Traditionally, cinematic stories of piano competitions and shows of classical music prowess play out at mythic performance halls in metropolitan venues. But for the team behind “As Far As The Eye Can See,” there was a far more compelling venue to tell that tale. In their version, a former piano whiz retreats to his family’s North Texas property for a rural life. When a competition brings him back to the world in which he once excelled, he’s confronted with a specific, but growingly-relatable American journey.
Filming from a script by Paden Fallis, the cameras started rolling on “As Far As the Eye Can See” this past June. After a strong showing in Project of the Week voting, the film took home Indiewire’s October Project of the Month crown.
Over email, director David Franklin spoke to us about producing the film and the process of jump-starting a feature film without knowing what’s around the corner.
What’s next for the project?
We just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund our post-production. (Thanks again to everyone who pitched in to support us!) We’re now just weeks away from locking picture, which means we’re about to start working with our audio post house and colorist on taking the film from an offline edit to a finished movie. It’s a very exciting time, and we have the good fortune to be working with some really talented and experienced folks. So I’m just looking forward to seeing (and hearing) the finished film.
What are the biggest challenges for the project?
Our biggest challenge is making people aware of this movie. No one has heard of us yet. This is my first film as a director and Paden’s first film as a screenwriter. So we have no official track record. But Jason London was an early fan of the script and contacted our casting agent Vicky Boone to let us know he was interested. Once I spoke to Jason and heard how well he understood the story and the character on the page, I knew he was going to give a really great performance. As it turned out, that’s what he did. So now our job is to let people know about that performance and all the other wonderful performances from the rest of our amazing cast, and find the audience who is going to love this movie.
What are your goals?
We think this is a film that will play well to an audience once we get it in front of them. It’s about an unexpected overlap between the classical music world and the fading small towns of the American heartland. It’s a movie people haven’t seen before, with a distinctive premise and a strong script. So our goal is to have a good festival run in 2016 and hopefully find commercial distribution, in order to get “As Far As The Eye Can See” seen by as many interested filmgoers as we can.
What do you wish someone had told you before you started?
On the first day of principal photography, our producer Andrew Richey teased us about wanting to shoot in Texas in the height of summer—what with temperatures topping 95° and the torrential rains. But, our weather sense notwithstanding, I think we had a pretty realistic sense of how hard making a film was going to be, and it turned out to be every bit as difficult as we expected. There were a lot of long, hot days and some real suspense about whether we’d be able to pull it off. But if there’s one thing I wish someone had told me, it would have been “Don’t worry, it’s all going to work.” Because in the end, it did.