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the Earths Inside Us - a RISD junior film's video poster

Nature & Humanity are lovers united in death. Read more

Providence, RI Shorts
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pledged of $2,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on April 9, 2012.

Nature & Humanity are lovers united in death.

Providence, RI Shorts
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About this project

the Earths Inside Us (pending title)


Written and Directed by: Jess X Chen (RISD '13) | Director of Photography: Cory Zapatka (RISD '12) | Assistant Director: Brett Van Egmond (RISD '13)

Starring: Angella Lynsey Ford (Brown '10) 

Humanity and nature are lovers united in death. 

A woman is learning to rebuild her life and fill the absence of a lover who has passed away a year ago. She lives in a greenhouse and nurtures plants as a means of filling his absence. Through this process, something strange happens to her -- she physically and psychologically forgets how to age, thus her greenhouse and the environment it inhabits rapidly disintegrates around her until only a barren landscape remains. Taken by shock, she runs into this landscape and reaches a clearing where she discovers large tree. It is here where she experiences a vision of her lost love, and begins a psychological journey into a place in the natural world where time and space blur. 

Where You Come In

Fascinated by stories where humans overcome loss, and the idea that nature and humanity are interchangeable, this cinematic story is one that is very close to my heart. After two and a half years of directing and producing several short films, and writing  and performing many literary works at RISD and in Providence, I have reached a turning point in my career and is now ready to begin my most ambitious project to date. 

With your help, this vision can become a reality. 

I am shooting on 16mm film color film, which is 26$ for every 100 foot roll, which costs ~ 20$ per roll to process. The result is a beautiful color image with an unmatched, vintage and timeless quality. Even with the proper storyboarding and rehearsal, I would still need to shoot atleast 1500 ft - 2000 ft of film to have enough footage to select from to create at 10 minute film. This leaves atleast 700$-1000$ for film costs alone. 

The rest of the money will be spent on production costs such as: food, gas, props, locations, equipment rental, crew and cast -- all of which are extremely important to establishing a good shoot. I will be working closely with some of the most talented, and insightful student actors and crew I have met, most of which are working for free, so an adequate production budget is needed to ensure their well-being on set. 

50%: spent on film costs

30%: spent on cast and crew; their food, transportation, other costs

20%: spent on locations, equipment rentals, etc. 

I would love to have your support on my journey in bringing this film to the big screen, and mine and the cast and crew's longterm journey to becoming a part of the world of independent film.

Shooting Dates

Principal photography will happen on the last weekend of April, with potentially another half-day or two in mid-april. It will be shot in locations in and around Providence, including Brown University's greenhouse. The final film will be completed at the end of May and premiere at the RISD Junior Film show on May 26 with potentially more screenings. If you are interested in being a part of this production, or an extra, please email me at

Past Work


Here is a film shot on 16mm black and white negative film that I created last semester around similar themes.

Here are examples of digital photos I have taken to help generate a feel for the cinematic look I am going for in The Earths Inside Us.

Rough Poster


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    6 backers

    Thank you so much for your support! Your support will have helped make my film produced and created by May 2012.

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    10 backers

    You will receive a limited-edition poster of the film signed by cast and crew, and a hand written thank you letter from the director.

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    4 backers

    Your name will appear on the "special thanks" section of the film. You will receive a signed DVD that contains this film, and other films I have directed.

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    9 backers

    You will receive all of the above. Plus a signed book of my written work, and visual art work.

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    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    You will receive all of the above and be creditted as an executive producer of the film. I will go to your school, house, or organization within the US, screen this film, and give a presentation of my cinematic, art, and/or spoken word poetry work, and/or teach a workshop on any of the above disciplines. (excludes travel and lodging cost)

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Funding period

- (19 days)