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This week, Larry and Terry Ziegelman received positive news from crowdfunding platform, Seed&Spark regarding their short film project. S&S will greenlight a production, if it receives 80% of the funding goal That’s exactly what happened last Tuesday when the project hit $12,800 of its $16,000 goal. As of this writing, the two have raised $14,091.
“We feel so grateful and honored that so many friends and family are so supportive of this short film. We are excited to see it all come together” co-director and writer, Larry Ziegelman told Reel 360.
Broken Vessels examines one woman’s experience of her being stuck between fighting a deadly cancer and her abusive husband. It touches upon issues of domestic abuse, violence to woman and female empowerment.
Jane (Alicia Blasingame) is an isolated woman caught in an abusive relationship. Her once loving husband (Aaron Gaffey) who is fighting his own demons, is a now a bitter and angry shell of a man. Jane has no one, until she meets Naomi (Cathy Vu), another cancer patient. It is through her friendship with Naomi that Jane finds the strength that she never thought possible.
According to the brothers, the character of Naomi is based on a real-life high school friend of Terry’s back in the Ziegelmans’ hometown of St. Louis.
“The real Naomi was an amazing woman. So full of life and hope and joy. She would post images of herself going to chemo dressed in various cosplay outfits, handing out roses to all the cancer patients there. She brought joy to everyone she met,” Terry told Reel 360, adding,
“That is when we realized that Naomi was to be the character that helps Jane. She had the opportunity to read the script and loved it. She really felt like we captured her essence in the “Naomi” character. This film will be dedicated to the memory of her in the end credits. “
The Ziegelmans grew up in St. Louis as comic book lovers. Influenced by The X-Men and The Batman Dark Knight series, the two developed their love for the fantasy and sci-fi genres. According to Terry, they took their love for comic books to a new level by creating their own comic book characters.
“We did one called Blood Bath in Junior High and Pulsar Stargrave. I think we were influenced by (Thanos and Shang-Chi co-creator) Jim Starlin’s series Adam Warlock.”
Once Terry moved away from St. Louis to first, New York and eventually, LA, working on mainly on animated films including, Hotel Transylvania and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 1 and 2, Larry honed his creativity as an award-winning Associate Creative Director for Chicago advertising agencies.
The two, each on their own, would eventually be lured back into directing. Larry, who still lives in Chicago, began to make a name for himself with short comedy films including the award-winning Check Please!, You Shouldn’t Have and Superman fan film, Little Man of Steel. He currently has a digital comedy series which he describes as a “love letter to everything Geek” on Amazon Prime called Geek Lounge.
Following suit, Terry would begin to make his own short films, beginning with the dark comedy 9 to 5 Feet Under and his own Batman fan film, Committed, which was well received on the festival circuit.
The two teamed up on a very dark and controversial short comedy called Boom Boom and as co-writers on the children’s short film, One Fish, Two Fish.
The two brothers suffered their own personal loss last year, when their father passed away. Broken Vessels also serves as an opportunity for the two to reconnect and heal, while creating something new.
Larry shared, “I’m so excited to be collaborating with Terry again and creating this dramatic and meaningful film. I’m also grateful for the talented team of actors, crew members and friends who will be working with us as well.”
Production on Broken Vessels begins next month. There is still time (11 days at this writing) to help the Ziegelmans reach their goal of $16,000. You can click here to support.