Production update

Hi everyone! We just wanted to provide an update on what’s being going on with the project since we closed funding in May. As we said, we intend to shoot five films over the summer so that we can launch in the fall. As of today, we’ve shot four of the five films, with three shot just this week! We shot Clara and the Trolls in June and July, and this week we shot The Boy and the Tengu, The Tale of Two Brothers and Stinky (click those links to see previews of each of the films on our YouTube channel). Clara and the Trolls is now edited and narrated, and our composer is about 75% done with the music. Next up, we have to edit and narrate the three films we shot this week, which will be a lot of work.

We want to thank the amazing people who helped us shoot all these films – not least all our child actors and narrators. Jennie Brown, our producer, has done amazing work over the past couple of months organizing everything, recruiting other crew members and generally keeping us all moving forward. We could not have done any of this without her. For our Clara and the Trolls shoot, we had help from Babetta and Cameron Kelly, two family members, and also from Leah McBride, who was our ‘baby wrangler’ – a crucial role when you’re shooting with kids. Katie Hill directed our Two Brothers shoot, while Casey Wilson and Spencer Scanlon took the lead on photography and lighting respectively. Kevin Kelly directed our Tengu shoot and David Stauffer led photography, while the moms of our Japanese kids helped us translate lines and directions during the shoot. Gina Thompson handled props and Brynn Zimmer tackled wardrobe for both of these shoots and did an amazing job. Fred and Ranleigh Johnson rigged up some very special effects for a crucial scene in the Two Brothers film. Kate Clarke and Aya Watanabe were fantastic wranglers and assistants on the Tengu shoot. Khaliel Kelly made food for both the Tengu and Two Brothers shoot. All these amazing people worked for free just because they believe in our project. Dallin Blankenship helped make amazing sets and costumes for our Tengu shoot.

If this feels like an Oscars acceptance speech, it’s because there really are so many people who participated and made this project possible, just as our Kickstarter and other backers have made it all possible by providing funding for equipment rentals, prop and wardrobe purchases and rentals, set design and decoration and many other elements that go into the production process. Each of our films is going to cost around $1700 to make (on average), compared with the $10,000 or so we were told we need, and it’s only because almost all of the people who worked on these shoots worked for free that this was possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who have contributed in any way!

With that stuff out of the way, we thought you might like to see some pictures from our shoots. The full sets are on our Facebook page.

Clara and the Trolls

These pictures were taken by our wonderful friend Margie Giegerich.

Clara and a Troll, and another troll:


More trolls, including one getting his makeup on:


The Boy and The Tengu

These pictures and those for the shoots below were taken on various crew members’ iPhones and posted to our Instagram feed.

The star of our show, and his “mom”:


Our wonderful assistant director / wrangler, Aya, and the boy and the Tengu:


The Tale of Two Brothers

Older brother, and the happy couple:


The king, and the lady in waiting:



“Stinky”, the star of the show, and the little girl, co-star, getting ready:


Our great location, and the search begins:


Keep checking in for more updates as we prepare for our launch this fall!

One Response to “Production update”

  1. Kay says:

    This all looks absolutely amazing! Thanks for all your hard work in behalf of kids everywhere!

Use the Form Below to Leave a Reply