Melanie struggles to find inner strength in a claustrophobic, volatile, and toxic environment. A caterpillar that consumes poisonous plants, absorbs toxins and upon maturation uses them for defense. These 2 creatures, man and insect, coexist where the environment has a direct influence on survival.
Inclusion StatementThis short features 2 complex female protagonists, Melanie and Paris, and looks at the effects of bullying on both the abuser and the victim. We have a female director, (Cady McClain) and a female screenwriter (Carlotta Summers) and are aiming for a majority female crew and minority casting.
About The Project
Puberty is hard. Becoming that person you’ve always wanted to be is even harder. As Melanie prepares for her 1st day of high school, her stomach churns. She wonders if she will run into the classmates that have tormented her in the past, or if she will be allowed to grow into the person she has always wanted to be, with a fresh start. She opens the door. All eyes are on her. The person she has tried to escape, Paris, sits in the front row. She has the smile of the Cheshire Cat. Melanie’s anxiety grows, shifting and swirling inside Melanie’s stomach like acidic butterflies drowning internally. That is the world Melanie lives in. Every day.
A Note From The Writer:
Throughout grade school, I felt out of place. I was bullied because I was different and chose not to hide my intelligence. As a biracial woman that doesn’t look either black or white, growing up I’ve felt a constant need to prove my identity to others. During the attacks, I felt helpless. I felt like I shouldn’t exist and a lot of those emotions stayed with me.
More than 1 out of every 5 (20.8%) students REPORT being bullied (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2016). More than 1/2 of bullying situations STOP when someone intervenes.
I remember all I ever wanted was for someone to intervene and to tell me that I was worth it.
This is more than just a story. This is not Mean Girls. This is not Clueless.
When we hear the word “bullying,” all too often we think of the media’s consistent portrayal of teenage angst using witty banter as a defense mechanism in the same overdone situations. We fail to realize the true impact intimidation and persecution can have on a girl in a critical stage of her development.
Butterflies attempts to show that we are all human, and that we all have the power to change history by changing the choices we make and the words we use.
I wrote this piece over 3 1/2 years ago, but now more then ever it seems prevalent. In a time where we are now questioning who we are as Americans and what we can do to teach our youth to accept one another and embrace differences, how can we get people to start talking about how bullying impacts EVERYONE and not just the victim?
That is what this film is for.
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About This Team
Carlotta Summers: Executive Producer, Screenwriter, Actress
Carlotta is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Theater and minor in Psychology. A student of the Experimental Theater Wing she spent 4 years with the program honing her skills as an actor and writer. She is currently a member of New York Women in Film and Television. Her work has been featured at the Experimental Theater Wing, where she had the honor of having her original piece (in which she wrote and directed,) The Illustrious Beauty, featured the ETW second year showcase. After graduation, she continued acting and writing, collaborating on the screenplay for Transients, a feature film with fellow writer Dante Aubain. She has been writing since she was a child and has been working on Butterflies for the past 3 years. She is the President and CEO of Wild Cat Film. www.carlotta-summers.com
Cady McClain: Producer and Director
Cady McClain is a two-time Emmy winning actress, writer, director, and producer. She studied directing with legendary artistic director of The Ensemble Studio Theatre, Curt Dempster. Her short film, The World of Albert Fuh, premiered at the SOHO International Film Fest, won Best Comedy/Drama Short at the Ohio Indie Gathering, was awarded an Honorable Mention for “Best Director” by the Los Angeles Film Review, an “Honorable Mention” by the SaMoIndie FF, and received an Award of Merit by the Best Shorts Film Festival. It was also an official selection of the LA Indie Film Fest. Her short film, Flip Fantasia, enjoyed acceptance into the Macon Film Festival and gained a remarkable FB cult following of over 80K. Her first episode of Seeing is Believing: Women Direct, a serialized documentary which explores the journey of women artists working in the field of directing, is premiering at the 2017 Newport Beach Film Festival. Cady is also on the board of The Chimaera Project, a not-for-profit that supports women in film. www.cadymcclain.com
A.J. Wilhelm: Director of Photography
AJ is a NYC based freelance photographer and filmmaker whose work has been published by National Geogrpahic, Smithsonian, New York Magazine, GQ, The FADER, Punk Magazine, Playboy España, NPR, Washinton Post, SAVEUR, Wine Sepctator, and others. He was recently nominated for a “News and Documentary” Emmy in 2016 for Audio Engineering on Bieber, Diplo and Skrillex Make a Hit. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan. Check out his website at www.ajwilhelm.com
PROM is the dreamwave collaboration and electronic production duo of Ella Zoller and Gabriel Stanley based out of Brooklyn, New York. PROM describes their sound as pop forward with a dark slant that focuses on harmonies, sparkles, trap beats and a preoccupation with the lower frequencies. Prom will be composing original music for the film. http://www.promisaband.com/