The Short Film "Wild Horses" is about the moments in life where we make decisions that change everything. Read more
This project was successfully funded on July 19, 2012.
About this project
Welcome to the kickstarter campaign for our short film Wild Horses. We will be shooting in August 2012 as part of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women (DWW).
WHILE OUR GOAL IS $10,000, OUR BUDGET IS $30,000. WITH YOUR HELP, WE KNOW WE'LL REACH FAR BEYOND OUR GOAL. WE'RE EXCITED TO SHARE MAKING WILD HORSES WITH YOU!
Wild Horses tells the story of Mills, a forty-something photographer who returns to her native Nevada when her grandmother calls to tell her the herd of wild horses their family grew up watching and admiring is facing government round-up. Over the course of one day, 'Mills' begins to realize how much the horses need her help. What she doesn't realize at the time is just how much they will help her.
Thanks for helping us tell this story,
Steph, Jess, Tara, Justin and the entire Wild Horses team
Wild Horses tells the story of Emma Miller, a forty-something photographer who returns to her native Nevada when her grandmother calls to tell her the herd of wild horses their family grew up watching and admiring is facing government round-up. Over the course of one day, 'Mills' begins to realize how much the horses need her help. What she doesn't realize at the time is just how much they will help her.
Wild Horses is about the moments in our lives where, like Mills, we discover what's really important and make decisions that change everything.
At the beginning of the 20th century, more than two million wild horses roamed the American West. Today, there are more wild horses in captivity than there are in the wild, with estimates of only between 15,000 and 45,000 left.
For close to a decade, Stephanie Martin has been inspired by America's wild horses. She co-wrote the film Wild Horses with her Wellesley classmate Jessica Walsh this winter. In April, after undergoing a competitive selection process, Stephanie was chosen to participate in the AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women. Only eight emerging Directors are chosen each year to participate in this groundbreaking program aimed to develop and support women directors. Wild Horses will be filmed as part of this exciting journey.
Ever since my mother put me on a horse at four years old, I have held the reins on a deep, passionate and inspiring relationship with this majestic animal. It’s a love I’ve shared with those closest to me, including my grandmother, mother, sister and many dear friends.
I recently visited the Palomino Valley Holding Facility in Northern Nevada as part of the research for Wild Horses.
There is something about a wild horse. They carry within them the furious beauty of their lands.
There are more wild horses in holding pens then there are in the wild.
I’m excited to be given this opportunity to direct Wild Horses with the support of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women and I hope you are able to help me tell Mills's story.
It is not too late.
YOUR DONATION WILL GO TO...
- The production of the film which includes animal costs such as transportation, hay, training, and rental, aerial helicopter costs, locations costs, equipment rental fees, production design, costumes, hair & make-up, props, insurance, talent, transportation, catering for cast/crew for 5 days of production in addition to all other production necessities that contribute to our preliminary budget for the film.
- The post production of the film including editing space, color correction, original music and VFX.
- Marketing and press.
- Entry costs to worldwide film festivals
- Research for the upcoming feature film we hope to make following production of the short film Wild Horses.
- All donations will be used strictly for non-profit purposes and all proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards the production of Wild Horses.
We have been extremely fortunate to have the support of an incredibly talented team who are donating their time and talent to this film, including three-time Oscar winning cinematographer Robert Richardson (The Aviator, JFK, Hugo).We will be updating this site as well as our Facebook, blog and website, so please check in with us often to find out who else gets wrangled in to Wild Horses!
DIRECTOR & CO-WRITER: Stephanie Martin
Biography: Born in Sao Paulo and raised mostly in Buenos Aires, Stephanie discovered her passion for film while at Wellesley College where she studied French and Political Science. This prompted her to move to New York where she began her journey as a Cinematographer beginning as an intern in the electric department of a New York independent film to eventually enrolling at the AFI where she earned her MFA in Cinematography. She has worked on features, shorts, documentaries and commercials all over the world, amongst them Daniel Myricks The Objective and most recently as operator Ryan Murphys Eat Pray Love and on Marc Forsters World War Z. The power of film to move people into action is one of the driving forces behind Stephanies work. As a Cinematographer, she has specialized in telling other peoples stories. As a Director, she looks forward to telling stories that are important to her. Her current project focuses on the plight of wild horses in the U.S. She is an avid horsewoman herself and if she's not behind a camera, you are likely to find her on horseback.Stephanie is delighted to return to AFI to participate in DWW and thrilled to be part of this group of emerging women Directors.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Robert Richardson
Biography: Robert Richardson is a three-time Academy Award winner for Best Cinematography for his work on Oliver Stone's historic tapestry JFK, Martin Scorsese's THE AVIATOR, and most recently for Scorsese's HUGO. HUGO marked Richardson's seventh collaboration with Martin Scorsese, having previously worked on CASINO, BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, SHUTTER ISLAND and the documentary GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD. Richardson also lensed and supervised an all-star group of cinematographers on the Rolling Stones concert film SHINE A LIGHT. Richardson has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with director Oliver Stone. Their work together includes NATURAL BORN KILLERS, DOORS, NIXON, BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY and PLATOON, the latter two of which Richardson garnered Academy Award nominations.Richardson's other credits include SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS, THE HORSE WHISPERER, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, EIGHT MEN OUT, A FEW GOOD MEN, and the upcoming WORLD WAR Z, directed by Marc Forster and starring Brad Pitt. Richardson has photographed several documentaries with Errol Morris, including FAST, CHEAP AND OUT OF CONTROL, MR. DEATH, and the unflinching Abu Ghraib documentary STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE.Richardson is currently collaborating with Quentin Tarantino on DJANGO UNCHAINED, his fourth film collaboration with the director, having worked on KILL BILL: Volumes 1 and 2, and more recently INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, which garnered eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Cinematography, Best Direction and Best Picture.
PRODUCER & CO-WRITER: Jessica Walsh
Biography: Jessica has spent the past decade as a communications and patient advocacy consultant, working for clients in the public and private sector on both sides of the Atlantic, specializing in the healthcare sector. The focus of Jessicas work is on raising awareness and using communications, advocacy and social networks to contribute to better health outcomes. Throughout her career, Jessica has created communications tools across a range of media, focusing on developing compelling narratives that drive behavior change, so somehow filmmaking doesnt feel as foreign as it probably should. She is delighted to be working alongside Wellesley classmate, friend and riding companion Stephanie Martin on her first project in narrative film. Jessica lives in London.
PRODUCER: Tara Tucker
Biography: Tara, a recent graduate from the American Film Institute (class of 2012), fell upon her passion during her senior year of undergad, in which she was studying fine art and graphic design, was asked to compete in a commercial design competition for the Ford Motor Company. She co-wrote and co-produced the winning commercial, GREEN REVOLUTION, that aired on select networks in Southern California. It was this experience that opened her eyes to filmmaking. Following graduation, she went on to work as a creative assistant at Twentieth Century Fox for the Consumer Products/Global Creative Division. During her career at Fox, she got her hands wet on some of the companys major projects including GLEE, THE SIMPSONS and AVATAR. Tara made the real commitment to be behind the camera in 2010 when she applied to AFI in order to devote herself to creative producing. She recently wrapped her thesis film, FIRST IN FLIGHT, which will tour the film festival circuit in 2012-13. She is inspired every day to be working with the medium that in her mind bridges all mediums of art upon one canvas. She feels that as a filmmaker, you carry a huge responsibility of what messages you send out to the world, which is why she was attracted to Wild Horses. A horse-lover herself, she is energized to work on a film that has purpose and the potential to send people to action.
CO-PRODUCER: Justin Dalzell
Biography: Justin directs his passion for filmmaking towards producing material that creates a connection between his viewers and the subject matter depicted in his projects. He uses filmmaking as a way of expressing his beliefs to others and raising awareness for present controversial issues. He has attended USC for architectural design and UCLA for film production, in addition to majoring in creative producing at Emerson College. It was in 2009 when Justin discovered his roots as a producer while working on HBO’s show True Blood with close friend and producer Gregg Fienberg. After this experience, Justin began working with the Academy Award winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski on commercials for companies including Purina, NFL, Direct TV, and Fiat. He continued his work with Kaminski in 2011 on a feature film titled American Dream. Shortly after, Justin became the unit production manager on a short film titled, The Giant, in which it received a grant from Panavision’s New Filmmaker Program for its production in Madison, Georgia. Justin is currently producing on a feature length documentary about legendary play write Robert Wilson with the Getty Foundation. In the last couple months, Justin has moved from his home town of Los Angeles to New Orleans to work with director Quentin Tarantino on his upcoming spaghetti western, Django Unchained. It was in New Orleans that Justin met Stephanie and connected with her enthusiasm to raise awareness about animal preservation in the United States through narrative filmmaking.
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER- Kimerlee Curyl
Biography: Loving everything “horse” from the moment she could breathe, the unfolding of Kimerlee’s life thus far makes perfect sense. The Hollywood dream moved her to the west but it was the heart of a horse that changed everything. Working on both sides of the camera, Kimerlee has the natural ability of capturing emotion, delivering imagery that has been described as unique, dramatic and evocative. Her first solo show debuted in Los Angeles with record-breaking gallery sales. She is represented by one of the country’s largest fine art publishers, prestigious galleries as well as international collectors. Her work has been used in numerous advertising campaigns and product branding.
Kimerlee works with all breeds of horses, travels extensively and has been fortunate to photograph some of the most beautiful and expensive horses in the world. She loves them all, yet there is a corner of her heart that beats faster and belongs to America’s legends, our wild horses.
Dedicated to the cause for many years, Kimerlee’s hope is to inspire others, not only to appreciate the beauty of the creatures, but to take an interest in helping preserve their place on this land. The same land that they allowed us to travel upon as we revolutionized this country no that many years ago. Now, sadly, America’s wild horses are facing their final stand as we continue to round them up, keep them in long term holding and ship them off to destinations “unknown”… slaughter…we are rapidly destroying our nations heritage. Kimerlee firmly believes by the history laid behind us, that we are destroying ourselves in the process. Losing something so sacred to our history, so rich to the land and so majestic to our spirits, the time is now to act in their behalf.
In 2004 after 15 years of pounding the Hollywood pavement, Kimerlee purchased her first horse and along with that, visited a place called Return to Freedom, American Wild Horse Sanctuary. “These two events save my life. My mare who has been the best teacher I have ever experienced and Return to Freedom, a magical place I’m extremely proud to be part of. My heart and soul have grown on this land, and although I travel, immersing myself into enormous herds of America’s wild horses, it’s here I will always come back to, support and call home. Horses have taught me life’s greatest lessons. It will continue to be my deepest desire to educate through art and awareness. We must be the voice for these living legends, they are our heritage. We built this great nation by holding onto their manes and riding the spirits of their hearts. To lose them would be a tragically irresponsible disrespect to our past, present and future.”
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER- Melissa Farlow
Biography: Melissa Farlow has worked extensively in the American West for National Geographic magazine—driving 20,000 miles to photograph a story on public lands and more recently a project on mustangs. She photographed wild horse herds in Nevada, California, Oregon, Wyoming and Montana. Farlow has photographed 15 projects for National Geographic magazine including stories on Kentucky thoroughbred horses, America’s National Parks, the Alps, and the Okefenokee Swamp. Two of her books for National Geographic, Wild Lands of the West and The Long Road South, were centered on the Bureau of Land Management and the Pan American highway. Farlow began her career at newspapers—a member of the staff of the Courier-Journal and Louisville Times that won a Pulitzer Prize. Continuing work as a staff photographer at the Pittsburgh Press newspaper, she moved on to freelance and is published in Smithsonian, GEO, LIFE, Sierra and National Geographic Traveler magazines as well as Day in the Life and other books.
In addition, she has photographed projects for the Heinz Endowments and the Ford Foundation. Her images have won multiple awards in the Pictures of the Year International and other competitions. Farlow received journalism degrees from Indiana University and the University of Missouri, where she also taught photojournalism. She is on the faculty of the Missouri Photo Workshop. She and her husband, Randy Olson, also a longtime National Geographic contributing photographer live in Pennsylvania and Oregon.
If preferred, you can also mail a check to:
American Film Institute, Attn: Patty West
2021 N. Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
**If you mail a donation by check please write Wild Horses within the memo of the check so AFI know where to allocate the funds. Thank you!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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REWARD: Signed thank you photograph, Script signed by Director, Writer and Producers, Making of photo book, signed by filmmakers, Signed DVD, original illustration signed by director, Invitation + 1 guest to fundraising event in Los Angeles, Invitation + 1 guest to premiere of film, photo of backer & filmmakers at the premier - personally signed by the director, Name/Company credit in filmEstimated delivery:
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Signed thank you photograph (download), Poster signed by filmmakers, Signed DVD, original illustration signed by director, Making of photo book signed by filmmakers, Framed & signed photograph with the filmmakers, Invitation + 2 guests to fundraising event in Los Angeles, Invitation + 2 guests to premiere of film, photo of backer & filmmakers at the premier - personally signed by the director, Name/Company credit as EXECUTIVE PRODUCER in filmEstimated delivery:
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