Sandbox: The Movie
Sandbox: The Movie
In the midst of a war, a group of hilariously dysfunctional troops embark on the ultimate quest - to find beer in the desert.
In the midst of a war, a group of hilariously dysfunctional troops embark on the ultimate quest - to find beer in the desert. Read more
About this project
Sandbox: The Movie is a glimpse into the wacky and comical side of serving in the military, a view missing from entertainment since classics like Stripes and M.A.S.H. had America laughing out loud. Sandbox tells the story of a group of slightly dysfunctional – okay, completely dysfunctional – but lovable troops surviving a combat deployment the only way they know how – with a good sense of humor. Ignoring the dangers involved, this mishmash of troops embarks on a truly important and epic journey to find beer in the desert.
Why should you care about us? Because we’re vets, man. And only terrorists don’t care about vets. You’re not a terrorist, right?
Too harsh? Okay, the truth is we, two sisters, Whitney Donigan and Emily Suhr, created Sandbox years ago. Both veterans, we longed to show the absurdity and hilarity of combat deployments. For some people, when life hands you lemons you make lemonade; for us, when life gave us a steaming pile of war, we made comedy.
The project really took hold in 2008 when Emily and her husband Mathew David Suhr, our awesome and freakishly handsome co-writer and director, were deployed to Iraq, and Whitney, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was serving as a contractor in Kyrgyzstan assisting troops as they transitioned in and out of Afghanistan.
Day in and day out we witnessed and experienced things so insane we couldn’t help but see the entertainment value. So, we each started keeping little notebooks in our pockets at all times and wrote down every crazy/maddening/hilarious/unreal thing we saw or experienced over a 15-month period. After we were both home we compared notes and “The Sandbox” was born – a 13-episode sitcom about a group of friends surviving the war through love, laughter and practical jokes.
But, as tends to happen, our pet project got put on the back burner as “real life” demanded our attention. We never lost our passion for The Sandbox though. Despite being separated by nearly 2,000 miles, we have continued writing and developing the characters. We have also been active in Veterans in Film and Television and The Writer’s Guild of America.
A couple weeks ago we found out about this AMAZING opportunity – the G.I. Film Festival. It is a film festival dedicated to the troops, a bill we fit nicely. After reading the festival requirements Sandbox: The Movie tumbled out of our brains as a fully formed, perfect prequel to our sitcom. We’ve created a short film to introduce everyone to the unbalanced, gun-toting characters who have been living in our heads for the past 4 years.
Oh, and if you’re worried about our non-existent directing/film-making credits, fear not. Mat (the awesomely handsome husband mentioned earlier) is an academy-trained actor with experience on both sides of the camera and three film credits under his belt, so…. Ya know we’ve got the cred.
Where your money is going. We have been thrifty beyond belief with this project – up and coming phenomenal actors willing to work for free, old uniforms and equipment from our days in the military, seriously generous friends – but it just isn’t enough. We need money for our set, permits, insurance (it’s a requirement), and additional props and wardrobe.
We found the perfect place to bring Camp Friendly Warrior base to life… yes, that’s the name of our base. I told you we were funny. We just need the funds.
The Actors. When we tell you we have the best up and coming actors available, you better believe we mean it. Why? Because we’re awesome and rarely lie, that’s why. Also, because we not only plucked these guys from the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in Hollywood, but we put them through a brutally insane (and often unnecessary) audition process that they all survived.
Myles Allan plays hard-charging (though not always in the right direction) Conrad Andrews, a Marine in dire need of a beer and something to prove. Myles was one of the thousands of Canadians bred into a life of business and sales, but instead decided to follow his true calling of acting. He quit Business school and enrolled at AADA. Always the class clown, Myles felt at home for the first time nearly 3,000 miles away from where he grew up.
Daniel Goldston plays Adam Cooper, an Army staff sergeant who quietly leads our dysfunctional group, no matter how much they don’t want to be led. Dan was raised on the island of Maui. After getting hired to perform in an improv comedy dinner show, he decided to hang up his infatuation with becoming a police officer and follow his lifelong passion – acting. Daniel has training from AADA and Steppenwolf Theatre.
Carolyn Feres play Alice Cooper, wife of Adam Cooper. She is a strong, sarcastic soldier who never fails to point out the group’s collective lack of knowledge. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Carolyn is a recent graduate of AADA who has been involved with performing arts since childhood. Pervious credits include Lady Croom in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, The Sister in Middle of the Night, the scaly lizard Sarah in Seascape, Carter in Uncommon Women and Others, Cassie in Rumors and Maggie in Boys’ Life.
Robert Hook plays Bill Chunk, an awkward British soldier who, never feeling comfortable with his own comrades, found a place among these crazy Americans. Robert is also recent graduate of the AADA. He made the move to L.A. from the U.K. and is using tools from both sides of the pond in his work and to continue his growth in this art form and profession. A lover of the craft of acting, he believes that acting is not merely a job but a lifestyle...and he's pretty happy living it.
Nick Phillips play Johnny Smith, a young Army private pulled into the crew’s madness after they find out he has something they need. After completing high school in northern California, Nick moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. After graduating from AADA, he completed a third year with their famed Company. Apart from extensive training he performed in such plays as Look Homeward Angel, Rumors, Good Boys & True and The Crucible. He also studied abroad at a two-month long intensive summer training program at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Paige Simon plays Betty Jenkins, a civilian contractor taking a “vacation from her brain” to serve in the public affairs office with Alice. Originally from Dana Point, California, Paige is a graduate of AADA and South Orange County School of the Arts (SOCSA), where she graduated with honors. Her credits include: The Crucible, A Flea in Her Ear, Ordinary People, The Philadelphia Story, Almost Maine, Remembrance, Paragon Springs and, most recently, the world premiere of The Relationship Play. at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. In the next year Paige will be acting with the 2012-2013 Company at AADA.
What you get. What you get is the unparalleled feeling that you have not only helped three U.S. veterans with a combined 30 years of service, but made an American dream come true for those same three vets. You get to know that you were a part of something so much larger than yourself. It’s kind of like skydiving while riding a roller coaster – Awesome, right? Not enough? Fine. We’ll send you swag too.
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