November 29, 2010

Criminal Conversations seeks funding

Criminal ConversationsThe Movie

CRIMINAL CONVERSATIONS is a romantic dramedy that unfolds amid somewhat unusual circumstances. A man meets up again with his ex-wife while his current wife is dying and his ex-wife’s current husband is suing her for divorce and trying to prove she is guilty of adultery. The tale unfolds on a small college campus in Santa Fe where Ted, whose dying wife has encouraged him to prepare for a new life without her, signs up for an acting course and discovers that his professor is his ex-wife, Alexandra.

Will Ted and Alexandra rekindle the love they shared long ago? Will Alexandra's soon-to-be ex, Frank, get the goods on her and Ted and claim adultery? Will Ted "fit in" with the much younger students in his class and fulfill his youthful dream of an acting career?

The Production Strategy

CRIMINAL CONVERSATIONS incorporates several key factors, including keeping the budget as low as possible while operating within union rules and regulations, putting as much money on the screen as possible, keeping the “above the line” costs lower than on most films, and attracting a name cast. The budget for CRIMINAL CONVERSATIONS is $50,000 for a 14-day shoot in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

CRIMINAL CONVERSATIONS has been written and specifically structured for low-budget production. The story focuses on a handful of characters and uses a limited number of locations that are readily accessible. The movie can be produced with minimal crew and no special effects. It is intended to be shot on HD using mostly ambient lighting.

And how did we get a famous actor like Wes Studi to star in our very-low-budget film? Well, it helps that he's a long-time friend of the director, Jules Rubin. And he lives here, and Wes has long been defying the mindset of casting Native Americans only in Native roles. Here he plays a romantic lead in a "straight" role and even gets to spout Shakespeare. Then, to add to the intrigue...Wes is playing opposite his lovely wife Maura Dhu Studi. We also have Anthony Arkin and we're keeping tabs on a number of other fine actors. We'll be casting some college students, as well.
And an e-mail from the producer:I'm so excited to be one of the producers on the film CRIMINAL CONVERSATIONS that Wes and Maura will star in. It's very low budget but it gives him the opportunity to play a non-Native romantic lead and for the two of them act together for the first time. Maura is an actress, teaches acting and even performs in Wes's band Firecat of Discord. I told her that singing back up with band is on my bucket list and she said she could handle that...can't wait.

I never thought I'd get to know a star like Wes and I'm always impressed with his skill, charisma, and dedication. We filmed a video of them at their house that will be posted on the fundraising website soon, but please go there now

and donate whatever you can and please use the tabs provided to send the link along to your friends and family.

All of us are doing this at little to no salary and we want to get started on pre-production so we can film in the spring.

All the information is there and photos and videos and news will be added as we go along.

Also, I'm developing a film, Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses, that will be partially filmed at Pine Ridge. ... George Burdeau, acclaimed director, writer, and producer is interested in working with me on this and Wes Studi wants to direct it. And the incredible Gary Farmer will star.

Thank you all.
Judy Bell
Belle Starr Productions
Santa Fe
Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

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