Almost two years ago, I decided I was tired of waiting around to make a feature film, and took matters into my own hands. I didn’t want to spend the better part of the next decade networking with financiers and crossing my fingers that someone would produce my film. I just wanted to create something right then and there, and with that intention, the journey of SHADOWS ON THE ROAD began.
Those of you that have been following my blog know how much of an experiment this film was. In December 2016 the concept was born over a casual lunch with my wife, with no conception of how quickly things would progress. Within two weeks we had a first draft of the script, and two short months later, we were already on set shooting.
The only way we could have made this project a reality was by taking risks, self-financing, and keeping our budget exceptionally low ($12,000 to be exact). This meant we worked with a skeleton crew of 3 – 4 people on most days, shot 90% of the locations guerrilla style, and used gear that we owned – notably my URSA Mini 4.6K and Sigma Cinema Lenses. There were no grip trucks, and in fact almost the entire movie was shot with natural light.
Production was one of the most challenging experiences of my life. We shot for 12 days (with a couple pickup days afterwards), and every single day was in a different location. Every location had issues – traffic, wind, security, accessibility, etc. – and each day posed its own challenges. There were nights when I would get home at 3am from shooting, and have to scramble to figure out where we were going to shoot the next day… I remember one particular night where I was desperately searching Google maps trying to find a meeting spot for the following morning, sent out the call sheet at about 4:30am, went to bed for a couple hours, and started it over again the next morning. It was chaos.
The process took a toll on me personally, and I had to take some time away from the project after we wrapped. I didn’t rush through post-production, as I really needed to catch my breath after the shoot… But still, it was only about 6 months later that we had a picture lock, and began working on audio, color, and finishing. We submitted to just a handful of festivals, including Dances With Films where we premiered, and then spent the next two months fielding offers from distributors.
As I wrote about in this article, after speaking with countless sales agents and distribution companies, it was clear that self-distribution was the way to go. And that leads us here, to today.
Just as the production of this movie was experimental, the release will be too. My goal is to get enough pre-sales to hit the top 100 on iTunes, and therefore reach an audience that extends far beyond my own personal network and resources.
So for those of you interested, I would be absolutely thrilled if you’d like to pre-order the film using this link.
Please leave a comment below if you order the film, and let me know what you think when it’s released on October 18th!