Twice is a feature film that tells a polyamorous love story from two diverse points of view. It’s about second chances, actively loving, being honest, coming out, heartbreak, recovery and the power that exists within the everyday story you tell yourself. This project passionately explores the idea that the love story you tell yourself is the love story you live & that you can always start again, but you can never live the same moment twice.
We’ve already filmed half the movie and we need your help to finish it! Please join us on our quest & become a part of our tribe...
Real quick, before we go any further, for those of you who may not have ever heard the words “polyamory” or “polyamorous” before, it describes someone who romantically loves more than one person at once while being honest with all of them.
No worries if you didn’t know that until now & no sweat if you aren’t polyamorous. The characters in Twice exist to tell a story about what polyamorous life can be like & also how monogamous people live with and love polyamorists.
The Story of Twice
The film is told from inside the memories of two characters, Woman and Man, who start out as friends, become lovers, break up & get back together. Woman is a polyamorous American in Paris who begins the movie being honest with her lovers, but she's in a closet with the rest of the world about her love-style. Man is an English expat who starts as a womanizer lying to all the ladies in his life except Woman until he dumps her. As the two evolve, both learn to tell the truth to everyone.
When she slogs through devastating heartache, Woman faces her greatest fears, finds a new way to express herself and comes out of the closet on a massive scale. This rebirth begins with her writing love letters to strangers and stashing them all over Paris. And as Man faces his troubled past and the consequences of his recent actions, he realizes that he profoundly loves Woman and wants a second chance at being her partner. In order to earn this chance, he’ll search his soul and come up with an idea of building her something extraordinary.
As both lovers come out of their closets, they head toward each other again to create a whole new connection, now understanding the power of second chances & that you can never live the same moment twice.
The “trick" to Twice is that you, the audience, only get to hear the two voice-overs from Man and Woman, so you experience the difference in interpretation of the same events from two sides & you never get to hear on-screen dialogue. That way, you truly see inside two people’s minds, hear the story they tell themselves and witness what a difference that creates in the choices they make & the actions they take.
The Characters of Twice
GOLDEN GIRL: Gorgeous Golden Girl is seen by Man as the "perfect woman," with her long blond hair, fabulous figure & sparkling smile. When she asks him to choose only her & be monogamous, he wants to please this seemingly flawless creature. But what he doesn’t see because he’s blinded by her physical beauty is that she’s also smart, talented & imperfect, with human flaws & insecurities, a woman who is real & therefore can never live up to his perfect picture projection...
SISTER: Sister is one of two surviving biological family members left alive in Woman’s life; she’s a half-sister from a different mother. Sister didn’t take well to Woman’s declaration about her being polyamorous & has quite an opposite view of love & sex. This disapproval caused a big distance to form between the siblings, a distance that will be need to be erased when the two go through a crisis...
ENSEMBLE: The large & ever-growing ensemble of our film includes a rich cast of characters, including the best friends of Man & of Woman, an assortment of intriguing lovers, a range of different identities. The ensemble adds so much talent to our project’s rainbow powers. Wonderful actors are already cast (some of whom have been filmed already) & we’re working on expanding this group for Phase 2 of production!
The Artistic Vision
- THEMES: second chances + courageous actions + coming out + power of storytelling + honest love + polyamory awareness + authentic imperfection
- SOUND: Because you’ll be hearing the voices of inner thought from both Man & Woman while not hearing any on-screen dialogue, you also won’t hear very much on-screen sound. Meaning, for example, that when someone’s walking, you won’t (usually) hear their footsteps like you do in most films. You will hear specific moments of sound (like the ocean hitting the shore or a door slamming), but very rarely & only when those sounds truly enhance your experience of the story. This film will have more music in it than the average film, so you could consider the score to be a third voice alongside Woman’s American accent & Man’s buttery British tones.
- TIME: This film plays a lot with time because it takes place not in the present moment, but in the memories of its two main characters. Some of what we shot already is in slow-motion (which our camera captures natively in beautiful quality). We also shot some scenes in time-lapse, so that time often ramps up & down. Not enough to make you car sick, we promise, but just enough to give you the sensation that time exists in our minds. Maybe memory is time travel.
- EMOTION: Sarah sets up each scene as an improvised exploration. The actors have the freedom to play around until they find true emotions, until it isn’t quite acting anymore. This technique was über-effective during Phase 1 of the shoot and was also incredibly fun for everyone. So the rule is: any emotion that doesn’t ring true is gonna get the axe from our editor, Liza. The emotions in this film cover a huge spectrum. Because this film is told as memory, there will be oodles of humor, since it’s easier to see the funny side of almost anything in retrospect. That’s the way life is, hilarity next to sadness next to joy next to gassiness next to sexiness back to hilarity again, right?
- COLOR: Sarah is color obsessed, Greg can vouch for that & you can see it in our footage even before full-on color grading has been done. For Sarah, color tells a strong immediate story about how characters feel without them having to say a word. And when color goes away after its brightest hues have been in front of your eyes for a while, it makes a huge impact on how you feel as an audience. We play with that color theory a lot in Twice.
SHORT ANSWER: Because we love Twice & we have faith that you’ll love it, too. Talented professional folks have signed up to create this film because they fell in love with it.
LONGER ANSWER: We (the peeps making Twice) are in love with this project because it’s unlike any other film we’ve ever seen & we want to make something original. Maybe you’ll fall in love with it because it’s a love story where the question is never gonna be “Who will she choose in the end?” but rather “How’s she gonna pull off loving all those people?” & “How’s he gonna be himself while surviving this situation?” Because it’s time that movies dealing with romance stop having people end up “happily ever after” without earning that love (just because you run to the airport to stop someone from flying away doesn’t automatically equal love). Because we wanna see what can happen when you’re given a second chance. Because we wish the world gave more second chances & maybe this will help manifest that wish. We’d like to watch a film that shows how you can love more than one person at once & also how you can love one person more than once, so we’re making the film we want to watch.
- What if True Love means loving while being true to yourself and honest with others?
- What happens if you choose to be with everyone you love instead of breaking hearts when you find someone new?
- How does living in a closet effect you & the world around you?
- What happens if you act on the love you feel?
- How can broken hearts be mended?
- What can you do with a second chance?
Also, we are making Twice because we want to see more diversity of every type on screen.
Our tribe is made of...
Producer, Writer, Director, Actor: Sarah Arlen
Born & raised in California, Sarah earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California Berkeley (GO BEARS!) in Theatre, where she focused on acting. While at UC Berkeley, she won the Eisner Award, two Hickman Awards, three ArtsBridge Fellowships, the Pillsbury Award & the Menn Prize. After working at Tony Award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre for two years, Sarah moved to Paris when she was given a Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarship, which she put to good use by getting her Master’s Degree in Filmmaking from EICAR, the International Film School of Paris. Following graduation, she won a place in IFP’s Emerging Narrative Program with her first feature film script, which was also nominated for the IFP Grand Jury Prize. That same screenplay was a Top Ten Finalist in the Francis Ford Coppola American Zoetrope Contest. From 2009 to 2012, Sarah took time away from her career to concentrate on raising her son, Soren. She came back to work by launching Polyamorous Productions & resuming her education with producer master classes in London. After co-creating award winning short films, she's ready to make her first feature film & that film is Twice. Learn more about Sarah by visiting saraharlen.com.
Production Company: Polyamorous Productions
Polyamorous Productions has been creating digital stories since 2012. Founder/Producer Sarah Arlen builds a tailor-made team of artists for every project, forming a family around each unique idea. What makes our productions polyamorous is that we openly love many art forms & many love forms. We avoid soapboxing; instead, we wanna make entertaining art that shows new points of view. We’ve co-produced content with our partner, MINORapocalypse, which has won awards & recognition from places like the Hong Kong International Mobile Film Awards, SNCF Prix du Polar, ShortsNonStop Film Festival & HollyShorts. For more about Polyamorous Productions, please visit polyamorousart.com.
Co-Producer, Cinematographer: Greg Emetaz
Greg Emetaz & Sarah Arlen met at UC Berkeley, where Greg got his Bachelors Degree in Architecture & Lighting Design. After earning his Master’s Degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, he wrote, directed & shot the obsessive-compulsive short film thriller Neat Freak. In 2003, Emetaz opened shop with his New York-based production company, MINORapocalypse, through which he produces work by traveling around the globe making media for operas, theater, commercials & film. In co-production with Polyamorous Productions, Greg wrote, directed & was cinematographer on a trilogy of short films in which he cast Sarah Arlen, collectively titled The Text Thrilogy, which includes the upcoming Get the F K Outta Paris & #messykidnapping, as well as Death by Omelette, which has received multiple international awards & nominations for best short film. Greg has worked as a cinematographer on multiple projects, amongst them Sarah Arlen’s first short film, Like Trees; Rachel Carey’s upcoming series Takers; & our feature film, Twice. For more about Greg, please visit MINORapocalypse.com.
Co-Production Company: MINORapocalypse
Award-winning MINORapocalypse makes movies about the end of the world, whether that ending applies to something as large as the entire planet or as small as a high school. The company explores what happens when people are taken to the brink of some kind of armageddon, which may sound like it wouldn’t align with the work of Polyamorous Productions. Oh, but it does, because MINORapocalypse is the checks & balances partner of Polyamorous Productions, just as PolyamorousArt does the same for MINORa, synergizing love & destruction into authentic stories. Just like life, only more so. For more about MINORapocalypse, please visit MINORapocalypse.com.
The Twice Cast
Sarah Arlen started her artistic journey as an actor. Please see her bio above to find out more or visit her website at saraharlen.com.
Phillip Schurer was cast in the first short film Sarah Arlen ever made! He’s been a professional actor for nearly two decades, having shared the screen with fellow actors like Pierce Brosnan, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. Phillip brings complete believability and great sensitivity to the role of Man, as well as strength and humor, all in a way he’s never shown on screen before. For more about Phillip Schurer, please visit phillipschurer.com.
Patrick Dross was in the second short film Sarah Arlen ever made! Having worked for over twenty years as an actor in film and on television, Patrick anchors the story of Twice with his portrayal of Husband in a subtle, poignant way that beautifully shows how a monogamous character functions in the polyamorous universe. For more about Patrick Dross, please visit patrickdross.fr.
Vincent Vermignon met Sarah for the first time auditioning for Twice & she’s eternally grateful she found him! After only two years in the acting world, Vincent has appeared in a lead role for two seasons of a major French television series (called Cut), making a name for himself quickly. His portrayal of LDL is full of pathos, generosity & grounded emotion. For more about Vincent Vermignon, please click here.
Justyna Kelley is both an actress & a singer/songwriter. After living in Los Angeles for a few years, she moved to Paris with a record deal and is currently working on her third album. Justyna brings classic Hollywood bombshell looks to her role, but more importantly conveys her intelligence, sweetness & a complexity of character that makes her role truly three-dimensional. For more about Justyna Kelley, please click here.
Soren Riehl is Sarah’s real-life son and agreed to be in the film because he loves seeing what Mama does for work, and also because he wants to be like E.T., Baymax & Toothless. He just turned six. Sometimes he looks into the camera; we cut those bits out. Soren is an expressive soul and plays a pivotal part in the plot while having fun with Uncle Greg & his buddies Phil & Bouly (Patrick).
The talented Delphine Bronzi, Benjamin Lhommas, Lola Aumont, Guillaume Beyeler, Charlotte Bloomsbury, Mickael Winum, Océane Garcia, Denis Verbecelte and Elena Luoto Meister.
The Twice Crew
The editor’s role on a uniqe film like Twice is especially crucial. That’s why we are so excited to have Liza Cardinale as Twice’s editor, because she is working side-by-side with Sarah as a fellow storyteller, putting the puzzle pieces of our film into extraordinary order. Liza has over ten years of professional experience as an editor in Hollywood, including work on episodes of The Walking Dead, The Big C, True Blood, Outlander, The Neighbors and the award-winning short film, Record. She’s cut together performances by Laura Linney, Susan Sarandon, Alan Alda, Chloe Grace Moritz, Zach Galifinakis and Norman Reedus, to name a few. To see her IMDb page, click here.
We’ll be adding talented folks in essential crew positions for Phase 2 of Twice. It’ll be fun to expand the Twice Family!
When we started shooting Twice, we put our faith in the idea that we could start finding the film’s audience & trust that you would help us complete it. The main reasons why we need you to support us today on Kickstarter are:
- CONTINUITY: We shot half the film already and my six-year-old son, who’s an actor in it, is growing at record speed! All of us change with time, so we need to start the second half of filming ASAP so that no one looks different from how they look in the first half’s footage.
- MOMENTUM: There’s an incredible energy surrounding Twice right now coming from every member of our team and the growing audience we’re connecting with. We want to keep that momentum going and build on it so that our film has a better chance of standing out from the indie pack. Plus, talent can get hired away, so we need to work with our cast and crew now before they are even more in-demand.
- ENGAGEMENT: Get in on the ground floor of this project and you’ll be able to offer your feedback, get the inside scoop about how it’s coming together and go on the full adventure ride alongside Twice’s creators. What if this film goes far, touches a lot of people, makes a difference in the world and you can say you were an original backer who helped make it happen in its early stages? That opportunity is only open during this campaign.
- TIPPING POINT: Our feelers are out & our google alerts are set to track how “polyamory” is regarded in mainstream media. Mark our words, there’s a social tipping point right around the corner for polyamory & we will be part of it. We’re not trying to convert anyone to polyamory (sorry, no one wins a toaster), but we are trying to raise general awareness of what polyamory is & is not, cultivate acceptance and present possible role models for a lifestyle devoted to ethical, consensual love. Now is the moment, we can feel it. Join us and help equal rights happen.
- EQUIPMENT: For feature-quality time-lapse, we need a motorized dolly system. For stylized sections of the story that take place in our character’s imaginations, we need a properly lit green screen. If we had enough money, we would love to rent prime cinema lenses for those “imagination” sections & have more lights to light them.
- LOCATIONS: Some of the settings our story takes place in can’t be gotten for free (we tried already). So we need to have a bit of money to rent locations that our plot just can’t do without.
- TRAVEL: First of all, some of our crew live far away (Liza & Greg = Los Angeles & New York). We’re shooting the film mostly in Paris, and we think it’s only fair to pay their plane tickets to get here. Also, the film’s story extends beyond Paris, and we need to get our tiny crew to locations near and far. The farthest is Iceland (we want to tell you why, but we’re afraid it would ruin the surprise!), other locations are the Spanish coast, Normandy, Amsterdam, London & Venice. We have friends willing to house us in those destinations, but we need train & plane fare to get there. These locations will add such scope to our picture, plus they weave into the plot in the most magical way, we promise.
- FOOD: We have to eat. This actually adds up quickly as a hard cost because we’ll be shooting for around 8 weeks total. And we gotta feed everyone the whole time.
- DESIGN MATERIALS: Natural-looking wigs, which are made by hand (by Dorothée Soual, shoutout!), plus professional hair styling of those wigs and character make-up will transform our actors into the visions they see of themselves in their imaginations. Add in costumes and a bit of set dressing materials, and Sarah transforms into Marilyn Monroe and Virginia Woolf, Phillip becomes Hemingway and Sartre, plus other morphs (but those are for you to discover when you watch the film). Movie magic!
- ORIGINAL MUSICAL SCORE & MUSIC RIGHTS: On average, a feature film has 45 minutes of original music. Our film will have double that, and we need money to create, record and mix it. We’d also like to license music from one of our favorite indie bands, and that ain’t cheap.
- POST-PRODUCTION: There are so many “deliverables” we need to have in order to get this film truly finished. We can keep our post-production costs relatively low because we will pull favors and get some freebies, but there’s a minimum we have to have in order to professionally deliver the final product.
- INSURANCE & CONTINGENCY: Every feature film needs insurance and every budget needs a contingency fund because films have a lot of moving parts and you must have a little wiggle room in every realistic budget for when the unexpected pops up.
- KICKSTARTER FEE: Kickstarter will take 5% of our funds when our campaign ends, which is worth it, because they’re an awesome platform. 5% well spent. Plus the cost of making kick-arse rewards for you...
$25,000 is us scraping by to finish our film (which we can do, but we'd rather soar). More money than our minimal goal, or what Kickstarter calls “stretch goals,” will help us make an even better movie, and here’s how:
- MORE MUSIC RIGHTS: Ideally, we’d like our favorite indie band to license the film one of their existing songs, write and record an original song for Twice and also cover a famous song. The film could do without those things, but would be infinitely better with them, and those three requests cost mucho money.
- STUDIO SET-UPS FOR THE RED LETTER BRIGADE: In order to properly shoot the Red Letter Brigade, we’d like to rent green screen studio space in both Paris & New York and get as many people as humanly possible in front of the camera as a part of that Brigade of love.
- EQUIPMENT UPGRADES: Better lenses make a big difference in image quality. Cinema prime lenses are expensive.
- ARTIST PAYMENTS AT GUILD/UNION RATES: With only $25,000, none of the cast or crew will be paid up front (they’ll all wait to get paid when the film is sold, which they've agreed to do because our priority is to finish the film). We would rather artists get paid immediately for the hard work they do and at the guild/union rate that constitutes a living wage. Sarah gets paid last, btw (first one in, last one paid out).
Be rewarded for becoming a backer! All our rewards are in the right-hand column of this page.
Risks and challenges
The risks of TWICE involve timing. This project has many moving parts & all its team members are also working on other projects. We’ve laid out a detailed timeline for the film with what scheduling we know as of now, but specific people (Sarah, Greg, Phillip, Patrick, Vincent, Soren & Liza) might need to shift things around sometimes and we will need to adapt to their schedules. Other casting and crew decisions might have to change, plus the artistic vision of the film will evolve and might be slightly different from what we foresee from this vantage point, as with any artistic endeavor. But we promise you this: we will be transparent with you and we will not give up on the film. Updates will go out to you when something is changing, when something is succeeding and will equally go out if anything from the original plan starts failing. We won’t hide things from you. No doubt, this will be a roller coaster ride because it’s a big endeavor, but we are professionals who are all dedicated to supporting each other and the project. Our guarantee is that we’ll keep communicating with you about the twists and turns until we cross the finish line.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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