Grey Area

Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Drama, Experimental

Maria Vittoria Conti

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $5,173 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

35 supporters | followers

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Harper has been bipolar all her life enjoying the extremes of her condition, until her actions go out of control. This film’s objective is to be brutally honest and authentic by taking inspiration from an individual's experience of bipolar disorder, and articulating it visually.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Coming from a documentary background, I have a great fascination with portraying introspective stories about extraordinary people. As a filmmaker who is very close to someone who suffers from Bipolar disorder, I want to use the narrative format to bring her experience justice.

The Story

"Grey Area” is a short film about the life of Harper, a girl with bipolar disorder who has decided to live the extremes of her condition, rejecting any kind of medication. Harper loves her chaotic life made of ups and downs and refuses to live in the ordinary for her fear of losing her true self. A conversation with her psychiatrist will take her into a journey inside herself and her past, hoping to find a balance in her mind and life.

You’re probably wondering why I decided to do a short film about Bipolar disorder.. because you’re right –  I don’t have it myself. What inspired me to dig deeper into the topic was the fact that as an outsider it's practically impossible to understand and empathize with bipolar people unless they let you into their lives and open up with the struggles and, sometimes, the "superpowers" of their condition. Bipolar disorder has always been a mental illness that is only judged from the outside. You notice the mood swings, erratic energy, irritability and confusion without really putting yourself in the shoes of what the other person is experiencing. People who suffer from Bipolar disorder face a constant internal battle of balancing what they experience and feel on the inside versus what they do on the outside. Amidst the frenzy of this battle they can get lost inside their brain and end up not letting people in.

I was honored to have someone very close to me summon the courage and strength to finally open up and let me be a part of what it feels like to be them – both the good and the bad. This story portrays that personal experience of a woman who was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder at the young age of 22 years old and has for almost 7 years completely rejected any form of medication, thereby living in a continuous oscillating state of Mania and Depression. The goal of the film is to use this personal anecdotal insight to explore three chapters of Bipolar disorder: Mania, Depression and Therapy. 

To further honor and respect the intricacies of this disorder I have worked with a psychiatrist during the writing process to better articulate and address the reality of Bipolar disorder and the importance of communication and trust that comes with the patient-doctor relationship.

It’s no surprise that the limited knowledge and misleading information the public has on Bipolar disorder is mainly due to the inaccurate and poor media portrayals of it. Stereotypical behaviors such as mood swings and aggressive conduct have always been the go-to representation of how bipolar people act. I find that in today's world it is crucial to shed light on the real experiences of what it means to have a mental illness and of the importance to spark conversations about it and build trust and empathy to show that it is completely possible to lead a fulfilling and happy life even if you are suffering from it.

The importance of this project comes from the impact that the film could have not only for the bipolar community who would feel represented by Harper's character, but also for their loved ones finding some similarities with Hayley's character, for the "outsider" who doesn't really know how to react towards their sister in the fear of interfering with her decisions and not truly understanding why she just can't get on medication to feel better so on and so forth. What I truly hope and strive to achieve with this film is to educate the public on the matter and not see the people that suffer from it as victims with disorders, but as full and complete human beings. 

We are a group of young international filmmakers and recent graduates of Loyola Marymount University. This project is my senior thesis that I wasn't able to shoot during my graduating year due to Covid-19 complications. Now, a year later, our team was brought together by a shared attachment to the topic of Bipolar disorder and mental health. While in the US more people bring awareness to mental health issues, the countries some of us are from still have negative connotations around it. People with bipolar disorder might have very different experiences, which makes it misunderstood amongst the society. 

As a team we seek to shine light on bipolar disorder and reflect accurate representation of it in the media. Prior to writing my story, I felt like not many people opened up about suffering from being bipolar or knowing someone with the disorder. I pitched my idea with hesitation to a group of film students afraid of being misunderstood, but to my surprise I gained a lot of support and excitement for this project. Many members of the team felt connected to the importance of sharing this story, because Harper for them was more than just a character. She resembled someone in their lives.

Transforming bipolar disorder portrayal in the media is an uneasy journey. This film can be the pivotal step towards change. The technical aspects of the film such as cinematography, production design and sound all serve as a metaphor of Harper's emotional journey. That being said, producing this film requires miniscule attention to detail, quality equipment and extensive planning. To make all of this come true, we need your support! Today, we seek to raise $5 000 to cover our expenses such as skilled actors, locations, COVID-related expenses, camera and lighting equipment and more. This will allow us to tell Harper's story in an authentic way. Part of the budget will be directed towards our long-term goal: international recognition. How so? We are planning to submit Grey Area to multiple film festivals and share Harper's story with wide diverse audiences. 

Grey Area has been in the pre-production stage since November 2020, however our project got delayed by COVID-19 complications. Thankfully, we are finally ready to shoot it this Summer and cannot wait to share the production process with you!

HOW TO SUPPORT US

Right now, we’re trying to raise $5,000 to cover production costs. On our wishlist tab, we included a breakdown of where each amount is going. You can donate to the project as a whole, or you can choose one of our Wishlist items to support that department specifically!

Join us in our goal to change inaccurate media reprensentation and raise awareness on Bipolar disorder, YOUR help will be the beginning of our success!

Please share our campaign to your friends and family through social media, email, word-of-mouth or however you can! You can follow us on Instagram, @greyareashort, and share our posts, or tag us in your Stories. Below are a few captions you can use when sharing our project, feel free to copy and paste!


I am so excited to see the short film on "Grey Area" come to life! Check it out on Instagram @greyareashort and on Seed&Spark: www.seedandspark.com/fund/grey-area

Help filmmaker @emmevi_art by supporting her upcoming short "Grey Area" about Bipolar disorder! Join them on Seed&Spark: www.seedandspark.com/fund/grey-area and Instagram @greyareashort

Interested in raising awareness on Bipolar disorder and mental health? Check out "Grey Area" on Instagram @greyareashort and on Seed&Spark: www.seedandspark.com/fund/grey-area 

Wishlist

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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Casting

Costs $1,200

Casting is the most important part of telling this story authentically.

Locations

Costs $650

Harper's home has to reflect her emotional states, and we are driven to find the perfect location!

Production Design

Costs $800

Help us dress Harper's world!

Covid-19 Safety Regulations

Costs $300

Keep the crew safe at all times!

Film Festivals

Costs $800

Let's share Harper's story around the world!

Makeup and Costumes

Costs $450

Bring character's personalities to life through makeup and fashion!

Food

Costs $300

Keep the crew and cast energized.

Marketing and Promotion

Costs $400

Spread awareness about the film through social media and merchandise.

Other expenses

Costs $100

For any extra expenses incurred that we may not have accounted for.

About This Team

Director and Writer: Maria Vittoria Conti

Maria Vittoria Conti is the director and writer of "Grey Area". She is a graduating filmmaker from Loyola Marymount University Film School in Los Angeles originally from Milan, Italy. She moved to the US in 2017 to pursue a degree and career in the entertainment industry. In her directing work, Maria Vittoria has done a documentary trying to answer the question of "What is art?" and a commercial to raise awareness against Domestic Violence. With a background in photography and visual arts, Maria Vittoria creates work that is highly influenced by cinematography and metaphoric imagery. In the future, she hopes to build her portfolio as an artist and communicator to create work on topics such as social issues to continue raising awareness and concentrating on introspective and personal stories.

Executive Producer: Arie Sharony

Arie Sharony is the Executive Producer of Grey Area. He has been around the film industry his entire life. Growing up, he was always on set, sitting next to his father of 25 years TV commercial experience and learning from top directors and DPs in the industry. He has been professionally working for 4 years now, producing commercials for clients such as Colgate, Nissan, and Samsung to name a few. He has been building his portfolio in the film and short film industry for 2 years now, having co-produced 2 short films and a feature-length documentary.

Director of Photography: Justin Tang

Growing up in Hong Kong, Justin Tang had always found a deep appreciation for the potency and emotional engagement of media-driven storytelling. He has worked on numerous narrative, corporate and commercial productions with a determination to help uplift and project the voices and ideas of the people he works with.

Line Producer: Will Bonnell

Will Bonnell is a Actor, Director and Producer. He is currently a senior film production major, screenwriting minor at Loyola Marymount University. He intends on graduating school and going on to act and direct major motion pictures. Through my work as a film maker I help my creative collaborators to overcome a variety of mental health issues. Being apart of this film I advocate for mental health issues. 

Production Designers: Julia Hilbert & Kelly Pennington

Kelly Pennington is one of the co-production designers. She is a senior at lmu and is looking forward to spending her last semester abroad in Bonn, where she will make her second documentary. She loves to pd, AD, and just in general make films. She’s excited to get creative and help out on Grey Area! 

Julia Hilbert is one of the co-production designers! Originally from the East Coast, she got her start in photography - she is a filmmaker interested in writing and production design. She is finishing her last semester at LMU this fall in Germany making her Thesis Documentary. 

Current Team

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