BLUE BALLOONS has been selected by Indiegogo as a project that empowers women and will be featured in honor of International Women's Day!
THE STORYWhen their mother's surgery reveals her tumor has spread, the Kippson family is thrown into an existence full of uncertainty. As Joanne begins the debilitating rounds of treatment, she and her husband, Henry, can no longer maintain domestic normalcy alone, and must rely on their children: Mara, a senior in college studying philosophy, and Sam, a sophomore in high school soon to get his driver's license. But as work and home life start to unravel, the estranged, eldest daughter, Claire, is forced to return home to aide her family where she must confront the people and patterns she's been running from.
Blue Balloons is an honest, realistic story of characters caught in a world of opposites: the body and the spirit, faith and reason, life and death. It's a story about loss, about family, about doubt, about the search to find hope in the midst of everyday struggle. Told through the perspective of a young adult caregiver, the story weaves elements of the fantastic and the absurd to strip clichés and portray not only the medical complexities of cancer, but also the spiritual impact on individuals and families.
I began writing the story during the two years my mother was treated for colon cancer that spread to her lungs and brain—a time when my family endured immense physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges. Though many filmmakers have attempted to depict cancer in movies, while my mother was in treatment, I was struck by how few of these stories seemed to portray cancer in an honest way that reflected the complexities involved. I yearned to go beyond the surface and find portrayals that seemed authentic, dignified, and relevant. As I searched, it became apparent to me there was a lack of such portrayals.
At a time when healthcare and religion have powerful influence on public and private life, Blue Balloons is a timely story that engages these issues with honesty and humanity. What makes Blue Balloons unique is that it is told through the perspective of a young adult caretaker—a perspective that highlights an increasingly common yet overlooked type of caregiver; thus I feel compelled to tell this story and believe it will deeply resonate with audiences, young and old.
By backing this project, you make a powerful statement that stories of this nature are wanted and vital. People of various ages, cultures, and backgrounds grapple with terminal illness, loss, and a search for hope, and you will be giving voice to such universal feelings.
My Indiegogo campaign is set up for flexible funding, which means that all funds raised will be received even if the goal is not met. I chose this option because at this point in my project, I can use whatever amount of funds are raised toward a few essential pre-production and equipment rental costs. Specifically, those costs are:
- camera and audio equipment
- legal costs associated with opening an LLC to produce the movie
- script clearance
Any funds raised beyond the goal will go toward locations, license fees, and post-production costs (i.e. editing, sound mixing, etc).
Please be assured that all funds raised will go directly toward the costs of making the film. That is my promise to you. Your Indiegogo dollars will help lay the foundation of production.
This is my debut feature film, and with your generous contributions, you will not only be participating in something unique, original, and artistic; you will be instrumental in bringing this story to life. Making a movie is an enormous endeavor, and making one on little-to-no budget is even harder. But it's possible. Many first-time directors have done so and have gone on to have illustrious careers as a result. I intend to add my name to that list.
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
With nearly a decade of experience working on film sets, I understand the myriad hurdles that may arise when making a movie—bad weather, illness, equipment problems—but the biggest challenge I face in making this movie is time. With a limited budget, most of my cast and crew, including myself, will likely maintain full-time jobs in addition to the full-time work they put in on this project.
Assembling a team and coordinating locations to fit a tight schedule and budget will mean relying somewhat on the stars to align (and I don't mean a queue of celebrities). Astrology aside though, I believe it's essential to be resourceful; maintain clear, open communication with all involved; and keep things small and simple to remain cost-effective and efficient. And with the right amount of determination and creative D.I.Y. grit, time and budget constraints will become nothing more than mere stepping stones.
I deeply thank you for your time and consideration of my project. I absolutely cannot do it with you. Let's make some art.
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