Cruel The Ash

Maine. The Brown Ash Tree. The fantasy one man holds over his family. The guilt of leaving it all. - A Feature Film shot on 16mm -
Carl Elsaesser
Email Verified
Brunswick, Maine
United States
6 Team Members

Hi everyone,

We are three inquisitive minds already one year deep into a feature-length experimental film about the fantasy one father can't let go of living, how this is internalized in the the rest of the family, the fate of the brown ash tree, and Maine's psychological landscape.  

We're making the transition from pre-production to production mode. The script will be finished by the end of June and filming will take place in the fall (can't miss Maine in the fall for celluloid... Fall was made for 16mm film grain!). Shooting will take place in and around Mid-coast Maine, around Moosehead Lake and out on the ocean.

We are asking for help raising 5,000 of a 20,000 budget to cover the costs of purchasing, developing, transfering and printing the film. That means each dollar you spend literally results in seconds, minutes, hours of the raw material we work from. We have the script, management, locations, camera and lighting equipment - some specially designed by Carl & Prateek Rajbhandari for this film (check out the pictures made with these devices in the gallery!). We have passion and energy and now all we need is the film!

5,000 represents our total budget for film: 

  • The cost of a 400ft (~12 minutes) roll of Kodak Vision 500t runs at 120$*
  • The cost of developing the 400ft roll is another 52$*
  • and the cost of transferring that roll is about 40$*

*rates based on Kodak student discount and Spectra Film and Video developing/ transferring rate

Check out the teaser trailer here and in the gallery tab!

About the film

The working title for the film is Cruel the Ash in reference to the tree used by Maine Indians to make baskets. The film is built in part around the potent metaphor of the threat to this tree posed by the emerald ash borer, which has yet to arrive in Maine but whose arrival seems eminent in the next five to ten years and leaves the fate of the basketmaking tradition suspended. The film is also an ambitious attempt to portray the entire life of a mother in the course of a single day: the choices she makes, the invisible strings that turn her head to notice the woods and define her hopes and fears. The two narratives, poetically woven together, expand and complicate our notions of Maine identity and begin to answer the questions of who we were, who we are and who we will be.

About us

Director Carl Elsaesser has already made two mid-length films There is a Wind That Blew and A Thoughtful Goodbye that have been screened across the country and internationally, and for which he has won numerous awards. However, as an experimental filmmaker, the holy grail is film. This will be his first project shot entirely on film. 

We have the support of two incredible Maine institutions - Northeast Historic Film and The Theater Project - and have applied for a grant from the Maine Arts Commission. We are proud to say that this film is being produced by Mainers, directed and conceived by Mainers, will be shot by Mainers with Mainers, so help us bolster an already flourishing Mainer artistic community!

You can read more about the film in our first write up in Dispatch Magazine or in the Times Record and from the Director's Lounge Film Festival

Stay tuned for more articles coming soon!

Our thanks to you 

We know that times are hard and many of our friends are young and poor so we wnated to offer the film for a donation we think everyone can afford. All supporters donating $10 or more will receive a copy of the finished film upon completion of the project in June 2014.

For a little bit more, you can get your very own piece of the film, a DVD & credit in the film, fresh Maine moose meat, and a gallery quality print of your choice from the film. 

For those who donate $1,000 or more, you will have earned our eternal gratitude and will be credited as a major funder in the film.

All funds will go toward production of the film regardless of whether we meet the full $5,000 goal. 

Please help us spread the word!

Making a film like this takes a tremendous amount of support from the community and we need all the help we can get! Like us on facebook, get updates on twitter, check out our website. And don't be afraid to share this campaign with everyone you know. 

Find This Campaign On
raised by 77 people in 1 month
100% funded
No time left
$5,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on July 21, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    your own copy of the film!

    A .mov file delivered straight to your inbox upon completion. We want you all to have the film.

    27 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $25USD
    6" of Cruel the Ash!

    Your very own strip of the film once we're done transferring plus an .mov copy of the film.

    13 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $50USD
    DVD and credit

    All the above perks, Cruel the Ash on DVD and a special thanks in the credits!

    9 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $75USD
    Venison Meat!

    Shot in Maine by legendary hunter & father Rick Elsaesser. Plus all of the above perks. Limited to the first 10!!!!

    8 out of 10 claimed
  • $200USD
    Gallery quality color print

    All the above perks and your own 16x20 gallery quality color print. If there's a photo or a shot from the film you like, let us know and we'll print it for you.

    3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Major funder credit

    All of the perks above plus your name in lights at the end of the film. Let us customize your thanks, dedicate them to your business, your loved ones, you got it!

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
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