“The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Gone Elvis" - Military slang for someone who's missing.
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gone Elvis is a short narrative film depicting a single day in the life of homeless, Iraq war veteran, Olivia Sloane. After ten years of service and her final tour as an MP amid the dangerous, post-surge campaigns of 2007-08, Sloane returned home to face even greater struggles. Abandoned by her husband (who also took custody of their young daughter) while she was overseas, Sloane survives hour to hour -- living in her car, subsisting on a meager, disability pension, looking for work in a recession. Better off than many homeless vets, so far avoiding substance abuse, Sloane is nevertheless a warrior now fighting an internal battle -- the tough, resilient soldier unable to reconcile the frail woman who suffers both from PTSD and common heartbreak.
Why I Want to Make This Film
As a director, I am drawn to material that requires crafting an inner life for characters, and this subject is all about inner life. The films that most often move me personally always come down to a fundamental and subtle relationship between a face and a camera. I also like films that take me places I wouldn’t normally go, and I think Carla Duren and I are both intrigued by the idea of creating a portrait of a character who, frankly, scares us.
Beyond aesthetics, though, the reality is that there are at least 6,500 women veterans of the U.S. armed forces now living in cars, shelters, or on the streets. That number is twice what it was a decade ago; and the increase can be attributed both to the wars we are fighting and to the overall expansion of women’s roles throughout military operations. Moreover, sexual assault on women within the military adds a brutal form of betrayal to the typical range of problems faced by many who go to war. Since 2006, there have been nearly 15,000 cases of some form of sexual assault reported to the Veterans Administration.
NOTE: While it is rare for short films to earn money, it is not unheard of; and should gone Elvis generate revenue, a percentage of the after-cost proceeds will be donated in perpetuity to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (www.nchv.org).
How We'll Use the Funds
This material is pretty weighty, and there are some production demands -- insurance, location fees, props, the right vehicle, wardrobe, transportation -- that cannot be avoided or deferred. We have set the budget goal at the bare minimum to successfully complete the project, but if we raise funds above the target amount these will be used for the following:
- Paying modest day rates to performers.
- Paying modest day rates to crew.
- Paying modest fee to designer.
- Paying modest fee(s) for music.
- Festival registration fees.
- (39 days)