Finishing "Rich Kids" the movie
A group of troubled teens in a low-income community break into "Los Ricos" a mansion on the other side of the tracks, to feel as if they're rich for one day. Filming this movie has been an incredible experience. Now, we're asking for your help to finish it.
Inclusion StatementOur film's cast is comprised of at least 80% people of color, mostly Latino kids who have never acted in a film before. I wanted to create a film that shows the struggles of lower income communities through the lens of people living it. I am a female writer and director, also reflecting diversity.
About The Project
The Story: Mattias is a teenager whose family is struggling from financial hardship. When he discovers a wealthy neighbor is out of town, he breaks into the mansion, "Los Ricos" (The Rich Ones), with his friends, spending the afternoon pretending to be wealthy. However, when a troublemaking relative shows up uninvited, loyalties are tested as Mattias’s desire for power in the house rises and his friendships are pushed to the breaking point.
The most important thing I'll take away from shooting Rich Kids was the creative joy and inspiration these young actors brought to my life. Our cast's energetic presence on set made the whole experience feel like we were at sleepaway camp. The nonstop laughs, music, and pranks kept an exhausted crew going well beyond a normal workday. But when it was time to shoot, these actors always knew their lines and gave their whole hearts to their characters and their castmates. We were all blown away by their professionalism and performances. These young people are what makes this movie great.
One unexpected reward to come out of making this film, was how much my hometown got involved in helping us make Rich Kids. My neighbors opened their homes to us for shooting or came by to visit the set to say hello. One of my neighbors is a natural born location scout and I couldn't have done the movie without her. My high school classmates brought their children to perform as extras or work as PAs for the day. My favorite teacher stopped by to cheer me on, and I got many wonderful messages with well wishes from friends I hadn't heard from in years. Our cinematographer commented on how she'd never had so many people visit a set in her career! She'd never seen anything like it. It certainly added to the fun and good energy on set.
Making this film has been an incredible experience. An entire community came together to support this project and now we're coming to you to help us finish it.
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About This Team
Laura is originally from Pasadena, TX. She wants to live in a world where female directors are hired for 51% of the jobs in film and television. She is a solid, nurturing, and enthusiastic director committed to being an in demand film director. Laura’s directing strengths lie with her solid storytelling skills, powerful use of imagery, and her ability to inspire passionate performances from actors.
A graduate of NYU's TISCH School of the Arts, Laura's work has been highlighted on BrevityTV.com, The W Hotels, UCLA Medical Center, American Theater Magazine, New York Magazine and Vanity Fair. Her films have played at festivals around the world and her work has received financial support from IBM, the Austin Arts Commission, and Banana Republic. Between 1999 – 2001, she was Co-Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed award-winning theater company the dirigo group in Austin, TX. Having directed over 30 plays, her work with the dirigo group was honored by American Theater Magazine as one of twelve rising American theater companies “to watch” that were “hot, hip and on the verge”. She recently was named as one of SHOOT Magazine's up and coming directors of 2016.
From 2006-2014, she was a Editor on reality tv, films, web series and commercials for networks including TruTv, Spike, SyFy, TV One, MSN.com and Lifetime. In addition to being a filmmaker, she also teaches aspiring screenwriters with the Wounded Warrior Project and the Writer's Guild Association. She lives in Los Angeles.
David Saldaña is from Austin, Texas. He started performing and writing in high school where he won numerous UIL acting awards and was a key member of Reagan High School’s Broadcast Journalism Program. He also made a bunch of goofy short films with his buddies. David was granted a Texas Achievement Award, academic minority scholarship, and graduated from the University of Texas with a BA in French.
After college, David spent five years as performer in Austin’s theater and comedy scenes. He was a company member at the critically acclaimed Vortex Theater where he participated in several original and adapted productions. It wasn’t long before David’s creative desire moved him into screenwriting. He’s written a number of features and pilots on spec. Along the way, David got married, started a family, and relocated to Los Angeles where he now works a corporate desk job and teaches Capoeira in Korea Town.
(Director of Photography)
Cinematographer Eun-ah Lee has emerged as a young talent in independent cinema, expressing the core emotion of every story through her atmospheric style and dazzling camera work.
Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Eun-ah’s love of art developed in her youth. She landed her first commissioned painting project at age 12, and continued practicing her art after she moved to the States where she attended NYU Tisch School of the Arts in directing and cinematography. It was at this time that she began to develop her filmic style by incorporating her cultural background and artistic training into her work. To date she has shot more than 50 films.
She is known for her work on "Blackbird"starring Oscar winner Mo'Nique, released theatrically on IMAX and featured on CNN, "A Song Still Inside", winning the Best Cinematography Award at the Gene Art Film Festival in New York, Milcho Manchevski’s "Thursday", which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and "Sea Is All I Know", starring Melissa Leo, which was an Oscar semi-finalist. Her works have screened worldwide, including at the Cannes, Sundance, Venice, Pusan, Hong Kong and Los Angeles film festivals.
Eddie Rodriguez graduated with a BFA from Southwest Texas State University in 1999. He has devoted his life to the arts and has professionally freelanced in the Television and Film industry in Houston for over ten years. While working in a wide variety of media and content, his real passion has always been film. Rich Kids represents all the elements that have driven this passion encompassing great character, aesthetic and most importantly, story.