Fine Cut

Life On Earth

About the Film

Set against the gritty urban backdrop of Los Angeles, "Life on Earth" is a coming of age story about Lea, an 18 year old girl aging out of the foster care system. With no family or financial support, Lea and the other girls in her group home are instructed to get menial service jobs by their social worker Tamika Jones. But when Lea finds inspiration in an unexpected place, she turns her new perspective into a rebellion that will bring hope to the other girls.

Filmmaker's Statement

Months of reading, research, development, pre-production, production, reshoots, and post production for our American Film Institute Thesis Film "Life on Earth" have left a mountainous accumulation of intellectual and emotional debts. Although there are credits at the end of our film, a scrolling short list of names does not do justice to all of the work and support we have received.

Here I can acknowledge only a few of those who helped. From day one, I had a remarkable corps of supporters. I could depend on my family for their reassurance, inspiration, and absolute love. They were always there to pick me up when criticism got the better of me. A special thanks to my gracious peers in the 2nd Year Producing Class at AFI. The countless encounters in the production office and the mutual burden of producing a thesis can only be understood by those who endured the yearlong process. They were always around to sympathize with the problems, listen to frustrations, and give support when needed. I must thank a few other essential people, our donors. Without their financial support, this film would never have come to fruition. Not only did they finance the production of the film, but their moral support and faith in our efforts kept us on track. Another group of underappreciated folks are all of the employees of AFI.

Although there were roadblocks along the way, bureaucratic red tape, chained off driveways, and an endless amount of paperwork, their patience, wisdom, and compassion enabled the completion of this thesis. The advice and the help of all 1st and 2nd year production services were vital. Specifically, I want to give a special thanks to Betsy Pollock and Susan Dretzka who fielded phone calls on weekends and in the middle of the night. Finally, on a more personal note, I have to thank all of my thesis team Jeff, Benji, Shin, Yoni, and Courtney. They are artists and fast becoming masters of their respective trades. Through fights, arguments, frustrations, irresponsibility, and late nights, there were always laughs, progress, and inspiration. I learned a tremendous amount about filmmaking, storytelling, and myself. I have grown leaps and bounds because of this film, and I am excited to share it with the world.

About the Producer

R. Kiplin Pastor
R. Kiplin Pastor graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with an honors BA in diplomatic history. Since his graduation in 2004, Kip has worked at a law firm in Washington, DC, the Wildlife Conservation Society in Vientiane, Laos, as an international trade consultant in Mexico City, and as a production assistant in Maryland doing development and post-production work for the TV show Digging for the Truth. While at AFI, Kip has received three scholarships and serves as the student representative to the AFI Conservatory Board Advisory Committee. Above all, Kip wants to create films that inspire change and increase understanding. He believes that filmmaking is the avenue to disseminate great ideas and issues that can affect our lives.

About the Director

Jeffrey A. Keith

Jeff graduated from Texas Christian University with a BA in Radio, Television and Film. For three years, he worked in television production for the high definition network HDNet as a freelance Associate Producer and Camera Operator for shows True Music and Higher Definition. Since 2005 Jeff has been directing music videos, documentaries, short films including What's Coming Down the Pipe?, Chasing the Wind, and The Garden. He is currently getting his Master of Fine Arts degree in Directing at the American Film Institute in Hollywood, CA while interning at Muse Productions (Virgin Suicides, American Psycho, and Buffalo 66).

About the Screenwriter

Courtney Stevens

Courtney is from the San Fransisco coast and has a background in medical anthropology and visual arts. Since graduating from UC Berkeley, where she spent time abroad in New Delhi, she has served as editor of the New York-based magazine Cabinet, and has written articles and reviews for it and other publications. Her collages and videos have been shown in galleries and video festivals in New York and elsewhere. As a screenwriter, she is equally interested in dialogue and situation-based work and is an admirer of Russian films, early Hollywood camp and all types of mysteries.