A Song For Imogene

Wilmington, North Carolina | Film Feature

Drama

Honey Head Films

1 Campaigns | North Carolina, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $75,324 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

319 supporters | followers

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Imogene fills a market gap and cultural deficit for authentic, Southern, women-led stories. Bolstering a strong streak of regional, American indies: this raw, yet hopeful film explores its life bruised characters with a powerful sense of place and interest in the female-bid for independence.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

We are Honey Head Films, an award-winning, female-led production company co-founded by Erika Arlee and Kristi Ray. Exploring the authentic human experience on screen; we’ve produced 17 compelling, narrative shorts to date - carving space for female-centric stories and giving voice to our region.

The Story

 

 

5 years ago - women accounted for only 14% of creatives in the film industry.  We launched our brand in 2016 to disrupt this status quo - filling  a need for more desirable roles for women in media and we've been shaking up the scene ever since.  

 

 

As a social enterprise, we empower female filmmakers and focus our narratives around storylines and perspectives that are often overlooked.  We've produced countless projects under our brand of authenticity while creating access and exposure in safe, on-set environments to budding filmmakers of all skill levels.

 

 

The majority of these projects were self-funded through our small-footprint filmmaking model.  We've refined that indie-grit way of thinking without compromising production value.  We're ready to translate this blueprint into a full-length narrative drama.

We've recieved *fiscal sponsorship, a handful of grants and have spent the last 16 months in tireless development.  We have a nice nest egg for production and are leaning on YOU, the community, to help us demonstrate the viablity of quality, micro-budget independent cinema and continue to shape what's next for homegrown talent in the Southeast.

Let's do this together. 

 

GETTING BEHIND THE FEATURE

Imogene explores what happens when a sudden death and unexpected pregnancy force an impoverished woman to decide between freeing herself or remaining a relic of her drive-by, Southern town.

Cheyenne - newly pregnant - flees in the night from her emotionally abusive boyfriend, a construction worker with disturbing charm. Returning to her hometown of Lumberton, she seeks refuge with her distant, sickly mother. An unexpected death leaves Cheyenne to navigate the difficult process of settling the family affairs while reuinting with her estranged sister, Janelle.

Though shabby and filled with bad memories, her childhood home offers a glimpse of hope and financial freedom she so desperately needs.

Janelle’s wild-card attitude and Cheyenne's inner strength make the story hopeful even at its bleakest, yet it never loses sight of how much society has abandoned the people of these forgotten places.

 


 

With strong notes of hope and a bone-deep identity, the film tracks characters with a chilling familiarity who have yet to be seen in mainstream media without the threat of parody.

 


 

The film navigates complexities of emotional abuse and pregnancy trauma while championing its female driven plot.

 

WHY THIS STORY?

A grounded, southern drama about two sisters settling their family estate.  

This film began as a 7 page short in 2017, which starred both Erika and Kristi Ray.  Originally titled Lorelei, this raw, no-budget slice-of-life was well-received by regional audiences who always asked the question : “what’s next for these characters?”

Programmers requested to screen the short years after we outgrew the production value and decided to retire the film. Proof that the characters were creating a connection and audience response. Lorelei and its authentic storyline was the spark that lit the fire for A Song For Imogene.

 

POIGNANT THEMES

Through the lens of this feature, we will explore women’s issues but in a landscape we feel traditionally gets overlooked. Imogene delicately gives voice to the South while allowing its female leads to simply exist on screen - reminiscent of Frances McDormand in NOMADLAND.

 

 

An obvious gap in the market is begging to be filled. Consumers crave connection to their heroins and are pulsing with a desire to see and process versions of their own personal experiences on the screen. In a world that's become a direct reflection of the stories we've been telling, the solution couldn't be more timely.

 

 

Can shaping a narrative influence perspective and empathy? What would happen if the industry trended toward more honest storytelling and built a platform for awareness and advocacy?

 

 

In a decade where we’re inundated with media, the desire to be stimulated emotionally and intellectually is inevitable.

As viewers we want to connect to our characters and see versions of our own experience worked through on screen. Imogene is a film that explores this catharsis and begins conversation.

 

LEAN AND GREEN AND LENDING

The cash funds we're raising through Seed and Spark will be used solely to provide a living wage and a warm meals for our cast and crew during principal photography.  

We've organized and optimized our film to include WISHLIST ITEMS from our broad community such as

donated locationscamera + lighting equiptment loanspicture cars, second-hand props, wardrobe + more

As a *fiscally sponsored* production, any contributions to our film valued over $1000 will be automatically eligible for a 2022 tax write off. 

 

IN CLOSING

We already owe so much to Imogene and the experiences, relationships and knowlege this project has provided us. We are learning, growing and more determined than ever to bring this from script to screen.

 

 

We're passionate about bringing this story to life in an authentic and emotionally generous way. After years of bootstrapping, we’re finally involving the support of our community to help fund this important film and launch the next chapter for Honey Head. Thank you for contributing to this journey - we're well on our way and you're now playing a beautiful role in our personal "narrative" as filmmakers!

When you contribute to our campaign through you are supporting a film that:  

Increases representation on screen by creating complex roles for women.

• Values diversity behind the camera with women holding key roles of writer, director and producer(s).

• Encourages reflection and action through poignant themes and can be the catalyst for cathartic healing.

 

Wishlist

Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

The Barrow House

Costs $8,000

A tax deductible donation! Our primary location needed for 16 shoot days in rural Eastern NC.

Easy Rig + Vest

Costs $1,500

Equipment loans are tax deductible! Sourcing Easy Rig for cinematographer Nic True (20 shoot days)

Cheyenne + Alex's Singlewide

Costs $1,000

A tax deductible location! INT + EXT scenes to be shot over 2 production days in rural Eastern NC.

Small HD Director's Monitor

Costs $1,000

Equipment loans are tax deductible! Sourcing a 7" handheld monitor for 20 shoot days in Eastern NC.

Auto Body Shop

Costs $1,000

A tax deductible donation! INT & EXT scenes to be shot over 2 production days in rural Eastern NC.

Vintage Lenses

Costs $16,160

All equipment loans are tax deductible! Sourcing vintage glass with character for 20 production days

Video Village Monitor

Costs $4,040

Equipment rentals are tax deductible! Sourcing a 17" Flanders or similar + stand for 20 shoot days.

Dana Dolly + High Hat

Costs $2,500

All equipment loans are tax deductible! Sourcing 10' track with aks for 20 day shoot in Eastern NC.

Sprinter Van G&E Package

Costs $4,800

All equipment loans are tax deductible. Sourcing mobile G&E package for 20 shoot days in Eastern NC

HMI + LED Lighting Package

Costs $10,000

Equipment loans are tax deductible! Sourcing Skypannel, M18 and Tubes for 20 day shoot in Eastern NC

About This Team

Writer/Director Erika Edwards and Producer/Actress Kristi Ray head up the determined group of creative folks bringing this film to life.  

A word from "The Honeys"

As self-taught filmmakers, we are proud to be an award-winning production team - most recently named WILMA Magazine's Women to Watch in the Arts, nominated as ambassadors of the Smithsonian's IF/THEN initiative, winners of Genesis Block Minority Business Accelerator Demo Day Competition, and voted Encore Magazine's Best Filmmakers for the past two consecutive years. 

We co-founded Honey Head Films 5 years ago at the age of 26 - answering a call to to create more dynamic roles for women in film - in front of and behind the lens.  The past five years have been an incredible journey up the ladder and our counter-culture attitude continues to open unconventional doors for our team.  As constant students of life, we continue to work toward the big-picture goal of building the region's first female-led independent film studio with a clear focus on narrative stories. 

A Song For Imogene is the micro budget prototype for this model and we're so thankful you're taking time to learn about our goals. 

 

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT: 

As a kid in the nineties, my family often took the drive from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to my mother’s childhood home in “Little” Washington: a three-hour, eastward trek down two-lane highways lined with tobacco fields. I would ride in the back seat of our purple Dodge minivan with my nose pressed to the window, fascinated by a landscape of desolate rest stops and dilapidated trailers that seemed to be stuck in time. I would spend those quiet hours with the hot summer air ripping through the car imagining what the lives of the people in those drive-by towns must be like: Were they dreaming, just like me, of something more for themselves - an escape?

Growing up and starting my film career in the South, it became increasingly apparent that there was a significant gap in the representation of southern narratives in cinema. I wasn’t watching characters: I was watching caricatures. I knew there were authentic stories here that needed to be told - a glimpse into the personal lives and struggles of these forgotten people.

The stars aligned when I met my creative partner, Kristi Ray, on the set of my first short film and realized our shared passion for complex, female-driven characters and narratives. We knew we wanted to start with the south. In 2017, we produced a short film treatment of Imogene which had a successful, two-year festival run. We knew then we had landed on something special: audiences were identifying with these characters, and they wanted to see this story come to life. The young girl fogging up the safety glass in the backseat of her parent’s minivan had finally found a home for these myriad storylines and characters begging for a chance to show their true selves: the screen." - Erika Edwards, Screenwriter + Director

 

FINDING THE COLLABORATORS:

We are blessed to have a full slate of multitalented filmmakers who are poised and ready to tackle this narrative feature with us. Onboarded throughout the past 18 months, these seasoned creatives are extremely passionate about the imagery, subject matter and authenticity being explored in this film.

From consulting to costumes to cinematography to color correction, these passionate filmmakers have collaborated with Honey Head on various projects over the years and we're honored to approach this full-circle moment, together.  Community has always been an enormous part of our "why" as a brand and we truly are the sum of these creative parts coming together.   

This line up of independent artist is just the beginning of building "the hive" that will bring Imogene to life.  

 

FINDING THE EYE

Nic True approached Honey Head about shooting the feature as soon as he caught wind of moving into development.  As a talented, transient collaborator of the Wilmington film community, we had always admired Nic's scaled down approach to cinematography and reinforcement of natural light.  As the first crew member to join Team Imogene, we've absolutely enjoyed every ounce of passion he's poured onto the screen so far.

 

 

FINDING THE CAST

The screenplay was developed and written for Kristi Ray and Hadyn Winston to play opposite one another, exploring Kristi's innate ability as an actress to have an authentic emotional experience on screen and bring the audience along with her.  

The role of Alex - Cheyene's emotionally abusive boyfriend with disturbing charm - was written for Hadyn after a Honey Head collaboration in Colorado. We got to know him as a performer and witnessed the nuance he layers in roles as an actor. We knew Hadyn could bring this sympathetic antagonist to life in a way that best serves the story - something that's critical to Cheyenne's struggle and keeps his character from being predictable and one-dimensional. 

Casting Mckenzie Barwick was an instinctive choice after auditioning a slate of actresses across the country.  Her natural ability to simply exist on camera and embody the uniquely Southern characteristics required for this role are effortless. Mckenzie isn't overly-trained as an actress, which brings a grounded, raw asset and authenticity to the leading cast.

 

GIVING BACK 

Over the past five years, the women at Honey Head Films have provided opportunities, instruction and guidance to over thirty individual, young filmmakers through collegiate internships, on-set shadowing and our Official Honey Head Mentorship Program - designed to create and facilitate opportunities for middle-school girls to make their voices heard through media. To say we are passionate about breaking barriers for young, marginalized filmmakers would be an understatement.

Through the production of A Song For Imogene we will partner with the UNCW Film Studies Department and Cape Fear Community College to host five on-set internships to emerging student filmmakers looking to broaden their knowledge and strengthen their skill sets; providing a safe environment to learn and grow into confident and hire-able members of the local film community.

In addition to the obvious benefits of a 200 hour on-set internship experience, our team is passionate about building long-term partnerships with prolific members of the community in funding this feature film. Imogene is a micro-budget prototype for a scalable model focused on bolstering underrepresented and female voices in media and driving the broad, visionary goals for the local creative economy.

Wilmington has the bustling film infrastructure to support larger studio productions, but content stemming from mainstream media lacks the authentic voice of creatives in our region. There remains a gap in the market for viable, locally-produced independent cinema, and we are actively building a model of resources and structure to close it.

 

 

 

Current Team

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