ANIMALS

Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Drama

Jordan Paul

2 Campaigns | California, United States

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This campaign raised $16,560 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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In Jordan's second month of living in LA, his White hippie roommate takes him on a bike tour of downtown. After sunset, they are stopped by two LAPD officers. After his roommate fights back against the officers Jordan must forge his way through an unknown world of racism and white privilege.

About The Project

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Mission Statement

Coming from the US Virgin Islands, the writer/director of Animals Jordan wants the world to hear stories by Caribbean people in and outside of the Caribbean. He wants to explore how, especially in the United States, Afro-Caribbean people must adapt and learn to survive in an unfamiliar environment.

The Story

Jordan, an Afro-Caribbean 21yr old, recently moved from St. Croix in the USVI to Los Angeles, CA. When his new White roommate takes him on a tour of Downtown LA, their night goes sour when they're pulled over by the LAPD. The roommate escalates the situation by vocally and physically resisting the police officer.  

Backup arrives, and although Jordan has been compliant with the officer he's pulled aside and given a racist lecture by a senior officer. As the night wears on, Jordan's naïve view of race, police, and white privilege come to a head as the cop demonstrates the dangerous reality of being a Black person in the United States. 

During the 9 years of living in the United States, Jordan (Writer/Director) had to learn to survive in a world filled with discrimination, police brutality, racism, and more. He would like to bring awareness to the culture shock Afro-Caribbean people experience when arriving in the United States. The US Virgin Islands isn’t a utopia; however, racism and discrimination aren’t as rampant in a Black majority population as it is in the US. Caribbean “Immigrants” must go through a crash course every day just to survive. 

Over the years of hearing similar stories from his family, Jordan began writing a series of stories inspired by them: This is his story. The ultimate goal for Jordan is to create an anthology mini-series with each episode covering a family member's experience in the United States. If successful, he would like to continue the series by covering the stories of people from other Caribbean nations. 

Star Wars started my journey into film at the age of 8. From the moment Luke Skywalker ignited his father’s lightsaber I wanted to… be a Jedi, but also I connected to Luke’s Story. Coming from a small island in the Caribbean does feel like living on a desert planet. Star Wars ignited my imagination and pushed me to learn everything there was to become the best director I can be.

Over the past 9 years, I’ve made sure to study every director I worked with including Academy-nominated director David Massey on his last two short films. I am a student of film and television, and one fact is clear, Caribbean representation is severely lacking in Hollywood. Whether it be Caribbean characters always being Jamaican or to just being erased from the story completely. I plan to change that by placing ANIMALS and more stories like it in front of as many eyes as possible. I want the Virgin Islands and all Caribbean stories to be placed into the mainstream.

ANIMALS, my story, will tell one of many stories that need to be told. It is a film dedicated to my family,  St.Croix, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and all the Caribbean people in the US and around the world. 

Representation matters and I will make it my life’s mission to make sure the Caribbean is represented.

- Jordan K Paul

The film will be shot over a 2-day period in downtown Los Angeles. We plan to have a small production footprint with the cast consisting of four actors. Our goal is to shoot later this Fall in order to have the film completed and ready for festivals by Winter 2022. Due to the recent surge of COVID-19, we want to make sure we are following all COVID safety guidelines by having a COVID safety compliance officer on set.  

With your contribution, this process can run as smoothly as possible. When greenlit, we will be able to hire the best cast and crew for the job to bring Jordan's vision to life. Once completed, ANIMALS will enter the film festival circuit. We're currently researching the best festivals to submit to in order to spread awareness of the film, including looking at some of the largest festivals such as SXSW, Cannes, Tribeca, and more.

We believe ANIMALS deserves to have an international platform to share the nuanced experience Afro-Caribbean people have when coming to America. 

Through this film, I want to bring you into the mind of a young and naïve version of me. Starting the film through the eyes of someone who sees the whole world as their playground using wide lenses throughout the first half of the film. As the film progresses, I want to close the world in on the young Jordan as he must come back down to earth, to this sidewalk, and right into the situation. By the end of the film, I want to be on a very long lens, compressing the world down as Jordan realizes just how much dangerous the world can be.

  

For this film, I’ve taken inspiration from films such as Charm City Kings. Angel Manuel Soto, a Puerto Rican director, wanted his film to have naturalistic lighting to heighten the realism of the film. That is exactly what I will bring to ANIMALS. I want to immerse the audience to the point where it feels as though you’re standing on the sidewalk with a younger version of me.

 

If you'd like to help spread the word about ANIMALS, feel free to copy and paste the following caption to your social media page: 

  • Can't wait to watch ANIMALS by writer/director @jordankpaul. A drama about the reality of "coming to america". Support Jordan and his team @seedandspark: www.seedandspark.com/fund/animals 
  • Support @jordankpaul in his most recent short film ANIMALS! Follow along and support him on @seedandspark: www.seedandspark.com/fund/animals 

Please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to receive the most up-to-date information on filming and post-production! 

Wishlist

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Cash Pledge

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Cast Compensation

Costs $3,000

This will allow us to hire the best of the best cast for the film.

Location & Permits

Costs $3,000

Using the actual location of the true story in Los Angeles will bring authenticity to the film.

Crew Compensation

Costs $2,000

With this, we can fill our crew with amazing filmmakers.

Grip and Electric

Costs $2,000

That'll give us the tools to create magic with lighting!

Wardrobe & Props

Costs $1,100

Covering all items actors use and wear on-screen to aid our storytelling!

Craft Services

Costs $1,000

Craft services ensure we feed our entire cast & crew during filming.

Sound

Costs $1,000

To get the best sound we have to hire the best sound.

Hair & Makeup

Costs $900

To make the cast look the best they can!

Lenses

Costs $500

We've got a camera... now we need lenses!

Transportation

Costs $500

We have to get the cast and crew to set! This'll allow us to get them there.

Covid Safety

Costs $500

To protect our cast and crew during filming.

About This Team

JORDAN K. PAUL | DIRECTOR & WRITER

Jordan K Paul was born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in TV/Film Production from DeSales University. He's worked on Academy-nominated director David Massey's short films Island Song Passage.  Most recently he held the role of Associate Story Producer on House8 Media's Inside Out. He intends to bring Caribbean stories to the masses with his short and Feature films. Jordan has begun writing an anthology series about his family's time in America which ANIMALS will serve as proof of concept.  

DAVID MASSEY | EXECUTIVE PRODUCER 

David Massey is an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications & Education from Ohio Dominican University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Advanced Film & Television from the American Film Institute. He is the first African American in the history of the Academy Awards to be nominated for an Oscar in the Live-Action Short Film category with Last Breeze of Summer (1992).

Massey’s latest projects are Where We’re From a feature doc that chronicles the LA independent hip hop movement in the early 90s is being distributed by Shout Studios; Not All Lost is a reality-based, celebrity driven PBS television program has aired in over hundred PBS markets; Hinika, in post, was photographed in rural Ethiopia, documents the opening of a new hospital and medical school; Medical Racism: The New Apartheid, scrutinizes healthcare in the Black community and Africa; Tip of the Spear, depicts a historical overview of the Congressional Black Caucus and Passage, a live-action film set in 1600 Western Africa is a 2021 Academy considered movie. 

JOSEPH WARNER | DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Joe Warner is an LA-based cinematographer with 10 years of experience in a variety of genres. With a degree in film production from Desales University. He has shot for a variety of clients including Capital One, NCAA, Goop, Discovery Channel, A&E, and many more. He is currently serving as director of photography for HGTV’s Inside Out Season 2.

 

XAN CHURCHWELL | PRODUCER 

Xan (they/them) is an actor, writer & creator, passionate about telling groundbreaking, thought-provoking stories specifically when it comes to Queer folks. A graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts, they hold the title of Disney Imagineer having worked for their Live Entertainment and Marvel VFX sectors. They currently are an associate producer for Honey & Milk - a queer short film currently in post-production. They are excited to be part of the ANIMALS team and to bring this nuanced and important true story to life. 

 

JEAN CARLOS FALCON | GAFFER

I am a Dominican-American Gaffer based in Los Angeles with experience in Features, TV, Documentary, Music Videos and Commercials. I fell in love with set lighting because of the complexity of the work. The technicality and artistry of operating units along with modifying light opens up a world of creativity and excitement. 

 

JAIMIE PANGAN | COMPOSER 

Jaimie is a violinist and a professional music composer for film, tv and games based in los angeles, california. Originally hailing from the Philippines, she loves experimenting string sounds with electronic elements and creates hybrid ambient textures with a dash of cinematic drama.


Jaimie went through the master of music in screen scoring program at the university of southern california. prior to pursuing music, she worked at ibm philippines as an information technology specialist and has gotten a patent for a hit song generator their team developed from ibm japan and singapore. some of her musical achievements include being nominated for the hollywood and music media awards under the contemporary classical category, and was featured in major publications in the philippines such as inquirer.net, the manila times and when in manila. in 2020, she was invited to be a voting member of the recording academy / grammys, and her music can be heard on different platforms such as netflix, disney+, amazon and various academy award qualifying film festivals. in her spare time, she loves to study japanese 日本語, watch films, read a good book, dye her hair, craft her own drinks, play genshin impact/pokémon and eat korean/japanese food.

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