In this week's in-production column looks at the new project "Bump and Run," from first-time writer Stephen Schaller and up-and-coming French director Patrick Alessandrin, which is just now beginning pre-production. From Kickstarter, a film about a piece of equipment that became a Banksy art piece and the man who lives in it, the new film from "Noah's Arc" creator Patrik-Ian Polk, and what looks to be a gorgeous animated films about cicada royalty.
"Bump and Run"
Production team: - Inga Vainshtein and Stuart Wrede - along with Natasha Doubrovskaya will produce the film,. CAA, who reps Alessandrin, will package.
"Bump and Run," a thriller set in Nicaragua, is the first script from Stephen Schaller. indieWIRE spoke to the film's director, Patrick Alessandrin ("District 13: Ultimatum"), who just began living in Los Angeles half-time (splitting time with Paris) to work on a studio film, recently signed on to the project. Alessandrin called the film a "sexy thriller" in the vein of Danny Boyle's "The Beach."
In "Bump and Run," a young man travels to South America for a solitary backpacking journey and rents a space in a cheap hotel for travelers. There, he meets a young girl working in the hotel. The young woman discovers a diary that leads the couple on a daring journey with twists and turns that puts the couple in the middle of a trafficking operation and stolen money. As the young man gets more deeply involved in the underworld, he realizes that people are recognizing him for a reason he doesn't quite understand.
Schaller sent his script to Alessandrin through Schaller's management company, Stuart Wrede Management, a fledgling management company that has had success recently in connecting new screenwriters to up-and-coming directors.
What attracted Alessandrin to the project? "A lot of freedom, spirit, atmosphere, South America." He continued, "This will be interesting and challenging for me. In France, I've done dramas and comedies. I like to move through different genres. It's what keeps me running: a new way of shooting, working with actors in new situations. With my last film, I loved working with the stunt guys we had -- one who initiated the building-jumping parkour in France -- and other non-actors. I'm excited to see what challenges 'Bump and Run' brings."
"Something from Nothing"
Logline: The unique living situation of homeless California man “Tachowa” is thrown into uncertainty when the tanker he lives in is “tagged” by the enigmatic underground artist Banksy.
Production team: Director - Hal Samples; Cinematographer - Hal Samples, Steven Wallace, Sam Claussen, Dylan Hollingsworth, Tachowa Covington, Caleb Landry Jones, Robert Hudson
About the film: "Like any documentary worth shooting, this film formed itself. The film originally focused on a personal friend’s struggle with homelessness in Dallas, but was shelved when he suddenly and tragically passed away. A trip to LA was intended to clear our heads, but we met Tachowa and he graciously showed us around his tanker almost immediately. We knew something special was going on and we filmed every second.
"We’d taken several trips out to film and advocate for Tachowa locally, and almost three years passed before Banksy arrived to make his mark on the scene, for whatever reason. After that, everything just went haywire. What began as a local exploration on the duality of poverty and opportunity in Dallas became an LA-based circus of pop art, greed and whatever happens when “under the radar” steps into the spotlight." -- Hal Samples
Current status: The film is ready to begin post-production, and is working on compiling a soundtrack.
Logline: Four friends reunite one year after college for gay pride week.
Production team: Director: Patrik-Ian Polk ("Noah's Arc"); Producer: Ben Feuer
About the film: "We believe the gay black community is seriously under-represented in independent and mainstream film, and we wanted to tell a story that reflected their everyday lives and struggles with humor and grace. We believe The Skinny is going to be that film." -- Patrik-Ian Polk and Ben Feuer
Current status: The team is currently in pre-production.
Logline: Through miniatures and puppets, we follow the lives of the Cicadas emerging from the ground where they have been waiting as grubs for sixteen years. The Cicadas gather for the grand ball at the castle, knowing that when the sun rises their lives will come to an end.
Production Team: Director/Writer: Mauricio Baiocchi; Director of Photography: Ray Gilberti; Art Director: Steve Ferrera
About the Film: "The story comes from my childhood and playing with the Cicadas under the trees where they would sing. Cicadas spend almost 16 years underground and have but the tiniest window to find love and purpose. In a way a shorthand version of our own lives. This parallel has always resonated with me and is the reason and inspiration behind the work." -- Mauricio Baiocchi
Current Status: We have 12 out of 19 scenes completed currently and are re-starting principal photography in July of 2011. Each scene takes 6 weeks to make by hand between our small crew and 500 sq. foot garage.