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"Dog Days" - London Film School Graduation Film's video poster

It's a hot summer day in Wisconsin, the dog is missing, and two teenagers are bored as hell. Read more

Fort Mccoy, WI Shorts
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This project was successfully funded on June 28, 2013.

It's a hot summer day in Wisconsin, the dog is missing, and two teenagers are bored as hell.

Fort Mccoy, WI Shorts
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About this project

The Story

Stephen and Isaac are teenagers, bored to death on the hottest day of summer. Their parents are gone, they have a few chores, but there's not much to do 5 miles out of town with no car and in this heat. They've got a little bit of competition going on, and when the dog goes missing is the perfect time to showcase their differences. A very boring day turns into a nightmare...

Read the short story here...

The Film

"Dog Days" is a story I've had in my head for a while, and I'm excited to shoot it as my graduate film for the London Film School.

It's about longing to be an adult and the fear that can go with that.  

It's about my younger brother, who always seemed to be two steps ahead of me in maturity.  (Then.  Not now.  Ahem.)

It's about the time our dog wandered home with an arrow through his back and we never found out who did it.  

It's about encountering reality and violence after spending most of your childhood in front of a computer screen.   

And it's also just about a really hot day one summer under the sun.

Production: Why do you need $6500?

We're shooting in early August. In a lot of ways we have a lot taken care for us on this project: I'm able to film it at the house I grew up in, we have the whole film's environment ready for us. All I need is a crew and equipment.

The crew is several students I've met at the London Film School, all awesome people and great artists.  Three of them are flying from Europe and one from California, we're looking at travel packages but it'll probably work out to something around $2100.

Equipment gets equally expensive.  Different camera packages cost upwards of $300 a day - $300 x 10 days = $3,000 for the camera package alone.  The nicer camera package we're looking at is $700 a day, $2400 a week (x10, our deal could work out to something around $4,000 total.)

Then there's extra grip equipment, sound, and DIT, not to mention food, and any other travel expenses for local crew.  Depending on how things go, this could cost anywhere from $500-$1,000.

These are just essential costs, but the more money we get the more opportunities we have to get cooler gadgets (like a Steadicam for a day) to do more with.

Film Festivals

Our goal with this project, after its submitted to school in December, is to take it to as many film festivals as we can.  Past LFS films have enjoyed really good festival runs, making Palm Beach, the BFI Film festival, Berlin...the list goes on.

The Final Word

This film's a very exciting challenge for me.   This film will hopefully be a calling card for me in the industry and may give me the opportunities I need to make a living doing this.  Not only that, it's a personal story, I've got a great crew, and I get to make this film back in the woods I grew up making movies in.  

I'd appreciate anything you'd have to donate!

Meet the Crew

Directing "Tongues" last term
Directing "Tongues" last term

Nathan Deming, Writer & Director

Nathan grew up in Wisconsin, his parents are from Wisconsin and Iowa, their parents are from Wisconsin, Iowa, and Ohio, their parents were from Norway, Germany, Wisconsin, and Ohio, and their parents...far enough back, his family really formed in Africa about 150,000 years ago with the rest of homo sapien. It took them about 20,000 years after this evolutionary milestone to figure out how to train a dog (according to today's hearsay).

Nathan's film credits are still growing, but include several short films: Writer's Block (2009), and Tongues (2013).

Aslak Danbolt, Producer

Aslak Danbolt is originally from Bergen on the west coast of Norway. He studied for a BA in Documentary Directing at Lillehammer University College where his graduation film "Martin the Ghost", was selected for numerous international film festivals (IDFA, Thessaloniki, LIDF, NorDox Beijing & One World in Prague) and won several awards. He’s now studying for a MA in filmmaking at The London Film School where he’s currently writing his graduation film as well as producing “Dog Days”.

Mark Khalife, Director of Photography

Mark Khalife is a Lebanese cinematographer based in London. His filmography includes "An Unfortunate Tale" (dir. Lama Sawaya, 2009), Txoria (dir. Mikel Gurrea, 2012) and The Mentor (dir. Sandra Tabet, 2013). He is currently finishing a filmmaking course at the London Film School.

From Mark:

When Nathan approached me to be the director of photography for Dog Days, I got frustrated because I knew I wouldn't be able to make the planned shooting dates, and I had been looking to work with him for a while. But then I read the script, and it just felt stupid to refuse the job, so I decided to make it work somehow. Nathan has a great ability to take a personal story and transform it into a cinematic experience, so I hope this project gets the backing it deserves.

Mikel Gurrea, Camera/Moral Support

Mikel was born in Donostia-San Sebastian in the Basque Country (Spain). He studied in Barcelona, where he directed his own short films and worked in commercials as a director´s assistant, AD and post-production coordinator. With the help of a scholarship, Mikel moved to London to study the MA Filmmaking course at The London Film School.

From Mikel:

Nathan said to me: do you want to go to the dance with me? That was his way of inviting me to be a part of “Dog Days”. Two weeks in the wild of Wisconsin, where Nathan´s own memories blend with fiction. How could I say no?

I want to make this project because it´s simple, real and exciting. Everyone can connect with the idea of a first encounter with violence; the fear and the fascination that this moment creates. That memory lasts for ever and we want to translate that into film.

We´re going to Nathan´s home, where the atmosphere has a feeling of safety in the middle of the wild: the perfect set up for the story and an incredibly rich location to shoot. I´m very excited to shoot a film where the heat of one summer day is palpable, with the flexibility and the freedom that Nathan is looking for his characters.

I´d have gone to Nepal, South Africa or Chile if Nathan would have asked me to, so, I guess my answer to his question was: yes, I´ll go to the dance with you.

Alyssa Stratton, Camera/Moral Support

Alyssa grew up in central California. She went on to get a degree in Film Studies from the University of California then off to the London Film School. There she was able to explore every aspect of film finding a zeal for Camera and design. Alyssa will direct her own grad film in California later this year.  

Risks and challenges

Our biggest challenges are time and weather. Money will make these a lot easier - we literally need money to buy time right now, with renting equipment, etc. We need to have a little extra time in case of rainy days, because then it will be impossible to film anything (except two little indoor scenes).

Other than that, it's just the challenge of making a good film. I'm looking forward to it.

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