“There’s the life we’re born into. And the one we create.”
As the film’s Director, I believe in and am devoted to the success of Spin the Plate for many reasons, not the least of which is the genuine sense of social responsibility that I personally feel to create this story on film and get it in front of a wide audience.
Our film is a daringly honest account of one woman’s shattered past as a child sexual abuse victim, and the dramatic journey she ultimately undertakes to discard the mental, emotional, and spiritual scars, which she has borne throughout her nearly thirty years of life. It is a “coming home” story that illustrates the empowering wisdom that home is, ultimately, what you define it to be.
Spin the Plate has a beating heart, sharp teeth, an occasional clenched fist, and a deep social conscience. It offers an unpolished and bold depiction of the myriad of social ills that serve as the context within which the lead character’s life story unfolds. We are all impacted by the issues of child abuse, rape, domestic violence, incest, post-traumatic stress disorder, juvenile sex trafficking, and animal cruelty; whether it is you yourself who has experienced these issues first-hand, or someone you know and care for. All of these themes are artfully woven into our story; each in their own way. Through the darkness of these experiences, the main characters in Spin the Plate are lead to an unexpected and heartfelt outcome.
We Need YOUR Help
Spin the Plate is an ambitious independently-funded feature film project by Pack of Dogs Productions based in New England. We, as a team of thoughtful media-makers, are wholly reliant upon our own modest resources and what assistance we can attract through this online funding campaign, by way of voluntary donations and underwriting. Despite our seemingly impressive use of locations, we have a very modest budget and have been able to attain these resources through the generous donations of individuals and businesses. The reality is that our filmmaking team consists of an almost all volunteer cast and crew, who have been working many long days during production, not for a promise of pay; just a promise to engage in a field of passion and a project with meaning and purpose. In addition, our producer does not have an endless supply of money; he has a family of mouths to feed, his children’s college tuition to pay for, and has dipped into his wallet as far as he can. Now the time has come to ask for your help because our resources, relationships, and connections are limited; and in order to complete this film, we need your assistance.
Please also know that if you are not in the financial position to contribute monetarily that does not mean you cannot help us. You can still help us get the word out about our campaign by using the Indiegogo sharing tools and letting others know that every little bit helps. We appreciate any and all efforts to spread the word!
Importance of Your Contribution
Your contributions to Spin the Plate will help us bring you a beautiful and sensitive movie, which is based on the much loved, successful, and award-winning novel of the same name by the published author, Donna Anastasi. The novel has been adapted for the screen by none other than Donna’s husband, Dr. Thomas Anastasi, who has served as the Executive Producer for Spin the Plate, as well.
The necessary funding for which we are appealing to tell this tale properly is purposed to craft an engaging and moving story within which difficult themes are fearlessly confronted. Our lead characters painfully come to terms with the breadth and depth of the personal damage they have each endured in the course of their lives. Together they find ways to relegate the past to the past, where it belongs, and where it can no longer distract them from the waiting joys of their unwritten future. Healing the frightened or wounded child within each of us doesn't generally take place on a therapist’s couch, but as we craft the course of our lives within the minute choices we make from moment to moment. And we, as human beings, learn from the examples of others; even when those mentors are fictionalized characters.
Using film media to call attention to the unforgivable conduct of the villains among us, who perpetrate their abuses and create for others a collection of past wounds, is a potent social service, as well as an engaging endeavor of the filmmaking tradecraft. The story itself serves to illuminate and educate in ways that can meaningfully foster an ongoing public dialogue about the themes of social activism and justice, and can contribute to a shift away from a climate in which these many unfortunate realities are tolerated as a fact of life in today’s society. If the film can somehow help to more effectively identify needless oppression against people, and discourage it, the Spin the Plate project will have done its job as a harbinger of meaningful change, as well as having served as a source of topical entertainment.
Spin the Plate: The Production
Spin the Plate - the movie, is being carefully made with optimal production quality. This is an essential approach because the story needs to be seen and embraced by a wide viewership for reasons beyond that of mere entertainment value. Let's face it: audiences crave imaginative, new content, with meaning, relevance, and substance. They will, however, not give a new and unheard of film the time of day unless the production quality is as high as that of films with big budgets. Therein lies our challenge as a project.
Our pre-production phase in 2013 found us earnestly committed to creating and refining the script, interviewing actors and key crew members, and planning a production season that was filled with surprisingly impressive set locations in and around the Boston, MA and Southern, NH region. Throughout active production in 2014, we have consistently captured stunningly beautiful footage of countless remarkable performances by our entire cast, thanks to our experienced and gifted Director of Photography, Mr. Rajah Samaroo. I, as the film's Director and Associate Producer, can attest that our production team is committed to producing an optimal film product; and we remain committed to that end throughout the post-production and editorial phase of Spin the Plate (August 2014-Spring 2015.) We are excited to present to the world a final cut that entertains and moves audiences of all kinds, and serves as a well-crafted and passionate example of the independent spirit of filmmaking in New England at its best.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our film and considering the Spin the Plate Indiegogo campaign!
- Eric R. Eastman, Director and Associate Producer of Spin the Plate
Note from the Producer/Screenwriter
Spin the Plate is very special to me. My wife, Donna, came up with the idea, characters, and story, and I filled in the blanks with most of the dialogue in the book. I am very proud of the screenplay and am honored to have such a talented and dedicated production team and cast bring it to life.
As a Producer, I can tell you that the money we receive will be well spent. Our overhead expenses like insurance are already paid for. The three places donations will go are renting and usage of expensive movie making equipment, so that Spin the Plate will have the professional look and sound audiences demand. Second, it will go towards basic needs, such as food for the cast and crew, which is so important on shoot days that often last 12-18 hours. Finally, after we complete shooting our footage, which is really looking amazing, we will have post-production expenses like editing and music, as well as costs associated with submitting to film festivals. The more that is given, the more we can do.
In short, donations will make the final cut better, because with them we won’t have to cut corners or make sacrifices. As a bonus, we are providing a number of awesome thank-you goodies if you can contribute.
Thank you so much for your support!
- Tom Anastasi, Executive Producer and Screenwriter of Spin the Plate
Anastasi, Executive Producer and Screenwriter
Tom is an award-winning playwright and author, who is the winner of a New American Playwrights Festival award and two New Hampshire Theatre Awards for Best Original Play. He has published numerous national best-sellers and several plays that have been produced by professional and community theatre organizations, including “Surviving Evil,” which toured New York City and was seen by over 5,000 people. He has also written and produced a team-learning video series for Hothouse Productions. Tom has been a professor for over twenty years at large universities and small colleges in the Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
R. Eastman, Director and Associate Producer
Eric is a New England based actor, director, and musician with over thirty-five years of experience in the performing arts. His recent award-winning films “Beneath Contempt” and “Approaching Normal” screened at Slamdance in Park City, Utah and the Boston International Film Festival, respectively. He has also made appearances on the History Channel and Discovery Channel, and on the television show “Hollywood New England.” Prior to acting on camera, Eric received the majority of his training on the stage, where he performed in over five hundred theatrical performances, including Shakespeare. While Spin the Plate is his feature film directing debut, he has previously directed live theatre and short film, and will be directing an upcoming webisode of “Dystopia: Capitol City.” As an actor, he has many upcoming projects on the horizon, such as the soon-to-be-released TV movie, “Point Society,” and “Fish and Chips,” which is currently playing the film festival circuit.
Samaroo, Director of Photography
Rajah is an award-winning, New England based filmmaker and cinematographer with over a decade of experience making films. In 2013, Rajah won Best Cinematographer at the We Like 'em Short Film Festival for his work on the short film “Silent Wave,” and he was nominated in the Best Cinematography category by Motif Magazine his work on the short film, “His Take on Her." He graduated from Mass Art in 2007, where he began refining his filmmaking and visual style, and has since worked on over thirty short films and low budget features. In the past, he has been praised for having "the eye," being very creative, and being very resourceful with limited budgets. Recently, he released “Worm Free Society,” which he directed in 2011. WFS is now making its festival rounds and was nominated for Best Short Film at the Sanford International Film Festival in 2014. He is also slated to serve as Director of Photography for two features this year, including “District C-11” and “A Killer Serve,” as well as the short film “Parallel."
Becki Dennis, Lead Actor playing “Jo”
Becki started her career in the theatre, performing professionally with the American Repertory Theatre, Palace Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, Seacoast Repertory Theatre, and Boston Center for the Arts. She then transitioned into on-camera acting, and has since acted on the set of over sixty films, television shows, and commercials; including "Looking Left for Right," with Eric R. Eastman and Dan Merriman. Most notably, she played a nanny and friend of Amy Adams in the major motion picture "American Hustle," directed by David O. Russell. Since the age of three, Becki has received extensive training in the performing arts. The highlights of her education include earning a B.A. in Musical Theatre and Dance from Point Park University, as well as studying at Emerson College, Berklee College of Music, C.P. Casting, Improv Asylum, and Boston University's Film School.
Merriman, Lead Actor playing “Francis”
Dan has had starring roles in the distributed movies "Psyclops" and "Arachnia," and minor roles in "Alien Opponent" with Jeremy London and "Trees 2" with Ron Palillo. He has also acted in many other indie features, student short films, and several major motion pictures. Dan is very active in theatre, as well, and is a three-time New Hampshire Theatre Award Top Finalist for Best Supporting Actor. His pursuits have lead him to work and live in Chicago and Los Angeles, but he currently calls his native New England home.