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Production Report: "The Bubble", "The Legend of Lucy Keyes", "Twixter," "Verschwinden," "Wild Seven"

Production Report: "The Bubble", "The Legend of Lucy Keyes", "Twixter," "Verschwinden," "Wild Seven"

by Jason Guerrasio









A scene from John Stimpson's "The Legend of Lucy Keyes", with Julie Delpy pictured right. Image provided by the filmmakers.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: indieWIRE's monthly production report looks at independent films in various stages of production. If you'd like to tell us about a film in production for future columns, please contact us.

"The Bubble"

One of the biggest lessons filmmaker Ondi Timoner learned from making her widely acclaimed doc "DIG!" is finish what you start. That's why after shelving footage she shot five years ago about an underground Millennium party in New York City, she's back to finish the job. After all, "DIG" took seven years to finish.

Thanks to the dot com boom, Josh Harris was a multi-millionaire from creations like Jupiter Communications and pseudo.com. While at his peak, Harris financed a $1.2 million art commune called Quiet in 1999 that, as Timoner says, turned into a "hedonistic affair." As 100 artists moved into the "hotel" (really a warehouse) in lower Manhattan, they were given an unlimited budget to create art. But the extravagant amenities around them (the tiny living cubicles modeled after Japanese economy hotels, the 80-foot long dining room table, the firing range and the surveillance cameras in every room so everyone can watch everyone else) outweighed the art. "It was arguably the greatest party in New York City that nobody ever knew about," Timoner says, who was there to capture it all. After being open for three weeks, the project was busted on New Year's Day 2000 and deemed a millennial cult. "The Bubble" explores, as Timoner says, "art and business and how the dot com boom affected New York." Along with the footage Timoner shot, she will also incorporate surveillance footage and interviews she's currently filming. Produced under her Interloper Films company, she's sharing cinematography duties with "DIG!" d.p. Vasco Lucas Nunes and will soon go into post with editor Adam Stein.

Timoner is also working on an in-depth look at a group of people involved in an extreme religion, a history of the music festival Lollapalooza (which she will begin this summer), and "a film about the history and influence of Jamaican music around the world" (which she's making in conjunction with Palm Pictures).



"The Legend of Lucy Keyes"

Jeanne (Julie Delpy), Guy (Justin Theroux) and their two kids have moved to the sleepy town of Princeton, Massachusetts in the hopes of a new beginning. Finding a lovely 18-century farmhouse in the hills, they hope a change of scenery will help them forget the past. Unfortunately they don't know the 250-year history of the house and the spirit that lurks right outside their door.

Based on the area legend of Lucy Keyes, a 4-year-old who disappeared in 1755, to this day many believe the Keyes' land is haunted by Lucy's mother's spirit who's still searching for her child. Writer-director John Stimpson (who lives near the Keyes home) uses the legend as the backbone of his thriller. "There's a lot of theories of what happened to little Lucy and I just thought it was a very interesting subject for a film," says Stimpson.

Shot in 22 days last November in Princeton, Stimpson says many on set believed there was paranormal activity when they shot in certain areas. "We had extraordinary wind and that was something we had to fight with our audio a lot," he says. "I haven't exactly experienced this ghost but I've certainly been out to the Keyes property and had my skin crawl."

Currently in post production, it was shot on HD by Gary Henoch. Produced by Boston-area company Moody Street Pictures and Stimpson's Legend Films with Mark Donadio, it also stars Mark Boone Jr. ("Memento," "Batman Begins") and Brooke Adams. Stimpson and Joel Plotch are the co-editors.

[For more information, please visit the film's website.



"Twixter"

For many people, turning 30 marks a monumental event in their lives. Some are ready to get married, others buy a home and start a family. For Rob (Michael Cotter), turning 30 meant it was time to move out of his parent's basement.

Like his three friends, Rob has come to enjoy the melancholy, rent-free environment his parents provided through his twenties. But after meeting Melody (Juliana Moreno), he's determined not to let another girl run off because of his slacker attitude and prepares to get out in the real world.

According to the film's writer-director, David Tybor, the inspiration for the film wasn't hard to find. "I lived at home until I was 26, 27 but I noticed a lot of my friends were living at home too," he says.

Starting a script four years ago, Tybor incorporating real life experiences like going on job interviews that wound up being telemarketing jobs and getting money by donating his body to science. "I did a bunch of those," he says. "$500, in an out in a week. Just slackers finding ways to survive without getting a real job."

As Tybor was polishing up the script for pre production, Time magazine did him one better by giving a name to this generation of slackers: The Twixter Generation. Now with a title for his film, Tybor believes this kind of attention will intrigue people to see the film. "Everybody I talk to knows somebody who lived at home in their late 20s," he says. "Rob's trying to wake everyone up and say look, there's more to life than playing Play Station 2 and drinking and smoking weed."

Currently shooting in Thousand Oaks, CA, the film is being produced through Tybor's Gothic Pictures with Cynthia Wang at a budget of $40,000. Shooting on 16 mm by Liz Santoro. Executive Producer is Nate Barlow.

[For more information, please visit the film's website.



"Verschwinden"

"Verschwinden" (which in German means to vanish) is a psychological drama about a woman who goes insane after her boyfriend disappears the night he's to propose to her. The second film by writer-director Matthew Hencke, he says the movie resembles how we subconsciously go into a state of denial after getting distressing news.

"You have her dealing with these issues of, was he not able to make the commitment after all? Was this a childish way of not facing up to her? Or did something really terrible happen?" says Hencke. "Dealing with his disappearance she creates this alter ego to talk to and goes so far in not wanting to face the reality that she buys her own wedding ring to deal with the pain." Strangely enough, Hencke first thought of the story when he and his wife, Elizabeth Howard (who's also the film's producer), talked about getting married.

The $10-$12,000 budget is mostly out of Hencke and Howard's pockets, but Hencke has no regrets. As financial collapses road blocked some of his films in the past, putting in his own money gave him full control and peace of mind. "I think it's dangerous to go into any venture and not be a little skeptical," Hencke says. "But if you're really putting yourself on the line and you believe in what you're doing the great reward is the final product."

Shot in and around Washington D.C., the film was shot on DV by Joe O'Ferrell and stars Leah Ford, Scott Michael Adams and Amber Gerard. Hencke is currently looking for an editor.

[For more information, please visit the film's website.



"Wild Seven"

Influenced by the work of Quentin Tarantino, writer-director James Hausler pays homage to the video-store-geek-turned-auteur with "Wild Seven," a heist film he says is cut from the same cloth as "Reservoir Dogs" and "Jackie Brown."

After a two-decade long stint in prison, Wilson (Robert Forster) teams up with his old partner, Mackey (Robert Loggia), for a bank heist. But what Mackey doesn't know is there's more to Wilson's plan than just a bank robbery.

Hausler, 23, wrote the part of Wilson with Forster in mind. "I thought he was so cool when I saw him in 'Jackie Brown,'" says Hausler who also stars in the film along with Richard Roundtree and Lucie Arnaz. And he was ecstatic when he got word back that the Oscar-nominee was interested in the part. "We were coming up on a week before production and he read the script and wanted to see my first film ('Suicide Trip') and liked what he saw." But he admits giving direction to his veteran cast was intimidating at times. "It's hard to tell somebody who's been in the business for twice as long as you've been alive to do something differently."

Shooting began in early May around Scottsdale, AZ and ended last month. Budgeted at $2 million, the film is produced by Michelle J. Vogler, Todd Turner and Tim Haskins and executive produced by Juliana Penaranda. Shot on 35 mm by Jim Hunter, Ken Morrisey is doing the editing and Emmy-winner Chris Magnum is composing the score.

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