A funny thing happened after I produced my last short film, I never wanted to make another. I thought to myself “Chris, you had a good run, you’ve made three shorts, and all of them won awards, and all of them got distributed…you are done with shorts.” It felt good to just say that, and by all accounts, these few years since I produced my last short film “Sugartown” with writer-director JT Mollner, I had officially put making short films in my rearview and was focused entirely on making features. And it was really a good thing to do because the time had come to challenge myself with the one aspect of filmmaking that I would not come in contact with if I never made a feature film…the business.
So JT and I had a really honest conversation about the walls we were hitting, and he mentioned that he had been working on the idea for a feature length script for one of our shorts…Henry John and the Little Bug. Well, this lit a fire in me and I said, go write it…write it right now! Not only did we need other scripts to talk about, but we needed something that showcased our talents and the story we were trying to sell. So having a feature length script for a pre-exsiting successful short, was the perfect solution. And so he did…he locked himself in a cabin in Lake Arrowhead for a week, and when he came out, Outlaws and Angels was born. I just remember at the time feeling like this was a game changer, and it turned out I was right. When someone wasn’t sure if what they were enjoying on paper would be a good movie, we would just show them the short and say “see, it’s a great idea!” And it worked!
So we begin with story, and one thing we don’t want to do with the story is just pull some pages from the feature, we want to shoot a stand alone project…that exist in the world of the feature. Our rationale is that we don’t want to be on set making a short film wishing we were making the feature. And though we want to shoot the short in the same style we would shoot the feature, we also want to create a story from a singular idea, and not just cram a bunch of ideas from a feature into a shorter version. With this approach, we feel excited as it gives the film an existence that doesn’t feel, pardon the pun, short changed.
And of course, we intend on taking all the lessons we learned from all of our past shorts, and even things we learned developing our first feature, and make the best film we’ve ever made. So we started with the cast. We attached screen legend DEE WALLACE (who played the mom in E.T.: Extraterrestrial, also Cujo, Rob Zombie’s Halloween, Grimm) to play the lead opposite her daughter GABRIELLE STONE (Speak No Evil, Zombie Killer), and we have rounded out the cast with two total pros who you’ve seen in tons of television and films over the years, JB BLANC (The Count of Monte Christo, Breaking Bad) and ROBERT CRAIGHHEAD (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, All My Children). We are going to be shooting on Super 16MM film stock because JT Mollner and our Director of Photography, GAVIN KELLY…a guy whose films have won Academy Awards, felt 16MM would be the best way to get the grainy raw look JT was going for that’s similar to The Wrestler and Blue Valentine. Though we know shooting with name actors and shooting film stock instead of digital is going to make it a more expensive project, we feel it is truly going to elevate the project to the quality of picture usually reserved for the studios. We intend to take this similar approach to production design, locations, wardrobe, makeup, props, and all other creatives departments so that we can have a film that harkens back to the the blue collar dramas of the 70’s.
PLEASE HELP US
Our hope is also that in making this film, we will also be creating a community where we can find people that want to join us on this adventure, where we can share all that we are learning and experiencing with people who love films and who love to see artists pursuing their passion. We want to share FLOWERS IN DECEMBER because we know that making films has given us so much joy, and it is our hope that others will be able to take away a bit of joy for themselves by taking part in the process. For those who are interested in joining us on this adventure, we are crowd funding for FLOWERS IN DECEMBER on IndieGoGo.com.
We are raising $25K, which is no small feat, so we truly appreciate if you can donate and/or help spread the word through facebook or twitter. And if you are in LA, come join us at Bootsy Bellows in Hollywood for the closing night celebration of our campaign. Details will be posted on our IndieGoGo campaign page in the next week. Thanks and wish us luck!
Chris holds as BA in International Finance and Banking from Franklin College Switzerland, and is an avid Florida Gator fan.