A Fully Silent Feature-Length Film
Hi, my name is Cody Clarke, and I'm an independent filmmaker. I've produced, written, directed, and edited two feature-length films in the last two years: Shredder, and Rehearsals. I am seeking your help in funding my third in two years: Siobhan.
Siobhan is romantic comedy-drama in a similar vein to Woody Allen’s classic New York films. It tells the story of a reclusive Deaf woman in her mid-20‘s (named Siobhan) who lives alone in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and hermits herself from the world, from happiness, and from love. She will be played by renowned Deaf theatre actress Tami Lee Santimyer.
Over the course of the film, Siobhan goes through ups and downs, both comedic and tragic, as her outgoing and troublesome 18-year-old sister Sophie, who is hard of hearing, tries to bring her out of her shell. Sophie will be played by newcomer Briana Birks, who, like her character, is hard of hearing.
This film will be completely silent. No music, no ambient sound, nothing. All sign language and spoken dialogue will be subtitled. Deaf and Hearing filmgoers alike will enjoy the same viewing experience.
There has never been a film quite like this. Almost all films with Deaf characters feature sound, even ones with Deaf protagonists. So we are only ever encountering them from the perspective of a Hearing observer. Sound disables Hearing audiences from truly experiencing a Deaf character’s perspective. Only through silence can Hearing audiences be immersed in their world.
Another benefit of silence is that it provides Deaf actors the exceptionally rare opportunity of playing Hearing characters. Many of the Hearing characters in the film will be played by Deaf talent. To say this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them is an understatement: this is a once-in-film-history opportunity.
This film, this unique experience, can only be made possible through your kind donation. For over a year and a half, I’ve been trying to find funding for this film through traditional methods, and though response to the script has been great, it has been very difficult to find investors willing to take a chance on a fully silent film. This is a shame, because for Deaf audiences, all films are ‘silent’, yet that doesn’t stop them from enjoying films. If a story is well-told, and the visuals are compelling, that’s what matters most. Film began as, and always will be most of all, a visual medium. Siobhan is a love letter to the power of film in its purest form.
$20,000 may sound like a very small amount of money to make a film with, but I am a very economical filmmaker. My first feature-length film, Shredder, cost a mere $3,000 to make. My second, Rehearsals, cost approximately $100, because I made it with the equipment I bought to make Shredder. The entire budget was spent on subway rides to and from locations, lugging all the equipment myself and shooting every bit of it myself.
However, I can't make Siobhan on a Shredder or Rehearsals budget. It's just not possible. There are many locations, including several unavoidably expensive locations, and we also need much more equipment than the bare amount I own. Every penny of that $20,000 will be seen on screen.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you cannot afford to make a donation but would still like to help out, you can do so by sharing a link to this campaign and spreading the word. The more people know about what we're trying to do, the better.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the finished film. And of course, if you have any questions about the project, please contact me.
Writer, Director, Editor