What About Elaine?
"What About Elaine?" is a Docu-Short Fiction that seeks to destigmatize the silent pain of child loss by Crystal Baker. The Recovery starts when that wall of isolation breaks in the story and she begins truly allowing herself to heal from her tremendous pain and loss.
Mission StatementI've always wanted to explore, in-depth, taboo topics that have yet to have their stories told. I'm hoping with What About Elaine? that we can educate those about this topic of child loss/grief so that when the film ends, it sparks a conversation.
About The Project
"What About Elaine?" is the story centering around our main character Elaine who goes through the ups and downs of fertility and life after tremendous loss plus the toll it takes on the human heart.
Why this film? Why Crystal? Why now? Crystal's script was derived directly from the E+ Zoom Advanced Screenplay workshop. It came to the attention of the Program Director for E+, Dennis Curry, who upon reading it said, "This script needs to be produced!" Dennis then created a Zoom Pre-Production weekly workshop to collaborate with Crystal. She became familiar with all aspects of Pre-Production: Scene Breakdown, Shot List (which she created on her own), Locations, Casting, and Budget. Many "Firsts" will come out of the project: Crystal's first film making it to Production. Crystal's debut as a Director, and this will be the first project written and directed by an E+ program participant. Her time is NOW!
Having completed Pre-Production (still locking down locations), these funds will be used primarily for Production: the highest percentage going toward the costs to provide stipends for the Cast & Crew along with Food. Secondarily, the budget covers an initial bid of Film Festival fees, along with a Wrap Party for the Cast, Crew, and Major Contributors. Since E+ has, as a part of their instructional training program, a studio complete with several Edit Bays, there will be no costs for Post Production. The Distribution plan, at this point, is to first enter short film festivals around the globe. Additionally, the team is looking into a variety of ways to get it out to the public.
This film project will also give other E+ program participants, who are currently being trained in Production - Sound, Grips, PAs, etc. an opportunity to truly practice their craft in a real-world setting and receive stipends for their efforts.
HOW can you get involved?
1. Contribute to the project.
2. Share, email, Pony Express, phone calls - help get The Word out so more people will complete #1.
Stretch Goals if/when we surpass our Funding Objective?
Provide stipends to the E+ program participants who will help to complete the Post Production through their participation in the E+ Post Production Workshops.
Additional funds would help us to submit to even more festivals and further market the project.
The Effects of the COVID Pandemic on the project?
In March of 2020, our onsite program closed its doors based on the state mandate shutdown. Since then, we have continued to offer an array of workshops including Voice Over Acting, Production, and Post Production via Zoom. Auditions, Callbacks, the Table Read, and rehearsals for the film are also being managed via Zoom. We are working diligently and safely to head toward production once funding is secured.
The short film "What About Elaine?" is meant to spark conversations on a taboo subject, pregnancy loss and overcoming the sorrow of the heart.
This Docu-Short Fiction is to bring awareness to the topic for all parents whether you're a nonbinary, male, woman, or the LGBTQIA+ community, has a disability, physical + nonvisible and single parents whether a father, mother or however you choose to identify. This educates the audience about the subject matter at hand.
This film is a double entendre since I wrote it in the Fall of 2020 during the lockdown due to the pandemic. You are meant to see yourself in every character because, in every script, you should be able to see similar characteristics in one's yourself. Hope to see you as we bring Elaine's story to a screen near you. At the end of the day, everyone deserves their happily ever after no matter what that happiness is.
Carl & Ellie Fredricksen
Song: Married Life by Michael Giacchino
FOLLOW OUR JOURNEY ON @whatsboutelaineshortfilm
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"What About Elaine?"
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Team What About Elaine?
Writer/Director, Crystal Baker
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About This Team
CAST AND CREW
Doshima Iyorlu as ELAINE
Doshima is humbled and ecstatic to be appearing in her first ever short film production as "Elaine" in What About Elaine? The young actor fell in love with performing at just five years old, in their first stage play, and has since striven to make theatre and acting a priority in their life. Some highlighted performances are her award-winning portrayal of "Medusa" in "Medusa's Tale" at the 2020 Lenaea Theatre Festival,"Rosalind" in Shakespeare's "As You Like It," and "Helena" in "Midsummer" v.2020, for which she earned an Irene Ryan nomination. Outside of theatre, Doshima enjoys hiking, songwriting, and boba tea, and is currently studying at American River College.
Ryan Gerberding as BILL
Ryan Gerberding is an actor, director, and writer from Rocklin, CA. He studied at the University of California, Davis, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Dance. There, he performed in numerous plays and musicals. He also directed multiple shows for Studio 301, a student-run theatre club at UC Davis, including "The Pillowman," "Swimmers," and "Dogfight." After graduating from college, he performed in numerous productions in the Sacramento area. Ryan is a founding company member and at Placer Repertory Theatre. There, he co-wrote and starred in a solo show, "My Jekyll and Hyde," and served as Digital Media Director. He is also a founding member of Red Axe Productions, an independent filmmaking collective, where he wrote and directed several short films.
Steve Wilner as WILMER (Elaine's Dad)
Steve Wilner (Wilmer Tobias) recently relocated to the foothills and is thrilled to be a part of this project. He was recently seen as Older Bud in "Old Love" with Lincoln Theatre. Steve has performed throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, most recently having played Sam in Mamma Mia, Daddy Warbucks in "Annie", and Billy Flynn in "Chicago." Other recent credits include Mike Talman in "Wait Until Dark" and Frank Abignale, Sr. in "Catch Me If You Can." Previous roles include Lazar Wolf-"Fiddler on the Roof," R.F. Simpson-"Singin’ in the Rain," Sky Masterson-"Guys and Dolls," Billy Crocker-"Anything Goes," Tommy Albright-"Brigadoon," Joe-Sugar, Billy Lawlor-"42nd Street," Vernon-"They’re Playing Our Song," as well as being a founding member of Keyhole Mystery Theatre. He would like to thank his wife, Liz, for her support of his pursuit of this life-long passion.
Ken Watkins as ROPER (Bill's Father)
Cynthia Egu: Director of Photography
Cynthia Egu is an Igbo and Creole American Filmmaker, Actress, Producer, and Cinematographer based out of Sacramento CA. She studied Digital Film and Video Production at the Art Institute of Sacramento. Cynthia taught at the nonprofit DDSO-Employment Plus for 8 years, teaching various classes including Photography, Video Production, Audio Production, Creative Writing and Screenwriting to the Disability Community. She has worked in the Industry of Video Production for 12 years and has film credit in many projects as the Director of Photography, Script Supervisor, and Producer. She is listed as Cinematography and actress for a web series called "The Wingman," "Newcomers," and "The Shop." She also is Cinematographer for a feature animation called "Josh's Journal," and a cinematographer for a few local short films. Ijeoma also was a host and producer for her own Tv show called "Beneath the Surface" featuring American talent on Access Sacramento, a Local TV network, and later moved her show to a network called Hip hop TV producing "Beneath the Surface Africa", showcasing African Talent from different parts of Africa to educate African Americans about the Music, and different cultures of Africa. Cynthia has 20 years of experience in Human Services and currently is a case manager for Supportive Living Services when she is not doing her creative endeavors.
Diana Ramirez: Script Supervisor
Matthew Berg: Production Sound Mixer
Matt has been involved with E+ off and on for several years. He was a member of the production team for the E+ Weekly internet radio show, "Verbology Digest" as a producer/writer/talent of his own weekly segment. But with his love for all things "Techie", Dennis was able to help him land a job as the Theatre Tech for Sutter Street Theatre ruining the Light and Sound Board for many productions. He has now expressed a new interest in film Production.
Dennis Curry: Executive Producer; Post-production Supervisor
Dennis is the Program Director for DDSO-Employment Plus. He started the Digital Production side of the program one month after he started working at E+, in June 2009. He currently teaches E+ workshops in Voice Over Acting, Production, Post Production, Online Employment, and serves as the Advisor and Post Production Supervisor for Crystal's weekly online series, "The Review Window."
While living in Los Angeles, he wrote, directed, and produced one feature film, and several short films and was the UPM/1st AD on the SAG Ultra Low Budget feature film, "Ranchero" with Danny Trejo. He wrote and directed several plays and directed a production of Robert Locke's "The Dolly" in the NoHo Arts District. Before leaving LA and returning to Sacramento, he was one of three partners that ran "Stage 6 Digital, a team that provided both production as well as post-production sound. He has now been involved in Post Production for some 25 years and finds this part of the process most appealing. Dennis, as the Post Production Supervisor on this project, will be leading a team of Editors-In-Training in completing all of the Post. The first web series that Dennis developed, produced, directed, and edited, "Gettin' DOWN", garnered international awards and was screen around the globe.
Dennis has also been involved in Theatre for more than 40 years, as a Director, Writer, Producer, and Actor. But, ultimately, he receives his most rewarding "high" out of working with the participants of E+, coaching them toward Creative Success.
Crystal Tianna Baker: Writer & Director
Crystal T. Baker [she, they] is thrilled to take part in their short film, "What About Elaine?" as writer and director of the moving piece taking on a social matter, the taboo subject Perinatal loss. They have written a small majority of sketches for "The Fourth Wall" sketch comedy shows. They are the Creator and Executive Producer of the weekly web series, "The Review Window," with their co-partner Ashley, taking the internet by storm. In their downtime, you can find them screenwriting, at home, or attending DDSO E+ Zoom Workshops