SNOWBALL is a short, live-action comedy/drama thesis film for Columbia University's graduate film school. Written and directed by Mary Gillen (MFA 2012), produced by Katharine O'Brien (MFA 2012), and co-produced by Ed Blythe (MFA 2010, student Emmy-winner, 2009), SNOWBALL is currently in pre-production and will commence shooting in mid-June 2010.
The story for SNOWBALL was inspired by a 10 year old pygmy-dwarf goat named Snowball, who I met two years ago during a visit to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. He had been living a cushy life in the suburbs with an adoring human family. But when his caretaker passed away he was brought to the sanctuary, much to his chagrin. At first, Snowball was very depressed and wanted nothing to do with other farm animals. He eventually learned to socialize with others of his kind and adapted to life on the farm quite nicely. Our associate producer, Amber Plaut (former farm manager at Woodstock) has tracked down Snowball at his new home in New Jersey and he's currently considering playing himself in the film!
This type of production raises specific challenges, namely that of working with an animal. But with the team's passion, talent and extensive experience with goats, I am confident that we can make this happen. We will be operating on a longer than usual shooting schedule for a short film and we will need to house and feed the entire team (including cast and crew). This is going to be expensive! And then there's post-production and distribution to consider. Many filmmakers only budget enough to get the footage "in the can" and then panic when there's no money left for music, color correction or film festival submissions.
My aim is to get SNOWBALL in front of audiences and draw attention to farm animals as the unique, sentient beings they are! Why are they any different from a cat or dog? I'd like to posit that question in an accessible, comedic way that just might touch a few hearts too.
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