Crowdsourcing Mornings Stuff

Crowdsourcing Mornings: Birds Short Film

Welcome to the Crowdsourcing Mornings segment!  Every weekday morning, Geek Alabama talks about and features one crowdsourcing project from crowdsourcing sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and others.  The hope with Crowdsourcing Mornings is to feature and help a project be successful and reach its fundraising goal.  Please enjoy today’s featured project!

Please read our crowdsourcing guidelines at:

Birds is a fast-paced, tender drama set in a closed category women’s prison in the south of England. LEE (40s) has already been in prison for 2 months, but she hides the truth from her youngest daughter RAY (9), whom she speaks to on the phone in her cell as often as she can afford. It’s wonderful news when Ray tells her she’s going to compete in a national gymnastics competition, but the leotard she needs to be eligible is much more that Lee can afford. And Lee’s got a new volatile cell-mate MAYA (21) who’s driving her up the wall, disrupting her phone calls, and making her lie harder to keep. With the little means she has, Lee is desperate to support her daughter’s dreams, determined not to tell her the truth against all odds.

The Industry is saturated with violent, masculine depictions of prison life. In our film we want to platform the resilience of mothers behind bars and the support system women create for each other. After months of research, this film will comprise an authentic portrayal of everyday life in a women’s prison, bringing to the forefront fresh and surprising details of what it’s like to live behind bars.

But as well as taking a well-observed and human approach to the material, we’d like to try and utilise a wider range of cinematic language than is ordinarily associated with a gritty social-realist ‘prison drama’. The phone, for example, is a highly-charged emotional space where mouths and dislocated voices are the only forms of communication. But in the other scenes, we’ll focus not only on the dialogue of words, but also of looks, movement and touch to show how Lee and Maya learn to connect with one another.

And moreover, interspersed throughout our film, will be vivid imaginings of Ray doing her gymnastics routine in her new leotard inside the walls of the prison. As the pressure on Lee builds to tell her daughter the truth, Ray’s presence in the prison becomes bolder.

Birds is inspired by the true leotard-quest of Paula Harriott, a former prisoner, now Head of Prisoner Engagement at the Prison Reform Trust.

The crew behind this film all met while pursuing their MA in Filmmaking at Goldsmiths, University of London. Director Tyro Heath came across Paula’s story while conducting research on the British prison system, and decided to base her graduation film on it.

Paula’s story is what brought us together and gave us the necessary insights to try and see motherhood through the eyes of a woman in prison.

As of December 27th, this project has raised $3,660 of their $6,704 goal. This project has 16 days left to raise the $6,704 or it will not be funded. For a pledge of $14, you will get a thank you credit.  For a pledge of $34, you will get a link to the film.  To learn more and to pledge money, go to:

Liked it? Take a second to support Geek Alabama on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
Rate This Post