After working together on a Maine-set feature film called Vacationland, we wanted to take a crack at making sweet cine-magic again, this time directing a short film, provisionally titled Ursula. The script is written, our crew and talent are all booked, and we plan to shoot the week beginning August 5th. Once again, the Maine wilderness beckons (here, to be precise), so we will be heading back to the ferny shores of Moose Pond for this new adventure in making movies...
WHAT'S THIS FILM ABOUT, THEN?
Ursula, a mischievous eight year-old with a penchant for tall stories and solemn nonsense, has been kicked out of the family home for the day by her mother. ...Or has she? On the shore of the white pine forest where she is idling the hours away, she meets a strange woman, adrift on an inflatable mattress.
Promising to show her the route back to camp, Ursula leads the woman on a merry wild goose chase through the woods. From a life-and-death raspberry picking mission to sweeping the rickety floor of a tree house called Truth, their journey takes many puzzling turns. By the end of the afternoon, it is hard to tell which of the two women is more lost.
A chance encounter with Ursula's father -whose job description at the local graveyard is somewhat sinister- only thickens the plot.
WHO IS GOING TO BE IN THIS FILM?
We have found a terrific kid called Ursula who will play Ursula. We recognize this as a sign of good luck. Wise beyond her years and completely willing to walk barefoot in the forest for days on end, Ursula is best known for her starring role in the martial arts spectacular Disaster at Su-Wen Temple, and her supporting role in Two Lost Children, which won first prize for Best Ice Cave on Film in 2008.
Ursula's Dad will be played by Clement Roussier, a handsome Frenchman who is far too successful to be in our film, but who we have lured overseas with the promise of better lobster than France can offer. Clement recently played Thomas, alongside French film royalty Michel Piccoli, in Laurent Perreau's Le Bel Age. Fresh off the set of Agnes Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri's new film, Au Bout Du Conte, he is brushing up on his English for the part.
WHO IS MAKING THIS FILM?
Only some really nice people. Like:
Anna Rios (writing/directing) : Anna, when not starting cultural magazines and writing stories, likes to gatecrash film sets. Her latest obsession? Writing scripts. Worse still... directing. After benefiting greatly (if not financially) from her stints as Art Director on Vacationland (dir. Jamie Hook) and The Part I Love The Best (dir. Megan Murphy), Anna has continued to accrue experience on the sets of several (as yet) unknown film directors, not to mention reams and reams of bombastic film journalism. Recently, Anna decided to put her money where her mouth is and try her hand at directing.
Sarah Francoise (writing/directing/producing) : Fresh off a job producing a documentary about the Chelsea Hotel, Sarah is once more itching to produce her own stuff. This is the second film she has contributed some story-telling to (the last was Vacationland), and the fourth one she is directing (unless you count her teenage animations. But you probably shouldn't). In her spare time, Sarah finishes novels she's started and writes a bastardized fortnightly Shipping Forecast for the Kunstverein.
Jamie Hook (cinematography) is a film and theater director and producer, whose latest feature, Vacationland, will open the Maine International Film Festival this summer. His previous feature, The Naked Proof, won the special jury prize at the 2004 Seattle International Film Festival and the Emerging Filmmaker award at the 2004 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival. Mr. Hook is also the co-creator of the fringe-theater smash Point Break Live. An accomplished producer as well, Mr Hook recently took Guy Maddin's silent film spectacular, Brand Upon The Brain! to four continents in a two year roadshow.
WHY A KICKSTARTER?
The only thing between us and completing this film is the remaining third of our budget, which will help pay for a production sound mixer, and will cover the cost of exporting our continental talent... All the rest we have covered. We considered making a silent film instead, but thought it would be a tragedy not to capitalize on a funny French accent. Besides, our young Ursula is a bit of a chatterbox, both in the story and in real life.
Thank you very much for reading all this and for finding out about our project in the first place!
Anna and Sarah
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