Fibromyalgia Awareness - Short Film

$3,295 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 41 people in 12 months
Ben Carlson  SAINT PAUL, MN

Our Story & Mission
Hello, and thank you for checking out our fibromyalgia awareness campaign! As the creators of this experimental short film, our hope is to raise awareness for the nervous system disorder known as fibromyalgia. 

Most commonly found in women, fibromyalgia affects millions of people around the world. It is generally characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, migraines, and short-term memory issues, but the list of symptoms continues and often varies on a case-by-case basis.

Fibro fighters tend to keep their struggles to themselves because it's very difficult for others to understand how to be supportive. As a result, far too many victims of fibro suffer alone and do not have people in their lives who can walk alongside them.

Raising awareness for fibromyalgia is deeply important to us, as our lives have been impacted greatly by this and similar invisible illnesses. We want to create something that not only offers both encouragement and support to those with fibromyalgia, but that also offers a more empathetic awareness of this disorder for those who do not suffer from it. 

This project already has the support and excitement of rheumatology nurse associates Greta Abruzzese, RN, CNP and Julie Kelly, MS, RN, who run a clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are very excited about this film and are wholeheartedly on board with our vision. 

Raising Awareness & Support
This project is much bigger than the team behind A Happy Seven. Countless hours of work have gone into pre-production alone, and people's lives have already been blessed, as many with fibromyalgia have found great encouragement in this endeavor. 

We have full confidence in this film's potential to grow as a source of awareness and as a blessing in countless people's lives. However, we do not have the funding to do that on our own, so we are humbly asking for your financial support.

Film Budget
Our goal is to raise at least $1,500, with our full goal being $2,100. Cast and crew are graciously working without pay, but equipment, locations, transportation, and meals add up very quickly!

Below is our the budget for our short-film. We want you to know exactly where your funds will go if you choose to donate.

Pre-Production:
Promotion - $100

Production:
Rental Equipment Costs - $500
Props - $150
Transportation/Gas - $400
Locations - $300
Food/Meals - $350

Post-Production:
Sound Design Elements - $100

Advertisement & Press:
Posters & Flyers - $100
Screening Promotion - $100
T̶h̶e̶a̶t̶r̶e̶ ̶R̶e̶n̶t̶a̶l̶ ̶-̶ ̶$̶4̶2̶5̶    Covered by anonymous benefactor

Total: $2100 - (Before distribution)
Distribution Costs - DVD & Online - $400

Anything above and beyond $2,100 will go towards other post-production costs, future distribution, continued advertisement/promotion, and donations.

A portion of the support will be donated to the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association to aid in their invaluable work.
http://www.fmcpaware.org/


Bringing Hope to Those With Fibro
Fibromyalgia is very real. It is not in your head. When a fibro fighter says how much pain they're in, they mean it. 

The physical and emotional burdens of living with this disorder can be extraordinarily limiting, but that does not have to be the case. Like everyone, fibro fighters need understanding and compassion, but how to offer that to them effectively without adding to their burdens can be difficult to learn. Yet that does not justify the millions who are fighting alone.

Join us as we strive to raise awareness for this incredibly impactful disorder. Help us create a work of art that comforts, clarifies, and educates, bringing support to the lives of so many who desperately need it. Millions of people could be forever grateful. Let's bring them some hope.

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Help spread the word!
 4.8K shares on Facebook
Update 4
Posted by Ben Carlson
11 months ago
   Share
1
1
Hello! Even though things have been quiet on our end lately, A Happy Seven has still been moving forward! The film is coming together, and we’re thrilled to officially announce that it will be premiering at a theater next month!

For those of you who live in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, "A Happy Seven" will be screening at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis on May 12th, International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day! Admission is completely free, and you can reserve your seats at happysevenfilm.eventbrite.com. You can also check out the event attached to our facebook page: http://bit.ly/1YRcR4a
We hope to see you there! If you would be interested in helping to advertise the premiere, let us know and we would love to get some fliers to you. For those who live elsewhere, stay tuned for updates about future screenings and releases, both nationally and internationally.

You may have noticed that we have increased our overall GoFundMe goal. That is not meant to detract at all from our gratefulness to those who helped us both achieve and surpass our original goal; rather our aim with a revised goal is to have the capability to continue promoting and distributing A Happy Seven around the world. We want this film to reach as many people as possible, and the more support we have, the more we can do that!

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Keep spreading the word, and we hope to see you on May 12th! A Happy Seven is coming soon!!!

- The Happy Seven Team
"A Happy Seven" Premiere Poster
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Update 3
Posted by Ben Carlson
12 months ago
   Share
1
1
Thanks to your continued support, A Happy Seven has not only reached our fundraising goals, but has significantly surpassed them!! This has opened up even more potential for the film, adding to the excitement of two fantastically full days of production with our phenomenal cast and crew. We are SO excited for the day we can share the completed film with you all! We are truly humbled and taken aback by your support. Thank you for standing with us as we continue to try to raise awareness and understanding.

- The Happy Seven Team
Some of our wonderful cast and crew!
Director and D.P. critiquing a shot
Our D.P. and Key Grip setting up a scene
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Update 2
Posted by Ben Carlson
12 months ago
   Share
2
2
In case you're wondering how qualified the Happy Seven team is to be taking on this project, take a minute to read through this update.

Writer/director Sophie Meath is an award-winning filmmaker. Her work has been honored at the Five16 Film Festival in St. Paul (Best Narrative, 2013; Best Music Video, 2014), the Intercollegiate National Religious Broadcasters (2nd Place Short Film, 2015), the Oklahoma Broadcast Education Association (1st Place and 3rd Place Long Narrative, 2015), as well as the Upper Midwest Emmy® Chapter Student Awards (1st Place College Fiction, 2015)! She has substantial directing experience and is a talented cinematographer. You can view her production reel in the video below.

The director of photography, Carsten Johnson, is also an award-winning filmmaker. He has won several first-place awards at the Five16 Film Festival and his films have been screened at the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival as well as the Inspiration Film Festival in Florida. He and Sophie have worked together for years and are very excited to be teaming up again for this production.

Ben Carlson is both a talented producer and a gifted musician. He has performed in many different venues in both North and South America as well as Taiwan. In the past few years he cowrote, recorded, and produced two albums in two separate bands. His passion for audio and sound engineering earned him several 1st place production awards from the Intercollegiate National Religious Broadcasters association, including an Award of Excellence for Best Audio Production. He has also worked on audio in several successful short films and is very excited to tackle the sound design elements in this film.
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Update 1
Posted by Ben Carlson
12 months ago
   Share
1
1
A big shoutout to everyone who has liked, followed, or shared A Happy Seven’s Facebook page and crowdfunding campaign! Every single click is bringing our goal to life.

We’re excited to announce that our film has been cast!! We’ve got an incredible team of actors on board, willing to shoulder a heavy story for a beautiful cause. As traction for the project grows, it’s become increasingly obvious to us how much we need your support.

This project is so much bigger than us already, and we want to touch as many lives as possible! If you find yourself willing and able, please, consider donating to A Happy Seven’s GoFundMe campaign. Every gift helps tremendously!

Again, thank you so much for your continued encouragement as we seek a much greater creation than we ever expected. Your support means the world to us.

Sincerely,

The Happy Seven Team,

Sophie Meath
Ben Carlson
Tessa Meath
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Help spread the word!
 4.8K shares on Facebook
Read a Previous Update
Lara Berman
12 months ago
4
4

Another major issue is financial support. Many many people do not have partners or family who can assist. Depression and even suicide is a common factor of the illness because of financial stress and knowing you are a burden. Despite their best efforts people with Fibro are often still reprimanded for being 'lazy' and expecting others to fund a 'privileged' lifestyle . There are few countries that give financial aid

+ Read More
Scott Blades
12 months ago
3
3

Please don't forget about the men. Too many suffer in silence because we are supposed to "push through it" and "man up". Those strategies work up to a point. Ultimately, it was "fog" that caused me to lose my job recently. It's been my experience that if a male presents symptoms of fibromyalgia the medical professionals don't take it seriously. After all, fibro is a "woman's disease".

+ Read More
Christy Atkins Kane
12 months ago
2
2

I am so honored to be a part of this project. I also have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and I am blessed to have a very supportive husband and family. However, I still experience a lot of the stigma elsewhere. This disorder affects millions of men and women around the world, each of us dealing with our unique symptoms and struggles. Hang in there, all of you dealing with this invisible disease. You are not alone.

+ Read More
Kathy Carre
12 months ago
2
2

https://www.facebook.com/speakingthetruthaboutfibromyalgia Thank-you SO much for doing this. We will be sharing this on to our Facebook page and encouraging our followers to SHARE as well. We are all doing our part to spread awareness and education. This is good news for all of us who suffer from this debilitating illness. Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you!

+ Read More
Hannelie Turner
12 months ago
2
2

How liberating that someone can so eloquently express our journey and voice what is difficult for me to do, thank you!

+ Read More
Jeanenna Billiot Juneau
11 months ago
1
1

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few years ago but have been suffering for many years now. I didn't know what caused the pain I endured everyday. The most difficult time having fibro is, I wasnt able to hold my baby for long periods of time. I couldn't console him when he needed it. Even though he'll be 4 in a month I still cry when I think about that time. Fibromyalgia robs you of your life. To have people think you are faking or over exaggerating is even more painful. I'm blessed to have family that takes care of me on my days I feel like I can't go on. I thank you for making this film. Everyone needs to become aware and educated on fibromyalgia.

+ Read More
Twyla Wald
11 months ago
1
1

I suffer from fibromyalgia and as I struggle with the everyday stiffness ,aches and pains I am also developing bad headaches lately memory is getting loss for words I also am suffering from joint problems had a surgery on my hand now have to have another one due to tissue deterioration and all the other problems witch I believe is from my fibro my meds don't really help plus my scoliosis I am so down hard to even hold down my job anymore is there anywhere a person can go for answers and help I don't even leave the house much anymore because of the pain

+ Read More
Karen Talasco
12 months ago
1
1

This is my life to a T. There is no better way to explain to family and friends than to sit them down and have them watch this video. They just don't get our daily struggles. Every day is different. The isolation, financial problems, constant pain and tired of having no life. This film gives us a voice! And hope. Thank you for producing it.

+ Read More
Jenn N Jeff
12 months ago
1
1

I am a 35 year old fibro warrior. I am very excited to see this come to a more public spectrum. I struggle so much every single day to get out of bed. Some days because I am exhausted from insomnia and other days from the pain. Making people understand how I am feeling is the hardest obstacle ever. But for now I just keep on trucking and staying active so that I do not let it win! God bless!!!

+ Read More
Juliette Smythe
12 months ago
1
1

What a great idea. Thank you for doing this and spreading awareness x

+ Read More
Michelle Jacobs-Anderson
12 months ago
1
1

my new VA doctor is sending me to physical therapy. i was diagnosed several years ago with fibro. told him at my check up no changes in pain. hope physical therapy is going to require heating pads only. exercise sometimes is not possible or makes pain worse. limitations even prevent washing dishes on bad days. we will see how their therapy goes.

+ Read More
Sarah Whalen
12 months ago
1
1

Thank you for thinking of and taking on this project!! Learning to accept my limitations has been one of the most difficult challenges I've faced since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Nobody wants to admit that they just can't do some things like they used to. I am currently in the process of developing a manageable life taking into consideration the impact that fibro has had on me. I can no longer fit into the normal model of a 40 hour work schedule. I am fortunate enough to work for an employer who is understanding, compassionate, caring and flexible so that I can continue to be a contributor and be productive. If you know anyone who has fibromyalgia, watch this short PSA. You may glean some useful information.

+ Read More
Kimberly Rieper
12 months ago
1
1

Thank you for adding a voice to a world of white noise. It's so much easier to fight something when you actually know what you are fighting for.

+ Read More
Riana Erasmus
12 months ago
1
1

Thank you for doing this Sophie. I can tell you that all Fibro sufferers appreciate what you're doing, especially because so many of us have simply given up trying to talk about it. Even our very doctors have made us doubt ourselves. I've had Fibro since the age of 10, but was only diagnosed at the age of 17. Those seven years were hell. Fibro destroyed not only my dreams and schooling, but my family as well. Thank you for being an amazing sister. You are definitely a special kind of person. I wish you and your sister all the best. Sending you guys lots of love and blessings. ♥

+ Read More
Elsa Hoffmann
12 months ago
1
1

Thank you. We especially need people to know more in countries where we are told we are acting, we are mad, or we want pain medication because we are addicts. Those were doctors by the way. Thank you for doing this

+ Read More
Mary Sarai Stenson
12 months ago
1
1

I'm very excited about your project. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2001, and your video describes things very well. As an actress myself, I'm excited to see awareness being brought in a medium I love. I wish i could donate right now as well, but as you may know, funds can sometimes be tight when your dealing with working with this disease. However, I've been blessed to find medications that work quite well for me, making it possible to continue to work close to or at full-time quite a bit of the time, so I'm planning to come back when I have some funds from working some of those full time weeks. ;)

+ Read More
Peter Guth
12 months ago
1
1

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year. You describe it very accurately when you say there's nothing you can do and no one understands. It is a very lonely and hopeless disease. I don't know what will come from this film, but I wish you the best in your production.

+ Read More

$3,295 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 41 people in 12 months
Created March 6, 2016
$20
Anonymous
10 months ago
BH
$5
Beth Hinneberg
10 months ago
1
1
SK
$20
Shannon Kennelly
11 months ago
1
1

Thank you for making this video. My mom has fibro and she inspires me everyday with her strength. I know that she is still very lonely and this inclusive film could really be uplifting and help her feel not alone

KS
$15
Kate Swaffer
11 months ago
1
1

Here's hoping the film goes viral, along with an awareness of this condition. #Understanding will go a long way to help sufferers and those around them. With thanks from Australia

GT
$1,000
GoFundMe Team
12 months ago
4
4

We’re excited to be able to Give Back to campaigns that have touched us here at GoFundMe. We wish you the best, - The GoFundMe Team

AL
$50
Adam Lilla
12 months ago
1
1
EJ
$10
Eric Johnson
12 months ago
1
1

Good luck guys! It's an honor to support both good friends and a good cause!

DS
$50
Dominique Surkan
12 months ago
1
1

my husband has had fibro for 12 years .he is living in Hell ,finding no relief from the medical community , very little support from friends or family .I fear that this awful disease get the best of him soon

AS
$50
Andrea Stapleton-Bensimon
12 months ago
1
1
TB
$20
Tawny Burkhardt
12 months ago
1
1
Lara Berman
12 months ago
4
4

Another major issue is financial support. Many many people do not have partners or family who can assist. Depression and even suicide is a common factor of the illness because of financial stress and knowing you are a burden. Despite their best efforts people with Fibro are often still reprimanded for being 'lazy' and expecting others to fund a 'privileged' lifestyle . There are few countries that give financial aid

+ Read More
Scott Blades
12 months ago
3
3

Please don't forget about the men. Too many suffer in silence because we are supposed to "push through it" and "man up". Those strategies work up to a point. Ultimately, it was "fog" that caused me to lose my job recently. It's been my experience that if a male presents symptoms of fibromyalgia the medical professionals don't take it seriously. After all, fibro is a "woman's disease".

+ Read More
Christy Atkins Kane
12 months ago
2
2

I am so honored to be a part of this project. I also have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and I am blessed to have a very supportive husband and family. However, I still experience a lot of the stigma elsewhere. This disorder affects millions of men and women around the world, each of us dealing with our unique symptoms and struggles. Hang in there, all of you dealing with this invisible disease. You are not alone.

+ Read More
Kathy Carre
12 months ago
2
2

https://www.facebook.com/speakingthetruthaboutfibromyalgia Thank-you SO much for doing this. We will be sharing this on to our Facebook page and encouraging our followers to SHARE as well. We are all doing our part to spread awareness and education. This is good news for all of us who suffer from this debilitating illness. Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you!

+ Read More
Hannelie Turner
12 months ago
2
2

How liberating that someone can so eloquently express our journey and voice what is difficult for me to do, thank you!

+ Read More
Jeanenna Billiot Juneau
11 months ago
1
1

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few years ago but have been suffering for many years now. I didn't know what caused the pain I endured everyday. The most difficult time having fibro is, I wasnt able to hold my baby for long periods of time. I couldn't console him when he needed it. Even though he'll be 4 in a month I still cry when I think about that time. Fibromyalgia robs you of your life. To have people think you are faking or over exaggerating is even more painful. I'm blessed to have family that takes care of me on my days I feel like I can't go on. I thank you for making this film. Everyone needs to become aware and educated on fibromyalgia.

+ Read More
Twyla Wald
11 months ago
1
1

I suffer from fibromyalgia and as I struggle with the everyday stiffness ,aches and pains I am also developing bad headaches lately memory is getting loss for words I also am suffering from joint problems had a surgery on my hand now have to have another one due to tissue deterioration and all the other problems witch I believe is from my fibro my meds don't really help plus my scoliosis I am so down hard to even hold down my job anymore is there anywhere a person can go for answers and help I don't even leave the house much anymore because of the pain

+ Read More
Karen Talasco
12 months ago
1
1

This is my life to a T. There is no better way to explain to family and friends than to sit them down and have them watch this video. They just don't get our daily struggles. Every day is different. The isolation, financial problems, constant pain and tired of having no life. This film gives us a voice! And hope. Thank you for producing it.

+ Read More
Jenn N Jeff
12 months ago
1
1

I am a 35 year old fibro warrior. I am very excited to see this come to a more public spectrum. I struggle so much every single day to get out of bed. Some days because I am exhausted from insomnia and other days from the pain. Making people understand how I am feeling is the hardest obstacle ever. But for now I just keep on trucking and staying active so that I do not let it win! God bless!!!

+ Read More
Juliette Smythe
12 months ago
1
1

What a great idea. Thank you for doing this and spreading awareness x

+ Read More
Michelle Jacobs-Anderson
12 months ago
1
1

my new VA doctor is sending me to physical therapy. i was diagnosed several years ago with fibro. told him at my check up no changes in pain. hope physical therapy is going to require heating pads only. exercise sometimes is not possible or makes pain worse. limitations even prevent washing dishes on bad days. we will see how their therapy goes.

+ Read More
Sarah Whalen
12 months ago
1
1

Thank you for thinking of and taking on this project!! Learning to accept my limitations has been one of the most difficult challenges I've faced since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Nobody wants to admit that they just can't do some things like they used to. I am currently in the process of developing a manageable life taking into consideration the impact that fibro has had on me. I can no longer fit into the normal model of a 40 hour work schedule. I am fortunate enough to work for an employer who is understanding, compassionate, caring and flexible so that I can continue to be a contributor and be productive. If you know anyone who has fibromyalgia, watch this short PSA. You may glean some useful information.

+ Read More
Kimberly Rieper
12 months ago
1
1

Thank you for adding a voice to a world of white noise. It's so much easier to fight something when you actually know what you are fighting for.

+ Read More
Riana Erasmus
12 months ago
1
1

Thank you for doing this Sophie. I can tell you that all Fibro sufferers appreciate what you're doing, especially because so many of us have simply given up trying to talk about it. Even our very doctors have made us doubt ourselves. I've had Fibro since the age of 10, but was only diagnosed at the age of 17. Those seven years were hell. Fibro destroyed not only my dreams and schooling, but my family as well. Thank you for being an amazing sister. You are definitely a special kind of person. I wish you and your sister all the best. Sending you guys lots of love and blessings. ♥

+ Read More
Elsa Hoffmann
12 months ago
1
1

Thank you. We especially need people to know more in countries where we are told we are acting, we are mad, or we want pain medication because we are addicts. Those were doctors by the way. Thank you for doing this

+ Read More
Mary Sarai Stenson
12 months ago
1
1

I'm very excited about your project. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2001, and your video describes things very well. As an actress myself, I'm excited to see awareness being brought in a medium I love. I wish i could donate right now as well, but as you may know, funds can sometimes be tight when your dealing with working with this disease. However, I've been blessed to find medications that work quite well for me, making it possible to continue to work close to or at full-time quite a bit of the time, so I'm planning to come back when I have some funds from working some of those full time weeks. ;)

+ Read More
Peter Guth
12 months ago
1
1

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year. You describe it very accurately when you say there's nothing you can do and no one understands. It is a very lonely and hopeless disease. I don't know what will come from this film, but I wish you the best in your production.

+ Read More
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