A new American indie about a businessman in freefall, his office, his family, his best friend, and the stranger who brings them all home.
The Jonestown Defense is a quintessential example of personal filmmaking. We made this as a family.
The actors developed their own characters, finding inspiration from their personal lives, or those lived in close proximity. Months were spent in rehearsals, which basically consisted of impromptu get-togethers at homes or offices or restaurants or hair salons to run through ideas that came at a dizzying clip. Like a family, it was usually impassioned, and not always pretty. There was an intense ten day workshop with a noted NYC acting coach. There were financial woes from the outset that forced two postponements of principal photography. Endless exploration, and countless hurdles, both large and small, lasted for the better part of a year before a single frame was shot.
But we made it to Sarasota, and filming began. Hallelujahs and high adventure all around. There was that night in a wooded park where the director was running up and down a darkened path looking for his actors and camera operators. Seems once the action started, the actors had zigged when the plan was to zag, in favor of taller hedges better suited for their fight scene. There was that day in Mayakka River State Park when a producer and cameraman paddled a small rubber raft (purchased on eBay for $15) across a marsh to get a shot, and a dozen alligators swam over to get a closer look at the whispering men in their inflatable bathtub toy. (The cameraman got his shot, regardless.) And there was the night, in the jungle interior, when a thunderstorm broke out and the two camera units became separated in the wind and rain. The walkies fell out of range. Cast and crew alternated between shooting the scene and freeing each other from mud pits and vines and Saw Palmetto. In hindsight, any one of us would've been well within our rights to thrown in the towel. But nobody quit, or even complained, really. Clothing was ruined. Gear was broken. And through it all, through this night and others during our Florida safari, we stuck together like family. The cinematographer charged through the thick of the action repeating our mantra “always rolling,” trying to catch on film everything that happened.
And he did – he got it all.
So now here we are safe and sound in New York City with 4 terabytes of footage sitting on our desks. The footage is amazing – at least, we think so. Unlike anything we've seen before. We even have a rough cut that clocks in at under 2 hours. But the expenses of post-production continue to build. We did as much as we could to make this movie – we did everything we could. So now we’re turning to you for help.
Even at the lowest contribution level, you are guaranteed delivery of a totally unique and original "Jonestown Defense" prize (provided we reach our goal, of course). Check out our website www.thejonestowndefense.com for full details. Watch the teaser. See who we are. Get excited. And then donate.
From our family to yours - thank you.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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