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Imprisoned by the Japanese in WWII, a British woman unleashes her wit and wisdom on love, loss, art, and the art of survival.
Imprisoned by the Japanese in WWII, a British woman unleashes her wit and wisdom on love, loss, art, and the art of survival.
82 backers pledged $20,586 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$20,586

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Still thinking? Better hurry! Yes, we can go over $20K -- every K counts!

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Writer-friendly reward!

(EE) ASSOCIATE PRODUCER FOR WRITERS Script evaluation details: We will evaluate your screenplay to give you useful, relevant feedback for today's marketplace. Story, characters, quality of writing and more in a 3-4 page written evaluation. You may submit up to 120 pages; keep in mind that a finished draft should be 90-105 pages. This reward is available on a flexible delivery date.

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WELCOME

Your donations are much appreciated. Most of the money we raise will be used to pay for post-production services to make this film shine. We also need your help to cover costs for film festival submissions, travel and promotion, not to mention sending out your awesome backer rewards!

ABOUT MY SHANGHAI

On Memorial Day, 2011, Virginia McCutcheon was featured on the front page of the San Luis Obispo Tribune. The headline read: “POW of the Japanese.” She became an instant local celebrity as one of the last survivors of Lunghwa Camp in China during World War II. 

Virginia McCutcheon  •  © 2013 First Straw Films
Virginia McCutcheon • © 2013 First Straw Films

The camp experience is at the heart of the documentary, but Shanghai, "the Paris of the Orient," is where it all began. In interviews over several days in the past year, Virginia, now age 93, opens up about herself, her family, her loves and losses, more than she ever thought she could.

Read about the journey this film has taken at myshanghaifim.com.

WHAT’S OUR STATUS?

MY SHANGHAI is in postproduction. Location filming and family interviews were shot in June, 2012 and April, 2013 in California. P.H. Wells and co-writer Joan Macbeth are shaping a script for an hour-long film intended for film festivals, cable and public TV, DVDs and streaming.

DO WE HAVE OTHER STRATEGIES FOR COMPLETION?

You could say that. Find out in this short video, Low Budget Baby --

ABOUT US

The crew, and then some.
The crew, and then some.

P.H. Wells, Producer, Director, Writer, Editor. On the way to marketing her scripts to Hollywood, Pam discovered documentary storytelling and a love of editing. An Associate Producer credit on a friend's short film (A Rendezvous) spurred her on to create First Straw Films in 2011 to tell the uncommon stories of people we meet every day. She has also lent a hand to an upcoming film in production by NW Documentary, Les Voyageurs Sans Trace (2013).

Joan Macbeth, Associate Producer, Co-Writer. An award-winning screenwriter, Joan has won or placed in competitions such as Big Bear Lake Film Festival, Moondance, Action on Film, Broad Humor Festival, Script Vamp, Scriptapalooza and PNWA. Currently she is adapting Jennie Shortridge’s novel, When She Flew, for LA producer Michael Gruskoff (My Favorite Year, Young Frankenstein).

Ron Macbeth, Cinematographer. Ron was co-founder of IT Online, one of the first Internet casting websites, and Interface Productions in Vancouver, B.C. After extensive camera work at Interface, Ron tried his hand at acting for a brief period and has returned to his spot behind the camera with My Shanghai.

Jonathan Geer, Composer. Jonathan's music has been heard on American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, Access Hollywood and many other shows. He has composed soundtracks for games on Mac, PC, Nintendo DS and iPhone/iPad. He currently lives in Austin, TX and performs regularly with the Austin Piazzolla Quintet and Waterloo Trio.

PRODUCER'S NOTE: Most of what you hear in the trailer was also written and performed by Jonathan Geer. After the first few bars of "Hiroshima" by LynneMusic, Jonathan's piece "Ascension" underscores the rest of the video. All music used with permission.

HOW TO DONATE TO “MY SHANGHAI”

It’s easy! Click the green "BACK THIS PROJECT" button and follow the prompts to donate. Your payment will be processed through Amazon, but not until the campaign is over and ONLY if we reach our goal. 

That’s right, Kickstarter is ALL or NOTHING.

Can we go over 100% of our goal? YES! The drive stays live for the whole 30 days!

On the drawing board, "John's Garden" by John McCutcheon
On the drawing board, "John's Garden" by John McCutcheon

Risks and challenges

There will be challenging days ahead to complete this film by the end of the year for several reasons. Probably the top one is that this is P.H. Wells' first feature-length project. That said, her work editing the trailer is drawing praise, from "beautifully done" to "deeply heartfelt and powerful" to "goosebumps and tears."

The challenge of making any film is to find people not only with energy and vision but with experience and expertise. If for some reason we don't make our Kickstarter goal, the project will still go forward, though probably not as quickly as hoped. In addition to Kickstarter funding, we are in the process of appyling for grants for additional production and administration costs, marketing and distribution.

The risk of making this film in particular is that time is not on our side. With the "film in the can," we're lucky to have many hours of absorbing interviews, activities and a wealth of archival material. We need financial support to put it all together.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    (A) BACKER: You'll get the digital HD DOWNLOAD of the film and many thanks!

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    (B) BACKER PLUS: You'll receive the actual DVD, digital HD download and our thanks to you on our website and Facebook page.

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    (C) FILM CREDIT: Your name on the film! We'll give you "Thanks" in the closing credits (if you want us to), plus (B) above.

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    (D) FILM CREDIT PLUS: Your name on the film, PLUS a special MY SHANGHAI "Insiders Out-takes” DVD, a MY SHANGHAI logo hat, and (B) above.

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    (E) ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: You'll get credit as "Associate Producer" on the film and on IMDb, and the PRODUCER PACKAGE: two (2) VIP PASSES to the Premiere screening (TBA; transportation and lodging not included) and a signed copy of the FINAL SCRIPT; and (D) level rewards.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    (EE) ASSOCIATE PRODUCER FOR WRITERS Are you a screenwriter? Get credit as an "Associate Producer" AND a FULL SCRIPT EVALUATION from P.H. Wells and Joan Macbeth on one of your own screenplays (see details, left), plus two (2) VIP passes to the Premiere screening (TBA; transportation and lodging not included); and (D) level rewards.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    (F) ASSOCIATE PRODUCER PLUS: Credit as "Associate Producer" on the film and on IMDb, PLUS fhe filmmakers will INTERVIEW YOU by phone or in writing for our website and social media pages (only if you'd like us to, of course)! You'll also receive "THE MAKING OF MY SHANGHAI" production photo book and (E) level rewards above.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    (G) EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Yes! You'll get "Executive Producer" credit on the film and on IMDb. You'll also receive a FRAMED LIMITED EDITION PRINT of "John's Garden" by artist John McCutcheon as featured in the film, in addition to (F) level rewards above.

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Funding period

- (30 days)