A Commemorative Animation For Michael Stone

$826 of $1,000 goal

Raised by 18 people in 2 months
Like many of us.  Michael Stone was my Zen and yoga teacher and dharma friend. 

When I first heard the news of his coma my heart and stomach sank with everyone in disbelief.  I prayed at my altar to his photograph as his life hung in the balance.  When he was taken off life support I placed his image on the ground and began to trace it.

Something in me knew to do this as my sunken heart gave way to silent weeping.  With my fine pen's nib I slowly tapped black points the size of sand grains materializing his tender eyes, long nose, then mouth, then ears...

His life and passing affected me beyond what I could understand at the time.  It stirred in me this deep need to express something.  At the time I mistook this to be the fact of my own mental health challenges and tried to be the voice Michael could no longer speak. 

The past 16 months I intermittently participated in news articles, blog postings, dharma talks and panel discussions, but never felt I fulfilled what had stirred me.  I now understand that it was Michael's deep sensitivity, expressiveness and affection that I related to.  For me, despite the tragedy of his illness and passing, this part survives. 

So I returned to the act of pointillistic tracing to express what of Michael's spirit I'd felt moved me.  The near-silent tapping of dots like the striking of a tiny mukugyo to the heart sutra.  I will be animating Michael's moving portrait through hundreds of traced drawings through a process called rotoscoping. 

I have already received half my budget - a $1000 grant through the Canada Arts Council in partnership with Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) and the Artists' Health Center.  Their initiative is called Animating Artists' Health.  This animation will be submitted to the Rendez-Vous With Madness film festival along with 7 other 1-minute animations on mental health. 

This grant has given me the opportunity to make this animation.  I am writing you to share in the inspiring news of this project and also in a fundraising effort to further support the effort as time and costs will far exceed the grant amount.  I want this project to be made well and celebrated with everyone feeling a small part of it.  Dāna (giving) is a practice of generosity so please trust what feels right to contribute. 

Any funds past the $1,000 goal will go back to Gravity as scholarship assistance.  I've received scholarship in the past and would like to give back. 

I will also be coming in to show the animation at Gravity and do a dharma talk. 


Costs associated with project:

- Japanese fine tipped markers, sumi ink & brushes
- vellum paper for tracing
- printing hundreds of photos of Michael as source material
- transport costs


Support for my time:


- going through archival footage of Michael
- sourcing additional found footage
- developing concept and script
- creating preliminary live edit to then animate from
- attending meetings + workshops at TAIS
- managing fundraising effort
- gathering supplies

$504:  36 hours @ 14 / h


- animating / tracing images

$896:  64 hours @ 14 / h


- scanning drawings
- editing drawings in photoshop
- video editing
- creating music + sound effects
- creating titles
- exporting + uploading
- promotion

$504:  36 hours @ 14 / h

$2,000: total budget

Please note:  I will be working for minimum wage.  I've done filmwork for many years and usually receive much more.  I do not mind as this is a labour of love.  Funds are simply a means for me to have the space to do this.  I also need to take time away from my other job as a massage therapist to focus on this as it is due February 1st.   In any case, your support makes this possible.  I thank you!
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$826 of $1,000 goal

Raised by 18 people in 2 months
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