UPDATE NOTE: We're now trying to raise our production goal of $25K and if we make it, we can go into production this JULY!
BLUE is a very personal project for me.
To catch you up to speed, this is the SoulPancake video I participated in that released in December.
This past year has been an incredible time of growth, personally and professionally. Last summer, I worked on a Warner Bros. film called Crazy Rich Asians in Malaysia and Singapore. On weekends I spent a lot of time in a hotel room, reflecting on my journey and how far I’ve come. But the word that lingered was LEGACY - what will I leave behind in years to come?
Growing up, the importance of representation never resonated with me on a personal level. It wasn’t until I worked on this film that I understood the gravity of equal representation. Crazy Rich Asians is the first studio-backed movie featuring an all-Asian cast since 1993. I have been able to witness firsthand the profound ripple effect that embodies a project like this.
When I was a kid, I believed that I would die young— that people with my disease did not reach adulthood because I never saw an adult who looked like me – especially not in the professional world of Hollywood filmmakers. Then one day in college, our guest speaker was a successful independent film distributor, who is disabled. It completely changed my perspective – not everyone in Hollywood is ‘perfect’ and I decided to forego a career in Journalism and pursue film. I didn’t realize it then, but looking back now, it was one of the pivotal moments in my life where representation truly mattered and permeated.
I have always loved visual storytelling and films, but it wasn’t until I had a role model to blaze the trial, that I was able to find my own courage to pursue my passion. I want to be that role model for someone else. Yes, I am different, but I am not alone in being different.
That’s what BLUE represents. It’s a romantic adaptation of my experience with being different, social media and connecting with others. My life has dramatically opened up since I decided to be a positive representation for those who struggle with being different, in hopes that one day they will no longer be held back by their shame.
Stories bring people together and that’s my goal as a filmmaker, to help others see life through a different lens. I think it all goes back to empathy. It’s the most powerful tool we can utilize in our medium. And that’s something we desperately need in the world right now— to understand one another on a deeper level.
While overcoming the challenges of a disease doesn’t make me a more qualified director, it has made me a unique, resilient storyteller. I truly believe BLUE is a perspective that could influence people in a significant way, while also being visually stunning and captivating.
WHAT IS BLUE ABOUT?
BLUE is a short narrative film that examines the illusion of perfection projected by social media in today’s society. This falsity leads to missed opportunities of meaningful connection through the “flaws” that make us relatable and human.
BLUE is about two high school juniors, Emma and Greg. Emma is a photographer who loves details and admiring human perfection because Emma is not perfect. She has a birth defect that is represented by blue markings and scars.
But little does she know, a classmate Greg is also BLUE.
But they live their own separate lives, as typical teenagers do – constantly hiding who they truly are. Unable to accept their blue.
One day, they collide and dance.
When the opportunity arises for them to be truly vulnerable, tension builds as we discover whether or not they have the courage to face their fears, or remain safe and hidden from the world.
WHAT IS THE MONEY FOR?
In this initial phase, we are putting this money towards hiring our casting director and setting up space for auditions.
**UPDATE**: We made our first goal for casting, and we're moving onto our next phase to raise money for production!
Please let us know if you can help donate or discount any of our needs!
Let's get this film made this summer!
MEET THE TEAM
ASHLEY EAKIN: DIRECTOR – that’s me!
Originally from Nebraska, Ashley is a filmmaker who currently lives in Los Angeles. Most recently she spent five months in Malaysia and Singapore working for director Jon M. Chu, who completed principal photography on his latest Warner Brothers feature, Crazy Rich Asians. In 2016 Ashley was selected as a Top 10 Finalist in a Project Greenlight & Peets Coffee contest. Her spot was later featured during Peets 2017 brand marketing launch. Her short film EXO was an official selection at the 2017 Cinequest Film Festival and was featured by Canon for exceptional cinematography. Her most recent short documentary THE DETAILS was a semi-finalist in the #NewView competition for female directors, sponsored by Girlgaze and Glamour magazine. Her personal life has immensely influenced her passion to pursue stories that help us understand one another. She believes we have more in common with our fellow stranger than we initially perceive and that the positive impact of vulnerability is immeasurable. Creating art is a cathartic process of her journey.
SUZANNE YAVUZ : CASTING DIRECTOR
Suzanne Yavuz has worked extensively both in the studio system and independently. She got her start as a casting assistant on the Starz series “American Gods,” and worked her way up from casting assistant to associate casting director in record time, accumulating a diverse range of credits along the way under the tutelage of some of today’s best talents in casting. Her varied credits run the gamut from network television programming (The CW’s “Legends of Tomorrow”) to big-budget studio features (20th Century Fox’s “Logan”) to animated features (Blue Sky Studios’ “Ferdinand”). She has also worked extensively on children’s programming for Disney and Nickelodeon, and on a number of network television pilots, as well as studio and independent features. She is currently working as an associate casting director on two Hulu series.
Risks and challenges
I am exploring the idea of casting certain actors with physical differences or disabilities. Right now, BLUE is a metaphor. The challenge is the limited number of people who have studied acting who fall under this category, who also embody the characters of Emma and Greg, and have some ability to dance. If you have acting experience and think you would fit one of these roles, or even a student in the classroom (no dancing required) – please let us know and e-mail us at email@example.com.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me achieve my dreams and bring stories to the screen that open perspectives and allow others to be vulnerable.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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