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A short, thesis film set in 1900, about an old money matriarch obsessed with finding her doppelgänger.
A short, thesis film set in 1900, about an old money matriarch obsessed with finding her doppelgänger.
28 backers pledged $1,595 to help bring this project to life.
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Desperles and the Double

$1,595

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Synopsis

The Desperles family is old money. Their roots trace back to pearl diving.

By the year 1900, Marguerite is the last of this family.

If she can't make the world remember the Desperles, she must at least live up to the legacy. Finding a double is Marguerite's pearl dive.

After a decade-long search and the loss of her children's favor—as society newspapers shame the abnormal obsession and by extension the family as a whole—Marguerite is finally close. On the brink of her search, her daughter Margaux returns, with one last attempt to stop an encounter she fears no psyche can survive.

Of course, it is no accident that Marguerite's pearl of choice is a doppelgänger. The desire for a double is a desire to see herself. To better understand herself.

Whether she is ready to face that self is all to be seen as she follows this search to the very end.

Director's Statement

My favorite book is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I first read it when I was twelve, and it posed one idea about storytelling that always stuck with me. Raised in poverty, the main character, Francie Nolan, learned the difference between lying and storytelling, with storytelling taking the noble position of what you wish had happened. Ever since, I cherished that idea.

I think a lot about what it means to reflect in this way. Like a story made up for reflection, a person’s double alienates the self in such a way that it allows a more removed judgement.

With this in mind, imagine seeing yourself in a photograph when that was never before possible. Marguerite is a character raised just around the time of photography's invention, making her prone to the sort of self-alienation necessary to imagine a doppelgänger in the face of an identity crisis.

My filmmaking has always tended towards stories of characters who have a particularly strong inner world, that they struggle to understand or express outwardly. There is an innate difference between who we feel we are and who others see us to be. When we can't accept that difference, that acts as the basis for anxiety.

This film is an exploration of that anxiety. It depicts a woman uncertain of who she is outside of her defining legacy, and uncertain still if she can fulfill the doppelgänger obsession she's fashioned out of it.

Crew

Holly Durgan writer/director

Aaron Kalupa director of photography

Marley Jaeger assistant director

Mike Ruschak sound mixer

Risks and challenges

This is an ambitious film. It's a period piece and calls for visual tricks within the doppelgänger plot. But truthfully, these two concerns are not the greatest hurdles, financially speaking. Costuming and period accurate locations are already in the works, and the doppelgänger element is something I'm confident can be overcome with the proper technical strategy and approach. The biggest concern is the practical stuff. The film is to be shot in Maine, which means I need to transport and house cast and crew. It also means the one exterior scene (which takes place on a beach) will call for some extra precautions, to make sure that nobody leaves this set with frostbite. However, I've arrived at this project's budget (and Kickstarter goal) with these concerns at the forefront of the plan.

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Funding period

- (30 days)