Chicago, Illinois | Film Short

Drama, Experimental

Alex Halstead

1 Campaigns | Illinois, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $6,935 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

59 supporters | followers

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"Soapbox" is a short film that explores the emotional and mental effects of having a stutter from a young age. This story strives to provide a platform for the complexity of struggling to accept yourself while addressing your personal challenges.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

My experience as a stutterer and our Director's passion for symbolic means of communication breathes life into the concept of blowing bubbles to cope with stuttering. Soapbox is for anyone who has struggled to accept themselves and let their voice be heard.

The Story

"Soapbox" is about a stuttering boy who gives up on speaking and develops his own language of blown bubbles. We catch up with him later in life, seeing him as a bubble artist busking on the street—but his newfound language causes more problems than it fixes.


Living through a global pandemic, we have all had to develop our own coping mechanisms in isolation. As the world is opening back up, we are struggling with more social, face-to-face interactions. Soapbox sheds light on more than just stuttering. It’s the perfect metaphor to illustrate the current universal human experience of feeling stuck and struggling to communicate.


The impact of growing up with a strong stutter... I did from the age of four, affected me for most of my life, leaving me with not only a reticence to speak, but a deep uncertainty and shame in myself as a communicator and otherwise. Even as my speech improved, I coped with the possibility of stuttering by choosing words easier for me to say, and attempted fewer, leaving so much unsaid. This is why I now feel compelled to give voice to those who struggle to express themselves.

The repercussions of leaning too heavily on one’s coping mechanisms...

...will be on display throughout this bittersweet, yet ultimately hopeful film. It opens with a young Max struggling, just as I did, in the office of his speech pathologist. As Olive, the therapist's daughter, looks on, deaf and longing for connection, Max learns to regulate his breath by blowing bubbles. Then, decades later, we see that he has become an accomplished artist in that unusual medium. Alas, due to his devastating lack of confidence as a speaker, blowing bubbles has become his only means of communication. After Olive witnesses one of his performances, she does everything she can to connect with him again.

We are working closely with speech pathologists from around the country to ensure this story is told as authentically as possible, including my childhood speech therapists, Stacy Fleischman and LaJune Pandy.
We have a terrific cast from all over the Midwest, including a famous bubble artist, Scott Ingerson (of Twisti City fame) and a practicing speech pathologist, Leah Songer of Evergreen Pediatric Therapy!
We are currently in pre-production heading for filming this month (October)! The campaign is designed to fund completion of the film through editing, sound design, color correction, and distribution so that we can share this story widely. 

Our contributors will be first to see the completed film, followed by fim festival audiences, and ultimately, the public on Vimeo and YouTube. Audiences can get involved by sharing this project on their social media platforms and by word-of-mouth (bubbles won’t work, unfortunately).
People can also follow along on our Instagram page @soapboxfilm for updates on our process. If the project passes 100% funded, our goal is to hire a sales agent and marketing specialist to help promote and distribute Soapbox to a larger audience. Thanks for your time and kind consideration.




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


Costs $1,000

Editing provides pace to the story and breath to the language, letting each moment sing its loudest.

Distribution / EPK / Publicity

Costs $1,000

This project is more than a passion project, we want people to see this film. We need professionals!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Seed and Spark Fees

Costs $350

Seed and Spark charges us 5% service charge on the $7,000 we are asking for.

Sound Design

Costs $1,000

Having the right sounds for the bubbles and ambience helps make our world relatable.

Color Correcting

Costs $1,000

Color grading ensures every frame has accurate color in a technical and artistic sense.

Festival Submission Fees

Costs $500

All festivals have submission fees. Getting this seen is imperative to our community.

Data Storage

Costs $500

The footage we shoot has to go somewhere! Hard drives are needed in the digital world!

Musical Score

Costs $1,000

A beautiful, heart-felt score will help the story hit all the right notes!

Sound Mixing

Costs $1,000

Achieving the correct balance of the wonderful sounds we record on set helps immerses our audience!

About This Team

Writer-Director Bio
Laura Martinelli is a writer-director who makes narrative films about oddball and isolated characters that explore the human condition through unusual means. A consistent theme of longing for connection permeates Laura’s work, and through film, she offers audiences her own hand, encouraging them to emotionally engage with her stories and feel part of something bigger than themselves.  

Director of Photography/Producer Bio
Alex Halstead is an award-winning cinematographer specializing in narrative film with over 40 shorts and 4 features under his belt. Thinking of film as a magic trick, Alex encourages an audience's imagination to flourish within each narrative through both new and established visuals techniques. Alex has made a name for himself as a cinematographer in Chicago's filmmaking scene with a unique signature style of wielding and color and light in a bold way.

Lead Actor - "Max" Bio

Scott Ingerson is a performer based in Chicago who is dedicated to spreading joy. He founded TwistiCity and offers an array of his talents there: bubble artistry, ballon art, musical performances, and more. 

Current Team