"Through the Eyes of Others", A Feature Length Documentary
Mission StatementThis is a love story about a racially and socio-economically diverse theatre family from Baltimore, Maryland.
About The Project
Through the Eyes of Others is fiscally sponsored by The Film Collaborative, a 501(c)3 organization. ALL donations to this campaign are tax-deductible.
FULL SIZZLE REEL IS HERE: https://vimeo.com/640922434
From 1996 to 2000, a high school acting ensemble dreamt of fame and glory. They were a group of eleven students tasked with bringing one of the world’s most prestigious art’s high schools, the Baltimore School for the Arts, into the new century.
Now, twenty years later, triggered by their 20th high school reunion, filmmaker Meagan Adele Lopez returns back home to Baltimore to uncover what happened.
And through their eyes, she learns that dreams evolve and sometimes, life has other plans.
I (Meagan Adele Lopez, director) started this documentary with an end in mind. The pandemic upended this ending, and gave it a new meaning altogether. We began filming in October 2019...before the world stopped. A film about hopes, dreams and what happens to those dreams that go unrealized? And what happens when the entire world stops? What do we do then?
This film isn't about the pandemic - it's about questioning the ultimate question - what is the point of this life?
I knew I would be changed by the making of this film, but the past two years have made that change speed up ten fold. We have changed, as a group, as a world, as a people.
Close your eyes (if you don't mind), and imagine you’re eighteen years old again.
What sort of future did you envision for yourself? Who did you want to become? Maybe you wanted to be a doctor, a writer, a star. Now, open your eyes. Are you the person you thought you’d be?
Are you living the life you created, or someone else’s dream of what you should have become?
Summary of Documentary:
This documentary will follow the adult lives of eleven former members of the Baltimore School for the Arts' (BSA) theater ensemble. In 2000, they graduated from one of the most prestigious acting conservatories in the country with dreams of stardom; now, their lives look much different than what they’d imagined.
Meagan, the filmmaker, is home from Paris, France after finding success in all the wrong places. She is home for their 20th high school reunion and a wedding; and decides to document old friends’ new lives to uncover what happened to their dreams of stardom – and who, or what, is responsible for their destruction. Meagan learns of broken families, addiction, unreliable mentors, and a host of other obstacles and decisions that kept her friends’ ambitions from becoming reality.
BSA chooses eighteen actors every year out of hundreds of applicants throughout Baltimore City and County to go through a rigorous program meant to hone their talent. They studied Shakespeare and Stanislavsky and August Wilson, wrote and starred in their own performances, learned how to walk, talk, and breathe like actors. Together, they dreamt of a life like the graduates before them (Jada Pinkett, Tupac, Josh Charles, Christian Siriano), and in a city like Baltimore, that meant something.
This documentary not only explores what it is to have dreams in Baltimore, but it is also how Baltimore either cultivates those dreams or holds them back. The Baltimore depicted in this film is not just one of drugs and crime, as it is too often depicted in popular culture.
"Through The Eyes of Others" is an enchanting film about friendship, discovery, and futures reimagined. Your childhood dreams can come true, but at what cost?
The film will be split into two distinct styles, focusing on styles related to the years the ensemble went to high school and modern, magical elements for present-day.
Merging Genres - Blending Narrative & Reality.
Whenever I felt emotional as a child, I often wondered if my tears or laughter were real, or simply a manifestation of emotions I’d seen acted out on TV. And when I read my first script at six years old, all the chaos of my world was ordered. Acting was the lens through which I saw the world. Infused with make-believe and magic, the film will merge reality and fiction to shape the way we view this world and how we create it for our future.
"Through the Eyes of Others" uses people who happened to be actors to tell their real-life stories, but also plays with the idea that life is a stage with docufiction in the style of Stories We Tell by Sarah Polley and F for Fake by Orson Welles. The task to finish this film in a way that is seamless, beautiful and meaningful is a big one, but with your help, we know we can make something truly special.
Since the film will be interwoven with original artwork from local Baltimore artists, archival footage from Baltimore in the 90s, original VHS tapes, animated graphics, old journal entries, yearbooks, iPhone footage – music, sound, and motion graphics will come together to provide a cohesive look and feel that exudes the feelings of magic, whimsy, playfulness and emotion with a dash of sharp wit. There will be several instances of merging realities where we see flickers of dreams coming alive. With this in mind, the film will include various magical or dream elements. Sparks will fly when we see flickers of dreams coming alive.
Since its inception, "Through the Eyes of Others" has been a social impact film. The core mission has been for the story to inspire viewers to reflect on their own lives, and ask, “Am I living my life with purpose?”
We’re working with credentialed coaches, educators, therapists, and psychologists to create the Power of Purpose curriculum which will be used, in conjunction with the film, as a toolkit for corporate and community wellness programs.
We will also be applying for film festivals, and want this film to be selected and win awards! With a two-time Emmy Awarding winning Producer and a nine-time festival award winner Producer/Director, we believe in us and this!
Throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant uptick in people questioning the trajectory of their lives and what is truly important. As a result of all this dreaming, a new report has found that anywhere from 25 to 40% of workers are considering resigning from their jobs and redefining their purpose.
For those who complete an education in arts conservatories, that purpose is to create art. As our political and racial divides in America continue to grow, the arts are consistently the way to express our souls, bring us together and bridge beliefs and minds. For us, a group of professionally trained actors, our purpose was to act. Our connection to this passion was forged in our youth, yet as adults, very few of us practice this purpose in the ways that we thought we would back when we were 17. What does it mean to reconnect to a purpose-driven life? At what point does our purpose change?
The cast is made up of ten members of the high school theatre ensemble from one of the world's top arts schools, Baltimore School for the Arts. Despite of and, perhaps because of their varying races, socio-economic classes and backgrounds, this family has been inseparable for the past 25 years.
Join us on the Vimeo page to watch all the Character portraits to find out more!
- Meagan Adele Lopez
- Jessica Asch
- Brandon J. Price
- Kristin Poulson Young
- Lauren Barnette
- Jo Ann Martin
- Chantia Jackson
- Naomi Hope Kline
- Autumn Joy Johnson
- Tyler Zeisloft
(Michael Stambolis is also a cast member but wasn’t available for the shoot)
“If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else’s.” - Anonymous
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About This Team
ALL FEMALE FILMMAKERS
Originally from Baltimore, Meagan Adele Lopez has a diverse background from leading the New York Times' global digital advertising teams internationally to entrepreneur to her current career as a filmmaker and novelist. She studied at the University of Southern California as a National Hispanic Scholar.
Her most recent projects include executive producing a music video for electric pop artist CLARA-NOVA, finishing a Sci-Fi novel, and releasing an award-winning dark comedy short film on the subject of female rage called Raging Cult.
She is currently the Vice Chair for Democrats Abroad in Paris and owns her independent production company, Lady Who Productions Inc.
She also has an unhealthy attachment to this project.
She is based in Paris, France.
Follow her @meagan on Twitter.
Jane is a two-time Emmy Award-winning producer of factual television. Her 15 year career spans many genres including large, studio competition series, like NBC’s America’s Got Talent, to natural history series like ABC’s Sea Rescue, for which she received an Emmy nomination for her work as Supervising Producer. Considered a triple threat, Jane has worked at high executive levels and led departments in development, production, and producing having worked as a Co-Executive Producer, Executive in Charge of Production and Director of Development.
Jane is an avid traveler who has visited over thirty countries in search of the world’s most spectacular stories and is currently developing projects in Palestine, Bosnia, London, and Romania. She has dedicated most of her life to the arts and storytelling, having graduated from the prestigious conservatories Baltimore School for the Arts and North Carolina School for the Arts. She currently splits her time between her beloved hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, London and Los Angeles, California.
Ludovica Isidori is an Italian cinematographer with a MFA in Cinematography from the American Film Institute. With a background in fashion photography, she has a fierce sense of style and an eye for beautiful imagery that she uses to serve her storytelling. Ludovica was selected as one of the 30 filmmakers of Project Involve and her films have screened around the world, from Cannes to Shanghai, from SXSW to the HBO short film competition. Between 2017 and 2018, Ludovica received three prizes for Best Cinematography for her shorts Intercept, directed by Jackie Stone, and Peggie, co-created with Rosario Capozzolo.
Camila Franco Ribeiro Gomide
We are an all-female team of producers, directors, animators, audio engineers, cinematographers, and editors based in Baltimore. Our collective was formed while in graduate school at the Maryland Institute College of Art. The four of us were part of a majority female crew on a short film called “We Be The Same” during the summer of 2018. During a long shoot day in 100 degree weather in a house with no AC, we began referring to our endeavors as “boob sweat.” As our collaborations continued over many more productions, the phrase “boob sweat” came to signify the empowerment we felt as a team of women on set. This empowerment continues into the content of the work we choose to be a part of as well. It is our firm belief that people who cannot be seen cannot be represented, therefore they cannot be remembered. We strive to create work which depicts the diverse world we live in and amplifies those voices which are rarely heard.
Amanda has been an entrepreneur for the majority of her life. She received her International Baccalaureate degree from Greengages School in Mexico City and then received a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications with film credits, minoring in Spanish. Amanda has been a self employed contractor, in various fields, for over 20 years and with her background in film, design and marketing has excelled as a successful entrepreneur. She started her own real estate company from scratch and built a modern day brand which received national recognition, has assisted in the acquisition of millions of dollars of real estate and has project managed complete rebuilds and designs for clients. She also runs her side passion project, LaLa Lopez Vintage.
KRISTIN M. YOUNG
Kristin M. Young is making her debut as a film producer on this amazing project. As a Baltimore School for the Arts graduate, she has worked behind the scenes and on stage in countless stage productions as an actress, producer and director and is excited to join forces with this creative team. Kristin has over 15 years of project management experience. She has studied acting and stage production for over 25 years and earned a degree in television production from Morgan State University.
Support Our #creatives®
We are supported by Alan Greenstein!
Alan has worked in the entertainment industry since 2009. He has worked as a producer for many content creators on Indie projects such as films and new media. He is inspired by creatives because they are able to express and exhibit their views on the world. It is his passion to help a filmmaker or musician or playwright bring their project to life – they must be seen and heard. Starting in 2015, he has been on-set as part of the crew and in small acting roles. In 2016, Alan started his passion brand, Support Our #creatives®, under which he offers services in various aspects of production, including funding/investing, IMDb page management, social media management, pre-production work, and on-set work. The blog of the same name documents his experiences and those of his colleagues in the entertainment industry; provides information on various aspects of film, TV, and new media production; and he conducts interviews with creatives. Some recent releases that Alan has been involved with in various capacities: “Shock Nation” by Kimia’ Workman; “The C-Word” by Jessica Lewis; “Toll Booth” by Iesah Hunter/Derek Lewis Gray; “Cold Sweat” by Wi-Moto Nyoka; “Curvy Girls Rock” by Shakesha Williams; “Them” by James Hunter and Okema T. Moore; “Charlie” by Katie Mack; and the stage play “Waldy Street” by Nalo Merriman. Alan was recently interviewed on “C-Suite On Your Street (TM) – Behind The Scenes” hosted by LaTaunya Howard; and “B to the 3rd Power” hosted by Sherri Cook and T. Lynn Tate.
Facebook Page: Support Our #creatives (@SupportOurHashtagCreatives)