LIHUE — The feature film “Too Much Life,” which is in development, has received over half of its funding from Kauai backers.
Kauai Made Films is still seeking $47,000 to complete funding by their Oct. 8 deadline to begin preproduction on a film made with 100 percent local talent and resources.
“I’m confident we’re going to get it,” said Edwin Sawyer, writer and producer of Too Much Life.
He said support for the film has been overwhelming.
”Everyone loves the idea of doing a community movie,” he said. “Where, instead of a backdrop, it’s us with a speaking role.
“We’re the ones making it. It’s a Kauai made feature film. It’s bigger than us,” he said.
He said one person asked his about all the efforts going into one scene, and questioned if it was really necessary.
Sawyer was adamant, that yes, it was.
“It’s not just a scene. It’s a like a party for our island,” he said. “It’s like a celebration that we’re sharing as story that came from our schools, that we’re sharing it with the world.”
Actress Sonya Balmores, actress/model/yoga instructor Samantha Lockwood, and surfer/model Alana Blanchard have joined the cast of the film, which was written on Kauai working with students at Kauai High School.
The movie revolves around the impact of social media and cyberbullying on a popular student and how her online world leads her to make decisions that affect her offline world in increasingly negative ways.
“Cyberbullying and digital self image are causing our teens increased anxiety and depression,” Sawyer said. “The impact of being bullied by someone you can’t see, and may not even know, has real world consequences for our students.”
Elliot Lucas, producer, said, “The lead character of Too Much Life loses control of her online world resulting in a series of decisions that hurt her family and friends.”
A fundraiser for the film project is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at Koloa Landing Resort. It will include a special premiere of a cyberbully video students from the Kauai Film Academy called “Rise.”
People are welcome to stop by. It is free, with food and beverages.
There will also be music, dancing and a film-making work shop, and a Keiki dance floor.
Balmores, on the cast of Marvel’s “Inhumans,” has a special gift for backers. Up for bid will be dinner with her, a one of kind signed LockJaw Plush Toy from the red carpet on opening night of lnhumans and special edition DVD/Blu-ray of the movie. The dinner with Balmores is already around $1,000.
Blanchard is donating a signed surfboard.
Lockwood is providing a special yoga opportunity at Bikram Yoga Kauai.
Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. is expected to stop in and toss his support to the project.
Besides these perks, backers can be producers of this feature film, stay on set, participate in production meetings, and get their own director’s chair.
Sawyer said the more the word spreads about the project and the funds needed to being preproduction, the more people come on board.
“As soon as they’re hear about it, they’re behind it,” he said.
He cited a lengthy list of local companies that have pitched in.
“It’s staggering,” he said.
But it’s clear why, at least to Sawyer.
He pointed out that many actors from Kauai, more than 60, signed up for auditions for the first casting resulted in a second casting call.
“Everyone who benefits is all of our kids, and all of our young adults and all of our adults,” he said. “Everyone is really a part of it.”
The project’s inception was 2010.
Sawyer recalls a conversation that centered around all the films shot by others on Kauai.
His thought: Why can’t we make one ourselves?
“We could do it here. We could make films,” he said.
The name for the Too Much Life, by the way, comes from a remark by a student talking about how busy she was.
“Mr. Sawyer, I have too much life.”
A second casting call for Too Much Life is underway. Sign up online at www.kauaimadefilms.com
To back this project go to www.kauaimadefilms/ kickstarter