About this project
Update!: We've been written about by the American Foundation for the Blind as well as the Cinema Touching Disabilities Film Festival!
Cathedrals is an exciting adaptation of the Raymond Carver story "Cathedral" using a blind actor, a diverse cast and truly unique sound ideas. This is my passion project, and I've got an amazing team at Sawhorse Productions behind me. I've worked with Matt Damon and Sophie Turner for GQ, but I need your help to make my dream happen.
Though I've been editing for 8 years, my passion lies in writing and directing, and after honing the script for 2 years, I'm excited to make a small difference in the blind community. We will donate $1000 of future ticket sales to organizations that share the same mission: increasing opportunities for the blind. Check them out:
- Hearts For Sight Foundation - Increasing employment opportunities for the blind through physical health and well-being.
CRE Outreach - The organization behind Theater By the Blind, dedicated to empowering the blind through performance arts.
1. RAISING AWARENESS FOR BLIND AND DISABLED ARTISTS
I wanted to cast a blind actor to play the blind character for authenticity's sake. However, while trying to find an actor, I learned how few roles there were for the disabled. I reached out to Greg Shane of CRE Outreach and Theater By the Blind, an organization devoted to empowering the blind through performance arts. He told me most of his actors were living in poverty because Hollywood, as well as the greater workforce, tends to ignore blind people.
And after researching, I found that about 75% of blind people were unemployed, and worse, 30% were living below the poverty line because of this discrimination. I was shocked.
Several years ago, The Miracle Worker hit broadway with Abigail Breslin playing Helen Keller. Instead of hiring a blind or deaf person, they cast Breslin and used her star power to sell tickets. I'm reminded of whitewashing. Producers leverage these artistically challenging roles to get the biggest names they can, leaving actors with real disabilities unable to get cast or make a name for themselves.
This is why we are excited and proud to have actor Rick Boggs on our team playing a starring role. Rick, who has been blind since age 5, has devoted his life to bettering the lives of others, providing accessibility services to people with disabilities and serving on the boards of nonprofit organizations. His positive outlook in the face of challenges and his work in the realm of both acting and music have helped provide for his children, and inspired him to be a motivational speaker. We are excited to give him the opportunity to empower others who feel a setback from their abilities.
2. FUTURE PROCEEDS TO ORGANIZATIONS
The process invigorated me to bring awareness to and find more opportunities for the blind in the arts (and the greater workforce).Since our goal for the film isn't to make money, we can work towards bringing about a change rather than bringing in profit. By crowdsourcing with Kickstarter, I’m hoping we can do a little part in making not only a good movie, but a little good, too.
3. OUR CREW, OUR TEAM
Watch the video below to hear about other films we've helped make with disabled actors!
We have the best team to complete this mission, a team experienced with creating quality films starring actors with disabilities. Our producer Eben Kostbar produced The Hammer (2010) starring deaf actor Russell Harvard as real-life deaf wrestler Mark Hamill. Eben cast not only Russell but many other deaf actors for the film, even learning sign language as part of the production. One of those deaf actors was Michael A. Spady, who later starred in The Championship Rounds (2013), a movie I edited. Our team is passionate about working with people of all backgrounds, creating quality, authentic stories in the process.
Sawhorse Productions, the production company behind the project, believes in my vision and the mission. Since it's a passion project without any branded sponsorship, though, I have to raise the money all by myself. Once I do, I'm confident Sawhorse has the breadth of knowledge to create a stunning film with me. They have over 15 years of experience producing and editing features, documentaries, commercials, music videos, and digital content for clients like YouTube Red, ABC Studios, GQ, Vanity Fair, Cadillac, Google and HP. Also on board is multi-faceted producer Bay Dariz, and Oliver Thompson, the producer and director of the Kyle Gallner indie Welcome to Happiness (2016) and many other flicks. With backgrounds in indie film, documentary and commercials, this is the team I trust to create something phenomenal in a short amount of time and with limited resources. I know not one dollar will be wasted.
Filmmaking is an expensive process, but we'll be cutting costs whenever we can. To make a remarkable film, the length of a TV pilot, here's where your support will be going:
-Crew (cinematographer, camera assistants, grips and production assistants)
-Cast (4 cast members, including Rick)
-Camera, truck, and light rentals
-Location, insurance, and production fees
-Costumes, props and other production design
-Food for the set
-Kickstarter fees and reward fulfillment.
As an example of how we're cutting costs, all the producers are working on this only out of the goodness of their own hearts because they believe in the project. That way, we can keep costs low for YOU, our supporters.
4. CARVER'S LEGACY
Watch the video below to hear about why it's important to modernize Raymond Carver's story for the screen.
Another reason why independent film is important is that filmmakers are able to cast the best person for the role, regardless of fame. To make "Cathedral" more relevant to our times, we plan on using a diverse cast, something Carver might've not anticipated when he wrote it in 1982. Having characters with varied backgrounds on screen will lend a modernity and immediacy to the story that will resonate with an even broader audience than the story did. We're excited about the possibilities.
Carver's very important to a lot of people. His writing is touching and understated in a way that really moves many readers. We took the best parts of "Cathedral" and reformed it into a beautifully structured framed story. The dialog now sounds natural and modern. I want to make his work relevant to a generation that values authenticity. By casting a racially diverse set of actors and trying some exciting, novel storytelling techniques, we'll share Carver's work with people who wouldn't normally read a short story, bringing them into his world, and keeping his filmic legacy from ending in a Birdman punchline..
Judging from Jindabyne and Everything Must Go, other Carver adaptations, Carver's stories have their most success when the films are short, and the source material is used liberally. Cathedrals will follow in the sure footsteps of these features while introducing his work to a whole new generation of fans.
Risks and challenges
There are many challenges we must overcome to create this film. Unfortunately, since hiring an unknown blind actor is a "bad investment" for major studios or other investors, it will be difficult to get the funds to create this work and this opportunity without your help.
Film is a collaboration, and there are a lot of people involved. We need money for renting equipment, such as lights, camera, camera gear, for permits and paperwork. We need money for hiring great actors; for the hard-working crew, and for the hard-working crew dedicated to paying that crew. The challenge is going to be squeezing every bit we can out of the money we raise. We'll be shooting 23 pages in 2 and a half days, so I know not one dollar will be wasted.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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