Inclusion StatementWith a female director/writer, female co-star and predominantly female crew, VERAL aims to increase the representation of women in film. Our urban/rural art exchange created a collaborative film set representing bi-coastal professionals, rural youth, film&art students as well as local non-actors.
About The Project
How VERAL Started:
It's been a long time since I lived on the High Plains, but the terrain is inescapable and I've taken a few things with me. Stereotypes are lazy, lame conclusions. Fantasy is coping. Civility is relief. Perception bends reality. Survival spawns creativity.
When I first read the award winning novel, East of Denver, written by Gregory Hill, I knew I had to go back home. Greg and I grew up together, although I didn't realize it until I started pouring through each page of his novel. He literally described the tractor driving contest my father took part in year after year in one chapter. I called him immediately to confirm. Greg grew up on Rd D, I on Road G. We lived across the county line all these years. I asked if I could write his book. We've been working together ever since...
I adapted East of Denver and it is in development. Next came VERAL, an adaptation of Greg's short story, "Now Museum, Now You Don't."
Greg and his wife -- sculptor and VERAL prop master -- Maureen Hearty graciously hosted our crew in Colorado at their farm/rural artist retreat.
Art is happening on The Plains, thanks to Greg and Maureen starting groups like The Prairie Writer's Workshop. It was a pleasure to return and work in this vibrant community.
*This is the first known diorama built for a live-action short film by renowned diorama artists, Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber. Nix&Gerber Studio clients, among international solo shows and a Guggenheim Fellow, include TicTac, Mini Cooper, TIME Magazine cover, Ben & Jerry's, Greenpeace, Oprah, GEO Magazine, Oreo Laboratorium.
*Veral fulfilled my dream of an urban/rural art exchange:
- A quick n'dusty filmmaking workshop prepared talented rural youth from four surrounding towns to help on-set as production assistants.
- CU film students served as department heads for the young artists and as assistants to our cinematographer and gaffer.
- The professional crew gathered in the heartland from as far as LA, Michigan and New York
- The small cast was made up of talented actors from NY, Arizona, Denver and Joes.
- Crafty was my mom's home cooking out of an RV. My dad helped me build props for two weeks before we began shooting.
I am so grateful for all of the local people and organizations who generously donated services, money, time and food to this film.
We all worked together with grace, humility and a good dose of humor.
THIS CAMPAIGN SUPPORTS:
Below are production stills from our test shoot in preparation for the two day green screen shoot
Now that we have tested technical and creative challenges and have computed the 1:6 scale until our brains fritzed out, WE ARE READY to shoot our pinnacle scene which includes:
*Actors (real people) will be shot on green screen, including the two leads and 25 extras
*Over 50 costumes will span every decade since the Homestead Act (1862).
*Special effect make up will help blend real and figured people.
*6K full frame camera w/ special macro optics for capturing miniatures
*Powerful lights (4K) to capture proper depth of field with miniature detail.
*Grip equipement (fisher dolly) to properly achieve smooth, scaled, measured camera moves.
Following this shoot and pursuing finishing funds, the actors will be composited --shrunk down-- into the diorama using special effects. We will do a final sound mix and color correction to complete fine cut.
*2018: I option the story from Greg Hill and writing begins. Jap Sam Books, M12 Studio and Last Chance Press publish the original short story and screenplay as part of "Future Rural Archive" anthology.
*JUNE 2019: We produce a 6 day shoot in Colorado Plus host a filmmaking workshop for local youth who later helped as production assistants on set.
*JULY: The diorama build begins.
*SEPTEMBER: We perform a “test” shoot of the live action green screen / diorama scene. Following the shoot we began initial sound design, special effects and original score, composed by Zach Brock for an first rough cut.
*OCTOBER: We submit the work-in-progress rough cut to three renowned film festivals, one of whom offered us a special-extension deadline.
*NOVEMBER/DECEMBER: Seed&Spark fundraising campaign
*JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020: Pre-produce and shoot the final green screen shoot with diorama and actors.
*FEBRUARY/MARCH 2020: Further fundraising & complete post-production --special effects editing, final sound mix and score and color correciton-- for final cut!
VERAL is fiscally sponsored by NYWIFT (New York Women in Film and Television) a 501 (c) 3 organization.
If you would like your donation to be tax deductible, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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About This Team
We welcome you into this creative communtiy! This film is formed from imaginative intricacies, a conjuring of skills and incredible hard work and devotion given by individual artists, in a way that has never happened quite like this.
The process is a metamorphosis. Although we have constantly challenged and clarified the VISION that leads us, it has always remained foundational. There is something almost metaphysical about vision. Sure, it is an idea. But it carries more weight. Vision demands action, urgency, and is encompassed by inivsible ties connecting us to each other and to the end result in unexplainable ways.
VERAL is the result of an informidable crew, some who have been involved with the inception of this story as far back as four years ago. They are all amazing artists including an award winning novelist, a community activist sculptor, world-renowned diorama artists, the hottest miniature clothes maker in comedy, a grammy award winning composer, a director of photographer who was awarded outstanding-cinematography at regional film festivals, and an editor of a film that took home the Francois Chalais Prize at Cannes. These are only a few highlights of the many achievements each of these artists has accompished.
Most importantly, this wasn't a hodge-podge of hiring. I have known these artists in a meaningful way and -- most of them -- over a long period of time through many projects. With VERAL, I presented something new for each person to take on creatively. Never an eyebrow raised, but after a still moment of consideration, each collaborator responded, "YES! Let's do this!"
The Veral crew is:
Writer/Director: Erin Harper
Short Story Writer / Sound Recordist / Musician: Gregory Hill
Producers: Adam Benn, Erin Greenwell and Erin Harper
Production Manager: Robert Smith
Director of Photography: Adam Benn
Assistant Director: David Marek
Gaffer / Grip: Oski Araujo
Grip: Patrick Selvage
Art Department / Props: Maureen Hearty and Shayna Mason
HMU: Kate Rogers-Ebersole
Production Assistants: Cassie Phillips, Patrick Brinkman, Lacey Niccoli, Alana Winslow, Sam Uyemura
Intern: John Smith
Diorama Artists: Lori Nix & Kathleen Gerber
Doll Wardrobe and Hair: Angela Juarez
Editor: Erin Greenwell
Effects Editor: AJ Russo
Composer: Zach Brock
We love what we do, we love what we make and we want for you to be a part of this creativity with us. Experiences like this change your very make up and we invite you to not only financially support this endeavor, but to dive in and get involved in any way that you want to. We want to invite some of you to be on set, sit in on an edit, a pre-screening, give feedback, engage on social media, ask questions, learn something new, create an event, contribute something we never asked for if it makes sense to you, to make something, to celebrate with us, to promote what interests you. Let the creativity never end and watch the vision grow!
I know it sounds corny, but we are all creative (artists) in some way and VERAL is an opportunity to ignite that part of you.
This is me and my filmmaking buddies, Adam (Producer/DP) and Erin (Producer/editor) who have been working with me on multiple projects since film school and who have given countless "free" hours to this project. Every project always starts with these two.
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