After the success of our first independent feature film, The Curse of the Tempest Jewel, A.B.L.E. is excited to announce plans for our next independent feature film: The Spy Who Knew Me!
ABLE Co-founder and teaching artist, Lawrence Kern, has been hard at work writing an original screenplay just for our diverse ensemble. A riff on the classic spy-adventure genre epitomized by James Bond, The Spy Who Knew Me will give our cast the chance to play with some unique characters in an action-packed story, while collaborating with a professional film crew and teaching artists at some exciting locations around the city.
Set around the high stakes game of international espionage , The Spy Who Knew Me follows a cast of 20 actors with Down Syndrome as they struggle to stay true to who they really are in a world that requires them to become someone else. When E.C.H.O. (Evil Clandestine Hive Organization) begins “recruiting” agents, the spies of the all-female agency U.N.I.T.E. (Underground National Intelligence Taskforce Enterprise) must discover the connection between a diamond heist, an oil tycoon, and a top secret military experiment before they lose themselves completely.
The Curse of the Tempest Jewel was a tremendous learning experience for all of us involved. (if you want to learn more about the process of bringing that script from page to screen, click here to read our production logs). Of course, we're incredibly proud of the finished product, but we have ideas for how we can make The Spy Who Knew Me an even better experience for our cast and crew. Rather than spreading production out over several months, we're structuring filming as a two-week summer session. The actors and teaching artists will start with a condensed 3 day pre-production process, where we'll get to know characters, work on costumes, help construct props, and learn about storyboards, marks, and basic film lingo. This will give our entire ensemble a chance to connect to each other, even if they don't have scenes together, and to see how their character fits in to the story as a whole. On day 3, the entire cast and crew will present a reading of the script for families and sponsors. From there, filming will take place at various locations around the city and in studios with special sets and green screens.
Pre-production is already underway as we are contacting locations and scheduling shoots, as well as sketching costumes and assembling our crew. If you would like to be a part of this process, please e-mail us. Currently, we need assistance with the following:
- LOCATION SCOUTING (currently our biggest needs are a jewelry store and a big fancy office worthy of an oil tycoon. If you know someone, please let us know!)
- COSTUME CREW (you get to shop for and help make various pieces for our cast)
- PHOTOGRAPHER (we would like to take individual pictures of each character to use for the film posters)
- GRAPHIC DESIGNER (we want to create a series of posters for each character - like playing cards)
In February, we will launch a Hatchfund campaign to cover the costs of production. As we learned from Tempest Jewel, costs add up quick - we'll need enough to cover insurance, location rentals, equipment, production design, transportation, marketing, and more! To bring this project together, and hopefully have enough left over to compensate our crew, we are hoping to raise $25,000. The crowdfunding campaign will run from February 29th through June 1st, and we will count on YOU and all of our fans and followers to spread the word! Our donors will receive special perks, and could even get the chance to attend our reading!
We promised 2016 would be our biggest year yet! We hope you will help us bring this exciting project to life. Stay tuned for more information about The Spy Who Knew Me, and how you can get involved.