Was I happy to see them (finally) get Superman right (sorta) for a contemporary audience? Of course, for no other reason than I could roll my eyes at an overdone, joyless DC movie instead of a loud, emotionless Marvel movie. The litte victories. But as I watched Krypton implode in the first reel, which was spectacularly Snyder, I was concerned that the bar was already set too high, action-wise, to sustain the methodical storytelling of Nolan. Inasmuch, how interested was this film in getting bigger and noisier as it reached it’s climax?
Rumored to be operating out of an unknown city on the West Coast, this mysterious cabal of “good thieves” was identified last week by local authorities in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they were allegedly involved in a plot to kidnap Senator Jeff Hornacek (R-MI)’s eldest daughter. Conflicting reports emerged regarding the group’s status, but a source close to the Hornacek family expressed gratitude for The Caper Kind’s services. No ransom was reported, leaving some to speculate this was actually a personal recovery job, contracted by the Senator himself.
Indeed, as this blogger is wondering aloud why the family of said alleged “kidnapping” would go so far to endorse the efforts of her daughter’s “captors.” Stockholm Syndrome or is the govermnemnet not telling us something about this so-called “Michigan Mission?”
What do you think? Sound off on the comments below!
Not too long ago, my co-conspirator in filmmaking, dreaming and gourmet guacamole-creating, Whit Hertford, posted a heartfelt reflection of Sneak Attack’s first feature film, DREAMWORLD, on the eve of our first public screening, which was the magical and unforgettable night of March 9th, 2012. It’s been some three months and three festivals since then and it seems that I’m now ready to finally write about the experience and the the film and what it means to me. (Perhaps coincidentally, I’m writing this the very day that we’re set to shoot our first few frames of the project known as The Caper Kind, but I don’t really know if that has so much to do with anything.)
More to the point, DREAMWORLD has very much been at least three things for me, not in any particular order of significance.
The film: It’s a deeply personal film for me and I care about it very much. So much of the feel comes from my love of the French New Wave and Jean-Luc Godard’s refusal to play by the rules. The scenes are lengthy and performances are showcased fully, allowing the actor and audience to completely connect, or perhaps, I dare say, become lost in the illusion. For example, when an actor is allowed to run a scene from beginning to end, they really can inhabit a space that is rare in film, but common and special in live theater and oral storytelling. I suppose that’s my aim as a director - to never take anything away from that - the tradition of storytelling around the campfire.
The experience: It was difficult to make at times, inspiring and wildly exciting at other moments, but always exciting, unique and fun. I’m not exactly sure I’ll ever sit in the backseat of a gold Volvo again. More on this in the DVD commentary!
The reception: I don’t know if I ever knew what to expect, but I’ve been surprised almost at every corner with how this film has been received by audiences. It has been nothing short of supremely fulfilling, and I suspect, will continue to be as we slowly and surely crank up our distribution engine. As such, DREAMWORLD needs to find more audiences and I will push it to the corners of the universe forever - the film is just too damn universal to not be given a chance to connect to people. Almost everybody who has seen it gets something different and special out of it for them, and by “them,” I mean octogenarian grandparents, teenage hipsters, middle-aged fathers, cinephiles, animal lovers, aspiring carpenters and so on. Clearly the audiences are connecting with Oliver’s quest to fulfill his dreams, Lily’s desire to find someone who understands her and all the different ways they explore love, adventure and loss. I have been repeatedly honored and excited by this part of the journey and am endeared to do what it necessary to share the film with anybody with the time or inclination to watch it.
All of these things that DREAMWORLD has been (and is) are such gifts. I am keenly aware of the treasures that I’ve been afforded - to make films and have people see them. I can assure you, Dear Reader, that my gratitude and excitement keeps me focused and humble, especially now, as I set out yet again to tell another story.
Welp, it’s been almost a year since we began work on “Dreamworld” and in a week we get to premiere for it’s first audience. It’s terrifying / thrilling / emotional.
Ryan and I set out to take a beat-up 1989 Volvo, the Canon T2i Rebel (affectionately called “Russ Camoureaux” after our newly adopted surrogate guru), an adventurous, trusting, willing and ever-Decembrists-singing tiny redhead (who does such brave and fully-realized work in DW)and drive to San Francisco (and all parts in between) to shoot our most ambitious and most personal endeavor to date. What resulted was everything we hoped for and a jaw-dropping amount more.
It definitely wasn’t without fear, sacrifice, & turmoil, but it has been the most gratifying thing either of us has ever worked on. And that’s what me and “Jean-Luc GoDARST” set out to achieve since Day One w/ Sneak Attack -challenge ourselves, surprise ourselves and make what we want to make.
As is often the case in bare bones, “it ain’t gonna happen”-type indie filmmaking, the odds were firmly stacked against us. But a wonderful community of like-minded artists linked arms and did this together (and sometimes for no recompense to speak of, just the goodness of their hearts and their valuable time). I’ll never be able to pay back everyone for the gift they gave to Ryan and I. People pulled dinero out of their very own pockets to pay for hotels, wardrobe, locations, superb tacos in Santa Barbara, flights from NY - LA, gas for “Goldie”, etc. We made wonderful new friends and hopefully lifelong collaborators who all gave voice to a simple coming-of-age story.
Selfishly, it’s a passion project, semi-autobiographical in nature and…I made it for me. But I also wanted to make it for Ryan. And most importantly, I made it for my Dad. It’s a closure piece to him. A thing I’ve been waiting to do for twenty-three years. He makes a bit of a cameo in the film, as does my warrior of a mother, which is really neat. And our Executive Producer happens to be the older brother I never had. The man who taught me as a kid how to be loving and who taught me how to find solace in playing the drums, which I do to this day. He came in and literally took the film off of it’s deathbed. It’s a special piece, because it’s a fateful piece. I want to thank Rob Gibbs for continually inspiring me, being a trusted one, a genius and dealing w/ my garbage per usual. But i would be remiss to not say that I am so incredibly grateful to belong to my beautiful, understanding, strong, intuitive, supportive and brutally honest family incl. the man I now refer to as my father, Eric. They make me who I am. But most importantly I want to give credit to one of my best friends and former teammate in life, Heidi, for never telling me to stop and always letting me “dream”. Thank you. And that’s Oliver’s story too. Not to stop, to imagine. It can happen. Anything. Whatever that “it” is for you.
“Dreamworld” is a shining example of our loyalty to the three-part spirit and mantra of Sneak Attack: vision, momentum, completion. All the other frill doesn’t mean diddle. And damned if we aren’t gonna stick to that from here on out.
Lastly I want to express my giant love and gratitude to my best friend, brother, sensai, therapist, coach and co-dreamer, Ryan for giving everything he had to help me tell this story. It’s changed my life.