The Film: "The Theory of Happiness"

Deep in the Ukrainian countryside, a group of people are trying to discover happiness through mathematical formulas. Will they succeed, or do dreams of utopia inevitably turn into a veritable nightmare?

This is a film about a radical sect that prohibits smoking, drinking, swearing and sex. They wear uniforms, learn Esperanto, and aim to achieve universal happiness by working long hours and doing good deeds in order to enter eternal life. Their formula for happiness is mathematical -- it is the number of good deeds a person has done in their lifetime, with the subtraction of all their mistakes. Simultaneously, they are being persecuted by the government for forming an illegal, armed organization and for violating minors.

The Music: Comissioning a Composer

An internationally-renowned contemporary composer, Marc Sabat, has come on board to record an original soundtrack for the film. Marc currently lives and works in Berlin. He composed a quartet that we aim to record in the summer.

It will be possible to find a small church in Berlin where we can record for free, but in order to record a session with four professional musicians we need your help!

- $400/day x four musicians = $1600
- Editor for two weeks (in addition to in-kind support) = $400

Anything that we'll raise over and above this amount will go towards other essential post-production goals, such as sound engineering & design, color correction, and animation for the opening credits. If we don't raise our goal, we will not be able to record this session, or continue with much needed work on the film, so it's an all-or-nothing campaign!

- Color Corrector = $1000+
- Sound Designer = $1000+
- Animator for opening credits = $500

What You Get

I am extremely grateful for any amount that you can contribute to this campaign, and any support that will be lent to this project will be acknowledged.

- For any donation over $10, you will get an acknowledgement in the closing credits of the film, and on the film website,
- For $30 or more, you will get a "Thank You" in the closing credits of the film, and either one of the following sent to your address:
-- A professionally-printed DVD of my debut film, "Turning Back the Waves,"
-- Or, pre-order a DVD of the film, "The Theory of Happiness," due in the winter of 2013.
- For $60 or more, you will get both a signed DVD of the film, "Turning Back the Waves," as well as a DVD pre-order of "The Theory of Happiness," as well as a "Special Thank You" in the closing credits of the film.
- For $100 or more, you will get both films signed by the director, plus, "A Very Special Thank You" in the closing credits of the film, and an acknowledgement for helping purchase Super8 film for the epilogue of the "Theory of Happiness."
- For $500 or more, you will get all of the above, plus, an HD transfer of a silent, short experimental Super8 film I am currently developing in Vancouver, plus, a "Producer" title in the closing credits of the film.
- For $1000 or more, you will get all of the above, plus, your unique, hand-printed copy of a short, experimental Super8 film, plus, a 1/2 hour video Q&A about any assigned topic or questions you have about the film, plus, an "Executive Producer" title in the opening and closing credits of the film.

The Impact

In this film project, the filmmaker finds remarkable humanity in both the blind faith of the sect, and the darkness and tragedy, recounted through evocative storytelling, compelling participants, and incredible relationships created in the film. The project explores personal conflicts, but also critiques the corroding social fabric in the post-Soviet era.

Marc Sabat is a composer, musician, and theorist of contemporary music. Marc's incredible, minimalist compositions explore new methods of intonation and experiment with the inextricable link between music and mathematics in a profoundly humane and powerful way. The addition of his talent to the film will create a unique and unified voice through which images can be interpreted. Sound is the most important quality in a film, and Marc's "sounds" will create a lasting and resonating impression.

You can check out this website to learn more.

Other Ways You Can Help

Spread the word! If you have Facebook, Twitter or use any other type of social media, amazing things could happen if you choose to share this link!

If you are a freelance editor, a color corrector, or a sound designer, and you don't mind giving a little advice, or lending a helping hand, let's connect! You can e-mail me at:

Thank you for your help!

A few details

- The projected completion of this film is September, 2012. I will contact you to ask whether you prefer to have an HD download link, or a compressed DVD, or both.
- At the time of writing, I have about 30 DVDs of the film "Turning Back the Waves" left, which I will send out at the end of the campaign. If you are outside of Canada or the United States, please consider adding another $5.00 for shipping, although I will honour all the perks regardless.
- I am expecting completion of the Super 8 film by June, and I will be able to deliver a Q&A interview within two weeks of your donation of $1,000 or more. You may use both these videos under a creative commons license, meaning that you will be free to screen it wherever and however you choose.
- If you wish to receive your perk, please write down your current address. If you prefer to make a donation to go towards the film only, but do not wish to receive any perks, please write me, and I will send you a personal and sincere thank you.
- In the "Gallery", you can view an extended preview of the film that I put together in 2011. If you are having problems viewing the trailer on Vimeo, either turn "HD" off, or check out the YouTube link below.
If you'd like to learn more about me and my work, check out

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