Wednesday, December 23, 2009
My first foray into the indy film market is done!
A labor of love for over 2 years, The Commune is now available for everyone to enjoy. We worked really hard on the DVD to pack it with many extra features including deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes interviews and not one but TWO entire commentary tracks that take you deep inside the making of the movie and the process of developing the story, themes and symbolism hidden within The Commune.
OK, enough hyperbole for now.
Allow me to fill you in on the backstory of The Commune.
Almost three years ago, my good friend and brilliant screenwriter, Elisabeth Fies started working on pre-production on her first feature film, Pistoleras. Now, her screenplay for Pistoleras had already won a couple of awards and everyone who read it instantly recognized not only its smart mashup of Spaghetti western and teen flick genres, but its instant marketability.
While Lis started casting the movie, my other good friend, comic book artist Charles Yoakum begin work in the graphic novel version of the movie.
I concentrated on the production and post-production workflow. At the time, affordable HD camcorders were just hitting the market, and the Panasonic HVX200was getting lots of buzz due to it's ability to shoot 1080p at 24fps - in other words, produce a convincing film-look for under $6000. Add to that, the new 35mm adapters that were coming out like the Brevis and the Red Rock Micro which allow for true 35mm depth of field just like the big boys in Hollywood, and this combo looked to me to be the perfect way to enter the feature film market with a microbudget.
We started to do some screen tests but soon realized that the scope of the project was just too big for the resources that we had available. The script just had too many characters, too many locations, too much action choreography and to be honest, we had too little experience to do the script justice. Although Lis and I both had filmschool backgrounds, and I had over 15 years experience as a professional editor (mostly documentaries and corporate videos), this would be our first feature film. We decided that it would be best of we got our feet wet on a smaller-scale project that had fewer locations and actors, and that we could shoot in a matter of weeks.
Lis happened to have a screenplay that she had been working on that was almost ready to go, so she emailed it to me. I was blown away. Again, this was a genre mashup but this time a classic 70's style thriller mixed with a coming of age drama, all wrapped up inside the creepy Patchouli oil drenched commune. It was a slow-burn kind of story where you get lost in the intrigue and the amazingly honest love story and then BLAMMO you get blindsided at the end and realize that what you thought the story was about was far, far from the awful truth.
This was The Commune.
(To be continued...)