About this project
The trailer here gives you the essence of the film.
My name is Steven Lewis Simpson and have been a feature film director for over 20 years.
I am currently far through post-production on an extraordinary new movie Neither Wolf Nor Dog based on Kent Nerburn's acclaimed novel by the same name. We had a successful Kickstarter last September helping raise funds to enter production. To fully achieve the films considerable potential we are running a new campaign to help fund the major expenses involved in properly finishing a film. (see below).
The film is effectively a road movie where a Lakota elder and his closest friend drag a white author through the heart of contemporary Lakota Country taking the him deep out of his comfort zone. It is a moving, profound story.
We already have one of the worlds top film festivals holding the door open long after their deadline to review the film but it is essential that we deliver the film to the highest technical standard for us to get into these top showcases and thus help secure major distribution.
This is what may make the difference between the film being seen by a few versus having a worldwide impact.
The production proved to be a miraculous experience due to our amazing actors and support team.
The novel has been immensely popular within Indian Country and beyond and for a number of years it has had the reputation with many in Hollywood of being the great unmade contemporary Indian Country script. Kent Nerburn has published 16 books of creative non-fiction and essays, focusing on Native American and American culture and general spirituality including two sequel novels to Neither Wolf Nor Dog.
“This is one of those rare works that once you've read it, you can never look at the world, or at people, the same way again. It is quiet and forceful and powerful.” — American Indian College Fund
DAVE BALD EAGLE - DAN
Born in a tipi in 1919, Dave Bald Eagle lived with his grandfather, White Feather, and spoke only Lakota until he went to school when he was 12 years old. When World War II broke out, he joined the Army and became a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne. He and his unit jumped behind the lines at Anzio and fought their way to the beachhead. On D-Day the 82nd Airborne, including Dave, were mistakenly dropped over German lines. "We were just like clay pigeons, coming down," Dave recalls. "Most of my outfit was wiped out." Before he even hit the ground, Bald Eagle was riddled with bullets. He survived but he was so badly shot up that the Army refused to let him re-enlist.
Afterward the war, Dave became a race car driver, played semi-pro baseball in Minneapolis-St. Paul and went into pro rodeo, riding bareback broncs and bulls. Dave also acted in several movies in the 40s and 50s, including "River of No Return" with Marilyn Monroe and also with Errol Flynn. He said he and Monroe went out dancing during one break in filming. He traveled to Europe to rodeo with Casey Tibbs' Wild West Show in 1958 and met a young Belgian actress, Josee Kesteman, in Brussels during the world's fair. They married, moved back to the reservation and started raising horses and children.
In the 90's he was made First Chief of the United Indigenous Nations, a society of chiefs from various reservations. He has ridden in the Days of '76 Parade at Deadwood for more than 70 years and still appears occasionally in films, most recently in "Into the West" and "Imprint."
CHRISTOPHER SWEENEY - KENT
Christopher Sweeney was born in an Indian Health Service (IHS) Hospital and raised in Yakima, Washington. After graduating from high school, he served a four-year enlistment in the US Marine Corps. It was, in part, his military experiences - traveling extensively abroad and fighting in the first Gulf war (receiving a Silver Star for gallantry in action) - that so profoundly shaped who he is as an artist today. But it wasn't until his late twenties, after graduating from the University of Washington with a BA in Political Science, that he fully recognized where his passions lie: the visual and performing arts.
Christopher has since acted in more than twenty-five National and International commercial spots; he’s played a variety of spirited characters on stage, including Rubek in Ibsen’s When We Dead Awaken, Jerry in Albee’s Zoo Story and Peter in Lett’s Bug, to name a few; he’s performed at renowned venues, such as The Actors Gang and The Kirk Douglas Theater, sharing the stage with esteemed actors Gary Cole, Laura Dern, Jim Beaver and Ken Howard; he’s starred and co-starred in numerous independent and big studio feature films, including, most recently, The Veil, a Blumhouse production, alongside Thomas Jane.
Christopher is a uniquely talented self-taught visual artist as well. And he’s an advocate for military veterans and their integration into the arts, devoting time and energy to various non-profits such as United States Veterans Artist Alliance and the Veteran’s Center for the Performing Arts whenever possible.
Christopher couldn't be more proud to depict Kent Nerburn in Neither Wolf Nor Dog. Shooting the film on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has certainly been the most rewarding experience of his career thus far.
RICHARD RAY WHITMAN - GROVER
Richard is a Yuchi-Muscogee/Creek artist, poet, actor and activist who grew up in Gypsy, Oklahoma, where he learned Yuchi as his first language.
His creative visual art has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the US and his photography has been used in textbooks and historical compilations.
He has appeared in numerous films and documentaries including starring in Barking Water which premiered at Sundance.
ROSEANNE SUPERNAULT- WENONAH/DANELLE
Roseanne is a Canadian film and television actress, best known for her roles as Natalie Stoney in the television series Blackstone and as the title character in the 2013 film Maïna. Originally from East Prairie, Alberta, she is a Métis of Cree descent.
She won the Best Actress Award at the 2013 American Indian Film Festival for her performance in Maïna.
A graduate of the Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts in Edmonton, Alberta, she has also appeared in the film Rhymes for Young Ghouls, and the television series Rabbit Fall, Into the West and Mixed Blessings
TATANKA MEANS - DELVIN
Tatanka Means is an award-winning actor, stand-up comedian and motivational speaker from Chinle, Arizona. He represents the Oglala Lakota, Omaha and Navajo Nations. His most recent movie credits include feature films The Host, A Million Ways to Die in The West, Tiger Eyes and guest starring in Banshee on Cinemax, NBC's The Night Shift and ABC's new drama, Killer Women by executive producer Sofia Vegara.
Aside from acting Tatanka has been performing comedy internationally. Means has also developed and launched his own screen printing company, Tatanka Clothing. Apparel designed and created to uplift and inspire cultural awareness. Tatanka was recently recognized and awarded for his dedicated efforts with the Entrepreneur of The Year Award by the American Indian Business Leaders. He has become a much-needed role model for all American Indian youth.
ZAHN MCCLARNON - BILLY
Zahnis a prolific, multi-award winning actor who is known for his guest starring roles in various television shows. McClarnon was in the Into the West (2005) miniseries for TNT and played Running Fox (also portrayed by Russell Means), brother of Dog Star played by Michael Spears and Gil Birmingham. He has starred in a 2009 film Not Forgotten and a comedy film Repo Chick. In 2013 he was in the horror movie Resolution directed by Justin Benson. He had a recurring role as Bodaway Macawi in Ringer. He currently portrays the Cheyenne reservation Chief of Indian Tribal Police, Mathias, in Longmire, originally an A&E and now Netflix television series.
Zahn has been on the producing team long before production helping get the film set up.
WHAT WE NEED
As you can see from the trailer we've done an amazing job creating the feel and scale of the story for a microscopic budget. But it still, technically, takes a lot of resources to bring it in from here.
Grading is where the images are transformed in tone and texture and we have the raw materials here to make the images looks stunning with access to the right know-how and technology. The film was shot on a very high resolution Red camera that Best Cinematography Oscar winning films have been shot on.
Sound design is so essential as the ear is more sensitive than the eye and films require quality sound design to be taken seriously by distributors. Our natural settings have a sound as distinct as their look and is a key part of our transporting the viewer there. This is a very labor and equipment intensive, highly skilled job.
Music speaks for itself when it comes to your favorite films. But it comes at a cost and we need the right score to do the film justice.
Festivals will be our key launch pad and it is expensive to create a strong festival campaign. Without a strong campaign films fall through the cracks. This film has a great chance at being noticed. But is takes the right preparation and resources.
We have tried to create a broad range of incentives. Many of them are available at the end of this campaign. We are open to create other incentives that may fit peoples needs, for example doing screening events for youth, talks and other kinds of screenings. Message us with suggestions. Take as many as the incentives as you would like. The more the better.
Our target is the minimum we are looking to raise but the more we raise the better we can do things so we hope we can raise a lot more than this small target.
Our rewards include DVDs of my previous films in Indian Country and beyond. Click titles to see trailers.
Rez Bomb is a love story thriller starring Tamara Feldman, Trent Ford, Russell Means, and Chris Robinson.
A Thunder-Being Nation was made over 13 years and is the most comprehensive documentary looking at the past and present of an Indian Reservation (Pine Ridge). The Ultimate Edition DVD included 10 hours of extras with interviews with elders that have passed on and many other things.
The Hub is a fun 13 part TV series celebrating the best of Indian Countries arts and entertainment scene and has many of its biggest stars as guests.
The Ticking Man is an action thriller set in Scotland and is Steven Lewis Simpson's most widely distributed feature film having sold to around 70 countries.
Retribution is the stand alone sequel to The Ticking Man and is also a thriller set in Scotland. It is Simpson's favorite of all the features he has directed.
Our budget may be small by film standards but we are proud to have engaged a lot of local talent as well as bringing money into the local economy of Pine Ridge where we filmed with accommodation, food, location fees, prop hire and many other things. To me the most exciting way of helping the economic development of these impoverished areas (Pine Ridge with 80+% unemployment) is through hiring people to be involved in such a wonderful creative journey. My previous work has also been sold by stores all around Lakota country so the end product helps add to the local economies to.
PLEASE SHARE AND HELP US GET THE WORD OUT. THANKS
Click video to hear Steve talk more about the production.
Customer Votes of novel on Amazon.com
“Realists wanting a truthful, fiery, and ultimately cleansing dialogue between Indian and white will definitely want [this book].”
“An imaginative leap that encompasses several genres in its successful attempt to convey some aspects of American Indian life and truth to American readers.”
— Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A chronicle extraordinary for its difficult truths and its stunning depths. . . . This is a sobering, humbling, cleansing, loving book, one that every American should read.”
— Yoga Journal
“I expected to find Black Elk between these covers. What I found instead was more modern, more alive, and every bit as poignant and moving.”
— NAPRA Review
Risks and challenges
We have long passed the point of risks to the production which is the filming stage itself. Now it's a case of getting the correct resources in to maximize potential.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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