Friday, April 25, 2008

Shotgun Stories

Independent filmmaking isn't for the weak. Take Jeff Nichols feature film "Shotgun Stories". It is being released just now after completing principle photography in late 2004. Nichols explains that he didn't have enough money to shoot his second unit footage, so he waited a year and raised the necessary funds to shoot it. Nichols eventually signed on some producers that helped him find funding to finish the film in post-production.

"We chose to shoot this film in 35mm in the anamorphic 2:35 aspect ratio. When I was fifteen I was fortunate enough to see a re-released print of Lawrence of Arabia in the theater. I'll never forget how the landscape helped define that story and the affect that had on me. I've wanted to tell stories in scope ever since. Southeast Arkansas, where our film was shot and where I grew up, is a place filled with breathtaking landscapes of cotton fields and farmland. I wanted audiences to see this place the same way I see it, in scope. Also, this landscape defines our characters"

If you travel to their website you'll even see that his film is being sold on DVD, and will be released on July 1st, so there is a link to it's pre-order. The trailer looks interesting, and I agree with the filmmaker about landscapes becoming part of the character. The film was made for under 100K, so that is a very good achievement.

It is these little films that seem to come out of nowhere that inspire me the most. When they talk about cinema in our era someday they won't be re-calling the blockbusters that played in our multi-plexes. Instead they'll talk about the small indie films that push the limits of their budget, and actually say something to us as an audience. I'm sure "Shotgun Stories" may just be one of those films

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