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Short film

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Day 1 of Filming Uncovering Eden

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On Saturday, August 3rd, I drove to the train station to pick up Uncovering Eden’s cinematographer, Jason Krangel, and cast members Marrick Smith and David Laws.

I had been waiting for about five minutes when suddenly I heard a bang on the hood of my car and loud laughter coming from my aforementioned actors. They clearly had the uncontrollable need to scare the wits out of me… Clowns.

I took them over to the Johnsrud home to meet the rest of our amazing cast, Victoria Pedretti and April Woodall, and crewmembers Michael Russo, Kevin Johnsrud, and Chaz Boyd. (Erik Kristiansen, Toro Adeyemi and Ryan Hansen would complete our crew the following day!)

They bonded almost instantly and I felt a sense of pride for picking everyone involved in this project. The one rule that I follow when making a film is ‘always choose people that work well together’. Having a good vibe on set with a small crew is paramount in creating a successful project.

Once all the cars were loaded with our camera and lighting equipment and the actors were prepped, we headed out to our first location: a small, privately owned grocery store named Centre Fruit Gourmet. In all honesty, I think the owner allowed us to film there not just because he is ridiculously nice, but because my dad regularly buys their eggplant salad on a weekly basis.

Setting up our gear and establishing our lights was a breeze, courtesy of Jason and Mike, and we were ready to film within half an hour.

This was the first time that the cast worked together in front of the camera and it is literally the only scene that they would all be in. Whatever worries I had were quickly diminished as soon as I called ‘action’. It was like I wasn’t looking at Victoria, Marrick, Julia, David and April… I was watching Edie, Darren, June, Chad and Edie’s Grandmother in the grocery aisle… the scene that took place felt real to me in a way that I only imagined while writing the script. Seeing it on the little monitor of the RED Camera and even just watching them all interact was a director’s dream come true.

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In this scene, the cool kids interact with Edie, while her grandmother is blissfully unaware. Darren, played by Marrick, is starry eyed as he says hello to Edie, bumping into the aisle as he passes, while June, played by Julia, cattily assesses the situation. Chad, David’s character, delivers the blow that hurt’s Edie’s feelings. All in all, everyone took direction well and brought this scene to life.

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After a much needed lunch break of beer and pizza, (for everyone except Victoria and Julia who are 18 and 16 years old), we headed out to a public park for magic hour.

The scene we shot was with everyone having fun with some sparklers… I don’t want to give too much away, but this scene is juxtaposed with a very climactic moment later in the film.

We ended up using the Jib for most of these shots and Mike and Kevin kept running back and forth between the actors so they always had a lit sparkler… it was extremely chaotic and a huge amount of fun!

I was afraid we would be caught at some point with all of the smoke we were making and in about 30 minutes, we saw lights in the distance by the park’s patrol…

…Who then decided we could have a few more minutes because they thought it was very cool that we were making a movie and even asked if they could be in it. HA!

15 minutes later, we were told we had to leave because if police caught us there after dark, we would be slapped with a hefty fine. The patrol explained we actually needed a permit to film in the park… cough cough… and were nice enough to stick around until we left so we wouldn’t get in trouble.

I couldn’t have asked for a smoother first day of filming and I can’t believe how nice people were to my cast and crew.

… Day 2 was even better.

Check out more photos and behind the scene material on our Facebook Page and Twitter.

chelsealogotrans

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Why the Short Film ‘Uncovering Eden’ Needs to be Made.

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Everyone, all over the world, has seen or been bullied at some point in their life.

Bullies make us question ourselves and think less of the things that make us different. However, it is these very differences that make us unique and beautiful individuals. We should not shun our diversity, but embrace it because it is this diversity that gives us our self-identity.  Without it, who would we be?

The short film ‘Uncovering Eden’ is a coming-of-age drama about self-identity and anti-bulling.

The story follows 16-year-old Edie as she just begins to grow into herself in one of the most challenging environments of her life so far: high school.

Bullies and cliques are the cost of high school royalty and it embodies almost every social struggle imaginable. It is not a surprise that the greatest battle young adults face today with bullies is in high school.

Yet, not many films address the consequences of bullying, let alone why it happens.

As it stands, most films that are truly about bullying are documentaries. 2011’s ‘Bully’ about bulling in U.S. schools is probably one of the few films to document the true consequences of bullying and became a worldwide campaign.

But why does bullying occur? When I was writing the screenplay for ‘Uncovering Eden’, I thought about this a great deal.  Therefore ‘Uncovering Eden’ addresses the generational and cultural differences that have inspired such behavior.

The character, Darren, who is the object of Edie’s affectation, not only participates in some of the bullying that goes on but is also bullied, himself. He experiences peer pressure from his friends and intimidation from his Father, someone who is not only from an older generation, but a patriarchal figure to him.

‘Uncovering Eden’ is a film that tells a short story with a much wider picture. The internal struggle that Edie faces results in consequences with her relationship with her grandmother. Yet, despite everything that she does and strives to be, she will never be a member of the crowd that she so hopes to be a part of: Edie is too different from them.

‘Uncovering Eden’ is a short film that needs to be made because it addresses the nature and consequences of bullying. This short film sends the message that being yourself and not allowing others to dictate who you are, is worth everything.

Please make a pledge to this short film’s Kickstarter Project!  You can donate ANY amount that you want, no matter how big or small… Anything helps and we need your help in order to make this film become a reality!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chelsealupkin/uncovering-eden-a-short-film

… You can also get awesome rewards including an HD Digital Copy of the final film, a DVD with special behind-the-scenes footage, a signed copy of the production script and even posters!!

‘Uncovering Eden’ is a short film that needs to be made!!

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Full Synopsis:

Edie, 16, lives with her grandmother who tries to instill moral values and life lessons by using her Jewish heritage as a tool.

However, Edie finds her grandmother’s words to be constricting and tries to separate herself from what she thinks is the problem: her Jewish faith.

At school, Edie wants to fit in with the popular crowd, particularly because of a boy named Darren whom she has feelings for. But Darren and his friends, June and Chad are not the most tolerable of characters and their prejudices toward others not like themselves, drives Edie in a downward spiral.

As Edie struggles to find her way through adolescence, faith, and her first love, she learns that her actions have consequences and perhaps the steep slope she has chosen to go down will risk more than she ever thought possible.

Follow us out on Facebook or Twitter to be a part of this film!

@UncoveringEden or @ChelseaLupkin for more details.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Uncovering.Eden@gmail.com

chelsealogotrans

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I’m Terrified to Release My Short Film Online.

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It’s had its festival run, but now I’m itching to release my short film, ‘Flutter’ online.

The problem? I’m afraid to do it. Maybe it’s silly of me, but I’m worried that releasing my short online will somehow degrade its value. What if people don’t like it? Maybe it will be lost in the sea of better short films or worse, not seen at all. Perhaps putting my short film online means it’s no longer important…

Then again, there are thousands of videos on YouTube and Vimeo that are absolutely wonderful and I’m glad to have been able to see them. As a filmmaker, I learn a great deal from watching these films. There is always something to gain from watching, whether it’s an artist’s experience, more knowledge about film techniques, or just a great watch.

Can a filmmaker find success from posting their films online?

Yes. Many artists and filmmakers alike have been discovered on the Internet. Most recently, Fede Alvarez has been thrust into the limelight both for being found on YouTube with his short film, ‘Panic Attack’, and for being hand picked by Sam Raimi to direct the remake of his cult classic film, ‘The Evil Dead’.

That’s a pretty big deal.

In fact, Alvarez had never directed a horror film or a feature, but Raimi saw enough talent in him to trust him to direct a future blockbuster.

Maybe there’s hope for the rest of us small filmmakers? I really hope so.

Either way, there are still plenty of other reasons why I’m personally afraid to release my short film online, namely the ‘views’.

Viewing counts, total plays, whatever they are called… I think about those stats as a sign of success or failure. Somewhere in the back of my head I am also aware that good or bad promotional tactics affects those numbers. Since I am not an expert in that field, I can only pray for lots and lots of views. Hence, the black and white notion of success or failure.

With social media creating a cyber popularity contest, I feel even more pressure about releasing my film on the web. After all, I want people to see my work and like it, but in order to do that; I need to make myself known on the Internet. Easier said than done.

For those of you out there with lots of followers on various social platforms, I applaud you. I don’t know HOW you do it. Personally, I want people to follow my work because they support what I do. The tricky thing is getting my work and myself visible enough to achieve this.

Yet another struggle an indie filmmaker must face, as if we didn’t just make a film.

There are so many things to consider, but the more I think about it, the more I see that perhaps releasing my short film online is a good thing.

After all, isn’t the point of making visual art for people to see it? If the Internet is my only future platform for my short, than it’s probably what I should use.

Since I also plan on creating a Kickstarter for another short I have written, it may be best for people (perhaps future investors) to see the kind of work I am capable of making.

Furthermore, one view online is one more person I can add to my audience. Surely, that can’t be a bad thing? (Unless it’s a critic, but I am prepared to handle that).

I’m sure there are many filmmakers who struggle with the dilemma of posting their work online, but I think I may finally understand where I stand with it.

So what is my film, ‘Flutter’ about?

A non-linear construction of adolescence. Following the lives of three sisters, the film confronts a young girl's first experience with heartbreak. Challenged by the implications of first love and loss, it is up to Kaylin and Olivia to get their sister, Lena through this moment in her life. The bond of sisterhood and growing up are at the forefront of this short film.

I plan to release it April 16th via Vimeo and ChelseaLupkin.com.

chelsealogotrans

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