Last year, a713production shot a short film about the struggles children growing up in the world today, and how finding inner strength in the midst of difficult times can help them find a brighter future. The symbol of this inner strength, a dog named “Trouble,” was conceived of by Kendra and Sheila Duncan, and has taken on a life of it’s own by helping children around the country and the globe to believe in themselves and have faith in a better tomorrow. The project of “Trouble” the dog was put together by Mark and Bethany Constance of a713production, and shot in Portsmouth, New Hampshire early in 2011.
Now, “Trouble” is set to come back to Portsmouth for a showing at the Portsmouth Public Library on May 6th. The program will include a selection of dynamic speakers and screening, as well as a reception.
“Our film, “Trouble,” is — unfortunately — a very timely piece. Every day more children become victims of bullying, abuse, homelessness, and illness. Our film illustrates these statistics in a dramatic, informative way. This generation of children is more stressed than any before them. Our goal is to shed light on what’s happening to kids in our own communities… and to utilize the character of Trouble The Dog as a coping mechanism for these innocent victims and open the lines of communication to help them. Kids “get” the concept of hope and resilience behind Trouble,” says Sheila Duncan.
She goes further to say, “I’ve seen a recent change in the testimonials I receive about Trouble; often a parent or guardian will tell me that their child has asked that their very favorite “buddy” Trouble, be given to another child who needs him more. And that, to me, is a very powerful message that Trouble needs to be universal.”
To find out more about Trouble, visit the website here, or like his Facebook page. You can also RSVP to the screening in Portsmouth, here. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Portsmouth Public Library on May 6th. Both adults and children are invited to attend this meaningful event.
Growing up is hard enough in this day and age. The social pressures that kids feel from their peers in regards to all sorts of hot-button issues is jaw-dropping to say the least. Before most pre-teens even enter high school, most of them have already encountered drug use, been pushed to engage in sexual activity, and been offered alcohol by a peer. Now imagine all these stresses as a 12 year old girl who had just lost a dad, a grandmother, and a dog to cancer, all within the same year.
In 2006, this is what happened to Massachusetts native Kendra Duncan. A creative girl, with a talent for drawing, she sketched a black and white dog, to help her cope with her loss, and named him “Trouble.” Kendra’s aunt, Sheila, saw immediately in her niece’s creation a potential source of inspiration for kids everywhere going through tough times. So Sheila took it upon herself to get stuffed animals made of the dog, and started distributing it to children in local hospitals. Soon, requests for the dog were coming in from other places–sometimes as far as Haiti and Africa, from children and at times even adults who needed a source of comfort. Sheila then realized–it was time for “Trouble” to go further.
“What we’re hoping to do is make what they call in the industry an “intercercial”. After that, our job is to bring it to the next level, because it can only go so far here in NE in the hospitals,” says Mark Constance, who co-owns a713production based out of New Hampshire, with his wife, Bethany.
The video, which will be live action, will feature a number of kids in true-to-life situations where they may feel overwhelmed. A real dog that looks remarkably like the “Trouble” stuffed animals has been rescued, and will be playing a part in the short.
“Sheila knew there was a broader audience. Once we’re done, we want to go back to California with it…and make this into something more and really help kids. The things that kids deal with are so much more and very different, we want them to feel strong and know they can get through things on their own, that there is hope, and you can get through tough times,” says Bethany Constance.
The crew will be shooting in Portsmouth on February 20th, and will take their day’s worth of shooting and edit it down to a piece of about 3-5 minutes in length. They then will be taking it to California, where they will be pitching it to children’s programming giants, like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, as well as toy makers like Hasbro.
“I just want to have it explode in whatever the right direction is, to have it help as many kids and people as possible, whether its a TV series, whatever. I want “Trouble” to be a universal symbol of hope and resilience, in whatever way that works best,” says Sheila.
“Trouble” will be directed by Mark Constance and produced by Bethany Constance, Rick Dirck, and Greg Smith.
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