How Little Creatures Films Are Made:
Little Creatures makes films using video cameras. We started out with a mini-DV camera and one cameraperson and have transitioned to High Definition video. Most recently, we shot Spirit Ship with a Panasonic HVX200 camera and a ten person crew. When we don't have a crew (which is most of the time), we have lately been shooting with a simple HD Flip Cam. But Sean Eno shot our latest piece, Queen Esther by the Sea, with a Canon 5D.
For each film, our creative director and partners come up with a premise (from very loose to more developed), then we invite a group of 3-10 year-old children to dress up and play. We usually pick an outdoor spot and sometimes hide mysterious natural objects and artifacts that seem to be brimming with stories children are expert in deciphering. These objects inform the children's play and move the plots of our films along. We never tell the children what to say. We do, however, ask them a lot of questions as they play. We love to work with children who have no professional acting experience, but who know how to play, thoroughly and thoughtfully. Of course, all children know how to play. . . but we look for those children who use poetic language to explain the world around them. We aim to highlight the beauty and profundity of children's original thoughts, and to use the film/video medium to make these wonderful ideas more accessible to other children around the world.
How we fund our projects:
Most of our films are made as a labor of love, and funded out of pocket. Kristin Eno did, however, spend several years working as a teaching artist in NYC public schools, and funded her videos that way. But school arts funding is usually not lucrative enough to make beautiful films. Or is it? That's a good question to pose to the children among us.
How we funded Spirit Ship:
Spirit Ship was made with an entirely volunteer cast and crew and was funded out of pocket. We appealed to Brooklyn Arts Council to act as our fiscal sponsor, and that lovely nonprofit then facilitated Little Creatures accepting tax-deductible, charitable contributions to finish Spirit Ship. We also raised $6609 in our very successful Kickstarter campaign!