“You get addicted to myths. They become a way of living.”
Set in Detroit, a city filled with myths and urban legends, Zug is the story of Donovan and Lee -- two boys from the outskirts of Detroit forced to straddle the boundary between city and suburbs, “outsider” and “insider” -- who, upon a dare from their classmates, resolve to sneak inside the legendary Zug Island.
ABOUT THE FILM
Zug is, at its core, a coming-of-age story that explores the problematic images and narratives about Detroit by following two boys on a quest for their own identity. Through Donovan’s eyes, Detroit becomes a character to be explored – and challenged – by testing the validity of several infamous urban legends about the mysterious Zug Island.
Built in the river rouge, Zug Island is home to industrial complexes and steel mills. Popular rumors, however, assert that the island hosts a top-secret government prison, that the island is highly contaminated and dangerous to set foot on, and that the entire facility is haunted by the remains of a Native American burial ground. These sorts of rumors proliferate in Detroit, fueled by photos of abandoned buildings and cryptic news stories. Despite the outlandish origins of these myths, Zug Island’s long history of secrecy has sparked suspicions of all kinds, which begs the question: Could the rumors be true?
As Donovan questions his own understanding of the city he calls home, he is forced on a journey fraught with real danger in an attempt to confront his own fears, refute his classmates’ stereotypes, and win the girl of his dreams. Ultimately, Zug is meant to create a new narrative for the city, one that explores its stereotypes and myths and -- in turn -- refutes them.
Zug is a Paper Room Productions film. We are currently in pre-production and plan to begin principal photography in September 2011 in the Metro Detroit area.
Who we are
Writer & Director: Perry Janes. A writer and student in the University of Michigan's thesis program in Screen Arts and Cultures, he is the recipient of 6 Hopwood Awards for poetry, fiction and screenwriting, a Sonia Handelman poetry prize, and a Roy & Helen Meador Writing Award. His work has appeared in the literary journals Salt Hill, The Collagist, and Fogged Clarity.
Producer: Tony Pachella. A graduate of the University of Michigan's program in Screen Arts & Cultures, he currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Producer: Ankur Sohoni. Entering his senior year at the University of Michigan,
he is a dual-degree student pursuing a BBA in the Ross School of Business and a Screen Arts and Cultures concentration. He is a screenwriting student and arts journalist, working as an Arts Writer and Film Columnist for the Michigan Daily.
Cinematographer Benji Dell. A graduate of the University of Michigan's thesis program in Screen Arts & Cultures, he initially honed his eye as a freelance still photographer, later taking up cinematography and shooting a range of shorts, commercials, and music videos. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and film festivals. benjamindell.com
Original score composed by singer-songwriter Hannah Winkler. An indie/folk singer-songwriter based in Ann Arbor, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a duel degree in Anthropology and Music. (http://www.facebook.com/HannahWinklerMusic)
Why we need YOU
We want Zug to reach farther than Southeast Michigan. The film is admittedly a Michigan story and thus a natural project for us as Michigan residents, students and alums. Our ambition, however, is to impact the national discourse about Detroit by contributing to a growing image of the city not predicated upon crime or abandonment.
As you can imagine, making a film with the production value and authenticity we’re striving for is an expensive proposition. While we will do everything we can to cut costs associated with the project and utilize what resources we already have (be it money, cameras, etc.), we nonetheless need your support throughout this process. Whatever amount you are comfortable dedicating to our efforts is welcome and greatly appreciated. And we truly mean it – every dollar counts.
We know that money is tight, but we can assure you that with a carefully constructed budget, your money will be put to good and efficient use. Your support could cover a number of major costs, allow us to hire specialized crew, secure locations, and rent equipment. After filming, these funds will go towards necessary post-production expenses as well.
Spread the word
If you’d like to help us out in a different but also important way, we could use all the buzz we can get – so tell your friends, share us on Facebook, Google +, and wherever you can spread the word. When seeking donations, personal recommendations make all the difference. We’re just getting started, and we hope to reach as many people as possible. We thank you for any support you can offer us.
While we’re asking for your help now, we want to keep you in the loop throughout the production process of Zug. Any contribution will automatically place you on the film’s e-mailing list, on which you’ll receive updates from filmmakers on the progress of the film as well as exclusive access to images from the film. There are also a number of rewards we’d like to offer for your generosity – check out the details in the side panel.
If you would like to reach out to us first with questions, comments, or just the casual hello, you can e-mail us anytime at ZugShortFilm@gmail.com. We appreciate your involvement in the project!
We would llike to thank those who have already contributed their efforts to this project:
Sundance Nominated Filmmaker Sultan Sharrief (http://beyondblueproductions.com/)
Pulitzer Nominated Journalist and Author Desiree Cooper (http://descooper.blogspot.com/)
Christopher Knauer for his technical expertise and hard work behind the camera.
Lee Loechler (firstname.lastname@example.org) for his logo design.
We'd like to thank Pretty Lights for their support of open source art making and freely downloadable music.
“Finally Moving” is copyright of Pretty Lights; No copyright infringement intended. (Pretty Lights is not in any way affiliated with the making of this project.)
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