by nathan s. duncan


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Leaves on Trees is a short coming-of-age narrative that follows 9 year old Ira Harris as he navigates a new neighborhood, new peers, and his first set of prescription glasses.  The excitement and shock of experiencing 20/20 vision for the first time has him staring into the trees and through his neighbor's window, searching for something he glimpsed days prior but couldn't quite make out.  His efforts escalate when some neighborhood kids dare him to enter the neighbor's apartment.  Vulnerabilities on display, Ira bucks up to the challenge only to discover a complex and alarming adult world lying within.


The story of Ira is based on my own experience of getting glasses for the first time and the sudden realization that an entire perceptual reality existed outside of what I knew.  Growing up in an apartment complex with a new set of eyes, I found the dense nature of apartment living offered a seemingly infinite amount of narrative possibilities to play with in my mind.  Whether it was the crisp leaves on the ends of trees, individual blades of grass, or the light peaking through the blinds of a window, even the most mundane had spectacular visual allure.

At the core of it, I want to tell a story that is personal and relatable.  In sharing this story with friends, colleagues, and strangers of all ages, I've repeatedly heard (unprompted) of how amazing the clarity of leaves on trees looked after they got glasses. This commonality alone has encouraged me to develop and make this film.  The event of gaining new sight was a defining moment that singlehandedly influenced my connection with moviemaking.  In essence, it is because of this that I became a filmmaker.  

This is my graduate thesis project at the University of Texas at Austin. This undertaking will be the culmination of my studies in graduate school.


Leaves on Trees, will begin principal photography on Oct. 18th in Austin, TX.  It will span two extended weekends totaling in 8 production days. 

Projects like this require a lot of helping hands and the funds to feed and support these hands.  In order to make things happen and run smoothly we need to ensure that we have the resources to sustain our cast and crew.  All of the money raised will go toward production and post-production costs.  This will cover items like equipment truck rental, catering, talent, props & set design, wardrobe, camera support, lighting support, sound design, etc…   

It takes a village to raise a film. Please join the team and consider supporting this project. This is an ALL-OR-NOTHING affair.  If we don't raise $6000, we don't recieve anything.  Check out our suggested donations in the right-hand column and donate today! Your contribution is tax deductible.  Yeah, you heard right, TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!


Presently, we have a finished script that was written with my co-writer Annie Silverstein.  Annie and I have worked on many film projects in the past that have garnered attention from prestigious festivals and venues like SXSW, Slamdance, PBS, and Maryland Film Festival, to name a few.  We hope that this project takes our successes further, bringing our work to wider audiences.

We are in the final round of casting and have secured our shooting locations.  Our production crew is being assembled with some of the finest talent from the Austin film community.  Producers, Kelly Ota and Irene Georghiades along with our Director of Photography, Tom Rosenberg, have been working closely with me to plan our October shoot. We are well on our way!

Visit our Facebook page for continued updates on the project: facebook.com/leavesontreesfilm

..and last but not least, PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY.

Much love,

Nathan & Team

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