Helen Keller once said, “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” An insightful quote from an insightful girl who, deprived of sight and hearing, inspired the world with her determination to overcome the struggles of her life and her ambition to make political and social change. This movie is for her.
Wanting to show a day in the life of Helen Keller, Totally Sketch just released onto their YouTube channel their newest film entitled “The Helen Keller POV Movie.” This hour-and-a-half movie captures with 4D effects a realistic portrayal of life through Keller’s eyes and the challenges she faced throughout her life. Since its release three hours ago, the film is already being celebrated by viewers who shared comments declaring it the “best movie I’ve seen since Nightmare on Elm Street” and “the acting deserves an Oscar.”
The cast is made up of some of the biggest names in Hollywood and includes Elle Fanning, Christopher Walken, Rooney Mara, Mel Gibson, Marion Cotillard, Jessica Chastin and Kathy Bates. Elle Fanning plays a young Keller who is assisted through life by her teacher and companion, Anne Sullivan, played by Marion Cotillard from “Inception.” Quite the line-up for a YouTube movie, but when it comes to Helen Keller, who can possibly say no to that casting call?
So for your next movie night, snuggle up with your honey, pop some popcorn and turn on “The Helen Keller POV Movie” for an evening you’ll never forget. Trust me, you can only keep people in the dark so long before the majesty of this movie is discovered.
Director of the movie and creator of Totally Sketch Michael Gallagher shared with NMR his thoughts on releasing a full length film onto YouTube and his insight into the movie that forever changed his life.
How long have you been working on the “Helen Keller POV Movie” and what did the creative process entail?
Michael Gallagher: We started developing the idea for the film in early 2012, during the post-production of my first feature film “Smiley” (now on DVD). I wanted to do a biopic in the same vein as “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” but not wimp out on the POV cinematography and go all the way. Since the film is shot entirely from Helen Keller’s physical POV, we did extensive pre-visualization and storyboards. Steve Greene really helped bring the script to life and his involvement alone helped us attach A-list talent.
What scene of the film was most powerful for you as a creator and what do you hope people will take away from this movie?
I am particularly proud of the scene where Helen Keller (played by Jessica Chastain) had to breakdance in the talent show to raise $50,000 to save the Rec Center. We did it all in a single tracking shot to maintain the suspense and it came out beautifully.
Were there any moments during the creation of this full length movie that were incredibly emotional for you? When and where did you cry the hardest?
Everyone got very emotional on set when Helen Keller’s Teacher, Anne Sullivan (played by Marion Cotillard), had her big shower scene. It was a grueling two-day shoot but her emotional breakdown was so real that everyone had to come and watch her perform. She was both emotionally naked and physically naked. I still weep when I watch it.
How do you feel that your life has changed since the release of this movie?
Self-releasing this film has been challenging, but extremely rewarding. We are able to release the film on our own terms, for free, on YouTube. The only money coming is through Google adsense. Due to YouTube’s CPM’s being so low, the film will have to achieve 45,000,000,000 views to break even on it’s $50 million production budget. But thanks to our cameos from Psy, James Franco and Steve Greene, we are confident to recoup the investors money soon.
You might also enjoy: