Mission StatementIn this uncertain time, ONE FOOT IN meditates on mortality and rebirth. We seek cinematic innovation by uniting Wisconsin's varied arts communities. Combining talent from classical theatre and narrative film, our multidisciplinary team tells stories that employ heightened language and visuals.
About The Project
All funds raised will go toward paying our incredible cast, crew and artists, renting camera equipment, location costs, food purchases, permits, SFX makeup & hair and many other line items! We are fortunate to be collaborating with film & theater industry professionals and it is a priority for us to pay them for their time, talent and expertise.
We have also factored COVID-19 into our planning, budget and the entire concept. We plan to shoot in the fall and entirely outdoors, following all union safety regulations. We will have a small crew and will maintain social distancing practices. Everyone participating on-set will be tested before the shoot.
Our dedication and passion will go a long way to get this film made but garnering the appropriate level of funding is CRITICAL to realizing and executing the vision of the film. Your contribution not only helps us create ONE FOOT IN, it helps to support a host of artists, craftspeople and technicians in an incredibly uncertain time for all creative industries.
We are going to create an incredible film, and we sincerely thank you for helping us make it happen!
In exchange for assistance in his escape from captivity, Greer has agreed to lead Tammany to a fabled grave-robbing “score” that promises to make them both rich. Visited by strange dreams, Tammany’s faith begins to wane as the inscrutable Greer’s guidance leads them to a series of busts. Eventually, the two reach a small family gravesite, but after Tammany determines it will yield only trifling value, a struggle ensues. The violent scuffle is interrupted by a distant passerby, who startles them into flight.
Now separated, Greer finds himself at a moonlit river which directs him to the location of the sought-after treasure. Tammany, having surreptitiously followed Greer, appears and demands the score he was promised. The two men begin digging for the treasure. Tammany’s anger mounts as their efforts prove fruitless but suddenly his shovel strikes something in the earth below.
Greer’s past is obscure and brutal. We can surmise that he and Tammany had a fruitful relationship until Greer was institutionalized for an unspecified crime. Having now undergone the primitive “treatments” of his captors, the scars of which he bears on his head, he has been “reborn” with a fledgling consciousness. In some sense he is seeing and learning the world through fresh eyes, all the while contending with the corrupting influence of Tammany. Greer’s return to life, his state of rediscovery- of himself, of the world, of his profession- is clumsy, vulnerable and oddly delicate. Whereas Tammany’s further descent into wickedness and nihilistic avarice, the pull of his own mortality, is facile and seductive.
Tammany would steal the pennies from a dead man’s eyes. And while grave-robbing is his true vocation, his life has been spent as a factotum of petty larceny. Pickpocket, bandit, burglar, crook, swindler, shoplifter, cheat all describe him. A consummate chatterbox, he is drawn to the hidden treasures and macabre mystique of gravesites. Having spent so much time in and around them he now carries, perhaps unconsciously, a longing for his own death.
The dialogue in One Foot In combines ornate Victorian phrasing with the sparse, athletic vernacular of rural transients. What results is a language that emulates its environment - brooding, abundant and straining against its own borders.
1870s - 1880s Rural American North:
A brooding, animate landscape with a long memory and a kind of dark omniscience. Though not completely uninhabited, the remoteness of the region attracts those who come to violate it.
The film features the varied geography of southwest Wisconsin’s Driftless region. Rolling forested hills, craggy outcroppings, prairie, oak savannas, bucolic fields and the Wisconsin River itself, all form
The visual tone will capture both the fascination and isolation of late 1800s rural America. The goal is to create visuals that are naturally cinematic and dramatic. Some of the sequences will be stylized to fit the narrative and specific scene. Overall the visuals will help to further the ‘mood’ and ambience of the film while capturing the natural beauty of the locations.
The cinematography will be executed in a classic and intentional manner. For the majority of the film the camera is deliberate and omnipresent. But for a few brief, important moments the camera takes on a specific Point of View.
Whose point of view? That may be up to the viewer to decide.
When developing this concept we referenced a few existing films for visual inspiration. These four films are vary greatly in cinematic style but each have visual elements that we find intruguing and inspiring.
With a few exceptions, props and costume pieces will be understated, distressed, and highly textured. These men spend long stretches of time in the wilderness, their clothing and possessions should reflect that. They pack light and live simply. Excess is only apparent in their huge array of digging tools. Tammany’s accessories may also give us a sense of his storied criminal history.
The creators and producers of One Foot In have been generously allowed access to both the costume and prop shop at American Players Theaters - a world-class classical repertory theater located in Spring Green, Wisconsin. In addition, a private antique collector has offered access to his vast supply of period-specific props and collections.
- From the Creators of ONE FOOT IN
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About This Team
We are an eclectic group of creators drawn mostly from southern Wisconsin. By combining the narrative prowess of the classical theatre with the visual sophistication of commercial film, we are committed to telling compelling stories that employ heightened language and polished cinematography.
Eric Schabla, writer/director
Eric is a writer and actor based in the midwest. His artistic work is centered on the power of language, identity and aesthetic economy. He is the author of numerous plays, screenplays, teleplays and poems. One Foot In is his debut film.
His play, Sapiens, recently won the Wisconsins Wrights New Play Development project and will be featured in NYC as part of the Sokoloff Arts Fellowship. Other works have been developed by Forward Theatre, Town Stages (NYC), American Players Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and Two Crows Theatre Company.
His poetry has appeared in Ivory Tower Magazine, Burnt Pine Magazine, Pidgeonholes Poetry, and three editions of Z Publishing’s America’s Best Emerging Poets Series. As an actor he has appeared regionally with the Guthrie Theatre, American Players Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival among others. Eric studied at the U. MN/Guthrie BFA Program, LISPA and Shakespeare’s Globe (London).
Jack Whaley, Director of Photography/Executive Producer
Jack is the Director of Photography, Co-Creator and Creative Producer on One Foot In. As DoP Jack works closely with the director in developing the visual language and aesthetic for the film. Scouting locations, selecting wardrobe, creating shooting boards, testing cameras/ lenses and technical equipment, and leading the crew on set are just some of his duties.
As creative producer Jack oversees the overall creative direction in regards to marketing, outreach and fundraising for the film. This encompasses EPK and website design, photography, Kickstarter ‘rewards’ assets, hiring artists/designers for additional asset creation, BTS photography/video team and more.
Jack has eight years of experience working in the commercial video and advertising industry and has won numerous awards for cinematography. When not working on period piece narrative dramas, he works as a Director/ DoP at Kingdom Filmworks - a premiere full service midwest production company based in Madison, WI.
Madalina Zimmerman, Producer
Madalina is the Lead Producer and Co-Creator for One Foot In. Madalina's primary role as the producer is to ensure the production happens on time and within budget. She is a chief decision-maker and oversees every moving part of the production. She maintains a close working relationship with Jack, the DoP and Creative Producer, and Eric, the Director, to ensure their vision comes to life as a beautiful and cinematic narrative.
Madalina has been in the filmmaking industry for over four years. Her career started in Chicago, working at a global post-production house. From there, she moved to Madison, WI. She has produced, directed, and wrote multiple award-winning commercials, short films, and docu-style pieces. Her experimental micro-short, Lily, has received international recognition.
Marcus Truschinski, Actor/Coordinator
Marcus is a Coordinator, lead actor, and Co-Creator and for One Foot In. As a coordinator he helps plan and organizes essential meetings between the director, actors and department heads. He also works with the Producer as the coordinator for costumes, props, and SFX Makeup.
Marcus is no stranger to juggling multiple roles both on and off the stage. As Associate Artistic Director at Two Crows Theater he helps manage the company, directs plays, and also leads up Fundraising and New Business ventures for the theater company. And with 17 years as a core company acting member of American Players Theater.
James DeVita, as Tammany
Jim is an actor, author, and a theater director. He is a member of the core acting company and the literary manager at American Players Theater, a classical repertory theater in Wisconsin. He has worked as an actor in Japan, Germany, Australia, Ireland, and around the United States; and also as a fisherman on Long Island for five seasons. Jim has been in numerous films including Aquarians, Madison, and Greenside.
The lion’s share of Jim’s acting work over the past twenty years has been in classical theater and he has performed in (but not limited to):
Henry IV pt. 1 (2 times), Twelfth Night (2 times), King Lear (4 times), Romeo and Juliet (5 times), Measure for Measure (2 times), The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor (3 times), Antony and Cleopatra, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love’s Labour’s Lost (2 times), Henry V, Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing (2 times), Othello (3 times), Troilus and Cressida, Richard II (2 times), Richard III, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, and Hamlet (2 times).
Along with his novels, A Winsome Murder, The Silenced, and Blue, Jim has also worked extensively as a playwright for young audiences. His work in the field has been acknowledged with numerous prestigious awards.
Marcus Truschinski, as Greer
Marcus is an actor and director. He is currently the Associate Artistic Director at Two Crows Theatre in Spring Green and is a Core Company actor at American Players Theatre. In 17 season with APT, he has been in over 50 productions. His favorites include Macbeth in Macbeth directed by James DeVita, Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest, Henry Carr in Travesties, Biff in Death of a Salesman, Chris Keller in All My Sons, Jim O’Connor in The Glass Menagerie and Angelo in Measure for Measure. He has also performed at regional theaters across the country including his first solo show “Every Brilliant Thing” at Indiana Repertory Theatre last year.
Marcus was nominated for best actor for his work in Witnesses at the Midwest Independent Film Awards and has featured in numerous national commercials. He resides in Spring Green with his wife, son and two dogs.
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