to make this film, and to make it through donations from supporters like you. Making our film this way, we are free to tell a story that hasn't been told, to put characters on screen that we've never seen before. We are free to make a powerful and authentic film that audiences can connect with, both those going and not going through these issues.
In our opinion, this is the most powerful thing film can do: build empathy and understanding, put yourself in someone else's shoes. It's all about connecting our world a little more, and that is what we plan to do with our film.
We believe animation is a way to tell stories that can't quite be told using live action. In our case, animation provides the ability to blend fantasy and reality, mental with emotional, and make them all feel like the same world. Animation also gives an almost unrestricted ability to create unique beings, and it allows for these beings to interact in ways that would be prohibitive in a live-action movie.
Additionally, animation, particularly 2D animation with its handmade quality, allows for wonderful displays of artistry and emotion, not just through character and story, but also through the designs, styles, and even the animation itself. Like what you see in The Iron Giant, Song of the Sea, and pretty much every classic Miyazaki and Disney movie.
These are more than just movies, they are works of art, and that is also what we want our film to be.
Gabriel has written and directed over a dozen short films, several of which have screened at festivals across the US, including those in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlantic City. He is the creator of Movies Under The Surface, a YouTube channel with 16,000+ subscribers, and his nature photography has been featured twice in the Montanha Pico Festival. He has produced and directed videos for Hinduism Today, Career Dreams, and Second Sight Medical Products, and has assistant directed content for Facebook, T-Mobile, Tone It Up, and several indie films. Outside filmmaking, Gabriel has an engineering degree that he does not use, and he is an avid traveler, having visited 36 countries, 32 US states, and spending an entire year in 2016-2017 traveling the world.
Stephanie received a B.F.A. in Cinema and Animation from San Francisco State University and did her post-graduate studies at Gnomon School for Visual Effects. Since then, she has worked with SIGGRAPH Conferences, serving as a student volunteer and team leader, as well as a subcommittee member for the Computer Animation Festival (an Academy Award qualifying festival) and two time member of the Studio subcommittee, where she is the lead of installations and workshops. She is also a member of Women in Animation, and her current focus is on production management, serving as production coordinator for the ScavengeAR mobile gaming app, an augmented reality scavenger hunt that will debut this July at the SIGGRAPH 2019 Conference in Los Angeles.
Aron has produced and developed content spanning traditional broadcast, short and long-form new media, and live stage programming. Focusing on fandom, he's worked with many of the industry's most celebrated studios, talent, creatives, and agencies. Notably, Aron produced 1.2 billion online views for Maker Studios (now known as Disney Digital Network), helped launch Comic-Con HQ for Lionsgate and Comic-Con Intl., co-founded Team ProCreate, hosted The Tragic Show, ran talk development for Fullscreen Talk, and more. His work can be found on YouTube, Fullscreen, Comic-Con HQ, DIRECTV, AT&T U-Verse, Apple/iTunes, Google Play, Roku, Amazon, TVOS, XBOX One, Meerkat, various international broadcast markets, and most social media platforms. In 2019, he'll be launching several comedy series at 'The Improv' comedy clubs.
Cathleen is a concept designer and artist whose work has been featured in Literature for Life, the Torrance Art Museum, the San Diego Art Institute, and numerous galleries across Southern California. She has illustrated for clients such as Lethal Chicken Games, Old Town Pasadena, NIKKI+ROSE, and Oh Rio! Productions, and also published the children's book "It's Sandcastle Building Day". She is on the Board of Directors for the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles and is a member of Women in Animation. Her current projects include a webcomic and “Magdalene”, a fantasy/adventure graphic novel.
Conor has worked on a broad array of music for different mediums, including A&E and Lifetime TV shows, Monterey Bay Aquarium promotional material, several award-winning short and feature films, web series, and more. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, when Conor is away from the studio he can be seen on the golf course, at the gym, or donning lycra and ascending mountains on his road bike.
FINANCING THE FILM
We cannot make this film without your support. Our script is amazing and our team is incredible, but without your financial support, What We're Meant For won't get made.
Animation, even short animation, is expensive. This is especially true for our project, which contains aspects that due to their expense and difficulty are not often found in short films. Additionally, our story requires very high quality animation, particularly in facial expression and character motion, so you won't find South Park style animation here (not that we don't love South Park, the style just won't work for our film).
Because of this, the majority of our budget goes toward animation. But even so, other aspects of filmmaking cost money as well, including:
- Voice Acting
- Concept Art
- Sound Design
- Final Rendering and Delivery
All these expenses have been broken down into the following:
As you can see, animation isn't cheap!
GETTING THE WORD OUT
In addition to donating, there are other ways you can help make this film. Like sharing! Tell your friends, your co-workers, your family; tell everyone you know about this film! You can do this by:
- Sharing and liking us on Facebook, and inviting your friends to like us as well.
- Following and tweeting about us on Twitter.
- Reaching out to people the old fashioned way, through text, email, or even by phone.
You never know who might be in a position to support this project, and so the more people who know about it, the closer we come to reaching our goal. Also, the more people who share and tweet about our project, the more likely we are to trigger Kickstarter's algorithms, get their attention, and become a staff pick! And once that happens, we get all sorts of attention. So share and tweet away! Lets make this film happen!
Our campaign is priced at the amount it'll take us to make our film, but lets not stop there! For if we reach the following stretch goals, not only can we can make the film, we can do a lot more.
We know you've worked hard for your money, so we've worked hard coming up with (and will work even harder delivering) amazing perks that will make your donation a fun and rewarding experience.
PLEASE NOTE: Full perk descriptions are in the right-hand sidebar.
We LITERALLY can not do this without you. We are so humbled and grateful for your donations and support.
Risks and challenges
Frame by frame 2D animation is inherently challenging, due to the time and effort it requires. Because of this, a significant portion of our budget (>50%) is dedicated to this aspect, and we will be hiring multiple animators to get the job done. Unexpected things do happen, and so we will be in regular contact with you so you always know where we are in the filmmaking process. Furthermore, your rewards have also been budgeted for, and they will be delivered, guaranteed, once the film is complete.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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