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$1,845 pledged of $22,000 goal
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By Stephanie Lewis
$1,845 pledged of $22,000 goal
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About

Life is what you make it.

The Team:  

Stephanie Lewis and Eris are the two-woman team behind “Joanne Martin: A Life in Miniature.” Stephanie’s main two roles are Executive Producer and Director of the film. She is also the writer and performer of the narration, as well as been behind one of the video cameras during the filming. In addition, she will be creating the original artwork for the DVD and promotional art. This is her very first film. Originally from St. Louis, Stephanie Lewis has lived in Arkansas since 1995. She is a visual artist by training, working in painting, drawing, and printmaking. She's a professor of art and art history and Chair of Visual Arts and Media at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville. Film is a new medium for her and documentaries are her favorite film genre.  

"As a visual artist primarily, it has been a solitary experience. I find the process of film making more satisfying because of its collaborative nature, its newness to me as a medium, and its immense potential for storytelling and conveying meaning." (Stephanie Lewis)

Stephanie Lewis, Director
Stephanie Lewis, Director

Eris’ main roles are as Film Editor and Co-Director of the film. She also worked on music, sound, and photography and was behind the other camera during filming. Eris is an artist from Northwest Arkansas. She has been involved in the art and community film scene for twenty years and specializes in digital art, photography, and filmmaking. Eris joined Stephanie Lewis on the Joanne Martin film project while completing her BA focusing in photography and printmaking. This film is Eris’ first feature film project.  

Eris, Film Editor
Eris, Film Editor

The Project:  

This Kickstarter endeavor is to raise funds for some production and post-production costs of the film: DVD production, music rights, editing costs, advertising, travel, film festival fees, and fees for online video rental/purchase platforms. (see Budget Breakdown)  

When Stephanie Lewis was a child, her aunt Joanne was a mystery to her. She was this intense person involved in a lot of things, who made well-attended holiday meals at her home. Lewis also visited her property down at Iron Mountain Lake, Missouri some summers during childhood. She was also the only other person in a creative arts field in Lewis' entire family - immediate and extended.  

Joanne Martin in 1982 on her vacation lot in Ironton, Missouri near Iron Mountain Lake
Joanne Martin in 1982 on her vacation lot in Ironton, Missouri near Iron Mountain Lake

In 2010, Lewis invited Joanne to give a presentation on the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis, of which she was President, to her art club at the college at which Lewis is a professor of art. The two had a great time getting to know each other for the first time in their lives and learned a few things in the bargain.

Director Stephanie Lewis with Aunt Joanne Martin during filming
Director Stephanie Lewis with Aunt Joanne Martin during filming

In 2013, Lewis began talking to her friend Eris about the film she wanted to make about her aunt and the two set out to do so in July of 2015. It is a film about a miniaturist, a businesswoman, a museum president, a Girl Scout leader, a teacher, a student, a mother, a daughter, and most of all, an indomitable human spirit. It's a story about how one unstoppable woman refuses to be underestimated and continuously proves her detractors wrong, ultimately creating a miniature reality around herself - even suggesting that God would have to understand her point of view.

The film is edited in a non-linear format. By the midpoint of the film, one understands that the pieces are part of a disjointed but focused narrative that describes the origin and backstory of a remarkable character.  

Film still of a photograph of Joanne as a child holding a snake she caught to take to "Nature Club."
Film still of a photograph of Joanne as a child holding a snake she caught to take to "Nature Club."

The documentary reveals Joanne's life as someone who would not take no for answer and refused to be satisfied with circumstances that she found disagreeable. While it goes unstated, her desire to make a reality for herself allows her to live in a world of her making, where she fits - a reality that conforms to her will and does not necessarily conform to the expectations of those around her.

Even the idols that Joanne appreciates are not immune from her insightful and sometime scathing critique. By the end of the film, one has a better sense of who Joanne is and how she came to be but also what it takes to be a miniaturist. The experiences she relates in the film always represent how she was exposed to something, found the experience lacking, and decided to do something about it.  

Film still of Joanne talking about a tree she is making for her half-inch doll house
Film still of Joanne talking about a tree she is making for her half-inch doll house

The film shows that women, even women raised during a time of far less personal freedom and agency can recapture or restore that agency and do what they believe is right and create a world that serves them. 

Schedule:

The film is essentially done, save for some production and post-production costs, so rest assured, we are committed to completing this film and getting it distributed to a wide audience. We are currently looking at film festivals that we’d like to submit it to for the purpose of growing that audience and building a buzz we already have going. We also just finished a new trailer that will be rolled out with our new website for the film and this Kickstarter simultaneously. A miniature organization is going to publicize our film in the September issue of their organization’s quarterly magazine. We will soon be featured on a miniature blog that has been cited in The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Elle UK. Our regional newspaper will be featuring us and our film in an issue this summer. Once our DVDs are produced and the film is offered for digital streaming on various platforms, we will be featured in three major industry miniature magazines in the United States and Europe. Some rewards for pledging money to this project will start to go out in December 2017 (web recognitions, thank you notes, posters, names in credits for contributors at different levels, signed limited edition prints of original DVD cover art, and associate producer and producer credits). The reward for digital advance screening will be available in June of 2018. The DVDs will go out to contributors to this project in August of 2018. 

Joanne Martin in a film still talking about one of the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis' signature pieces, "The Armory."
Joanne Martin in a film still talking about one of the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis' signature pieces, "The Armory."

Budget Breakdown:

Rewards:

 

 

 

More Video Clips:

 

 

 Music Samples from the Film:

 "Roses," Written and Performed by Nocona Ridge. Used by Permission.  All Rights Reserved.

 "I Don't Care (As Long as You Care for Me)" from The Liberace Show, 1954.  Performed by Liberace.  Orchestra under the direction of George Liberace.  Public Domain.

 "I'll Be Seeing You" from The Liberace Show, 1954.  Performed by Liberace and George Liberace and His Orchestra. Public Domain.

 "Details."  Written by Jason Lakis.  Performed by The Red Thread.  Courtesy of Badman Recording Co.  Used by Permission.  All Rights Reserved.

 

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge facing both of us is our day jobs. I'm a professor of art and art history and Chair of Visual Arts and Media at a community college. Eris is a graphic designer. We anticipate it only being a slight challenge when fulfilling rewards but we both are very good at meeting deadlines and fulfilling obligations and have friends who are willing to help us with distribution of rewards.

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    Listed in Credits as Gold-Level Funder

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Funding period

- (45 days)