Have you ever loved something so much that you couldn't possibly imagine your life without it?
Stitch is a short coming-of-age adventure story about a young man who discovers a way to return to his past when change threatens to take away the people and places he loves the most. Yet what he learns in the past will forever change the way he lives in the present. It's a story about acceptance. About the lengths we go to in order to preserve what we love. About learning to let go so that new opportunities can enter our lives.
Stop Motion Animation
Stitch will be presented entirely through stop motion animation. In a nutshell, stop motion is a process by which inanimate objects are physically manipulated frame-by-frame and photographed to create movement. Like in The Nightmare Before Christmas or Coraline. The hand-touched, nostalgic feel of stop motion will give Stitch a visual quality that simply cannot be created through any other form of animation.
A Note From The Writer/Director
Stitch is my senior BFA thesis film as a Film Production major at Emerson College in Boston.
Growing up on the cusp of the technological boom, I feel like I may be a part of the last generation of children who had been so immensely drawing from their immediate surroundings for inspiration, experience, adventure, and excitement. We didn’t have home computers yet. No iPhones, tablets, or apps. Just the world around us and our own imaginations. And one of my main focuses growing up were the women in my family. My grandmother, my mother, and my Auntie Stella. I spent endless amounts of time with them. Cooking, drawing, creating, pretending, laughing. So many things would come and go from day to day, but these three people were such permanent fixtures in my life. Like an extension of myself. They had always been there. And it was beyond my comprehension to consider that any of them would ever leave. When my Auntie Stella passed away in 2005 it was the first time in my life that I truly experienced loss. It rocked my sense of stability. It altered any sense of childlike protection I felt in my life. She was gone, and she wasn’t coming back.
And as the years rolled on, I moved to Boston to attend film school, I met a ton of incredible people, I worked to hone my craft, and I also fell in love. I spent 5 years experiencing the most profound connection I had ever shared with another person in my entire life. And when that person stepped out, I was completely lost. Once again, it was as though a chunk of myself had been removed. And it was at this point that I truly began to realize that these fixtures we believe to be so permanent in our lives are also very temporary. These people, these places, these moments that essentially make us who we are come into our lives and then fade away. And for better or worse, we are forever changed by them.
My initial reaction was to attempt to preserve. To try as hard as I could to keep things the way they were. Yet after several grueling months I realized that despite our best efforts, we can’t prevent change. We have to learn to let go. I realized that there is no going back, only forward. This is what inspired Stitch.
Stitch is about these inevitable truths we discover as we grow up. About our transition from childhood innocence into adulthood. About the people and places that define our experience in life. About who we are when everyone else has stepped away. The story is about a young man who finds a way to travel back into an artificial, idealized, childlike version of his past. Into a world where everyone that change has threatened to take away from him suddently exists in perfect harmony. Yet within this false perfection it poses the question, "Is the fear of letting go worth losing the new opportunities that life has waiting for us?"
My work is often both nostalgic and dark, combining childlike simplicity with very adult themes. And in Stitch we are taking that concept even further with the incorporation of animation, a medium typically reserved for family content.
The final project will be a visual feast for the eyes. As a filmmaker, I am extremely concerned with style, aesthetics, and cinematography. I like to transport my characters into abstract worlds laced with beauty and wonder. And Stitch will be no exception. In keeping with the theme and plot, the entire film will possess a visual quality reflecting upon the heightened and endless manner in which a child observes the world. Remember how vast the world used to be? Hunting salamanders till sunset. Making forts in the trees. Running home to beat the darkness into your mother’s arms. So simple and yet so unforgettable. Every day was a new adventure. I want Stitch to take us away from our desk jobs and electric bills into the world we experienced when life was so new and grandiose. When any neighborhood, any small patch of woods, any bedroom was one child’s imagination away from transforming into something spectacular.
What We Need
In order to make this dream of ours come to life, we are going to need a considerable amount of specialized equipment and materials to make Stitch as professional and beautiful as possible. Costs include things like space rental, transportation, camera rigs, Cinesliders, silicone, armatures, paint, dollys, plaster, lens rentals, lighting, and so so so much more. And that means we need mulah! $14,000 to be precise. Are we insane? You betcha! Insanely driven! Insanely creative! Insanely passionate! And we are hoping that our passion and love for this project will inspire you guys out there in cyberspace to give this film a chance.
Why Give Us Money?
Because we are going to create a beautiful, professional-grade stop motion animation that is going to blow your mind! With our talented team of both student and professional scultors, animators, filmmakers, artists, metal workers, seamstresses, lighting designers, and so so much more from the Boston area, Stitch is going to be a heartfelt and poignant feast for the eyes! We need your help and support to bring our vision to life.
How Can You Help?
Any amount of money you may be able to contribute will massively help us to make Stitch a reality. And for various donation amounts, we have an assortment of awesome and wacky prizes available! Want a dozen homemade cookies? You got it! Want to come out for a night in Boston? Sure thing! Want one of the actual figures used in the film? Not a problem! You can check out these prizes and more in the column to the right.
And if you can’t donate to the film, no worries! You can still help us by sharing this link anywhere you possibly can! Facebook it! Tweet it! Email it! Graffiti it on highway overpasses! Send it on a piece of paper in a glass bottle across the Atlantic! Any way you get our message to someone else helps bring us closer to achieving this dream.
A Note On The LGBT Effort For Equality
"The LGBT effort has obviously come a long way in its grueling fight for equality. Yet we still have a long way to go. When it comes to mainstream media, the representation of LGBT life is still extremely stereotyped. Oftentimes gay characters are used merely as clichéd stock characters devoid of any depth or complexity to accent a preexisting storyline. And while I think it is safe to say that as a community we love the influx of LGBT representation in film and television, we also need to be aware of the spectrum of said representations.
The sad fact is that very few honest representations of gay life actually exist within mainstream media. As a young gay filmmaker I want to create stories that represent gay relationships, and life for that matter, in an honest and realistic way. And Stitch does just this. As a writer, and also a gay man, I feel as though this breakthrough in LGBT life onto the screen is extremely restrictive of the manner in which our lives are depicted. As soon as our humanity and the intimacy of the relationships we share become a part of a piece, said piece is automatically cast into a sub-genre of art, far from the eyes of the mainstream. Its taboo. Its controversial. Its inappropriate. Personally, I'm tired of the profound and beautiful relationships I've shared in my life being deemed inappropriate. As an artist I want to create films that speak to my experiences. And in daring to make works like Stitch which achieve this, we can begin to bring about the change that will one day make film and television about LGBT life controversial no more. These artworks will become a part of the mainstream. And in altering the way the mainstream views us, we can continue to change the mindsets of people all over the world. Until we demand to be seen as actual people beyond these stereotypes, and create works that reinforce this, we cannot possibly hope for these major changes to occur.
The story of Stitch offers an honest and poignant look into the relationship between two young gay men. And in creating works like this, Stitch becomes more than just a film. Its a shout into the world that our lives matter. That our stories need to be told. That the portrait of our lives will not remain in the shadows any longer. Wouldn't it be great if one day we could arrive at a place where young people didn't have to struggle with their identities anymore because every day they are surrounded by content that reinforces the fact that its perfectly fine to be who they are. I didn't have that growing up, but I'd like to create works that can bring about that change.
Yet the unfortunate fact now is that because these works defy mainstream views, funding is difficult to acquire. And without funding, these works simply can't be made. Therefore, if for no other reason, support Stitch because you support this change. Because you support LGBT equality. In this way a simple donation not only nurtures our passion, but it also could help to change the world."
-Mikee, Writer And Director of Stitch