We're at 30% with 25 days left, thanks to all of you! We're so excited to keep pushing forward to bring this film to life, and are so grateful to have you along on the journey with us. To celebrate hitting this milestone, we'd like to introduce you to Cinnamon, who will be playing TG, the donkey, in our film!
When brainstorming how we'd get a donkey for the film, we knew we wanted to avoid reaching out to any petting zoos or pony ride type companies that would potentially exploit or abuse their animals. We set out to find local sanctuaries and rescue groups. Thankfully, we came across this NY Times article (video included) about Donkey Park, a non-profit in Upstate NY that takes donkeys to nursing homes and schools for the disabled as therapy for both people and donkeys. (The article explains more about their mission.)
We reached out to the founder Steve Stiert, and he was just lovely. He was very excited by our film and the opportunity to promote the loving nature of donkeys to more of the world. I think there is also some parallels with his own story and that of Tim, the father in the film. He agreed to let us use one of his donkeys for the film once he verified we were the real deal and aimed to care for the animal as much as he does. Cinnamon is about 8 years old. She and her mom, Susie, are rescues. If Steve didn't take them in, they would have been slaughtered for meat.
Donkeys are companion animals. They tend to bond strongly to another. Steve said that even if Cinnamon and Susie weren't mother and daughter, he'd still bring both to set because they're best friends (kind of like me & my mom!) and need to be together. So lucky for us, we'll get to have both cuddly cuties on set with us for three days at the end of March!
In the film, TG is just a donkey being a donkey. Cinnamon will only have to act natural and be herself. But we do have some moments where we'll need her to look or walk in a certain direction for the camera. Steve let us shoot some video to demonstrate how he's been training her with positive reinforcement to get her to learn some cool stuff.
We'll have more videos of her training later, exclusively for all you supporters. And even though Susie won't be in the film, she'll surely be in our behind the scenes videos with Cinnamon from set!
Our big push now is to hit 50% by the end of this week. Please keep spreading the word so we can reach more of our audience and get this film made together!
Meet Cinnamon, the donkey from #AboutADonkey! Want to see more of her? Support the project on @seedandspark: https://vimeo.com/202790888.
Christina, Kelsey & the team