Personal Statement from the Writer/Director:
The defining story that shaped my childhood and affected me as a filmmaker is William Golding's Lord of the Flies, and more specifically the meaning of innocence. From what it is - to when it is lost - this is what drives me to make "Of The Earth".
Rural Michigan shaped me into the storyteller I am today. The calm of nature and the countryside instilled in me the strength of patience, which distinguished me from my peers who were often distracted by the city. This quiet was the canvas for my imagination and a place to steel myself as an artist. It's fitting that I set the table for Jackson in a similar place to steel himself for the hardships of survival. I find this patient resolve intriguing and an asset in a world subsumed by noise.
There is a reason post-apocalyptic worlds are booming in the landscape of cinema. Whether a sublimation of fear of our dulled and detached modern civilization, or a wish to reboot humanity, I believe that deep down we yearn for a simpler life. "Of The Earth" isn't just the how or why of the destructive reset button, but the framework of seeing children still in a state of development react to this sudden change.
Below you will find a collection of inspiration for Of The Earth, curated selectively to merely set the table for what is to come in giving this story life. I hope you enjoy taking it in as much as we have putting it together.
Courtenay Johnson is a Producer who has worked with award-winning talent across the globe, from New York, LA, Michigan and Italy. Most recently she worked in development for Oscar-nominated Director, Bennett Miller on FOXCATCHER. Prior to Bennett, she assisted Catherine Keener on three features, Clive Owen and Don Roos to name a few. A few of her on-set film and television credits include: A LATE QUARTET, SCREAM 4, THE UNUSUALS, THE OTHER WOMAN, and LIPSTICK JUNGLE. She began her film career working in publicity at The Weinstein Company.
Justine’s career in the film industry began in corporate communications at The Weinstein Company where she represented the company’s various media labels, and shortly after she moved to physical production. Under the Dimension Films label, Justine worked as an Associate Producer on PIRANHA 3D, alongside director Alexandre Aja. Since then, she has developed and produced a wide range of projects with Aja. Her Associate Producer credits include: MANIAC, starring Elijah Wood, which played in the Official Selection at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. COBRA: THE SPACE PIRATE, a big-budget space adventure based on the cult Japanese manga; HORNS, a love-story murder-mystery, starring Daniel Radcliffe, produced by Mandalay and Red Granite Pictures. She has also Executive Produced the adventure-horror film SITE 146, produced by FOX International. Justine graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University with a B.A. in Theater, Philosophy and Anthropology. She has also trained at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, Ecole de Theatre Jacques LeCoq in Paris and the Parsons School of Design.
Reed Morano, ASC
Reed went to NYU Tisch School of the Arts for directing where she was honored with awards in cinematography.Reed was later chosen by the faculty to be an adjunct professor in the film department where she taught for two years.Reed has been shooting narrative features for the past 15 years.
In early 2013, Reed was invited to become a member of the prestigious ASC, the American Society of Cinematographers.She is one of only 11 women out of approximately 339 active members in the organization.She also recently became part of the Kodak OnFilm Series and was also the recipient of the Kodak Vision Award for Cinematography at the 2011 Women In Film Crystal + Lucy Awards.In 2012, Reed's work was featured in Indiewire's "ON THE RISE '12: 5 Cinematographer's Lighting Up Screens in Recent Years."She was named one of 2011'sVariety's "10 Cinematographers to Watch" as well as one of the filmmakers of IONCINEMA.com's "American New Wave 25".In that same year, Reed was featured as one of the five innovative cinematographers in ICG Magazine's "Generation Next" spotlight.
Reed had two movies premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013: Kill Your Darlings, a 35mm feature in the US Dramatic Competition, a period piece about the Beat poets set in 1943 which stars Daniel Radcliffe, Michael C Hall, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen, Kyra Sedgwick, David Cross, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.It was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics for theatrical distribution in fall 2013.Also playing in the Premieres section of the Festival is The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete, a drama directed by George Tillman Jr. and starring Jennifer Hudson, Anthony Mackie, and Jeffrey Wright.
Several of Reed's features were released theatrically in 2012. The Magic of Belle Isle, directed by Rob Reiner and starring Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen; Little Birds, which premiered in competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, written and directed by Elgin James, starring Juno Temple, Kate Bosworth and Leslie Mann.A feature-length documentary about the band LCD Soundsystem that premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Shut Up and Play the Hits, directed by Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern; and For Ellen, written and directed by So Yong Kim, starring Paul Dano, Jon Heder, and Jena Malone, a film that also premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in the dramatic competition.
Reed wrapped up 2012 shooting The Skeleton Twins, starring Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson, and Ty Burrell, written and directed by Craig Johnson and co-written by Mark Heyman (Black Swan). She began 2013 shooting the Untitled Mark Jackson Project, a drama set in Sicily starring Catherine Keener and Sir Ben Kingsley, directed by Mark Jackson (Without). She wrapped up a pilot for HBO in May directed by Andrew Haigh (Weekend) called the Untitled Michael Lannan Project that was just picked up for a seriesthat she will shoot starting in August. Reed is currently working on Rob Reiner's next feature, And So It Goes, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton which shooting in Connecticut.
Her earlier work includes Frozen River, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and went on to be nominated for two Academy Awards and seven Independent Spirit Awards including Best Picture.
The crew we're using are some of the best in the business. They've worked on movies all over the world and believe in this project just as much as we do. We're beyond lucky to have them working on the short and feature with us.
The first 7 pages of the FEATURE:
Risks and challenges
We know that we face some risks and challenges in making this short. We plan to film with two children--what happens if they're cranking the first day of shooting? Or if they'd rather play a game then shoot the next scene? If these problems arise, we plan on playing in the mud. The beauty of shooting with kids and this story is that we want to experience this story through a child's eyes. We're prepared to rework any scenes as necessary.
What we're asking for is the bare minimum to shoot this short. It's for the crew's travel, food, lodging and the insurance for our equipment and locations. Without that, we don't have a short to shoot.
Thanks again for everything!!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (10 days)