Help us save The Woods!
[Higher Quality Teaser Clip One and Teaser Clip Two]
In August of 2008, I moved to a remote forest in southern Oregon with nearly 30 friends, collaborators and total strangers. With little more than a few credit cards, dedication, blind faith, and our bare hands, we set out to make a feature film (a first for most of us) about a group of young people, much like ourselves, who want to radically change the world, but who are unsure as to how to actually do so.
Equal parts Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Disney's Camp Nowhere, our production bore a series of ironic similarities to the plot of the film we were making:
“Discontent with the modern world, Daniel, a hopeless idealist, enlists the help of his best friend Dean to make a change. Together they lead a small group of naively optimistic young Americans deep into the woods with hopes of creating their own utopia. - With little to no understanding of the natural world they bring along a vast array of modern amenities, from fully stocked refrigerators to flat screen televisions and video gaming systems, all mysteriously powered by electrical sockets in trees. - When society unexpectedly collapses back in the real world, the group’s free-spirited romp takes on more dire implications.”
The process of making this film had a profound effect on my life on many levels, and from what I gather, it had a similar effect on many of those involved.
I wrote the following manifesto before embarking on our collective journey:
“We, as young, modern, globally conscious citizens, face an overwhelmingly vast array of problems that will undoubtedly shape and dictate the future of our world. We are often accused of being apathetic in the face of these problems. Where is the outrage? Where is the opposition? Forty years after the deluge of youth-led revolutions that rocked the world in 1968, modern day youth appear seemingly docile in the face of arguably much larger issues.
Meanwhile, as communication technologies proliferate and embed themselves into our everyday lives, we find ourselves paradoxically better able to contact others while at the same time more distant from them, strangely boxed into our own personalized worlds, and focused evermore on the self. The type of deep, meaningful inter-personal relationships that underlie civic participation, a sense of community, and social movements have long been in severe decline. We have at our disposal tools that our predecessors could have only dreamed of, tools that have the potential to exponentially increase our ability to amass and call to action the disaffected masses; yet, we use these tools as toys, mere distractions from reality.
Through The Woods we seek to build upon the drives, desires, shortcomings and contradictions of young modern day Americans who recognize a need for change, but who are unsure, and perhaps unprepared to affect that change. The finished film will not play as overtly social or political, but a strong and undeniably vital undercurrent informed by these very real issues will be in place.”
It's been nearly a year since we began principal photography on the film (we shot on Super 16 mm), yet unfortunately it is still not finished. We ran out of money soon after wrapping production, and shortly thereafter most of our credit dried up.
We've created a rough assembly edit, but in order to complete the film we need to hire a proper editor and shoot some additional b-roll footage. We are currently in the process of selecting an editor, and we have our camera equipment and locations secured for our b-roll shoot.
Once our edit is complete we need to pay a few over due debts to a post-house, process a supervised color correct, and transfer the finished film to HD tape. At this point we will also need funds to submit the film to top-tier film festivals and get the film seen.
A lot has changed in the the year since we shot the film, but simply electing a new administration has not magically erased the host of tremendous problems which initially inspired us. Now, as much as ever, is a prime time for action and for real change. We hope the finished film will speak to this reality, and will inspire others to forge ahead in pro-active directions.
With your help and support (whoever you may be) we hope to make the dream of finishing and releasing - what we believe to be a truly unique and dynamic film - a reality.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
All the best,
Please e-mail me with any and all questions
Monte Lomax Team G