Hi all! On behalf of the THREE DAYS TO SEE team, it’s been too long since the last update and we apologize. Ever since you generously kickstarted this film into gear, it’s been hard to come up for air because things have been changing rapidly – for both the film and for the subject of our movie, Michelle Smith. After graduating on such a high from Perkins School for the Blind, Michelle returned home to Maine and came face to face with the reality experienced by so many other graduates – a lack of opportunity leading to a cycle of isolation and family dependence. Michelle just happens to have two disabilities, making her circumstances more extreme and contributing to the 75% unemployment rate for people who are visually impaired. We knew this challenging new chapter of Michelle’s story was important to follow and would make for a more genuine portrait, as we always said, of both the light and darkness in each of our lives. Michelle has an incredible spirit, as many of you know, and she has new hopes and plans ahead of her now!
While we continued to film Michelle’s transition after Perkins, our production also attracted the interest of some new powerhouse partners. One of the best filmmakers working in documentary today, Jeff Consiglio, has joined the team as a Producer and Supervising Editor. Jeff edited the Oscar-nominated feature film “War/Dance” (which helped inspire me to make documentaries), “Inocente” (Oscar winner, 2012), and the HBO film “Life According to Sam.”
Jeff dove in to conceptualize our rough footage and guided us toward a deeper level of story, as you’ll see in this new teaser video he created for us, while working with a talented young editor named Sarah Ginsburg: www.threedaystosee.com/the-trailer. Let us know what you think. (We're grateful to Keiran Watson-Bonnice for his early editing contributions as well!)
Jeff’s involvement then led to Kevin Bright (the Emmy-winning creator and Executive Producer of the hit TV show “Friends”) to sign on as Executive Producer for our film. Kevin has also worked very closely with Perkins and even taught Michelle in a filmmaking class. With these allies on board, we are poised for a tremendous outcome and impact with the film and none of it would have been possible without your early faith and support.
I’m excited to share the news that Kevin Bright invited us to screen a six-minute version of our film as the centerpiece video at the annual Perkins Possibilities Gala this year on May 1, where a theme will be (partly inspired by our film) what happens after their students graduate. The Gala hosted more than 500 guests and raised over a million dollars last year so we see this event as a wonderful way to make an immediate impact with our story while simultaneously building awareness and support for our larger film. While the Kickstarter funds enabled us to continue filming and pay our edit staff up to this point, we still need a big push to fund the completion. So keep your fingers crossed for Gala guests as generous as all of you!
We are also working with Jeff Migliozzi (the Perkins English teacher featured in our film) to create an educational kit for schools and businesses so that we can expand on the vital issues that the film will touch on and do our part to demystify blindness. Jeff’s already excited about the prospect of speaking to groups. Maybe your group?! And we plan to make short poetic companion pieces with footage from Helen Keller’s essay “Three Days to See.”
Oh and we have our own fundraiser party happening on May 13th at the Noir Bar in the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA from 6 to 8 p.m.! And by “party” I mean party! It won’t be some serious and stuffy thing. Michelle would never let that happen! We’ll have more info on that event soon.
On a personal note, I’m continually humbled that Michelle and her family are sharing an important piece of their journey with us, and I’m honored to the core for the opportunity to work with people that I admire, such as Jordan, Ariana, Jeff, Kevin, and Sarah. But I gotta say it’s the love, support, and encouragement that we received from you our backers, that gives me the juice to plow forward with the conviction that we can be the change we want to see in the world. Together.
P.S. If you didn’t get your Kickstarter reward, please let us know! In fact, let us know about anything on your mind. We love to chat!