Set in drought-plagued Northern California in 1973, The Divide chronicles the story of Sam Kincaid, an aging rancher with a failing memory, his estranged and independent-minded daughter, Sarah, and Luke, a young ranch hand who finds himself in the midst of a family in crisis. Internal struggles, the realities of an unforgiving landscape, and the need to reconcile a long-ago tragedy collide to create the backdrop for this classic American Western.
Written by Jana Brown with actor/director Perry King and, in collaboration with director of photography Russ Rayburn, The Divide will begin filming in the summer of 2015.
ABOUT PERRY KING
Actor/director Perry King has been a fixture in Hollywood for nearly 45 years. He is perhaps best known for his role in the 1980s television series Riptide, on which he played detective Cody Allen. He has appeared in dozens of films, television movies, TV shows, and plays, including The Day After Tomorrow, The Lords of Flatbush, and Slaughterhouse-Five. Perry was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his role in the TV movie The Hasty Heart. He’s been featured in recurring television roles on Melrose Place and Spin City.
It was Perry’s role in the 1998 made-for-TV movie The Cowboy and the Movie Star, which co-starred Sean Young, that inspired him to shift gears. Perry says he decided after shooting Cowboy that he wanted to be his character from the film – a rancher seeking solace in his livelihood and his land. Not long after filming the movie, Perry purchased a 500-acre cattle ranch in the Sierra Nevada, splitting his time between the bustle of Los Angeles and the serenity of Northern California. He has long dreamt of filming a Western on his own land. The ranch’s location in the heart of Gold Country, known locally as “the divide,” provides the ideal setting for such aspirations.
In 2011, Perry met Jana Brown, a writer based in New Hampshire, and the two developed an immediate collaborative friendship. From that connection came the idea, the development, and the screenplay for The Divide. The script has been in development for the last few years.
WHY PERRY KING WANTS TO MAKE THE DIVIDE
While Perry has enjoyed decades of success in Hollywood, he has long aspired to break out of the traditional Hollywood format and film an independent movie on his own land, on his own terms, a simple, thoughtful production that will reflect both the tone of the film and the stark simplicity of the landscape of Northern California in the 1970s. While Perry has been thinking about making such a film for many years, the idea began to take shape when he met writer Jana Brown in 2011, and the two developed the story together. The impetus to film The Divide now stems from the recent death of Perry’s mother. In his words, “I had one of the most human reactions to her death, realizing that my mother and father were gone. I thought, ‘Who’s next? Obviously me, or my generation.’ The somedays I have always talked about are now. There are no more somedays.”
Perry wants to make a film about the drama of ordinary life, and he has found that story in the simple existence of Sam Kincaid and The Divide. But rest assured that Sam’s narrative is anything but simple.
ABOUT THE LOCATION
The Divide will be filmed almost exclusively on the authentic setting of Perry King’s 500-acre cattle ranch in El Dorado County, Calif., a.k.a. Gold Rush country. There, where the sometimes lush, sometimes sun-damaged landscape runs along the banks of the American River, is the home of Sam Kincaid, the fictional rancher whose struggles are explored in The Divide. Other scenes will be shot in and around the small towns that call El Dorado County home.
ABOUT THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
Help us bring a new classic American Western to the big screen.
Great news! We already have initial funding in place to film The Divide, but we are currently seeking financing for Phase 1: pre-production. We have begun location scouting in El Dorado County, Calif., have initiated crew selection, narrowed down a look for the film, and have enlisted the help of the local film commissioners for logistical support. We need your help to make this exciting project a reality.
Also in the crucial pre-production phase, we will accomplish the following agenda:
Assessing the needs for the film, from props to locations to permits, and everything in between
Finding and securing professionals to help The Divide reach its potential in terms of look and feel
Attracting and signing the best talent to join Perry King in the cast of The Divide
While the majority of The Divide will be filmed on Perry King’s ranch, finding the exact spots on the 500-acre property is critical. We are going for a very specific look for this film, one that will reflect the mood of the story, the characters, and the times. To achieve this will take time and support.
-Camera and screen testing
Because the photography for The Divide is so critical, our crew must test cameras and equipment to make sure the right tools are in place for filming in the summer of 2015.
ABOUT THE REWARDS
As in other Kickstarter campaigns, support of our project comes with rewards for those who help us bring it to life. Beginning with your support in the pre-production phase, we pledge to offer unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the planning and filming of this movie. We promise that if you join Perry King and the rest of our team, you will feel a part of this effort, and it will be something of which you will also feel proud.
Early support will come with password-protected access to location scouting, script breakdown, and casting. It will give you an early-bird look atPhase 2: principal photography, in which the film is shot.
Other rewards range from keepsakes from the film to autographed posters and scripts from Perry King to, at certain giving levels, an invitation to join us at the premiere of The Divide.
ABOUT THE CREW
Jana Brown (Screenwriter) is a writer and editor of multiple genres. She has been writing professionally for 20 years. A Boston native and a graduate of Dartmouth College, she has worked in the publishing, newspaper, and magazine industries and currently serves as editor of an award-winning alumni magazine based in Concord, New Hampshire, where she lives with her family. The Divide is Jana’s first full screenplay, and she crafted it in close collaboration with Perry King.
Russ Rayburn (Director of Photography) is a four-decade veteran of film and television production. He has worked in network TV news for ABC, CBS, NBC, Reuters, and CNN and has produced more than 100 documentary/sports/travel/adventure programs for Speed, ESPN II, Outdoor Channel, and Wealth TV. His work includes 56 episodes of Ride to Adventure, a television series through which he met Perry King while filming in Death Valley. The two have subsequently collaborated on motorcycle adventure programs and, now, on The Divide. Russ owns Chicago-based Winding Road Films.
Risks and challenges
It certainly is true that every project will experience challenges and obstacles, but I’ve been evolving my plans for The Divide for several years now, and I’ve tried very hard to anticipate the majority of them. I don’t pretend to be omniscient, or even close, but I do think that careful observation on film sets for 45 years has given me some good information about what does and doesn’t work, and where the mines are laid. For example, location conflicts, expenses, and restrictions are something that almost every film I’ve ever worked on has experienced. That one, at least, should be minimized for The Divide, for a simple reason: I own the location for 90% of the film. In fact, screenwriter Jana Brown and I started with that premise, and designed a story that fit my Northern California cattle ranch. The owner is therefore unlikely to argue too strenuously with the director.
The film will be shot in my Northern California community and the people there – wonderful, solid, honest and joyful people – are proving to be staunch and steadfast supporters of the project. You couldn’t ask for better community support. The story, in part, centers on a crushing drought – well, sad to say, California is caught in a real crushing drought, which we will utilize to the fullest.
The most valuable commodity on a set, in my 45 years of experience, is one that seems to be constantly in very short supply: time. How many thousands of time have I heard, “We'll just have to fix it in post.” Well, it just never happens. My budget is tight, sparse, downright cheap. But in one area it is richer than almost any other film I’ve ever worked on. We literally have scheduled over twice the time we need to shoot it. In short, I know I will encounter many unforeseen obstacles and problems, but I am very serious about putting into practice the lessons of nearly a half-century of film work. We’ll see how the fates will toy with me.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)