Lifting Spirits is a short film that tells the story of Felix, a young man with the ability to see spirits. At its heart, it is a story about coping with grief, letting go and moving on.
In possession of this rare gift, Felix believes that it is his responsibility to help spirits stuck on earth after death to move on to the afterlife.
His own world is turned upside down when his little sister, Leah, dies when he fails to pick her up on time from school because he is working a spirit case. The weight of his sister’s death pushes down heavily on Felix and his mother’s relationship. This crumbles further when Leah comes to Felix as a spirit and asks for his help to move on.
We have put a lot of focus on family relationships in our film, enabling us to take our production beyond the realms of the supernatural and provide an accurate portrayal of grief, its impact on family dynamics and how people eventually move on from it.
We are Sandra and Zack, two third year BA film students, about to embark on our biggest film yet – and final year project!
We met when we started our studies at Middlesex University and forged a strong relationship. We came to rely on each other more than any other filmmaker on our course. As a result of our incredible friendship, we have spent the last three years working together on various university
assignments, including turning one of Zack’s scripts into a short film called ‘ SomethingCatchy ’. While the challenges and learning process on this production were big, the whole process of making this film together was incredibly fun and our firm passion for filmmaking (and working together!) was cemented for good.
‘Lifting Spirits’ is our biggest film yet together and we have put everything into it since we started writing the script.
Sandra Petry, Producer/Co-writer and Zack Wills, Director/Co-writer
We are lucky enough to have gathered a 16-strong crew as passionate about the project as we are. We have also cast all of our three main characters, as follows:
Jack Hyland will be taking the part of Felix, our main character. From over 100 applications, Jack really stood out with his incredible performance. After meeting with him for rehearsals, we can see how serious he takes his acting and we're excited to start this journey with him!
We have chosen Maizie Beveridge to portrait Leah. After meeting with her for the first time, it was clear for us, that we didn't want to audition anyone else. She was perfect for the role. Maizie is very alive and takes directions incredibly well, making her perfect for the part!
Diane Beveridge is Maizie's mother and we have worked with her previously. She's incredibly passionate about the project and showcased great skill in our previous work so we're happy to have her on board again!
They are incredibly talented actors and we believe they are a perfect fit for the parts. Now all we need is the money to bring our core characters to life on screen. This is where you come in…
We have planned a four-day shoot for Lifting Spirits. We’re shooting in London with a crew of 16 people, not including the cast.
A major part of our budget will be spent on the cast as we want to make sure we pay the actors appropriately for their time and talent.
Ensuring a positive mood on set
Our crew are all fellow students who are generously working for us for free but we want to make sure they are well fed with good food on set, so that the mood stays positive and all remain energised and have a good time. That’s why another big chunk of our budget will go on food.
Set, costumes and locations
We have a very precise idea of the colour scheme we want to use for the film in order to give more depth to the visuals. To add to the colour grade, we would like to raise funds so we are able to design a set and hire costumes that complement our colour theme too. Another portion of our budget will be used to pay for filming locations in London.
Other parts of the budget include transport of cast and crew, batteries for film equipment as well as rewards for those generous enough to give to our crowdfunding campaign.
If we hit our minimum...
If we reach our minimum target then this will allow us to fund the production and bring our project to life. All of our minimum costs are set out in the pie chart above.
What our stretch goal will allow us to do....
If we hit our stretch goal, we will be able to add some additional touches, such as paid for music. We have identified a song which we think would really help set the tone.
If we exceed our stretch goal...
If we are lucky enough to exceed our stretch goal, there are a couple of things that we would like to do. Not only will we invest more money in set design and costume but we will also put any additional funds towards entering ‘Lifting Spirits’ into as many film festivals as we can afford. It’s easy for festival fees to add up and become a huge amount but we want our film to reach the biggest audience that it can.
Making a film always has associated risks but we believe that for ‘Lifting Spirits’, many of the associated challenges can be easily overcome with decent planning and pre-production.
Things can always go wrong during a production but by having a strong contingency plan or two in place, we hope to ensure that there is no challenge we can’t overcome in order to make a film we are proud of. This is why we have invested substantial time in our pre-production phase. We have done everything we can to ensure the shooting days are as smooth as they can be!
Bar the general risks associated with making a film, another potential challenge is the age of the supporting actress playing Leah.
Working with child actors is often perceived as a risk but having identified an actress who is both extremely talented and professional, despite her young years, we are confident this risk is mitigated. We actually cast the role of Leah before finishing our script and have had numerous conversations with Maizie so are confident that working with someone of her age will not pose any great challenge.
Firstly, you can tell everybody you know about your generosity and how you helped a pair of students fulfill their dream of making their film a reality!
If this isn’t enough for you though, we have picked out a handful of rewards, which we hope will make supporting us even more appealing. We think that there is something for everyone.
Most of all, we are thankful to everyone who contributes to our campaign, no matter what the size of the donation. This shows that ]you believe in us, just like we believe you will enjoy to watch this film when it’s done.
Even if you can’t donate, you can still help us by spreading the word!
If you would like to support us but you don’t have the financial means to donate, you can still play a major part in our success by spreading the word about our film and sharing our crowdfunding page with your family and friends.
Keep up to date with all the latest on our production, Lifting Spirits
We will post regular updates to our crowdfunding page but you can also get all the latest news about ‘Lifting Spirits’ by visiting our Facebook page.
We want to say thank you very much in advance already – for reading our page and for any help you can provide, financial or other! We can’t wait to share with you the first updates of our project and take you on this journey with us! Together we can make something incredible!
So let’s do it!
The Team of Lifting Spirits