Logline: NYC college freshman Edward battles with his chocolate addiction while
venturing into romantic relationship with soon to be writer Elaine.
Length: 15 minutes
Director: Grace (Ge) Gao
Producer: Grace (Ge) Gao, Kazuki Akiba
About the director and producer: Grace is a senior in NYU Tisch Film/TV Undergraduate
program. She focuses on writing/director, and international coproduction.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors,
journalists): sales agents, buyers, distributors, journalist, producer for webseries
Made in association with: Independent
Release date: October 2016
Why did you make this film?
This is a story based on a real person. His name is actually Edward. He actually still
cannot eat chocolate for both emotional and physical reason. He’s a warmhearted
person just like my character in the story. As a friend of the real Edward, I’m secretly
hoping one day he will be able to break free from his own restriction. Nothing hurts
more than dental drills and losing connection with people, but it hurts even more if we
shut ourselves away from the possibility of being connected once again.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
The series portrays the universal emotional truth about young love, the battle between
independence and family tie, and the ephemeral nature of city life. We want to connect
audience in different culture through resonating emotion that we all feel as human.
There’s a group of talented young filmmakers and actors who will become valuable
assets in the industry as they grow in career.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I, Grace Gao, a rising senior in NYU Tisch Film/TV, a frustrated friend of the real
Edward, wishes to send an “Elaine”, an intrusive dark angel, to every “Edward” on earth
so he can see he’s not alone in pain, and they can heal each other by enjoying what
they love. It is an intrinsic character driven story yet not necessarily passive. The
audience will have fun following Edward’s emotional rollercoaster and adventure as a
college freshman in New York City.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of its development
The script was born in the first screenwriting class of my life. It evolves from an
ordinary three act structure screenplay to a bold, dreamy, experimental style emotional
map for my actors to play with. The mixture of pain that my character Edward
experiences is almost similar to the symptom of “synesthesia”. Therefore I focused the
images and character interactions on “how do I visually present internal emotion and
I brought the opening scene and the climax scene (Elaine’s eulogy monologue) to our
Directing The Camera class for workshop. Peer directors and professor have offered
valuable suggestions that shaped my shot design back in March 2016. I hand drew
every single frame of the storyboard, and our talented concept artist Steven Goehrig
made it into an animatic. (An untimed, animated version of cleanedup storyboard. We
were in the same Intro to Animation class.) It really helped me and my DP Zachary
Grullon with visualization.
During production, we had ample time for lighting design and art direction. Therefore
the fantastical, romantic atmosphere is brought out by rich color and delicate mise-en-
scene. We have a good combination of slow paced flashback montage, and chasing
scene or argument full of dramatic conflict.
Our camera choice (RED Epic Dragon) also established a refined visual style for the story. It is not a regular low budget student production as general assumption. Every element is in good control through our department heads. I as the director had a ton of fun directing my actors, including the extras who dedicated their long hours just to make sure the scene is authentic enough.
I feel extremely grateful to have an awesome team accomplishing my dream. Due to
permit restraint, we altered the subway scenes into bus stops, which actually work out
better given it’s outdoor with naturalistic lighting and organic street noise of New York.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
We are in the process of accumulating audience and fanbase. Most people who have
viewed our production stills and teaser/concept art on Indiegogo want to know more
about the story and what happen to our characters later on. I am extremely excited to
finish up our postproduction by September.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I am in frequent talk with my editor and producer. Our main debate comes from pacing
and sequence order. There is also heavy sound design involved in later stage to actually
make the actor’s thoughts and emotion come to life. We will also do a small test
screening with fellow film students and ask for feedback before releasing it online.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on
We would love to gain some support for our Indiegogo campaign which ends in a week.
It will be great to follow us on social media and look out for our future release. Any
potential sponsor or industry professional who would like to collaborate, feel free to
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers,
distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s
Sales agents and distributors can help us find an ideal platform for distribution.
Journalists can also help us with building media presence and expanding our audience
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
The protagonist of the story is an Asian American. It’s a story raising awareness of
diversity and multiculturalism, giving New York its actual diverse characteristic.
Artistically, we are exploring the mutually beneficial relationship between cinematic storytelling and new media webcontent creation. I hope this story can make you laugh and cry at the same time.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a
conversation about this film?
Have you ever loved anything so much that you have to stay away from it?
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
We are premiering our pilot in October 2016. Right now we are finishing the script of the
rest of the series. We are also looking for sponsors and production company to collaborate
If you enjoyed reading about Grace (Ge) Gao's 'Edward and His Chocolate' we recommend Ms Gao's earlier film All Under Heaven Are Equal which screened at the Cannes Short Film Corner.
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela