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Note from Derpbutt: What Happened To Elisa Lam? is a project being worked on by a community member – I thought that the community at large might find it extremely relevant to our interests. As of this writing, it looks like the Kickstarter is only a little over half-funded with an “all or nothing” setting (meaning that should they not reach their goal, they receive no funds at all) – I’d really love to see this project come to fruition for selfish reasons (I love creepy documentaries!), so I wanted to do my part to signal boost. I’m going to embed the most concise text excerpts from their Kickstarter and their pitch video in this post, but you guys should visit the actual Kickstarter page to see their vision in full detail as well as more detail about the people behind the project, pledge rewards, etc.
This feature-length documentary will explore the mysterious case of a young woman who was found dead on the roof of an infamous hotel in 2013. The film will trace three competing narratives that seek to explain what happened: the police and those who believe Elisa died from a tragic accident resulting from bipolar disorder; web sleuths, friends, and conspiracists who believe Elisa was murdered; and paranormal experts who suggest Elisa was possessed by a dark force from the Cecil Hotel’s past. At the heart of the film remains the pulse of a creative but deeply troubled young woman whose online writings and struggle against depression continue to resonate with thousands of people across the world.
The case defies conventional categorization. Is it a true crime mystery? A profile of mental illness? A paranormal investigation? Or all three… The Elisa Lam case transcends all labels and becomes a Rorschach test for the 21st-century mind – everyone who looks at it sees something different.
What Happened to Elisa Lam? will showcase characters from all spectrums of the case — detectives, psychologists, friends of Elisa’s, journalists and filmmakers who became obsessed with the case, Reddit moderators and website owners who saw the case grow into a viral phenomenon, even short-stay and long-term Cecil residents who were accused of killing her.
Over the last year, we have cultivated relationships with several people intimately connected with Elisa Lam and the case. The narrative will focus on these subjects while detouring to explore other aspects.
The biggest challenge in making this film is telling the story in a way that does not further stigmatize the case and Elisa. There are many (thousands) sensationalized accounts on YouTube and other films on the subject are sure to come — ours will go beyond just murder conspiracies and paranormal speculation and assess the sociological and psychological impact of the case. The film will honor Elisa while exposing the full story of how the case has resonated with so many people around the world.
We’ve already invested 3 years of our lives researching every nook and cranny of the case and we’ve invested considerable personal funds — with your help, we can take it to the next level.
**Out of respect for Elisa’s life and those still grieving her loss, WE ARE GOING TO DONATE A PERCENTAGE OF OUR FUNDS TO HER FAMILY.