Think Lovely Thoughts
Think Lovely Thoughts explores the visceral and disorienting experience of living with severe anxiety, depression, and panic. This film aims to break the stigmas associated with mental illness, particularly for men and BIPOC and offer a sense of hope that help and healing is out there and available.
Mission StatementDrawing on my own experiences, this is a film about identity, mental illness, and the resiliency of the human spirit. Our hope is that the film helps progress the conversation around mental health forward, creating an even more empathetic and compassionate society along the way.
About The Project
Think Lovely Thoughts is a film about the push/pull for one man's sanity while his uncontrollable subconscious tears at his grip on reality.
We follow a young father as he navigates the visceral and often disorienting experience of living with anxiety, depression, and panic, all while trying to maintain a connection with his family and some semblance of normalcy. What we soon discover, however, is that John isn't completely sure what he's dealing with or even how to help himself. Will he succumb to the demons and face the fate that so many have before him, or will he find a way out of his personal horror story?
Our original goal was the minimum we needed to make sure we could finish the film, but through your generosity, we were able to meet and exceed that in just 48 hours! Now let's shift our focus onto several stretch goals and make sure we spread this film's message far and wide.
1. Cast/Crew Compensation - If we're able to reach $15,000, we'd be able to pay many of the cast and crew that came onto this project for next to nothing. Every one of these talented artists deserves so much more, but I know they'd still appreciate anything we can pull together for them.
2. Give to Give Back - Yes, this is one of our incentives, but we're raising the stakes and committing to giving back in an even bigger and better way! For every dollar we make over the $15,000 goal, we'll donate 50% of the contributions to several mental health organizations that rely solely on donations to keep up their important work.
3. PR/Marketing - If we somehow get to $20,000, we'll use the remaining funds that weren't donated, to hire a PR rep for the film. Getting it into festivals is just the first step. Creating a real buzz around the film, however, is where we'll start to see the fruits of our labor.
Over the last ten years, I've journeyed through the ups and downs of discovering I have a chronic anxiety disorder, working through crippling depression, experiencing debilitating panic attacks, and contemplating suicide. To say that this film is highly personal would be an understatement. And while this played a large part in why I wanted to make this film, it wasn't the only reason.
As a man and member of the BIPOC community, I know firsthand how tough it can be to speak up and seek help, even when it's so desperately needed. While strides have been made in recent years to destigmatize the topic of mental illness and getting treatment for it, many people in marginalized communities, especially men, still face internal stigmas when it comes to getting help. This needs to change, and I want to help facilitate that change any way I can.
If I've learned anything after going through all of this, it's that I am not alone in any of this. The feelings I've felt, the thoughts I've thought, the struggle to sometimes just make it through a day - all are universal. But that means that the opportunity for healing is also universal. Whether it's via therapy, medication, meditation, or faith, there is a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. We just have to be brave enough to face it and find a way to access the help that's out there.
Together, let's begin to change the narrative and create a space/society where men and women alike, especially those in and of these communities, can feel safe enough to be vulnerable and share what they are really going through. Whether it's one or one million, we might just save a life.
There are three ways you can join us on this journey:
1. FOLLOW: Click the “follow” button on the upper right of this page. Seed & Spark rewards us the more followers we acquire. It’s almost effortless and helps a ton!
2. SHARE: Share our campaign with your friends or anyone who may resonate with the themes of this film. Email is the most effective way to do so, but sharing on social media is awesome and appreciated as well!
3. CONTRIBUTE: Every dollar counts. Your contribution will empower us to complete the film at the same level of excellence and craftsmanship that's been put into it thus far. And most importantly, you'll be partnering with us to spread a message of hope, moving the needle on the conversation around mental health forward, and helping to create an even more empathetic and compassionate society along the way.
Filmed over three days in Los Angeles, Ca. our small but mighty cast and crew helped safely bring this film to life. Through their energy, enthusiasm, and artistry, we were able to capture some simply breathtaking moments. Below, you'll find a handful of on-set BTS photos from the making of Think Lovely Thoughts, as well as a few roughly graded frame grabs from the film itself.
That's correct; we finished principal photography in early March and have 95% of the film captured. Because the production portion of this project was self-funded, however, we still need funds for post-production (i.e., editing/color correction/color grading/sound design/etc.), festival fees (i.e., Sundance/SXSW/TIFF/and many more festivals across the US and internationally), and film finishing (i.e., filming a few final scenes over one to two pickup days). By supporting Think Lovely Thoughts, not only do you help us finish the film, but you encourage a dynamic shift in the current mindset for so many out there that are too afraid or embarrassed to speak up. Let's break the stigma and get help for those in need!
What we're funding for:
Via self-funding, we spent roughly $10K on production to capture this beautiful and moving film. The $10K we're hoping to raise on Seed & Spark, however, is the minimum it will take for us to get through post-production. While we've been fortunate thus far to have team members donate their labor and expertise, some areas where we need to spend money include:
COVID PREPARATION: To keep our cast and crew safe we will follow DGA & SAG COVID-19 production guidelines, which include the additional expense for extra days, testing, PPE, and barrier building.
EQUIPMENT & GEAR: Quality sound, cameras, and lenses are needed to ensure we capture our final scenes with the same high-quality tools that we originally shot the film with.
EDITORIAL & FINISHING: Assembling an editorial team to ensure the footage tells the best possible story and to create a polished and consistent final product for exhibition at film festivals and beyond.
MUSIC & SOUND DESIGN: While we have an amazing composer contributing his talents to the film, we still need to hire someone to help build out the soundscape of the film.
And those are just the things that sound exciting! There are also costs associated with transportation, feeding cast/crew, hard drives, insurance, permits, accounting, legal, and more.
If the themes of this film resonate with you in any way, we hope you'll join us on this journey. And I know I speak for the whole team when I say, thank you. Thank you for your time, support, and thoughtfulness to contribute to a film that's bigger than ourselves, all in hopes to make a genuine difference in the world.
If you or someone you know is fighting depression, anxiety, panic, or having suicidal thoughts, please do not ignore it. Find resources online and in your community to battle this monster head-on. You are unquestionably stronger than you think.
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
Writer/Director - Stephen Snavely
As a filmmaker who has been fortunate enough to make a living "creating" for the last decade, Stephen has found himself increasingly interested in films/concepts that have some social change element to them. While creating content in the travel and tourism space has been his bread and butter for most of that time, he's recently made a strategic and intentional shift towards narrative and documentary storytelling. Often these mediums have the unique ability to pull audiences into an immersive experience, taking the time to build empathy and increase one's sense of understanding. Maybe it was becoming a father, or perhaps it's just part of getting older, but what he spends his time and energy on now, is more important to him than ever before. "If I'm lucky enough to share a story that can help change a mind, change a life, or even change a policy (whether through films or commercials), I think that's something worth investing in, both personally and financially."
Lead Actor - Roy Williams, Jr.
Roy Williams, Jr. is an American actor born at Schofield Barracks Army Post in Hawaii to Roy and Sherri Williams. He can be seen in television series such as Netflix's Dad Stop Embarrassing Me, Black-ish, Being Mary Jane, The Bold and the Beautiful, and The Act. You can also see him starring in films like The Donor, The Breaking Point, and Take My Heart to name a few. Roy currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters.
Lead Actress - Dayana Rincon
Dayana Rincon began her creative journey when she was just a little girl growing up in Venezuela. Music became her world and she started performing at various events, which eventually led her to musical theatre. There, she caught the acting bug and hasn't looked back since. Dayana can be seen in Den of Thieves, The Last Ship, NCIS: New Orleans, and Sleepy Hollow.
Producer - Amy Yerrington
A seasoned Producer, Amy has been giving a voice to unique stories and brands for over ten years. She’s worked in almost every medium available - from TV to documentary film, and even digital and branded content. Career highlights include producing original content from development to post-production for shows such as My 600-lb Life and Skin Tight on TLC, to Undercover Boss on CBS, and 30 for 30 on ESPN. Joining PTG, Amy oversees casting and talent development, production budgets, staffing, schedules, pre to post-production, and collaborating with teams internally/remotely, all with the aim to create meaningful work while getting the job done as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Executive Producer - Mikkel Aranas
Born in the Philippines, Mikkel Aranas migrated to the United States at the age of 7. Early on he unearthed his love for the arts and began honing his skills where he discovered digital art (graphic design, digital illustrations, typography, etc.) and set his focus in this direction. However, he didn’t stop there, he soon added motion arts (film & motion graphics) to his portfolio and gradually included live production. Being a multi-disciplinary creative has allowed Mikkel to move in and out of various industries including fashion, marketing, sports, music, and film. His goal is to use his art to leave the world better than he found it. He currently works as the art director for Roth Studios Inc., Co-Founded Artisan Craft Cocktails, and recently founded Give Hope Studios where he Creative Directed and Art Directed Justin Bieber's latest album release. Most importantly, Mikkel is also a “dreamer.”
Executive Producer - Meredith Snavely
Meredith brings a vast amount of knowledge, particularly in the area of marketing to our team. She received her BA in Advertising from the University of Oklahoma and her MBA in Marketing and Leadership from Pepperdine University. Throughout her 15+ year career, she's had the pleasure of working on brands such as Carl's Jr., Jack in the Box, Nordstrom & Nordstrom Rack, UFC, and Covered CA to name a few. In addition to being a badass VP of Strategic Planning at RPA, she's a mom to two amazing kids and a Girl Scout leader for her daughter's troop. She believes that people should be allowed to live their best life, whatever that may look like, and is particularly passionate about helping young girls find their voice.
Director of Photography - Michael Gauthier
Michael studied at Columbia College Chicago where he earned a Bachelors degree in Cinema Arts & Science with a concentration in Cinematography. After college, Michael spent two years working as an in-house cinematographer at the advertising agency, FCB Chicago. Since then he's worked with numerous clients including Jack Daniels, Anheuser-Busch, Discover Card, and many more. When he's not prepping his next commercial or film project, you’ll find him in his garage working on his classic 1974 Corvette Stingray.
Composer - Joel J. Richard
Joel J. Richard’s passion for music sparked at age twelve, with the purchase of a 4-track recorder and an electric guitar. Coming of age while playing with bands in the New York hard-rock scene; he lists a diverse range of creative influences (from Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd; Tool to Tom Waits; Portishead to Peter Gabriel; to Stravinsky and Herrmann). Richard’s unorthodox music background would go on to shape his sound—fusing time-honored musicality with moving atmospheric experimentation.
Joel’s knack for inventive hybrid composition is evident in his scores for Ridley and Tony Scott’s Emmy nominated The Andromeda Strain, Showtime’s thriller Compound Fracture, ABC's Quantico, Blumhouse/Hulu's Into the Dark: School Spirit, Lionsgate's blockbuster John Wick franchise, as well as Director Brannon Braga's Books of Blood; now available on Hulu.
Joel J Richard's versatile talent serves raw and unbridled industrial rock-influenced compositions and beautifully intimate acoustic ensemble scores.