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This project was successfully funded on August 2, 2018

The Tutor

by Lena Drake


The Tutor is a short film written by me--Lena Drake, that will star David Sullivan (Flaked) as Mr. Henders, myself (Needlestick) as Clara, and Avery Diubaldo (Something Fun) as Isaac. Josh Buoy (Snowday Studios) is the director. After earning my BFA: Theater from the University of Michigan and studying Scriptwriting at Oxford University, I spent a year workshopping this script. The story takes place in my hometown, Farmington Hills, Michigan. Originally I had written The Tutor as a play, but I soon found it evolving into a much more cinematic story. The film follows a daughter's aim at keeping her family together after a devastating loss.

In a final attempt to regain stability Clara hires a tutor for her younger sister, hoping that a helping hand might provide some consolation. When her efforts falter, Clara is left with a choice: to turn her back on her family in their time of need, or to embrace her role as protector, giving up a life for herself. Exploring the complicated relationship between a grieving father and nurturing daughter, the story takes us through a young woman's rebellion against her newfound position as caretaker. The characters juggle love, loss, and sacrifice. 

There is no greater love than that of family. But when a teenager assumes the role of caretaker to their parent, love can very quickly turn to resentment. This story explores the changing relationship between father and daughter when a sudden loss demands the unconditional love and support of a young woman whose father is unable to cope. 

We are looking for a minimum of $5,000 to film and edit this project. The funds will be used for crew and equipment. We will be renting a camera, lights, and audio equipment for six days of shooting. We need to hire a camera operator, audio engineer, and editor. Actor rehearsals will begin in NYC in April. Production will begin in late May. We have secured our director, DP, cast, location, and composer. We will be filming in a suburban two-story home in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Our music will feature artists from the area to keep the integrity of this town alive in the film. 

If we are able to raise more than our $5,000 goal, we will be able to secure higher-end equipment and elongate our shooting time from six days to ten. It would provide a buffer for any extra-time needed onset in case of emergency. 

 This story means so much to us and has resonated so deeply with those who have attended our readings. We hope to secure our funds and capture the beautiful and complicated relationships in this story. I would like to sincerely thank the donors for considering The Tutor.

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