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PROJECT IMAGIN8ION: Interactivity

Ron Howard and daughter Bryce Dallas Howard team up with Canon on a novelty photo project that inspires the heartfelt and moving short film, “When You Find Me”.

Words: Marjua Estevez

What started as an inquisitive proposition to movie director Ron Howard, about creating an interactive project that fuses audience creativity into a film’s production, turned into Canon’s Project Imagin8ion, the first-ever photo contest to inspire a Hollywood short film. Last month, actress and director Bryce Dallas Howard, and her Oscar-winning father Ron Howard premiered the result of this forward-thinking initiative, their new 15-minute short film entitled, When You Find Me, at New York’s American Museum of Natural History. With all eyes fixed on the Howard tag-team, this week, their short film goes viral.

Let’s start at the beginning: Canon summoned a call for photos in eight different categories: Character, Mood, Goal, Unknown, Obstacle, Relationship, Time and Setting — with the intent of papa Howard eventually choosing the best photos of the bunch as inspiration for a short film. A tad excited and apprehensive, Howard agreed and went about producing and filming the project while Bryce, 31, saw to the directing. Production took place over the course of two months and just this wrapped October. Their mission? To create a visually inspiring, yet cohesive and plausible film that unified and incorporated all eight photographs from the various categories set by Canon.

Lisle, the younger of the two sisters plays a visionary contrast to her older, straight- laced sister Aurora.

The story, entitled, When You Find Me, revolves around two young girls: Lisle, the younger of the two sisters plays a visionary contrast to her older, straight- laced sister, Aurora. After losing their mother, Lisle preoccupies herself with the idea of finding some kind of spaceship in the woods, one that will ferry them to heaven so they can reunite with their deceased mom. Aurora, on the other hand, is unable to identify with her sister’s naive conviction. Her journey is one of agony, where she is consistently paralyzed by her private thoughts weighed heavily by extreme guilt.

Alternating between past and present, When You Find Me is an impassioned tale of two people confronting tragedy in very different ways, and what it takes to discover inner peace and reconciliation within themselves and with the ones they love. Bryce Dallas Howard and her writing teammate Dane Charbeneau used Sci-fi and Fantasy to bring this film to life, taking the Canon’s original idea further than anticipated with WYFM. “It was extremely personal to me,” Bryce said in an interview recently. “It was our responsibility to determine what kind of story it was and how we interpreted the photos.”

Involving “outsiders” with her directorial process has inspired the emerging director, who now believes that this approach of incorporating public participation with more traditional aspects of directing is the future of film, at least for her. “…Because there were creative filmmaking decisions made early on by these photos. Whatever that means, I think it was a process that I wouldn’t have been privy to, but now that I am, I’m going to try to replicate it,” Bryce said.

When You Find Me premieres digitally on Friday, December 16, 2011 and will be available until the 19th, exclusively on Project Imagin8ion’s YouTube page, HERE

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