MORE ABOUT THE UNDERLAND PROJECT
Our message is about education and inclusion. As filmmakers, we are storytellers. It is our responsibility to give a voice to the voiceless. We want people to understand that a disability is not something to be afraid of. We want to show that people with disabilities are just like you and me. They deserve to be a part of the conversation, and they have just as much to contribute. Our hope is by telling these stories; we can start to focus on what people with disabilities have, instead of what they don’t.
Making movies is challenging in itself. Making movies that feature young adults with developmental disabilities is a completely different endeavor. UNDERLAND I, II, and III were filmed over three consecutive summers. We filmed for 11 weeks (1 day a week for 2 hours a day). We filmed mostly outside (weather permitting), with mostly volunteers. The production team of local Minneapolis/St. Paul artists and filmmakers were an impressively devoted skeleton crew, with big hearts. The small amount of money that we received was allocated for the transportation and personal assistants of the actors. We also hired a very patient video editor, and secured a venue for the movie’s premiere. Whatever was left, could go for equipment, costumes, props, and bottled water for the volunteers. The thing about making a movie is that it isn’t done, until it’s DONE! We want to thank all of the people who spent countless hours (off the clock) making sure these movies were the very best they could be.
It took three years to complete the journey of UNDERLAND. Although this story may have come to an end, the continued vision remains. UNDERLAND I to UNDERLAND III saw a transformation of the possibilities. As we gained a better understanding of the process over the years, we were able to learn how to better engage and encourage the actors to develop their skills and their voice. We saw introverts turn to extroverts. We saw apprehension turn to confidence. Our goal is to build on that experience, and give more people with disabilities a reason to shine. This is not a small undertaking, but it has amazing rewards. We need YOUR help to spread the message. Please click the SUPPORT button, and keep the dreams alive.