Kaylee Age 8
After 2 years of development, a community is banding together to tell the magical realism journey of an 8 year old girl with autism and her odyssey to spread her mom's ashes to turn her into a mermaid. This tale of independence and grief makes for the hero that everyone deserves to see.
Inclusion StatementKaylee Age 8 is not only is a story about autism, but the South itself is a character in the film. Along her journey, Kaylee meets a diverse racial cast whose Southern identities show individual struggles and commonalities. Our film in front and behind the camera is 50% female and 95% local.
About The Project
*Of all Money Raised in this Campaign
- 1% will be donated to Kate's Club.
- 1% will be donated to Paradise Gardens Foundation for "Stabilization" of the Cadillac Shack
- 1% will be donated to Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta.
Even if you can't give money, please, please, please hit the follow button to join our journey. There are tons of exciting announcements coming your way shortly including an all star cast and news from the set when we begin production.
In her short time on Earth, quiet autistic eight year old Kaylee’s entire world is just her and her mother. They play, they eat, they bathe, they love their own special way. Kaylee sees her mother as a beautiful mermaid, unlike any of the other human beings she encounters. One day, out of the blue, the real world comes crashing down when Kaylee’s mother dies. With no one left interested in taking care of her and not quite understanding what happened to change her life so drastically, she takes her life into her own hands and embarks on an odyssey with her mother’s ashes to release her into the river so she can become a true mermaid. Along the way, she meets a colorful cast of characters who help her truly understand how to cope with her mother’s death in her own unique way.
Growing up in the south is the kind of life that only people from here can really understand. I was raised to find strength in the cracks on my hands from hard work. It was ingrained in me that we don’t talk about our feelings and we don’t make ourselves vulnerable. You don’t play your hand and you don’t let people know what you are really thinking. In later years, I realized that my relationships with loved ones and coworkers were surface deep and I wondered if there was a part of me that was missing. I have pretended to react emotionally in an effort to cheat what I thought was expected of me. I have said “I love you” when I didn’t mean it because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. But with growth and experience, I have been able to form lasting relationships and really reflect on what those people mean to me. When you sit back and really think about what baggage you have, that we all have, that self-reflection leads to realizations and maybe those realizations lead to embracing the strengths that lie within that baggage. The main character of this film is an autistic 8 year old girl. There is an emotional detachment living in a face-blind world. I want to transcend that story. We all underestimate those around us by projecting our own expectations onto them. If instead we sit quietly and observe them, we could learn things about ourselves in the process. It can be a wonderful world that it turns out, isn’t filled with sadness at all. - Molly Coffee, Director
Kaylee, Age 8 is an adventure story. Up until this point, her life has always been all about adjusting to finding a way to control and eventually communicate and learn. My vision for the film is to always have the camera at Kaylee’s level. With the height a touch lower than usual, it accentuates how small she is and how foreign everything can feel. Kaylee is not completely lower functioning and nonverbal but the story rests in the quiet moments, helping us understand what sensory sensitivity is like while using hints of original score to illustrate the fantastical elements of her imagination and not alienate. I want to communicate for Kaylee through animating her drawings. She is earnest and steadfast in a mission that we don’t truly understand. We get to connect with her when her drawings fantastically come to life.
The stories we choose to support matter.
When I saw Wonder Woman the film, I cried all of the way through it. The reason was because I saw on the screen the power of a female role model and the gravity that would hold for an entire generation of girls. Everyone deserves to see themselves represented in hero form. Autism is a general term for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Autism statistics from the CDC identify 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum - a ten fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. This film is not a soapbox nor does it intend to carry the weight of responsibility of an entire disorder. However there needs to be more media awareness of not only how this affects families, but also why we shouldn’t be afraid of it and have a responsibility to try to understand it.
Growing up in the humid textures of the South, I have no less of an intoxication than outsiders might with the decaying landscape that provides a deep connection to southern souls. In this film, the sun-refracted Deep South is a character in and of itself that takes good care of Kaylee, keeping her safe. There was once a time when children rode their bikes for miles away from home and evenings were spent shooting a bow & arrow deep in the woods. The greatest danger that we faced were rattlesnakes and road-burn. There is a vulnerability for me telling such a personal story and facing my small town feelings and insecurities that I have run from. There is an authentic rusty world that exists there than you can’t escape.
We are so excited at the richness of some of the locations that are welcoming our production into their arms. North Georgia has been everything that we could possibly want in a community to create this film in.
Through a strategic partnership with Brand Red in Rome, Georgia, we will be taking over their production offices and working out of there. The locations have been scouted. The cast is almost 100%. The crew is in place. We are so excited to head into production on a project that I have been preparing for the last 2 and a half years. This crowd-funding campaign is to raise finishing funds for the incredible undertaking that we have in post with vfx, animation, editing, color and music composition. We have a long term plan, and the job doesn't end when we wrap. We have access to the resources that we do and qualified crew that we have because of the family that we have built working in Atlanta for the last 10 years. We would love for that family to grow through your donations as we head down this journey together.
Meet Trash Taco, Molly's adopted dumpster dog. Every donor, no matter the amount, will get access to our production blog while we shoot the film with stories from set as told by Trash Taco! He is excited for his director's chair and mini cans of La Croix. If only we could all have the change of lifestyle that he has.
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
Director/Co-Writer Molly Coffee began her film career working full time in the art dept on shows such as FX tv series Atlanta, IFC’s Stan Against Evil and AMC’s The Walking Dead. She has always championed independent film and the local puppet community and was particularly interested in fabrication and the building of worlds when it came to filmmaking. She can even be seen on Lifetime TV’s HERstories. Molly’s films Magic The Gathering The Musical and Pepper’s Place have their own cult followings and conceptually her plans of combining the fantastical world of Kaylee’s live action journey with stop-motion crayon drawings are equally as imaginative as her previous work. The script for Kaylee Age 8 was a finalist in the 2017 Sundance Screenwriters Lab, 2018 ATLFF, 2018 Fempire, 2018 Script Summit, 2018 Golden Script, and 5th Annual Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship.
Director of Photography Nancy Schreiber, ASC is an incredibly seasoned and accomplished cinematographer. She was the fourth woman ever voted into membership into the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers. In February 2017, Schreiber was recipient of the ASC President’s Award, the first ever woman to win the award. She recently received the Susan B Anthony “Failure is Impossible” Award at the High Falls Film Festival for her extensive work and contribution in supporting women in the industry. T he reason she is an inspiration and role model for people like director Molly Coffee is her steadfastly starting in the bottom of the industry as an electrician and gaffer and barreling her way up through the ranks smash- ing open doors. As she herself said, “If I had paid attention to [sexism] being an issue, I would not be where I am today.” You can see her range of work on TV shows like Better Things and In Plain Sight to feature films like The Nines and Motherhood and even documentaries like The Celluloid Closet.
Production Designer Nik Morgan was devastated at age 6 upon the realization that being a Ghostbuster was not a "real" profession, Nick decided to be an artist instead. For the last 20 years he has been involved with several film and stage projects in Atlanta. Including being co- founder and prop builder for the 5 time award winning Silver Scream Spook Show, curating the Splatter Cinema film series, Producing and Special F/X for the exploitation film Dear God No, and slews of indie shorts. He has a long career working with director Molly Coffee as a Set Decorator when she moonlights as a production designer including designing her previous spec pilot Pepper’s Place. He is the current record holder for the most doughnuts eaten on a unicycle in the rain. Working with his Team Awesome collective he will create a world just as unique as the characters that inhabit it.
Producer Tara Ansley. Forbes Top 1000 Entrepreneurs Under 30’s Tara is one of the youngest producers making feature films. Beginning from the bottom in production and working her way up, she has worked on shows of all sizes. Her feature film “Tragedy Girls” premiered at SXSW in 2017 and has gone on to have a successful thea- trical run. “St Agatha”, the female driven horror film directed by Darren Lynne Bousman sold to Octane Entertainment in 2018 and “Summer Nights” is just beginning it’s festival run.
Co-Producer Drew Sawyer. Whether he's on the set of an indie Sundance horror film dressed only in a pair of bloody boxers, or working with a talented post-production team on an episodic television series, Drew loves telling stories. And this is why he started Moonshine, a start-to-finish production and post-production service company located on the Belt- line, servicing Tier 1-3 features, TV Shows and commercials. When Drew's not producing or post-producing movies and TV shows with his friends, colleagues or for "the Man," he's four days backpacking in Bear Country, hiking and camping through wind, rain, and snow.
Location Manager Seth Ingram. Development Director at Moonshine Productions and the Creative Director at the Rome International Film Festival. Seth has experience in independent film and television productions. Not only a board member of Howard Finster’s Paradise Gardens, he is the go-to person if you are looking to shoot a film in northwest Georgia with
Crafty Apes is a full service visual effects company based in Culver City, CA with offices in NY and ATL. Launched in July 2011, the company was founded by three visual effects veterans with more than 20 years of combined experience. Their clients have gone on to include La La Land, Hidden Figures, Stranger Things and Thor Ragnarok just to name a few of the most recent. Crafty Apes was formed primarily to offer high-end compositing services to feature films and commercial clients.
Moonshine is a full service post house with world class facilities in the Old 4th Ward neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. Surrounded by a solid team of artists, supervisors and technicians the company has many years of experience, and a consistent track record for delivering creative work on time, on budget, and with exceptional service.When they’re not servicing Commercial Stories, Broadcast Episodics or Big Screen Deliverables, Moonshine is making movies, cultivating talent and collaborating with new talent.