By River's Edge

Orange, California | Film Short

Sci-Fi, Family

Merrill Gardner

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $5,635 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

24 supporters | followers

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BY RIVER'S EDGE tackles the impact of Alzheimer's disease on a family, and explores how Virtual Reality can be used to help those struggling with the disease. We hope this film sparks a conversation about the influence of modern technology and the need to support our loved ones' dreams.

About The Project

  • The Story
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  • The Team
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Mission Statement

This story explores the generational gap between the young and the elderly and encourages the idea of women belonging in engineering fields. More than half of key crew are women and our director represents Asian-Americans. We strive to exemplify the diversity that is lacking both on and off camera.

The Story

The story.


Patrick, a retired rocket engineer, is building a rocket in his backyard in pursuit of his lifelong dream of going into space. When a ten-year-old girl suddenly appears at his front door, Patrick must deal with her while still focusing on completing his rocket in time. The strange girl, Delia, demands that she is in the right place despite the fact that Patrick does not recall ever meeting her. After Delia arrives, Patrick begins to suffer from hallucinations that remind him of some conflicting memories. As he spends more time with her, he begins to recall more and more. Though he is confused, Patrick eventually pieces the memories together and rediscovers the truth behind his entire world and the mystery behind the unknown girl.


Why this story?


Hi, my name is Daniel Woo and I am the director of BY RIVER'S EDGE. In order to explain where this story began and how it has gotten to where it is now, I first have to introduce you to my grandma and tell you quite a story of its own. 




These photos were taken on August 27th, 1997 on my first birthday. My family had moved to Minnesota soon after I was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and just a bit before my first birthday, my parents purchased our family home and began the moving process from our apartment in the city to our permanent home in the suburbs of Plymouth, Minnesota. With a young, new family and the prospects of a whole new country, my parents had a lot on their plates. Moving into the home alone was already a task that would occupy a lot of their time, so my grandma traveled from her home in Cincinnati, Ohio to help take care of me and my five-year-old sister. On the day of my first birthday, the moving process was still in full swing and my parents were working hard. According to my parents, my grandma played with me and fed me a banana to celebrate. My only memory of this day is through this photo of course, but I'm sure it was the best two-person birthday party any one-year-old could ask for, and I will never forget that. Her ability to share immense love and joy through the smallest gestures never ceased to shine throughout her entire life.


The story behind these photos epitomizes who my grandmother was and is a large part of my inspiration for this film. In these photos, I am always reminded of her unrelenting love and care for others. I am reminded of the thousands of times she spent backbreaking hours cooking amazing Chinese meals for me and my family. I am reminded of her perseverance and determination following the Chinese Communist Revolution in 1949 that brought her and my grandfather to safety in Hong Kong. I am reminded of her continued sacrifice in Hong Kong while she raised my mother and her siblings and helped run my grandfather's church despite living in poverty. She held many different jobs including a manager of a relief milk station, teacher, janitor, nursery caretaker, and restaurant worker. From her eulogy, "She always offered others the best food and often willingly ate the leftovers and provided free childcare to those who could not afford to pay. She enjoyed giving out food, which she prepared and packed for students and elderly at church." She retired at the age of 81. Through all of it, it was her incalculable internal strength that constantly glowed so bright no matter how dark it became around her and her loved ones. Because of this, she has and always will be a constant inspiration to me and to those she touched during her time with us. 


My grandma was blessed with life for 87 years. She went to be with the Lord peacefully on August 22nd, 2016 after struggling with Alzheimer's Disease. I was so lucky to have her in my life for 20 years and in those years she taught me so much by example. This story is my homage to my grandma's life and her influence on those around her. I hope that this film can be an inspiration to others as my grandma was an inspiration to me to fight for my dreams and to give my very best no matter how big or small the task. Both of the two main characters of BY RIVER'S EDGE, Patrick and Delia, are reflections of my grandma. Our story has moments of darkness and moments of happiness and joy. We explore times of forgetfulness and remembrance as well as witness the strength that my grandma displayed throughout her life. At the end of the day, our story is one of the relationships between a grandparent and grandchild and the eternal connection we have to our family. 





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Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Studio Teacher

Costs $500

Hiring a minor for a production requires hiring a studio teacher to supervise the child on set.

Camera Equipment

Costs $1,500

To rent camera lenses, an easy rig, jib arm, Fisher dolly, and much more.

Production Design

Costs $1,000

Prop house rentals of furniture, lamps, and wall decor, as well as wardrobe and set decorating.


Costs $1,000

We are renting a rustic farm house and a work shed location for a total of 6 days.

Catering and Craft Services

Costs $500

We are feeding our crew of 30+ people for 6 days.

Grip Truck

Costs $500

We are renting a grip truck to store and transport camera, grip, and electric equipment.

About This Team

We are a team of young filmmakers formed at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange, CA. Our team consists of a mix of people from all around the world, more than half of which are women. We are incredibly proud of our team and the diversity we have been able to maintain. Each one of us brings a very unique perspective to the table, allowing this film to evolve through the diveristy of race, culture, and gender.

Current Team