At 28, Sam Alden gets told that his professional hockey career is over. At a loss, he returns to his hometown, reconnects with a group of high school buddies, and tries to escape into an earlier, simpler time in his life. But recapturing youth turns out to be more complicated than Sam imagined, and he finds that the harder he pushes away the realities of adulthood, the more complicated his life becomes.
I played junior hockey after high school (and like Sam, ultimately didn’t make the cut), so that was my motivation for making Sam a hockey player. But the story really grew out of my experience and the experiences of guys I know who got to their late twenties, had their identities hitched to one thing, often a job or a relationship, and then had a crisis of faith when that thing fell apart. There's this idea that something's wrong if you're in your late twenties and not well on your way to having the career and relationship that you're going to have for the rest of your life. The statistics probably don't support that as the reality for most people, but the expectation is there regardless. To Sam it seems like all 28 years of his life have been geared toward playing hockey, and when he suddenly can’t do that anymore, he feels like he has to completely start anew. He thinks he has to rebuild his life from scratch, and he overlooks the fact that he's throwing away a lot of great parts of his life in the process.
We're going to shoot the film in my hometown in coastal Rhode Island. It's very beautiful, and like a lot of beautiful hometowns, it's seductive. You always remember it at it's most picturesque. Your strongest memories are of moments like the magical afternoon you went for that bike ride with your high school crush, when everything felt possible. That seductive quality gets dangerous when you start thinking that you can recapture that feeling just by going back to that place. The truth, obviously, is that the feeling is about being young, and being in the place where it happened isn't going to bring it back. That’s something I’ve struggled with, and it’s what Sam struggles with in the film.
Here is a trailer made up of clips from other films to give you an idea of what the film is going to feel like: http://vimeo.com/102578545
About the production
It’s not unreasonable to ask how we can make a good film for such a small amount of money. Here are some of our keys to creating a high-quality product on a shoestring budget:
#1: No car chases. This is a character-driven drama, so the focus is on the writing and the acting, and we don’t need fancy props or sets.
#2: Use free labor. The core members of our team are all working for equity and we’re calling in favors with every friend, acquaintance and family member we’ve got (thanks, mom!).
#3: Take advantage of free resources. A huge portion of the time and money expended on films goes into lighting and set design. The Passing Season is largely set outdoors so we can use the beauty of coastal Rhode Island as our backdrop and take advantage of natural light. The rest of the script has been written almost exclusively for locations that we can access for free.
GABRIEL LONG (writer, director, producer) Gabriel’s filmmaking endeavors run the gamut from personal documentaries to phone commercials. He directed a music video featuring Danielle Brooks & Uzo Aduba (stars of Orange Is the New Black) and the band Oh Honey that was featured on Buzzfeed, NY Magazine, Huffington Post, and Slate and garnered over 220,000 views on YouTube. Other writing/directing credits include: In No Place (short documentary, successfully funded on Kickstarter, played at Northside and Brownfish film fests), The Drawing (short narrative film, made as part of the Cinereach Film Fellowship, played at NewFest, Inside Out Film Fest, and on PBS), commercials for Sony, ESET Antivirus and the Hallmark Channel. He is a recipient of the Cinereach Film Fellowship and a graduate of Cornell University.
MATTHEW-LEE ERLBACH (writer) Matthew-Lee recently wrote and starred in the one man show Handbook for an American Revolutionary. Time Out said "Sizzling with its creator's energetic humanism, Handbook...insists that we respond," and The New York Times called it "revelatory and surprising." His other writing credits include Eager to Lose, A Burlesque Farce in Rhyming Verse (extended Off-Bway at Ars Nova), Kevin Lamb (2013 O'Neill Finalist) and BLA/CKBIRD (American Theatre Company, Chicago).
REBECCA ATWOOD (producer) Rebecca is a talent manager and producer at The Group Entertainment. Her producing credits include the indie feature Green Pine 9, the web series You Make My Dreams Come True and the upcoming feature documentary Girls' Show. Her clients' credits include 12 Years a Slave, Listen Up Philip, Don Jon, Frances Ha, God's Pocket and the upcoming feature Big Eyes.
BRUCE MASON (producer) Formerly the director of publicity for Miramax Books and PenguinPutnam, Bruce is now a freelance publicist with a client list that includes The Weinstein Company, Lionsgate Films, The Tribeca Film Festival, and Random House.
DAN DELORENZO (producer) Dan has worked as a producer and director for College Humor, and has worked as a production coordinator on Adult Swim’s acclaimed series The Heart, She Holler and The Apprentice. His short video The Man Without A Facebook was nominated for a Webby Award.
ALONSO HOMS (cinematographer) Alonso worked on Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby as head of the 3D department, and recently shot the feature film La Luciernaga. He is a co-founder of the commercial production company Bakeshop Media. Bakeshop's clients have included Adidas, General Mills, and the YMCA.
HENRY RUSSELL BERGSTEIN (casting director) Henry has worked in casting for over 10 years. His credits include the upcoming feature The Outskirts, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Francis Ha, Moonrise Kingdom, Limitless, and Amazon’s original series Mozart in the Jungle.
Risks and challenges
Filmmaking is an inherently risky venture, but we feel confident in asking you to believe in us. Collectively we've worked in almost every role on every type of shoot. We're practiced problem-solvers who have faced hurdles and found creative solutions. From fundraising to the final cut of the finished film, there will be challenges and unseen obstacles, and we're ready to tackle them with teamwork and dedication.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)