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GARDNER & WELLS: The Genesis

GARDNER & WELLS is based on an actual Funeral Home that still exists today and the story that it has generated has been alive in my imagination for quite some time. Growing up in and around Funeral Homes and Cemeteries, death was (is) a commonplace mystery not to be feared, but to be explored and pondered.

When I came across the Poem of Emily Dickinson, “I died for beauty”, it fostered my imagination as to what might really happen in these cities of the dead below the ground…

“I Died for beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.

He questioned softly why I failed?
“For beauty,” I replied.
“And I for truth,–the two are one;
We brethren are, he said.

And so, as kinsmen met at night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.”

This Poem opened up a whole new world of thought. I could easily envision the dead conversing with their final neighbors until the decay set in. What do they discuss with each other underground and what are all the secrets that get along buried with them? I wondered.

After many years, the story, characters and setting developed as a Screenplay through table readings with Actor friends and with my Brother Paul sketching out story boards and floor plans of the actual house. As Paul continued to draw the story boards, the Production Design evolved and the Funeral Home and its inhabitants started to become alive. Through various trials, we decided to make the Screenplay into “Animated Webisodes”. From there, Paul went into full animation mode. Once he did a rough cut of Episode 1, his graphics were so visual that it was further decided that the series would be “Silent Animation”. From then on, it was agreed that the imagery would need to contain enough information for the audience to connect the dots and fill the rest in with their own imagination.

I have always likened a great Film to a roller coaster; you want to get on, have fun and be safely scared again and again.

Welcome to GARDNER & WELLS. Enjoy the ride!

With fear,
Sarah Kreutz