The United States dropped over two million tons of bombs on the neutral country of Laos during the Vietnam Conflict. About 80 million of those bombs still remain, unexploded in the ground today. This is a story I was rather shocked to hear and one I felt compelled to make a film about.
Why this Film?
It was not that long ago when I found out about the U.S. bombing of Laos. I was shocked when I discovered Laos was the most heavily bombed country per capita in history and that there were tens of millions of those bombs scattered around the country.
How could I have grown up in the U.S. and have no knowledge of this? How is Laos still dealing with this massive problem 40 years later? What is my country doing about this?
I began to dig further into the facts and the information was difficult to digest. 50,000 casualties from the bombing, 20,000 since the end of the war. $17,000,000 a day spent bombing Laos over nine years.
Eventually, a growing compulsion drove me to make a film and tell this story. To communicate this very important piece of Laotian and American history and present day reality.
Why an Animated Short Film?
One of the ways I got introduced to the U.S. bombing in Laos was a through a series of drawings done by Laotian bombing victims. Made with crayons, pens, pencils and markers, they are simple drawings depicting brutal and frightening scenes of bombings from the perspectives of the civilians.
For this film I wanted to show life in Laos, as it is today and how it was during the bombing. I felt that animation was perhaps the only way to really do this. There is very little photographic or film documentation of the situation from the perspective on the ground, so the only accounts I have access to come from the illustrations or survivor testimony.
What the Funding goes towards.
Animating anything always takes time (usually a lot of time), and it can be expensive as well. For most projects I end up getting some new tools (software, assets etc) that can be anywhere from a little to quite expensive so this will help me to finish the film the way it should be finished.
Once a film is done it's all about promotion and getting the film to the viewer. This is not the kind of film that would typically get distribution so I'll be getting everything together myself, from DVDs to Posters and handling things such as Festival submissions. That can all add up pretty quickly, so supporting this campaign will really help that process happen, plus you get to have all the good stuff before anyone else.
Any money gathered that is over goal amount will go towards two things. One is promoting the film even more which is really a valuable possibility and I hope to be able to really get the story exposure. The second be would the possibility of doing suplemental pieces such as potentially doing a film of survivor illustrations.
Making a film largely by ones self can be as freeing as it is challenging. However, I plan to get this film done this summer so IF this campaign is a success, you will not have to wait long. I'd like to thank Legacies of War and Cari Kristoff for all of their helpful input. I also want to thank all of you for helping me get this film finished and getting this story told.
- (28 days)