WELCOME TO THE LAND
WHO IS THE ARTIST
Graduating from film school I was deeply in debt (common problem these days). I had to put my thesis film on the shelf and wait until the digital technology matured to the point that it was good enough and affordable enough that finishing the film was feasible (also had to pay of those stupid credit cards!). My bread and butter business is more on the TV side but fortunately the schedule is very flexible which means, as a freelancer, I have time to work on film as well. Here’s my resume.
WHAT IS THE STORY
The Land is a suspense drama about two youths who share the American dream but not the resources to achieve it; Their divergent paths lead back through the Pine Curtain of their native East Texas which hides a truth that will change their lives forever.
The story is about justice and fate which pit luck and opportunity against harsh reality. An unplanned reunion sheds light on the fork in the road of two young men for whom the world is anything but just.
WHEN WILL WE FINISH
The film negative has been cut to match the 16mm work print and the sound editing is finished. As the sound team of myself, Joe Mendoza, and Isaac Pena finish up with the Dialogue mix, the FX mix, and the score, the production team (Me, Myself and I) is also working on marketing, a distribution plan, raising the finishing funds. (check out the “Project Updates” link at the top for more information on progress).
WHY DID YOU MAKE THE MOVIE AND WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME
The most well versed researchers and teachers of mythology tell us that people communicate truths through story, which means that every person out there needs stories. It’s part of the human DNA and story exists in every record that we have of past societies. So why do I consider myself a storyteller? Simply because some people in society are story-tellers based on our educational backgrounds and life experience. In my youth, ceative pursuits like writing, drawing, photography and film production were strong suits for me (Math…not so much). With musicians in the family, my Mom assumed that I would follow in her father’s footsteps, but I found myself in film school at age 20. At the time, The American New Wave was experiencing a resurgence and all of the best film schools were cranking out auteur directors.
New Wave filmmaking has been around for half a century and is as relevant as ever, but the digital age has changed the game significantly. These changes have to do with marketing and distribution and they present unique challenges (as well as opportunities) to the filmmaker that did not exist 15 years ago.
The “New Wave” tradition meets a “new way” of getting the final show to the viewer I.E. A New Wa(y)ve… if you will
HOW – THE METHOD
These days most films are shot using new digital cinema formats. Presented in rare form, The Land, shot on 16mm film in cinemascope widescreen has a unique look and feel. Conceived in the modern era, it was produced using 20th century, conventional methods which lends an extra element of authenticity to the story’s industrial era problem. The production phase is done and the picture has been edited.
Thus far, half of the budget funds have been raised through In-kind donations from the University of Texas RTF department, donated labor from the Austin film tribe and family donations. The other half, through my own personal credit cards in amounts that total over $20,000.
This used to be the only way to get an independent film made. It’s high risk because it puts all the financial burden on a single person. Crowd sourcing solves this problem because it diversifies risk while offering fans unique opportunities and rewards that only these most ardent supporters will ever get! It also offers skilled professionals of varied talents an opportunity to support fellow artists and build a support network. For fan type supporters, the unique industrial methods used in this production will give us the opportunity to offer some unique rewards! This new funding tool combined with developments in digital video technology and D.I.Y. distribution has allowed for a resurgence in independent filmmaking.
BLESSING AND A CURSE –
(a final word on building a brand and building a crowd)
It takes a lot of work building a community, but direct contact with movie goers is a privilege that didn’t exist fifteen short years ago. Aside from my directorial debut, this film is also my workshop for building a crowd, a distribution channel and marketing elements, all which will be carried forward and built upon throughout my filmmaking career. It feels like I’m climbing a mountain but this will make me more independent in the long run.
As we progress, there will be opportunities for you to get more involved, starting with feedback. Hearing your opinions will make me a better storyteller.
There are other project in development but The Land is the new jam for now….thanks for checkn’ us out. I hope you jump on board and join the crowd!