Bullying is bad…mkay? That’s why the local film heroes over at Magnet Filmworks are crowd-funding CHUB, an inspiring short film about a bullied kid who finally finds the strength to stand up for himself and get his stolen bike back.
If you or anyone you’ve ever known has been a victim of bullying, then you know that it can totally destroy someone. If you’ve ever seen someone being bullied and did nothing about it, here’s your chance to make amends – Support CHUB and help make the world a better place by donating to the Indiegogo campaign.
Want to know more before you dish out the cash? We thought you might so asked Alessandra Gherardi Albis (Screenwriter) and Sam Albis (Director) some questions on the project for those of you that need more convincing.
Meet The Director
Samuel “Sammy” Albis was born in Colombia. Four years ago, he moved from being a Creative Director to directing commercials full time for clients such as Walmart, Dunkin’ Donuts, Sapient, Arnold Worldwide, LNC, and Global Hue. Last year he produced two short films through his production company, Magnet Filmworks: Vino Tinto, featured in this year’s Miami International Film Festival, and The Acting Lesson for HBO Latino.
CHUB, written by Alessandra Gherardi Albis, is his first dramatic narrative piece as a director. We asked them a few questions on the project, here’s what they had to say…
Is bullying primarily an American problem, or is it universal?
We believe that bullying is a “human condition” problem, which definitely makes it universal. People are forgetting their humanity all over the world, just look at the news: corporations bully, governments bully, “movements” bully. But it all comes down to the individual. We are a world made up of individuals.
CHUB is a story about one boy in the American school system, but at the core, this film is a testament to the fact that even if we feel powerless, we have the power to transform our way of being in the world. It often starts with one person.
What experiences, if any, inspired you to make a film about bullying?
We believe that putting a stop to bullying is a mission rooted in common experience. Everyone can relate to feeling powerless over a situation at some point in life. Everyone working on the film definitely has, and we’ve shared our stories. For young kids who are trying to figure out their place in the world, every day can feel like survival. It’s interesting to note that every bully has also felt powerless over some situation in his or her life. They perpetuate the cycle by projecting this powerlessness onto someone else. Very often prey can become predator.
CHUB is about healing this cycle. Our character, Chub does not attack his bully or retaliate against him by getting even, which would just feed this vicious cycle. Chub does something that has much more of an impact: he stays true to himself. In the end, this is much more admirable and empowering than any bully’s attempt to impose control over him. Chub triumphs by being his most courageous, brilliant self… and we all have the power to do that!
Why did you decide to pursue a crowd-funded project?
At one point we had CHUB fully financed by a private investor, but the financing fell through. It sounds funny, but looking back now it totally makes sense that it happened that way. From the very beginning, CHUB has always been a passion project. Everyone involved is basically donating their time and talent. We are not making a profit with this film.
Every penny that goes into it will be invested in getting the film distributed in schools nationwide. We are already in talks with a few national non-profit organizations that are interested in partnering with us once the film is complete to get the message out. A grassroots movement just felt like the right way to go. Rallying behind an important cause, and getting people behind the creation of CHUB feels true to its roots.
Has the democratization of funding affected the way the film industry operates?
It’s definitely broadened the field. It used to be that you had to be attached to a studio to bring your creation to life. The studios had all the power. Filmmakers today have a lot more freedom and options, and we think it’s a win-win for both. Studios take less risks by purchasing films that have organically gathered a following and performed well at festivals.
For filmmakers, owning your own content obviously gives you a lot more leverage. If you believe in your ideas and produce quality content, you can carve your own path in film today.
Are your production techniques as cutting edge as your fundraising techniques?
“Cutting edge” is a tricky term, because trends are constantly in flux. With each project that we take on, we focus on how to best tell that story, whether it’s a commercial, webisode, or a film. Your first step as a filmmaker is to define what the story is about, and from there bring your own vision. Sometimes that means being straightforward and simple, no frills. But if we need to rig some crazy camera set up to get the right angle for a shot, we will, and have definitely done that too.
What is your grand vision for Chub the movie, in terms of both production and impact?
We would like to produce a visually and conceptually beautiful film, then we want to utilize it in schools to reach kids today as an anti-bullying and compassion-awareness video. There seems to be a misconceived notion in the creative world that something truly artistic cannot have a broad influence. The anti-bullying videos we’ve watched that are being used in schools today are outdated, cheesy, preachy, “how-to” or “how-not-to” videos. As filmmakers we strongly feel that the most powerful way to make an impact is through story.
Our goal is simple: to tell a story of a boy who taps into his personal strength and triumphs against great odds. We hope our film will inspire other kids in the same position to take a stand; remind kids of their humanity and inspire witnesses to bullying to step up and offer a helping hand; and inspire a little more compassion and kindness into our world.
Break out the plastic and DONATE! Your contributions towards CHUB will help finish the movie and give people a chance to see it when it’s complete. Any amount of money contributed towards the CHUB project will be greatly appreciated. You can also help by getting the word out. Share the campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else. Email the link to your friends and family. Tell your coworkers to tell their friends and families. Then, go back and donate again.
Help make this little film have a big impact! DONATE