An Army of Hearts
2016 Digital Shorts

An Army of Hearts

The visual journey of a children's book for all ages.

Length5 min. 19 sec.
DirectorAlex Duncan


Pitch video


In 2012, I wrote a book for my Dad while he underwent treatment for cancer. My hope was to display the community that supported him through the most difficult time of his life - his very own army of hearts. The book evolved into an illustrated children's book, full of whimsical wonder and magic, which I self-published in June 2016. It is now my hope to expand this project into a different medium and direct a film to accompany the words of the book. The live-action film will weave through private moments of human connection - subtle, secret, special places - that reveal the utmost importance and unending power of love.

The team



Production Design

We are inspired by this video for its gentle, intimate aesthetic and the delicate use of light for seamless transitions.  Despite it's abstract fragmented  story, the viewer can still attach to the emotional life of the character and understand the depths of relationship without ever meeting the woman's other half.  We hope to use performance driven story-telling and string together moments of significance to tell a larger story, just as this video does.
Beloved children's book author and illustrator Dallas Clayton had one of his whimsical stories turned into a very moving live action short. We are drawing a great deal of inspiration from how this project of his succeeded in transferring a message that is universal from the pages of a book to a screen. [Image 1 of 4]
A spread in Dallas Clayton's book showcasing whimsy of his illustrations [Image 2 of 4]  His profound rhyming stanzas work to guide the film's narrative and act as a universal voice that tells a story of love.
The emotion of Dallas Clayton's children's book kept in tact, yet also transformed by a different medium on screen. [Image 4 or 4]  The director depicts a unique, textured tapestry of love, using beautifully cast actors, natural light and exquisite story.  The gentle moments that are frozen on screen seem to embody the most personal journeys and somehow still feel completely relatable.
Here we see the cover of Dallas Clayton's book re-imagined in the live-action short film. [Image 3 or 4]  The film, directed by Yael Staav, weaves delicately through subtle stories of love and loss, allowing the audience to peer into private moments and see themselves.  The feelings captured speak universally, regardless of language or geography.
Local musician and all around super talented woman Ashleigh Ball (girl power!) will be custom composing the music for our film.  Ashleigh's music is honest and poetic with quirky, bright bursts of ukulele, xylophone and flute, paired perfectly with her soulful songbird voice.  She performs with a childlike freedom and whimsical wonder, while her songs leave lasting ripples of lyrics that are impossible to forget.  We are thrilled to have Ashleigh in our Army.