It’s pretty clear crowdfunding is here to stay as a platform for indies to both finance their films and rally an eager audience. Success for many begins with the pitch video. One such project, “Her Story” does it just right. Curious backers are introduced to the Austin-based production team as well as main characters Rae and Carter, a young couple braving a tragic diagnosis. Thanks again to writer/actress Haley Alea Erickson (“Rae”) for giving us a peek behind the campaign. And most importantly, holler if you got dollar, folks! The team has already reached more than half of their $5,000 by June 4th goal. — Christina B.
Why did you choose the all-or-nothing Kickstarter platform for crowdfunding “Her Story”?
Haley: I think the decision was a product of our enthusiasm for the project. Our goal for the Her Story Kickstarter is to excite that same devotion to the concept in our supporters and community by the end goal being so meaningful. All or nothing is in truth a motivator for us and hopefully will be for our backers too.
I see you are the writer and lead actress in the short. Did you consider directing at all?
Haley: The thought did cross my mind. But, I think I always had the idea that Christopher Thompson would be the director. For one reason, it is important for me that I am able to fully commit to the role, “Rae.” I think the most decisive reason in my reaching out to Chris was my faith in his abilities. He is an amazing director. Chris connects to narrative in a way that creates a depth in his work that is authentic and admirable. It also really comes down to my emphasis in collaboration. The beauty of this project is the team that’s come together behind it. I am working with such inspiring artists, and that kind of community-based approach feels so valuable.
Will there be a “His Story”?
Haley: Sneaky, sneaky. I get that question all the time. To be transparent, the answer is yes. The project operates around a two-part perspective. First comes, Her Story told from the lens of a woman in love struggling with terminal illness. His Story will highlight the experience of the male character who is there through it all. We want to be able to talk about the story of both sides of the sickness. I am fascinated in perception in the shaping of a narrative. Movies gives us a passport to view other peoples’ perspective in a way we are not able in life, it provides a truth that is powerful and exciting.
The topic is very personal to you as you lost your own sister to cancer. Why did you decide to pursue the project now as a short film?
Haley: My sister was diagnosed with a stage 4 malignant brain tumor when I was 14. For two years I watched her health deteriorate and eventually lost her to the sickness when I was 16. It is obviously an experience that changes you. I felt so close to her struggle; yet, I was an outsider looking in at its progression. It has taken years to work through the anger of time lost and the regret of time spent unappreciated. Time has become such a precious commodity. I think this piece is a product of my intention to tap into the beauty in loss…to look back on my experience, now, I want to be thankful of the time we did have. I try to remember moments of laughter, and love…and to appreciate the thing I have in the present whole-heartedly, even the little things. That message of humanity in even the most helpless of times is what led to my exploration of “Her Story”.
How did the survivor stories component originate?
Haley: Our project is about bringing truth to struggle and acknowledging the significance of personal experience. I have such a passion for people and storytelling and there are so many beautiful, courageous, young people who are going through these kinds of life-changing diagnosis’s and the struggle to defeat them. It’s so important that people share experience and so inspirational to watch these fighters overcome odds, learn about themselves, and own their story. The fact that we have been able to provide a platform for these incredible journeys…well, what is more rewarding than that?
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Have you ever thought crowdfunding for your next film? Any questions for Haley about her experience so far?