Art Therapy: The Movie is a feature documentary about the innovative ways art is being used around the world to overcome emotional challenges and traumatic experiences. We're profiling some incredible stories, including: a group of art therapy students traveling to the Dominican Republic to work with a group of orphans long forgotten about; art rehabilitation programs for inner-city youth in North America; and chronicling the devastation of natural disasters in South America and Japan and how art is helping in the healing process.
I was inspired to make this documentary when a friend invited me to film a group of art therapy students traveling to work at an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.
In filming with the intention to make a video for classroom use, we found the interactions between the art therapy grad students, who spoke no Spanish, and the orphans exceptionally compelling. The story didn't stop in the classroom ― the students raised money to feed the children, involved adults in the community to use art as therapy, and conducted home visits to do testing for diabetes. Despite a language barrier, this level of human connection and involvement was possible because of art. These fascinating stories have set the stage for a feature film.
The project that inspired the documentary
Since the Dominican Republic, a network of opportunities have opened up to continue documenting global happenings of art therapy. For instance, we've received commitments from the leading voices of art therapy to speak on camera. Also, the students' desire to continue working with youth led to discovering art therapy programs happening right in their own cities. As a result, we've kept the cameras rolling and will be able include a fascinating insight of art therapy being used in the inner-cities of America.
The film currently shows art therapy happening in Central America and right in our own backyards and now we want to include other fascinating stories happening halfway across the world. To do this we're chronicling how art therapy has been used to help victims of tragedy, such as those affected by the tsunami in Japan, earthquakes in Haiti and South America, and the events of 9/11. We're hoping to get to these places to film it firsthand.
These three journeys in South America, North America, and Japan will make up the comprehensive storyline of Art Therapy: The Movie.
The results of filming beyond the original project have been extremely encouraging and has set the stage for a feature film.
With this work, given its about the possibilities of human connection, we thought why not use Kickstarter to reach out to you, strangers, to make this documentary happen.
As an indie filmmaker I am very conscious about the costs of production. I'll start with where the money doesn't go. Its not being used to buy new gear - as a documentary filmmaker I already have the essentials for filming. Funds will be used on a great Emmy Award winning Editor and Animation & Effects team, who have worked on documentaries for PBS Nova, Sundance Channel and HBO. And for Music there are a bunch of great composers and Grammy nominated indie artists making the soundtrack for Art Therapy: The Movie.
The biggest expense is travel, since this documentary is about human connection through art in places far and between. We don't mind road tripping in our minivan (in fact we enjoy it!), but some locations require us to fly. The downside is that it costs more. The upside is we're spending more time in production. We’re planning to film in New York, South America, Dominican Republic (to do a follow up), Haiti, and Japan.
Finally, in order to get this film screened in theaters, at festivals, on DVD, and online we have to pay submission, production, screening, certification and legal fees.
YES! Funds beyond the goal would be fantastic as we'd love to chronicle art therapy happening in our own backyards at hospitals, schools, and senior care centers to as far away as countries like Iran, the Philippines, and China, which have been deeply affected by natural disaster. Every penny donated beyond our goal would be used to include more incredible stories of art therapy happening in far out places.
Currently, our fundraising target is set to cover the rest of production in North America and Haiti, and an initial rough cut (despite being advised against it, we're dipping into our personal savings to get to Japan!). From the footage we've seen so far, we are confident that we'll have a film that is inspiring and entertaining for people of all ages to enjoy.
We have some fantastic rewards to show you just how important you are to making Art Therapy: The Movie happen. For just $5 your name will be in the credits, and for as little as $10 you'll be able to watch the film! You'll find more rewards on the right that we think you'll be happy with.
Be featured in the movie with your own Artist Spotlight Video!
As a filmmaker in the Internet Age, I've learned a lot from other artists who were generous enough to share their creative process on the internet. In the spirit of the Indie community, I thought it would be cool to share my own process through Inside Art Therapy: The Movie, a free weekly series documenting the creative process, decision making, and behind the scenes footage of the film as it is made. I hope my own experiences will help some of you on your own projects!
We wouldn't be able to do this without your generosity and support. We are so grateful that you've even taken the time out to read about this project. This is a documentary we think people will really enjoy and we hope you feel the same way. Art Therapy: The Movie is the culmination of many people and talents that don't join together very often and we want to make sure to create a an entertaining, educational and captivating film to share with you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Risks and challenges
Documentary filmmaking is about being able to make things happen and we are confident that this movie will be completed. We’ve already shot over 20 hours worth of footage so the ball is rolling - this film will be made! If production is delayed for any reason the worst thing that will happen is missing a film festival deadline. It's going to be a great film and we can't wait for you to see it!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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