About this project
Beyond the Donut follows a teenage boy as he struggles to find answers to questions about life, death and finding happiness. He meets a girl who attempts to enlighten him.
This is not your typical love story though. By using drastic location changes and implementing stopmotion characters and elements, Beyond the Donut aims to be a unique short film that keeps the viewer guessing until the end.
I started the script for Beyond the Donut in the summer of 2012. I was finally able to start pre-production on it in May of 2013. That's when I asked Reid MacDonald to join the team and help me produce the short.
Reid and I worked hard for the next two months getting everything in place for a 3-day shoot in July. It was a massive undertaking for the both of us. We found everyone that comprised our 23 person crew. We held casting calls, went on several location scouts, dealt with insurance administrators and permit offices. I took out a couple loans (like I said in the video - we went over budget) in order to fund the live action portion of the short.
Now we are left with some incredible footage, a lot of new friends, and no money.
We've come so far already! But we need your help in order to finish Beyond the Donut.
MATTHEW ALAN BRADY - THE BOY
Matthew was the first one to audition for The Boy role and I immediately knew I had someone special. In the end he was chosen out of over 300 applicants. This short film is not dialogue heavy and Matthew was able to capture The Boy's inner turmoil brilliantly.
HANNAH MAE STURGES - THE GIRL
Hannah was one of over 800 girls who applied for the lead girl role. You'd think that would make for some tough decisions, but in the end, it was a no-brainer. Hannah was perfect. With a background in theater she did a fantastic job figuring out who her character is and what motivates her. I'm excited to have been able to work with such a talented young actress.
- Arvee Park - Old Man in Rocking Chair
- Roger Brown - Pet Shop Owner
It takes a lot of time and effort to assemble the right team for a production. Reid and I went through hundreds of resumes and demo reels before we started forming a crew.
Micah Gallagher - Writer/Producer/Director
When I'm not working on personal projects I make a living in the VFX industry in Los Angeles. I'm a compositor and worked on many features such as - Hugo, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Star Trek Into Darkness. It has been a pleasure to work on these films and learn more about the craft of visual storytelling. I've been able to take what I've learned at work and apply it directly to my short films.
Reid MacDonald - Producer
It didn't take long before I realized I was in way over my head trying to produce my first live action film. So I called up my friend Reid who for the last several years has been producing and directing commercial content for TV and web. About twenty spreadsheets later we were on our way to what turned out to be a very successful and well organized 3-day shoot. Hands down there's no way that Beyond the Donut would have been shot without Reid's producing skills and leadership.
Garrett O'Brien - Director of Photography
Garrett drew our attention right away when we saw his demo reel. Something that jumped out to me was Constant - a short film he wrote and directed that has very little dialogue. Since Beyond the Donut is not dialogue driven we needed to find a DP who had some experience with telling the story through the lens. And that is exactly who we found. Garrett understood the visual narrative I was going for completely. It was an absolute pleasure to work with such talent. He was fully committed to the vision of Beyond the Donut.
Stephen Webster - Composer
I was first introduced to Stephen by Reid when I was looking for someone to compose music for Machinehead. We spent hours on Skype calls getting the music just right. And in the end its Stephen's music that helped get Machinehead into 19 film festivals across the globe and win several awards. I knew that I would call upon him again once I made another film. He is immensely talented and creative. He understands the relationship between music and film narrative and I can't wait to start working with him on Beyond the Donut.
Here's a sample of Stephen's work from Machinehead:
- Alison Gallagher - Executive Producer ;)
- Magdalena Wolf - Assistant Director
- Tara Kocourek - Production Designer
- Stephyn Phillips - Assistant Art Director
- Andrew Parrotte - 1st AC
- Sean Costello - 2nd AC
- Phil Jackson - Gaffer
- Kelsey Talton - Key Grip
- Delaney Teichler - Best Boy
- Zach Zeidman - Swing
- Meghan Underwood - Production Sound
- Tyler Neisinger - Production Sound
- Jamie Stevens - Hair and Makeup
- Brian Miller - DIT
- Anna Selzter - Wardrobe
- Adam Berman - Catering
- Skot Alexander - Set Builder
- Kurt Joob - Set Builder Assistant
- Jessica Laszlo - PA
- Phi Van Le - PA
- Dartayous Hunter - PA (tarantula operator)
- Brian Fortune - PA
- Riley Armstrong - PA
- Kevin Thomas - PA
It didn't take much more than Garrett asking me, "Have you thought about shooting anamorphic?" for me to decide to go with the 2.35 aspect ratio that I've come to love from watching all my favorite films growing up. My decision to shoot anamorphic was not just because it looks beautiful and cinematic. I want the viewer to experience the same displacement that the main character feels as he starts to grapple with new ways of thinking. The different environments The Boy finds become more immersive when seen through an anamorphic lens.
Making a film is expensive. Even after cutting corners and calling upon friends (half the crew worked for free), the costs add up crazy fast. Here are some of the remaining things that need funding for Beyond the Donut to finish and gain exposure:
- Editor - $1,200
- Colorist - $1,000
- Composer - $2,000
- Sound Design - $1500
- Sound Mixing - $800
- Voice Over Day - $200
- CG Artist - $2,000
- Compositor - $1,500
- Roto/Paint Artist - $500
- Stopmotion Animator - $2,500
- All Puppet Materials - $1000
- Miniature Sets - $500
- Manequin - $75
- Film Festival Fees - $2000
- Mastering to HD CAM - $300
Risks and challenges
Luckily the biggest risks and challenges have already been handled since we have successfully completed principal photography.
What's left is a pretty straight forward post production process that can't be completed without funding.
The only potential risk now is that I don't release the film on time. Right now I'd like to finish by December. There's plenty left to do but with a successful Kickstarter campaign I believe I can complete the film by the end of the year.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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