The world is ridiculous, in a wonderful sort of way. We spend most of our time trying to make sense of things: why is the sky blue? How does a wild river run? What would a pot of petunias spontaneously created in the sky think as it plummets to the Earth? About now you are silently listing off the answers to all these questions, but for two seconds I want you not to. Instead, just sit there and consider how amazing the tiniest, simplest, things are. We spend so long looking for answers, perhaps we should stop every now and then and look for questions… and that’s exactly what we did.
One summer day, a group of 20-somethings headed up north armed with a few quirky outfits, a couple lenses, an old tripod, a borrowed camera, and a 1970 Ford Galaxie. Over the next thirteen days, fighting sunlight, bugs, sunburns, heat exhaustion, torrential down pours, poisonous plants, the struggle of peeing in the woods (most of us are female), and a grumpy old car that kept breaking down, we made a film. Like the journey our characters were on, our adventure raised more questions than it answered, but we grew with our characters, and in the end the greatest lesson wasn’t technical or logistic, it was in the journey, and all the questions we encountered along the way.
At this point you are probably wondering what exactly this film is about… Let me put it this way, J.R.R. Tolkein once said, “Not all those who wander are lost”, well our film ponders the possibility that perhaps we are all lost, and it is in our wanderings that we find our way again.
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
Dawn - because when else can a story dramatically start, eh? - finds a young woman packing her bag and leaving a small sleepy town in a 1970 Ford Galaxie named Archie. This young woman is Yuna Takahashi, our sarcastic and rather unpleasant lead character. Once out of town, Yuna finds herself heading down a road with no name, on which she encounters a philosophical hitchhiker, an unusual old lady, and a girl with (almost) pink hair.
On this quirky character journey, we follow our trio as they go from being wanderers with no path ahead, to wanders with the courage to go out and make their own path.
Now this probably all sounds very philosophical and mentally straining, but don’t worry, our characters discuss the appropriate assemblage of a sandwich more than they discuss the minute randomness of the universe. But then again, perhaps those two conversations are one and the same. Whether they are talking about sandwiches or universal concerns, our trio are absurdly average humans, in the most wonderfully ridiculous way.
Yuna Takahashi, our pessimistic, sarcastic, overly practical and wonderfully acute lead, is always prepared…always. Yuna is our fallen dreamer, as well as our sandwich expert (hold the pickles).
Dev Williams, our philosophical hitchhiker, is on a grand journey to absolutely nowhere, leaving no bread crumbs on the road behind him, and with no map to guide him onward. Dev is our wanderer, as well as our trusted liar.
Penelope (Penny) Fitzherbert, our brightly coloured, overly enthusiastic, badly dressed, beam of light, will keep everyone on their toes. Penny is our source of courage, of growth, and of learning that we are braver than we know.
Archie, our 1970 Ford Galaxie, is Yuna’s oldest and most trusted friend. Archie has been helping people find their way for years, so yes, all his temper tantrums, breakdowns and refusals to start are intentional (he’s a method actor and would do this often on set, which made getting through a filming day sometimes quite difficult).
Our unusual Old Lady is… unusual. She is a mystery, and we’ve decided to keep her that way. So after seeing the film, let us know what you think her story is.
This film was made by:
6 crew members
4 cast members
4 borrowed lenses
1 old tripod
1 borrowed camera
1 old car
And lots of help… and lots of sandwiches…
Orson Welles once said, “A writer needs a pen, an artist needs a brush, but a filmmaker needs an army.” Well our small army went to war armed with nothing but sticks.
So let me take a second to introduce you to our little army with sticks:
Our actors come from a wide range of backgrounds, from theatre pros to newcomers to the world of acting. Regardless of their roots, our leads teamed up to help and teach each other. Just like their characters, they learned and grew with one another. And just like their characters, they ran around a lot, walked through small rivers, sat in a burning hot car all day, got attacked by plants and bugs, and ate a lot of sandwiches. Even after all that, they never failed to bring their all to the scene, and surprise us at every turn. Oh, and I mustn't forget to mention one of our key stars: Vessel, our 1970 Ford Galaxie. Working with Vessel was…interesting. Let me just put out a fair warning against working with cars that are method actors (just because Archie breaks down in the film doesn’t mean you get to break down on set).
Our crew are all new at their trade. Whether straight out of school, switching careers, or just trying to figure out their calling, every crew member brought something new and unique to the team. They weren’t just talented, intelligent hard workers - they had grit. Making sticks out of twigs, and finding a way to use those sticks the best way possible was our daily task, but we made it through, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to go on this adventure with.
Now, you may ask why I went into battle with nothing but sticks, regardless of how amazing my troupe was… The answer isn’t mind blowing or glamorous, but rather personal.
Two years ago I was diagnosed with OCD, around the same time I really wanted to make a film. By the time I was able to get back on my feet I didn’t want to write a story that had anything to do with my mental disorder - I wanted to get as far away from it as possible… It’s a long story for another day, but in short my own experiences started to seep into my story. Quickly, a simple quirky dramedy turned into a story about hope and growth, about learning that we’re all afraid of something, and that’s okay, we just need to find the bravery within us to push past it and move forward. So why did I drag a group of people out into the wilderness to make this film? Because one day I lost hope, and it took a lot to get back on my feet, so I decided to make a film that said something to people…something I needed to hear two years ago.
“You’re braver than you know” - Yuna Takahashi
A little note about one of our rewards… or rather, our props, and the way they were made.
Everything in this film was practically made by hand. I remember the sky pin being lost on set one day and I had to stay up ‘till past midnight making two more… we barely had time for the glue to dry before our 5:00am wake-up call the next day. Please note, that since the sky pins will be made by hand, they will all be a little different. As such, the sky-pin you receive may not be identical to the one seen in the film. On that same note, if they are in higher demand, they may also take a little longer to get to you.
We believe everything has significance, right down to the way things are made, so we will stick true to our way and deliver these props directly from our hands to yours.
Live Long and Prosper,
Julia And The Creative Team
Risks and challenges
Years. Months. Days. Hours. Minutes. Seconds. You don’t realize how precious time is until you’re running out, or until you go to pour your heart and soul into something and then have someone set a timer.
We spent so much time on this film - all of us. We worked hard: blood, sweat, tears, we’ve had it all. It took time to get this far, and a long road still lies ahead. What this goal will give us is some time, it will allow us to get a little extra help so we can concentrate our energy not just on finishing this film, but making it good. It will also allow me to pick up some extra PM gigs and earn a little more money to help pay honorariums to all those who worked on this project unpaid.
If we don’t make our goal? Months will turn into years. A film that could have been completed by 2019 won’t be done until 2021, and everyone who needed this project for their demo reels, to help build their careers, will have to wait to show the world what they can do.
So what do we risk? Time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)