Malibu, 1919. A deserter heading West in search of fortune finds himself at the edge of the world- and the forefront of a new era.
Combining elements of The Dreamers and There Will Be Blood with the fatalism of classic Americana, THE COLONY explores the conflicts between hope and guilt, knowledge and fear, greed and compromise that strike to the core of the American experience.
The Colony is a passion project for absolutely every member of the team. We've been working together in varying capacities for more than 6 years, but it wasn't until this story came along that we knew we had the opportunity to explore something unique and definitive- something we could proudly call our own. Everyone involved has donated countless hours over recent months to give life to this project, taking time away from more lucrative offers to provide a collective voice for this exhumed myth- so deeply felt is our belief in this story and its potential.
As a result, The Colony is a "short" film in length only, populated with ecstatic images and widescreen glories. It's an origin story- of a man soon to become legend, as well as an era fated to drastically shift the course of human history. In another sense, The Colony is a love letter- a tribute to the last cultural moment of human vitality, where men and women stood in defiance of the looming tide of industrialization and crushing modernity. The world our characters inhabit is a living entity in itself, equal parts historical fascination and revisionist glee.
Though the setting of our story plays a necessary role in the proceedings, The Colony is in no way a pop-culture referential buffet- we knew that we needed to ground a tale of such scale in an honestly felt and lived-in story.
Anson, Shelby and George share a journey that is ancient and timeless: desiring to belong and to betray, fighting for love and against loss. This is the heart that allows The Colony to remain viable in its shortened form- its universal themes and experiences resonate in any context.
By now it is probably obvious that this project is not lacking in ambition. The $7,500 funding goal we've set is the minimum needed to fund the 9-minute version of this story, but one of the key strengths of The Colony is that its scope and the research invested in its creation provide the framework for immediate expansion. If we raise $10,000 we will film a 12-minute version of the story, the script for which is already written. Further, $15,000 would allow for a 25-minute incarnation, which we feel would be definitive. The Colony has been fully-formed from its conception; every dollar raised above our goal will grant us a desperate breath, another second for this film to live in our shared world.
Nick Thurston (White Irish Drinkers, MTV's The Truth Below) as Anson
Amelia Rose Blaire (90210, Grimm, Touch, The Glades) as Shelby
Bryan Dechart (Jane by Design) as George
Thomas Wyatt- Director, Co-Writer, Producer
Edwin Eversole- DP, Co-Writer, Producer
Jack Murgatroyd- Editor, Producer
Matt Hampar- Composer
Thom, Edwin and Jack met while attending USC's School of Cinematic Arts and since graduation have written, directed and produced numerous award-winning commercials and music videos.
The Colony begins in Brooklyn, at the close of the first World War. While Anson Stein is on shore leave, he receives a mysterious photograph from his dying Grandfather, accompanied with instructions to head west. Unable to ignore the photo's siren call, Anson flees his Spanish Flu-ravaged home for the open fields and lawless horizons of California.
Peering over the Santa Monica Mountains, Anson sees the Pacific Ocean for the first time- as well as George and Shelby Baker frolicking in its surf. Starving, Anson takes up with the brother/sister pair out of desperation, and quickly senses an unhealthy dynamic between the two, who he learns have been on the run for nearly three years following the murder of their father, a black market film exhibitor, at the hands of Thomas Edison and his goons.
As their uneasy alliance grows, Anson shares with his new confederates the true nature of the photograph and the mining claim it supposedly leads to. As they search for the claim, the three slowly learn that Anson has only a hint of the photograph's secrets, which, when revealed, will change the lives of the three forever and create a titan of adolescent Hollywood.
Where do you go once you've found the American Dream? What must one experience to shed their humanity?
We are seeing these themes explored in narrative television, with characters like Tony Soprano, Walter White and Don Draper, and we believe these shared themes point toward a canon of American dissatisfaction, a conversation we believe The Colony takes part in.
"Each beast, each insect, happy in its own: Is Heaven unkind to man, and man alone? Shall he alone, whom rational we call, Be pleased with nothing, if not blessed with all?”
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