Fallen Branches: prelude to a film

I’ve been a bad blogger.

I’ve got big news—not just big news, relevant news—that I have failed to share here. If you’ve been watching my Twitter you might have noticed that something was up, but I’ve been stingy with the details. But time heals all wounds, the crooked places will be made straight, and I have vowed to blog again.

So here’s the deal: I wrote a feature last April. I called it Fallen Branches, which is a dumb title, but it was a smart story. It’s a movie about a family, and love, and secrets, and how complicated everything can get.

I also cofounded a new production company, based on a nonprofit business model, called Region Zero. The idea was to make a movie, and then another movie, and to keep making them and never stop until we were dead.

Then things got interesting. Region Zero actually took off. It’s got a fiscal sponsor and a board of directors and everything. And when it came time to select a film for production, Region Zero took a look at my script, told me it wasn’t good enough yet but that it could be, and greenlit the project for production.

So I revised and revised, and my producer Matt Kane produced and produced, and everything is still ongoing, but we’ve passed the point of no return. We’re (mostly) funded, we’re (mostly) cast, we’re (mostly) crewed up, and I (mostly) lost my mind driving across the featureless plains of Nebraska last week. I’m now living in Matt’s apartment and will continue to do so until the movie is completed, at the end of February.

There will be more news forthcoming. This blog is going to become my director’s journal, my production notebook, my one tenuous mooring to reality. I’ve got some upcoming posts that more fully explain Region Zero, and of course there will be lots and lots of production news. Right now I’m sitting in the Spyhouse Coffee on Hennepin Avenue, waiting to meet with our costume designer. We will probably be discussing flannel in great detail.

The translation of a story from words on a page to light on a screen never ceases to amaze me.



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