With Duncan, we hope to provoke a conversation about the role mass media plays in stoking the fires of hate and paranoia for profit. Duncan centers on a confused and bitter young man trying to find some focus in life who realizes too late he, and others like him, are just being played.
Inclusion StatementDuncan is a film about the weaponization of angry young white men but it's also about the people who are harmed most by them and their passionate efforts to be recognized as human beings rather than targets, costarring an ambitious, driven young black woman, with a production team that is 50% women.
About The Project
SO WHAT HAPPENS IN DUNCAN?
When Karen Black, a young black woman, is fired from her first day as an
intern for a popular talk-radio conspiracy theorist, she is inspired to prove her journalistic worth by embarking on a covert mission to uncover the truth about claims that an Austin, TX pizza parlor is run by reptilian Illuminati secretly conducting satanic rituals and deviant acts upon innocent children.
Karen Black (played by Alexandria Payne)
To help her on this mission, Karen employs Duncan Plump, a member of the local militia, as a bodyguard and co-strategist. Duncan isn’t just a garden variety mysterious loner, though-- he’s the illegitimate son of David Koresh of Waco Branch Davidian fame. As they road trip from Waco to Austin, they are covertly followed by Philip, a crazed member of the militia who hates Duncan and sees him as a threat to the organization’s stability.
The eponymous Duncan (Played by Tinus Seaux)
Things continue to go wrong when they make it to the pizza parlor, only to have Philip intervene, leading to the deaths of almost everyone inside. Injured but alive, Duncan flees with the police and media close behind but eventually makes it to the militia HQ, where he hopes his peers will help him save Karen and turn Philip over to the authorities. But it turns out he has been betrayed and has walked into a trap, forcing him to shoot his way out.
Duncan’s only hope is to get to the station and confront the host on air, demanding he come clean and admit to his followers that he’s just an entertainer and his stories about Lizard-People are total fiction.
I won't tell you what happens next.
Texas has many beautiful sides. Duncan's Texas does not. We are wheeling through this movie with natural light and dusty surfaces. Strong compositions with very methodical camera movements watching tightly rehearsed performances. This minimalist approach and low shot count affords us the industry standard Arri Alexa Mini camera with world class lenses from the 70's.
I was inspired by pizzagate and the man who took an AR-15 into a DC pizzeria in order to save children being held captive by shapeshifting lizard-people...He heard about it on the "news". So I wrote a story about a guy that disturbed, not necessarily to shun him but to show you how easily "normal" people can be weaponized by fearmongers. It's a satire rooted in conversations about tribalism, racism, fake news and shapeshifting lizard-people.
I've been making cartoonish films my entire life and after a recent string of about 50 music videos here in Austin, TX, and getting a small chunk of change for almost being killed in a car accident, I want to make a feature.
A community of Austin filmmakers and actors have come together to make this thing happen. The production alone will be a story in and of itself for years to come. We couldn't be prouder to be what makes this endangered community thrive from time to time.
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About This Team
John Valley is an award winning filmmaker based out of Austin, Texas who has directed music videos for bands ranging from Whiskey Shivers to A Giant Dog to Sweet Spirit, and has appeared as an actor in work by Robert Rodriguez, as well as on the filmmaking reality show Rebel Without a Crew. He is currently directing the pizzagate inspired feature Duncan. Wanna see his director's reel?
Here ya' go: https://vimeo.com/263223085
Taylor Camarot is a cinematographer with a wide array of experience, including work on the upcoming blockbuster Alita: Battle Angel (produced by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez), the Noel Wells vehicle Social Animals, HBO's award winning hit The Leftovers and more. As a director of photography, Camarot has also helped develop the visual style of Rooster Teeth, which has the highest online subscription base in the world on YouTube, with Taylor's videos amassing approximately 15 million views. Outside of film, Camarot's work has also appeared in music videos for acts like Thievery Corporation and in commercials for Adidas and Mercedes.
Morgan Davis is a producer whose most recent film work is the Ryan Darbonne directed short film I AM TX, about a black punk trio just trying to play the final show of their tour while dealing with a whole lot of subtly racist bullshit. Through his Austin music focused media company Ovrld, Davis has also produced documentaries on bands like Magna Carda and received a Cultural Arts Division grant for his work with photographer Carlos Matos on the Heart of the City project, which profiled 12 figures from the Austin music scene, including Spoon's Jim Eno, Gina Chavez, R&B legend Ms. Lavelle White and more. As a reporter and critic, Davis has appeared in Fusion (now known as Splinter), Mashable, NPR, SXSW Magazine, Spectrum Culture and more.
Malina Panovich has worked on numerous independent projects, from the award-winning short film June (d. Huay-Bing Law) as casting director and assistant director and the web-series-turned-feature People with Issues (d. Dan Siegelstein) as producer and assistant director to the features 6 Years (d. Hannah Fidell) as assistant director and associate producer, Hellion (d. Kat Candler) as extras casting and coordinator, Discreet (d. Travis Mathews) as casting director, and Mr. Roosevelt (d. Noel Wells) as assistant production office coordinator. Malina spends as much time as she can soaking in all the weird goodness that Austin has to offer and looks forward to the imaginary day when all traffic will suddenly vanish.
Ben Oliver has worked in the film industry since 2007, mostly in lighting. He also owns and manages Aduro Film, an equipment rental company operating since 2011. He has helped produce on several other films including: Here We Are, FM 473, Dave, Scanners and more.
Joss Sanroman's background is in advertising, with a degree in marketing that led to her working as an Account Executive on national advertising campaigns. She then moved to Austin from Mexico in 2012. Sanroman's marketing savvy has made her a valuable asset to Duncan not only for promotional purposes but also for providing perspective on media manipulation for the script. Sanroman has also appeared as an actress in music videos for bands like Good Field.
Hannah Shaper graduated from film school at Colorado College and moved to Austin shortly after to pursue her passion for film making. She previously worked as the Assistant Director and Creative Producer on the Seed&Spark funded film Am I Out There?.