A spiritual teacher is having a mental breakdown—and it’s showtime. His only hope comes from an unassuming source.
A spiritual teacher is having a mental breakdown—and it’s showtime. His only hope comes from an unassuming source. Read more
About this project
“Motivational speaker and spiritual guide, Corey Forsythe, is having a mental breakdown—and it’s showtime. His only hope comes from an unassuming source.”
Human Sun is a short dramatic-comedy written, directed, and starring Carl Bird McLaughlin. The story follows Corey Forsythe—a successful motivational speaker and spiritual guide—before, during, and after one of his shows. Corey is falling apart; namely from depression, suppressed anger, and acute paranoia stemming from the belief that he’s losing his mind. This all begins to physically manifest itself on stage in front of his enthusiastic audience, as well as offstage, after the show, when one of his followers gives Corey some unexpected wisdom.
Put simply, this film is about a man who dedicates his life to helping others, meanwhile he is unable to help himself. Sometimes we have the tools to do good unto others, but we leave ourselves behind.
BEYOND THE STORY:
It has been a calling of mine to create stories and images that speak to something in all of us. Something archetypal, so every person can look to an image and feel connected to one another. The story of Corey Forsythe is the story of everyone in this world who is doing their best with what they’ve got. I believe good art not only entertains the mind, but can evoke strong commonalities all human beings can feel in their heart. This is the duty of all artists, to investigate what it means to be human, so that his or her audience can understand themselves more through the work. That is my goal in any case, to find meaning in the space between our daily lives and the visions our subconscious tells us everytime we dream.
PREVIOUS WORK BY OUR TEAM:
Carl Bird McLaughlin (Writer/Director/Actor): Carl Bird McLaughlin grew up in the northern stretches of Los Angeles. He began to study filmmaking at College of the Canyons where he received the Filmmaker of the Year award two years in a row. He later attended California Institute of the Arts for his undergrad. His films navigate themes such as family, mental illness, spirituality, and the deconstruction of masculinity in today’s world. His film Subsurface Flow (2014), screened at numerous film festivals including Palm Springs International, Ottawa Film Festival, and Portland Film Festival, winning the Jury Award for Creative Achievement at the 2015 Arizona Int’l Film Festival. Carl’s work as a cinematographer and writer has also acquired accolades such as LiTTLEROCK (2010), in which he co-wrote and photographed. The film won Best Screenplay at the Rhode Island Int’l Film Festival. His work as an actor has screened all over the world, including his starring role in David Nordstrom’s Sawdust City (2011), which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. He recently had the pleasure of working with Joel and Ethan Coen on their film, Hail Caesar (2016). www.carlbirdmclaughlin.com, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3154762/
Kai Saul (Director of Photography): Hailing from Oregon, Kai Saul received his MFA in Cinematography from Chapman University and has since worked as a Director of Photography for numerous films, commercials, and music videos. Recently shooting for Metallica and Lady Gaga. He lives in Hollywood with his cat, Lux. www.kaisaul.com
Patrick Janssen (Sound Editor/Mixer/Composer): Patrick Janssen is a sound editor/mixer from Kansas who earned his MFA in Sound Design from CalArts. Currently he works on those animated shows your kids probably watch, like PowerPuff Girls, Steven Universe, and Robot Chicken. Aside from his work in animation, Patrick is a frequent collaborator of Carl’s. When not doing sound, you can find Patrick out in the woods, camping and exploring the stars. www.imdb.com/name/nm3899603/
Jonathan Melin (Film Editor): Jonathan Melin is a film editor whose work spans from hit independent feature films like Celeste and Jesse Forever & Folk Hero and Funny Guy, to commercials for Mercedes Benz and music videos such as Jeff Buckley’s “I Know It’s Over.” www.jonathanmelin.net
Brian O’Hare (Producer): Brian O’Hare is an award-winning writer/producer and former U.S. Marine Corps Captain from Pittsburgh who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Recently, Brian teamed with director/producer Joe Carnahan (THE GREY, BLACKLIST) to produce THE DEVIL’S DOSH, a period British gangster film that won numerous awards. www.brianohare.com/
Brittany Ackerman (Producer): Brittany Ackerman is a writer from Riverdale, New York. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida and has taught Advanced Placement Literature, English Composition, and Creative Writing to high schoolers as well as at the college level. Her forthcoming book, a collection of nonfiction essays, will debut in the fall of 2018. She lives in Los Angeles where you can find her at a local coffee shop avoiding working on her latest project, a novel of fiction. www.brittanyackerman.com
Starring: Brian Ioakimedes, Chris Jackson, & Carl Bird McLaughlin
We are fortunate to be filming in the beautiful and very unique, CalArts Mod Theater.
Two films of direct inspiration are Sidney Lumet’s Network (1976), and Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). I am a huge fan of the "New Hollywood" films of the 1970s. This era of film was shown to me at a very young age, and these two classics have a look and feel that I always strive for when making a dramatic film. In an attempt to match the immense quality of these films, we will be using similar equipment including Panavision lenses built in the 1970s. This will enhance the visuals exponentially, and undoubtedly will give the film cinematic power. Since much of the film has a live performance feel, it is important to not mimic these films that have a similar milieu, but to use them as a jumping off point, discovering something new. Another inspiration for this film is spiritual teacher, Jack Kornfield, and his masterpiece, A Path With Heart. Jack's unique perspective has changed my life. His lectures have helped me come to terms with much of the pain and fears that I personally face. This film is in part a thank you to Jack, whose wisdom and stories have helped so many lives over his long career as a spiritual teacher.
The amount of money projected is no small amount by any means. However, in order to make the film, we need to make it properly. Including paying our professional crew, ranging from camera department and make-up artists to production assistants and catering. We are utilizing our friends and connections, using the best equipment the industry has to offer, including ARRI cinema cameras. The goal is clearly to make the best film possible, one that captures the hearts and minds of a large audience. The best way to accomplish that is to employ our team’s accumulative experience.
A WORD FROM COREY FORSYTHE HIMSELF:
Just as warm winds flow through leaves of the tallest trees, I have brought unique teachings of self acceptance and spiritual awakening that has swept across the nation. My sold out, international tours grow in popularity every year. My podcast, The Human Sun, is at the top of iTunes Charts for Spiritual and Meditation Podcasts.
In four weeks, I will unleash to the world my “believement equals achievement” philosophy. Whatever you believe, whatever your creed, you will dive into the depths of your own soul and come out the other side a warrior of your own reality. Like Jonah in the belly of the beast, you will find yourself right where you need to be. Carl is the only person I trust to make a film about my approach to spiritual wellness. I know together, we will make something that can move the world. -Corey Forsythe (dictated but not read) May 2017
CARL BIRD McLAUGHLIN PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTS:
Risks and challenges
Setting out to make any form of art has its own various obstacles and setbacks. Luckily, our team has worked together numerous times with award winning results. We are hungry to make impressionistic work that will connect with people of all walks.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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