One doesn’t need to travel far to glimpse the anxieties that infest working-class families throughout the country. It might even be observed through the window of one apartment kitchen. Brutal Season fuses theater and film in a one-location story that explores the ugliness of suppressed trauma.
Mission StatementWe're Southeastern artists who seek to marry theatre and film, use the limitations that usually accompany a low budget as strengths, and get creative with where we set the story and how we shoot it to create a film that focuses on family dynamics, tension, and metaphor rather than flashy effects.
About The Project
A lot can be said about the future from the dark detailing of the past…
It’s the summer of 1948 in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The crime rate is rising as quickly as the temperature, and both hang oppressively in the air. The Trouths, a family with no source of income, have little more entertainment than to look out the window of their kitchen towards the harbour. That is, until their estranged oldest son inexplicably returns home after a 12 year disappearance. The apartment is full again, but is it big enough for the gambling debts, alcohol abuse, and rather substantial life insurance policy that comes in their son’s wake? When the patriarch of the family dies the same evening their son returns, questions abound - not only surrounding what happened, who did it, and why, but also about how intricately one person can infuse the present with the past, how family dynamics change or do not change, and how perspectives shape and reshape one’s world.
Like all good mysteries, Brutal Season’s thematic center lies somewhere in the space between truth, deception, and the blurry perceptions which, inevitably, obfuscate the two. Because of this, there is no better reason than to continue a description of this movie but with 5 TRUTHS and 5 LIES, or maybe, 5 “less-than-true” CLICHES.
Brutal Season is a film for those who love the theater - the movie theater, the home theater, the stage, the theatrics, drama and mystery of everyday life.
Brutal Season is a chamber play. It’s an ensemble piece that unfolds within five scenes, all of which take place entirely inside one location - a New York apartment kitchen.
This film will be made on micro, micro-budget, in-part funded by a community of people interested in being a part of the creation of art and building an indie-film from the ground up.
This is the narrative feature film debut of Gavin Fields, a director dedicated to pursuing challenging, innovative, and socially conscious art.
To create the essence of Brutal Season pour one part Hitchcock and one part Death of a Salesman. Mix vigorously and garnish with Double Indemnity. Serve very, very hot.
5 LIES (5 CLICHES)
Nobody knows you quite like family.
Children are a poor man’s riches.
Home is where the heart is.
Fortune favors the bold.
Good things come to those who wait…
We are currently in pre-production, will be fundraising through November, and plan to shoot the first 15 days in December. Post-production will take place immediately after, and we aim to have the film complete by April 2021.
We feel very strongly that while the script was completed prior to the pandemic, the themes it addresses (such as how environment can re-open old wounds, how families interact when they're stuck in a small space, and how challenging relatives can feel all-consuming) are extremely timely and therefore will be even more relatable to audiences right now.
Although a pandemic does not provide the most conducive environment to shooting a film, our script was written in a way that utilizes as few people as possible, with a cast of 8 and a crew of 15. We plan to require testing prior to shooting and quarantine the entire cast and crew together throughout the duration of filming to ensure as much safety and caution as possible. Everyone who has signed on to work on the film understands this, as well as the fact that if COVID prevents us from shooting as scheduled, we'll have no choice but to push our shoot schedule back.
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About This Team
Gavin Fields (Screenwriter, Director)
Gavin is a screenwriter and filmmaker who graduated from The University of Mississippi in 2014. Upon graduating, he founded Deer Run Media with three of his peers, and has spent the last six years making award winning commercials, brand campaigns, documentaries, and narrative shorts. Most recently, he received his MFA in American Film Studies from Arizona State University. While working on his MFA, he wrote three original screenplays, which have placed as Quarter Finalists in BlueCat, Fresh Voices, and Script Pipeline Screenplay competitions, as well as Semi Finalist in Screen Craft Drama, Screen Craft Fellowship, and Finalist in the Nashville Screenplay Competition. While Brutal Season will be his first feature film, prior shorts The Surface and The Sea Breaks were accepted into the European Independent Film Festival, Chattanooga Film Festival, and the Queens World Film Festival (among others).
Shelby Grady (producer, actor)
Shelby is an actor who graduated magna cum laude with honors from The University of Mississippi in 2014. Upon graduating, she moved to New York City to pursue her career, and spent four years there working in television, commercials, and theatre. She returned to her roots in Atlanta in 2018, where she has continued to act professionally. Most recently, Shelby spent time in Los Angeles taking classes in audition technique and improvisation, as well as learning from her peers about the process of producing. While this is her first time producing a feature film, her work as an executive assistant and office administrator at both a large investment bank and hedge fund have reinforced her intense organization, adaptability, shrewd attention to detail, and ability to handle large sums of money.
Roger Mayer (producer)
Roger M. Mayer is a film producer and Head of Production for Traverse Media. He worked for the Sundance Film Festival from 1999 - 2012 as a Print Traffic Coordinator and Associate Programmer. He was also the Festival Director and Head of Programming for the Silver Lake Film Festival in Los Angeles from 2003 - 2007 and the Festival Director and Head of Programming for the Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles from 2009 to 2012.
Roger started Brooklyn Reptyle Films, produced with KNR Productions and eventually brought himself and his producing partner Veronica Radaelli to Traverse Media, which was started by CEO Cole Payne and Head of Management Jeremy Loethen. He has produced the works of several celebrated filmmakers including Calvin Reeder, Danny Perez, Rich Ragsdale, Burke Roberts, Paul Marchand, Brian McGuire, Jacques Thelemaque, John Maringouin, Louis Fox, Tomer Almagor, and musicians Robert Trujillo and Shawn Crahanamong many others.
Deer Run Media (production)
Founded in 2014, Deer Run is a video agency and filmmaking collective based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The company’s founders met in college as young filmmakers and discovered early on the quality of work their combined talents made possible. Many years of collaboration and a continued commitment to storytelling have led to the production of award winning films for brands, nonprofits, and independents around the globe. They are also committed to their own creative work, conceptualizing and creating shorts, documentaries, and multimedia projects that have won them awards and found them featured in festivals both in the United States and internationally.