Imperfect Films, a Brooklyn based independent film company founded by Josh Wick (Francis of Brooklyn, Wendell and the Lemon), has signed on to executive produce Ambition’s Debt, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Devin E. Haqq (The Assassin) is set to direct this modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s play.
Josh and Devin have collaborated on three feature films in the past, Alyssa & Sara(2005), and The Assassin (2007). Their most recent collaboration, Francis of Brooklyn(2012), won several awards during the 2012 – 2013 festival season, including Best Feature at the 2013 DIY Film Festival, as well as, Best Director and Best Actor recognition at the 2012 Bootleg International Film Festival in Toronto.
This latest venture, Ambition’s Debt, is set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world, and follows the downfall of Rome’s most honored citizen, Marcus Brutus, as he conspires to assassinate Julius Caesar in order to forestall tyranny and preserve democracy.
The filmmakers have an amazing ensemble of actors engaged with the project at this stage of development. Some of the notable names include, Colman Domingo (Lincoln, The Butler, and Selma) in the role of Brutus, Dan Butler (Crazy Stupid Love) in the role of Cassius, Pernell Walker (The Butler, The Leftovers) in the role of Cinna, and Nathan Darrow (House of Cards) as Mark Antony. The film is set to go into production in late March of 2015.
Haqq’s vision is to secure some sort of large Industrial Warehouse/Factory type space, probably in Brooklyn or Queens, and shoot the entire film inside this facility. The production design will be abstract expressionistic; think Dogville meets Mad Max, with a set that can be manipulated to represent the various locations of the story. “Lighting and sound design will be key in setting the tone and establishing locations,” says Haqq, speaking on the visual aesthetic. “The point won’t be to hide the fact that we are in a warehouse, but rather embrace it as the stage for our ‘play’.”
The approach will be very much like that of a stage production, leaning more toward minimalism and abstract storytelling techniques opposed to historical authenticity. Their aim is to preserve the essence of a live performance and the experience of watching actors tell a story, while at the same time, create an amazing visual experience through dynamic cinematography.
“My hope is, that by bringing Shakespeare’s words into this modern context, we may inspire young audiences to think critically about the society in which they live.” says Devin E. Haqq
Ambition’s Debt is currently a project on the crowdfunding site, Kickstarter. With nearly three weeks left in their campaign, the filmmakers have already reached 53% of their 75K goal. The campaign ends on Saturday, November 22 at 2:45pm. For more information visit the Kickstarter Home Page for this project.
(ACTOR/FILMMAKER – Devin E. Haqq AEA / SAG-AFTRA) A native of Nashville, Tennessee, I have appeared Off-Broadway at the Barrow Group, Roundabout Theatre Company, and most recently in Epic Theatre Ensemble’s production of MACBETH and RICARD III/BORN WITH TEETH. I’ve also appeared in numerous regional theatre productions including AS YOU LIKE IT (The Arden Theatre) and CAMP LOGAN (Boston Center for the Arts). I am a graduate of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s MFA program. In addition to working on the stage, I have done commercial work, on-camera and voice over, for Time Warner Cable, McDonalds, HBO, Smith Barney, New Jersey Tourism Board, Comedy Central, Verizon, and Orkin.
I’ve also had the opportunity to work on television, making appearances on LAW & ORDER and the ESPN made for tv movie, THE SECRET GAME. I’m very proud to have been a part of HBO’s new media ad campaign, SURPRISE, directed by Sam Mendes, which won the Cannes Lions 2008 Gold Prize.
During my years as a New York based actor I have devoted much of my time and energy to developing my own projects. In 2007 I made my feature film directorial debut with THE ASSASSIN, which I co-wrote and produced with Josh Wick. THE ASSASSIN was an official selection of the IFP-NY Rough Cut Lab 2006 and played in several film festivals around the country, including the 2007 Urbanworld VIBE Film Festival, the 2008 Pan African Film Festival, and the 2008 Nashville Film Festival. In 2012, Josh and I collaborated again to make FRANCIS OF BROOKLYN, which won several awards during the 2012 – 2013 festival season, including Best Feature at the 2013 DIY Film Festival in Los Angeles. My next feature project, AMBITION’S DEBT, is currently in development.