Hidden Blueprints Film
Hidden Blueprints, is a hybrid documentary-narrative that tells the story of a young man named Jeremy who is sent to a corporate prison around the time he should have gone to college. It shows his journey to design a collection of wood-scrollwork that would illuminate the stories of prisoners in mythic forms.
In prison, Jeremy became a member of a group of prisoners who bet money on praying mantis fights. Eventually Jeremy found a champion fighting mantis named Mikey that won all of its fights. As the prisoners became closer to Mikey, the mantis made them realize their humanity by becoming a friend and showing intelligence they never expected. They stopped fighting mantises, realizing that they aren’t just stupid insects and shouldn’t be kept in boxes or be made to fight each other.
Soon after that, Jeremy and his friends were selected for a new college program for inmates, but the conditions for the inmates were deteriorating. The prisoners faced a dilemma: either pursue the college opportunity or support an uprising. Ultimately, they decided that they must take a stand against the abuses they were suffering, but vowed that no one be killed. It quickly escalated into a full blown riot. The prison was burned and the warden was fired. But Mikey the mantis was killed, and became the one martyr of the prison riot.
In the years that followed, Mikey became an enduring legend among prisoners and motivated them to keep telling his story, and their own. A decade later, these stories continued to inspire prisoners and people on the outside alike, and eventually led Jeremy out of prison and into college, where he became a 4.0 student.
Our total fundraising goal is $25,000. We have already raised 23% of our budget through the financial support of Champlain College SGA and the Freedom and Unity: Work in Progress Award. We are also awaiting decisions on three additional grants, but need your support to ensure that we are able to begin principle photography on time. Depending on the outcome of these grants, we will need to raise a minimum of $10,000 to $15,000, and if we can go over that goal, it will only help the project with additional funds for post-production and distribution.
Our story’s focus on mythology and storytelling necessitates an innovative approach. It’s an extremely ambitious project that involves the building of sets, hiring actors, and accessing a multitude of props and locations.
We are incredibly grateful to have the support of a strong and creative community that is passionate about telling this story. As such, we are receiving considerable in-kind resources from many local artists and technicians volunteering their time and skills by waiving day rates and equipment rentals.
However, this can only take us so far, and we need your involvement to tell this story the right way. Our current budget will allow for the resources needed to create a cinematic approach to our compelling story.
Jeremy Lee MacKenzie is a filmmaker and wood-scroll artist who has not only run numerous successful art shows displaying his work Hidden Blueprints, but also earned a screenwriting fellowship at Stowe Story Labs, directed numerous short films, and won Gold in the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards.
Julie Pacino is a Manhattan-based producer. She has produced the off-broadway production Phoenix starring Julia Stiles, the feature film Billy Bates, a number of music videos, the short film Abracadabra, and her most recent project, The First, a biopic about Mary Pickford; the woman who made Hollywood.
Aron Meinhardt has a BFA in Film Production and built his own business in Burlington, producing documentaries, commercials, music videos, and art. He is a co-producer of the in-development national docu-series Sugar Rush, and led the post-production on Vermont PBS’ series InnoVaTe with Victoria Taylor, editing picture and sound. He’s also worked as an associate producer for James Lantz and his documentary A Defiant Dude.
Mike Jacobs is a creative producer & photographer who works for Champlain College managing the institution’s media production equipment. He specializes in coordinating the nuts and bolts of creative collaboration and has worked in numerous roles on film productions including Flicker, Plato’s Cave, and Everything and Nothing.
Director of Photography:
Joel Wolter is a New England based cinematographer focused on both commercial and narrative filmmaking. His desire for collaboration, and drive to seek innovative techniques push the limits of tradition to challenge and change perspectives, which makes him the ideal person to shoot this project. His past work includes director of photography on the short films: Joan in Owl Land, Last Night, Cry About it, Boy Blue, Fine Upstanding Youth, and the feature documentary Suck it Up Princess. His experience also includes cinematography on the short film Men’s Rea, as well as numerous music videos.
Published on Tuesday, May. 23, 2017 at 01:21 PM (EDT)
After many years locked up, when I finally left prison I went directly to college and began my four year journey toward my degree, and a new life. Graduating recently was not only a huge milestone, it was the crossing of the next threshold. I first started studying screenwriting in prison with the goal of one day going to college and becoming a filmmaker. Ironically, I left college as a graduate, and am now spending my days back in a prison preparing to make a movie about it...
It has been important to me for a long time that I one day tell the story we are telling. When our film is completed, I look forward to sharing it with the community. And I look forward to one day looking back over the mountains I had to cross to get here. But for now we still have a long journey ahead. I thank everyone who helped me along the way, and I thank all of our supporters who helped our film get this far. We will make all of your contributions worth it. The journey itself was worth it...
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Todd R. Lockwood
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