ben kaufman

"About a Donkey" Start of Principal Photography Recap

Thanks to all who supported our successful crowdfunding campaign, we were able to start principal photography on our second feature film, About a Donkey, this past weekend. You can check out this blog post to find out more about the film and see behind the scenes of our first unofficial production day back in January. I'll be sharing more about the experience of making this film, the creative choices behind it and how we're able to do it on $20,000 in 12 shooting days after we wrap production. But in the meantime, I'd love to include you in our progress through a bit of behind the scenes along the way via a weekly blog post. Here's the first.

We'll be shooting the film over four weekends through April 2nd. This was our first (three consecutive days), and it was a huge success! We're running on 12 hour days and I'm proud to say that we not only made our day all three days but made them early! This is a testament to the talent and skill of our small in quantity but mighty in quality crew & cast (or film-family, as we like to say)!

On Friday (thanks to my cousin Lauri, who loaned her house for the shoot), we shot scenes set in Annie & Paul's kitchen. See BTS below. 

And check out a couple raw Stills from the day:

On Saturday, we shot scenes set in the nursery for Annie and Paul's soon-to-be baby. See BTS below. 

And check out a raw Still from the day:

On Sunday (thanks to my mom Marlene & stepdad Jay for loaning their home), we shot scenes set in our main picture house, the home of parents Ann & Tim. See BTS below.

And check out a couple raw Stills from the day. 

This weekend we'll be jumping back in shooting a scene set in a hospital waiting room on Friday and scenes set in (grandma) Farrah's nursing home on Saturday. (We're skipping Sunday because our pilot "Two Gays & a Girl" is premiering at the Queens World Film Festival that afternoon!)

You may be wondering where the titular donkey is in all this production. Well, stay tuned!


Meet Burgh! (Seed&Spark update)

Burgh is played by Ben Kaufman. You know how growing up you maybe have a picture in your head of who your perfect significant other would be, and then you meet the person you'll end up with and they're nothing like that picture but so much better? Casting Ben as Burgh was kind of like that, where we had a very specific idea of who Burgh should be. We wanted someone with a bit of different look and a bit more of a bubbly vibrance; but then Ben came in and brought his own feel to the character and it just felt right -- he felt like Burgh. He also had amazing chemistry in his callback with Christina Shea-Wright (who had already been cast as Cecilia). He brings a lot of depth and heart to his snarky one-liners. We're excited to see more of what he brings to Burgh. Watch what he has to say about the character and the film. 

More about Burgh:

Burgh is a charming prankster who works in Broadcast and is currently seeing Cassie, a local politician who also happens to be his sister Annie's nemesis.

Suggested Tweet: Meet Burgh, one of the characters in #aboutadonkey, an inclusive comedy currently crowdfunding on @seedandspark!

Suggested Facebook Post: Meet Burgh, one of the characters in About a Donkey, an inclusive comedy film currently raising funds to make their full feature!

We've got a big push to hit 50% by tomorrow. Thank you everyone who's making it happen!  

-Christina, Kelsey & the team

"About a Donkey" 1st Scene Shoot Recap

Kelsey & I (Christina) spent most of 2016 in pre-production for our feature film About a Donkey; and we made it a point to keep our audience updated on all our progress, from sharing videos about why we want to make the film to introductions to the characters with each casting announcement. Last weekend that work and progress resulted in the first execution of bringing this passion project to life. 

On Saturday, the entire cast (even two via videochat) and much of the key crew met up for our first reading of the full script. It was so much fun getting to bring our new extended film family together to bond and collaborate. Hearing the whole script from such brilliant performers over 4 years after Kelsey shared the first draft of it with me was really rewarding and exciting. We cannot wait to work and create with all these wonderful people. 

We're planning to crowdfund the film from February 1st through March 3rd, then jump into production on March 10th. We decided the best way to involve our audience, show them what we're capable of and give them a taste of what this film can be would be to actually devote a day to shooting the first scene of the film (12 pages!) and release a section of it as part of our Seed&Spark pitch video. So that's what we did on Sunday. I will talk more about how that went and how we pulled it off when our campaign launches next month, but know that it was a huge success thanks to our talented and dedicated crew and cast (and my amazingly supportive family). We know now more than ever that this project is something special. We look forward to bringing you along on this journey!

See a few raw stills from what we shot below!

And click through behind the scenes photos from the shoot!

Be sure to mark your calendars for February 1st at 12:30pm EST. Our campaign will not only reveal the opening scene and explain why this film is so important & worth getting behind, but will also offer a sneak peek at Saturday's read-through and a variety of exclusive incentives for your contribution(s)! Bookmark this link: It's coming soon!


About a Donkey is about growing up & growing old, and finding love & laughter along the way. The film follows the Owens family: Ann & Tim, their 3 adult children, Cecilia, Burgh, and Annie (and her husband Paul), and matriarch Farrah. When Tim brings home a donkey in a mixture of wanting to rescue both it and himself, things are shaken up in each of the characters' lives.

The films quirky but relatable nature has been referred to as a little Little Miss Sunshine meets Gilmore Girls, but with a donkey and a strong focus on inclusivity (both in front of and behind the camera)! We're strong believers in being the change -- reflecting the world as we want to see it. With this film, our mission is to combat hate with humor and heart.

In our film, love is love, people's lives and desires are relevant no matter their age, and struggling with depression is acceptable and normal.