“The Land” is a UT Austin thesis film that was produced at the end of an era. The changes left lots of us young filmmakers ill-prepared for the next 10 years. The industry changes came right when I was making the Land and they put so many obstacles in our path that I had to make the hard decisions to shelve shelve the project. No student filmmaker, ready to take Hollywood and it’s challenges head on wants to put their career on hold, but given the circumstances it was the right thing to do. Now that the industrial era is dead and digital has had time to mature, it’s possible to finish, and get this first big project into festivals while writing new screenplays that can go into production in the next year.
The concept for this one was big, It was ambitious in that the filming was done in the actual location that inspired the script. The travel time from Austin caused logistical problems. Also, the ratio of exterior scenes to interior was 4:1 and that means that weather would play a major role in extending the schedule x2. But despite the difficulties, we got it done, on location, in East Texas. This brought a level of authenticity that I’d hoped for but I could not have guessed that this technique would be so effective. Though stressful, production was a huge success. The picture editing is finished and the next phase is to raise money to get the 16mm cut-negative into the digital realm for finishing. The main bullet points on the list of what is needed: Lab & Tele-cine, Titles, Color, a few effects shots, sound mixing and scoring. The Sound FX editor and the Composer are working on their parts and I’ve finished the dialogue sound editing & main mix. Now I’m making a second pass, adding eq, noise reduction and other processing to get the sound as good as it can be.
I wanted to do an Indiegogo campaign by the end of the year but the Marketing, community outreach and distribution strategy work has been more time consuming than I predicted. The fall is historically bad for crowdfunding, so I’m waiting for prime launch window (around May 2018). The Indiegogo campaign will raise the $5,000 needed to take care of these final steps (Most of this Money goes into Lab Work/Telecine and Visual FX which require expensive equipment and/or highly specialized skills). After so many people put so much work into this story, I can’t wait to show it to the public.
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