A hopeless romantic plans to murder the love of her life’s bride after finding out she’s not invited to the wedding. However, her plan gets interrupted when she is forced to get a ride from a socially awkward hearse driver who is trying to bury his turtle.
“Something About Wonder” is YiYi Han’s thesis film at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. The completed film will be twenty minutes in length.
I first preceded the idea when I imagined two people with polar opposite personalities meeting on a beach. Their lives somehow intertwine with one another as they become partners in crime, and together they learn to find happiness. Soon, one of these characters became Lea. There are many qualities in Lea that really drew me to her. She is narcissistic, insecure, delirious, and hopelessly romantic; however, it is also these qualities that make her seem too extreme to change during the course of a twenty-minute film. In order to portray Lea, I was forced to confront two of my biggest fears: loneliness and change.
I've never been a fan of change: parents getting divorce, moving to America, the birth of my half brothers that ended my 13 years of an only-child's privileged life. Most of these changes were accompanied by a period of loneliness and struggle. Looking back now, most of these changes have made me stronger and helped mold me into the person I am today. However, during those times, I always secretly wished that I could encounter someone who understands me and supports me unconditionally. Daniel is this person: he is more familiar with loneliness than anyone, and his job lacks any hope (quite literally), yet he helps Lea understand there are more to life than what goes on in her head.
The central theme of the film is learning to let go. I have once lost a best friend, and the feeling of helplessness is something I would never forget in my life. As I ponder upon the timeless question of “what is the purpose of life when we have little to no control over it?” I realized that there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it, yet it doesn’t stop life from being beautiful. We need to learn to embrace the losses and to let go. In many ways, writing this film is my way of expressing myself and letting go of someone who has once been very close to me.
"Something About Wonder" is not about a personal experience, yet it is in every way personal, and I believe it can also become universal. The film may appear to be slightly exaggerated, the protagonist's irrationality and ignorance are almost embarrassing; yet it is an honest portrayal of the pain and hopelessness we’ve all experienced after losing someone important. At the same time, it is also a fantasy we all have about being resurrected by a kind stranger in despair. It is my hope that this film will help people understand that change is an inevitable part of growing up, but as we face loss, we begin to understand the beauty behind all the pain. Like balloons flying out of a hearse, sometimes the end marks the beginning of something beautiful.
Lea is a beautiful young woman in her twenties who comes from a New York upper class family. As a child, Lea had everything she ever wanted except for a friend. She was always an outcast due to her awkwardness and wild imaginations. However, on a sunny day in the second grade, Lea experienced the meaning of friendship and love for the first time when she met Benji. For the next fifteen years, Benji was Lea’s only and best friend. As a hopeless romantic, Lea has always believed that Benji and her are meant to be together. Yet the news of Benji’s engagement to Margaret shattered her dreams, now Lea is willing to do anything in order to win Benji.
Daniel, mid thirties, is a slightly chubby, socially awkward hearse driver. He is handsome but a bit bookish, and above all, incapable of making small talk with other people. He has been doing the same job of driving dead bodies for over fifteen years, but he doesn’t seem to mind it. Despite living a mundane life, Daniel is in fact extremely creative, and he dedicates most of his free time to woodworking. Daniel’s only friend is a red eared turtle named Cindy that his mom gave to him before she died when he was seven. Cindy’s sudden death was traumatizing to Daniel.
Making “Something About Wonder” will mark the end of my academic life at NYU and will hopefully open up opportunities for my professional career as a filmmaker. My team and I have put in a lot of hard work over the past months, and now we ask for you help to bring this film to life. Our total budget is $20,000. About half of it will come from my own pocket, with money I’ve saved up over the years, but we need your help to raise the other half. If you believe in this project, please click the “donate” button to donate through Paypal, or you can also donate through our Kickstarter page. Every dollar counts!
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