Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Here is the low down... we made this film 2 summers ago on a shoe string budget. It was our 1st film and we had no idea of what we were doing! It is a feature film length and it was shoot in 8 days and we did with a budget of under $5000. Basically, $3000 to feed everyone involved in the project and about $1500 is some equipment/set pieces/rent for space.
I am really proud of all the hard work people put into making this story come to life on screen. It is not perfect and we know that. However, the story needs to be told and I hope it touches you in one way or another.
1. We want people to see this story. It is an important story to be told.
2. We want to possibly re-shoot this film now that we know what we are doing and need to create a little buzz around the content of this film to create opportunities for funding.
3. We already have all sorts of great ideas to make the film better, but are still looking for an audience's perspective, so if you liked something or have a idea of some element of the story that you would like to know more about please write you comments down.
I hoping you can find an hour to watch this film and let us know what you think and forward the movie onto friends you think will appreciate it.
Who, when they see the hours ripe on earth,
Will rain hot vengeance on offenders’ heads.
--Richard II (I,ii)
Roger Mivic (Norbert Orlewicz), a struggling gay artist, is about to open his first one-man show at local gallery and is struggling to complete several large canvases for the opening. His work is full of anger and rage. Societies intolerance has left its mark on Roger. He has, himself, been a victim of bashing, as have several friends. Because of experiences in his later teens, he has become obsessed with the violence rained down upon gay men and the lack of concern society has shown. This obsession boils out in his art that is full of violence and rage. Such canvases fill his loft: the exception being a single romantic painting.
His fixation on anti-gay brutality was reinforced by the relatively bashing of his lover, Wayne (Anthony Johnston), the day after Roger had ended their affair. He spent the next few months nursing Wayne back to health, which only reaffirmed his passion against homophobes. But, now, that is over, Wayne has moved back home and his opening exhibition approaches. His efforts to finish several remaining projects has progressed steadily until it is sidetracked by Wayne’s return to collect the remainder of his “things” and to attend a party thrown by Morgan (Charlton Szapiro), a cross-dressing friend who lives a couple of floors above.
Roger, at Wayne’s insistence, drops in on the party where he meets Steven Malcolm (Matthew Hunt). Steven’s name is vaguely familiar to Roger and he quickly returns to his loft where a few short moments of digging through his research (on violence against homosexuals) reveals the truth: this same Stephen Malcolm is one of the four tried for the murder of George Petrakis several years ago; the guilty young men were sentenced to merely a few months of public service - for the murder of a gay man.
It seems to Roger his whole life has focused him on this moment। Here, a few floors above, one of the perpetrators of the violence he has been obsessed with for his adult life. All the effort and energy he has poured into his painting could never equal the chance he has now – a chance to balance the scales. All he need do is lure Steven from the party.
Ten years later the leads of this play: Norbert Orlewicz and Matthew Hunt meet up with their high school Drama mentor (BJ Castleman) for coffee and reminiced about 'Fall, Hot Rain' and they all come to the same feeling that the project had not yet reached its end.
And so it was written.
A cracker-jack team was formed, some excellent performers, a great loft location and lots of exhaustion. The filming proceeded during the hottest week of the exceptionally hot summer. And in eight days – the film was in the can thanks to the perseverance of Director Revesz and Director of Photography Andrew Forbes who carried the camera strapped to his torso for almost all of the film.
So for less than $5000 (That’s real cash AND plastic.) a group of amateurs filmed “Fall, Hot Rain”. There was never enough of anything – especially time, manpower, air-conditioning. But there was an abundance of devotion. With bulldog clips holding the wiring, Chinese lanterns on broomsticks, and “flags” held in place by gaffer’s tape the production McGuyvered forward – propelled by nothing but enthusiasm and pizza. The team fell in love with the story and were bent on telling it in as clear and as honest a way as they could muster.
Guilt is a funny thing, and at times a scary one. It manifests itself in insidious ways so that it guides and colours our actions without our knowing it. I asked myself why I wanted to direct this film. To advance my career? Yes. To finally direct my first feature film? Yes. To gain recognition and respect? Yes. Damn I felt guilty. I couldn’t sleep and thought constantly about how I wanted to direct but didn’t feel I had the right, yet I didn’t want to give up the opportunity, which only fed the guilt more. I reread the play and then it hit me – guilt. It’s not hard to see that ‘Fall, Hot Rain’ is thematically layered with guilt and the different forms it can take. Guilt is my connection to this story! That was my angle, my connection to this material. It would make ‘Fall, Hot Rain’ a universal film for everyone to connect with because it’s not news that we all experience guilt. And that is why I was able to direct this film- guilt free
Norbert Orlewicz (Roger Mivic) The role of Roger made a tremendous impact on the young actor’s life when he first portrayed the character in his final year of high school drama. The experience of creating the original theatrical production of Fall, Hot Rain was the fuel that fires Norbert’s love of theatre.
“I believe that theatre, film, or any art for that matter, is most relevant when it challenges people’s concepts about themselves and the world they live in. The single biggest obstacle preventing each one of us from living our true potential is our fear of facing the truth of our own existence. Roger’s battle with himself, and his struggle to come to terms with his past is a classic story most people desperately avoid. He struggles, as many of us do, with so many complex and contradictory emotions and attributes, attempting with futility to keep his demons at bay. He is both desperate and hopeful, fearful and courageous, clear and confused. These contradictions make him human, and it is his human struggle that makes his story so tragic.
Norbert’s appreciation goes out to the dedicated group that stepped up to the challenge of creating this film, and kept pushing towards its completion through the most difficult of days.
Matthew Hunt (Stephen Malcolm and Producer) performed in original theatre production of FHR ten years ago as a teenager. Now after graduating from Studio 58 and a few years of life, he feels it has come full circle because he would be the correct age to play Steven. Fall, Hot Rain is very dear to Matthew because he said, “After the show my peers in high-school would approach me and tell me how they had changed their views regarding the gay-community and would think twice before being so derogatory toward gay people.”
I thought wow! Our show is changing how people think? Cool! I knew from that point forward I wanted to tell stories the rest of my life to challenge people current views. It was the most amazing feeling in the world.” Matthew is extremely thankful for being able to be apart of this story, for if he wasn’t, he feels that he might have not been an actor. Matthew has been seen in theatre productions all across the world. He just finished performing in
Anthony Johnston (
Look for Anthony in
Charlton Szapiro (Morgan/Morgana) Needless to say, the experience of filming Fall, Hot Rain was rather unique and freeing for Charlton. Little did he know that he would ever feel as comfortable as he did in a pair of 6-inch stiletto heels (although he still wonders how people are able to dance in them). Ultimately, he would like to thank Matthew and Adam for giving him the opportunity to be a part of this project, and for the chance to work with an amazingly talented group of artists. Cheers! Melissa Jane Shaw (Gretchen) MJ of many hats is a professional actor, dancer, singer, choreographer and producer. For more information check out her personal website (www.melissajaneshaw.com) or her production company (www.seventhstageproductions.com).
Melissa Jane Shaw (Gretchen) MJ of many hats is a professional actor, dancer, singer, choreographer and producer. For more information check out her personal website (www.melissajaneshaw.com) or her production company (www.seventhstageproductions.com).
Clarence Sponagle (Butch) An award winning and nominated actor, (Jessie Richardson nomination, 2001-2002, Jessie Richardson award for most promising newcomer 2001-2002, Dora nomination, 2003-2004). Clarence has been hailed as one of the most promising young actors to watch out for. In the summer of 2004 Clarence finished shooting his first film in
Clarence has worked with numerous theatre company's across Canada, including, Firehall Arts Centre, Bard on the Beach, The Electric Company, The Globe Theatre, DanceArts Vancouver, Loraine Kisma Theatre for Young People and Dance DaStat to name a few.
In January of 2006 Clarence will be working with Manitoba Theatre for Young People. A graduate of
Kristoffer Pedlar (Phil) over the past four years has studied puppetry under the leadership of Brandy Leary, extensively in Bunraku puppetry as well as shadow puppetry and various forms of movement. He first worked on a workshop production of Le Cirque Burlesque and then joined the company of the remount in February of 2004 where he reprised his role of lead puppeteer on both Juan Carlos and The White Tiger. He has also been a part of the FIDA festival Festival of Original Theatre at UofT.
Most recently, Kristoffer played the part of The Man in Anandam’s “Relative Gravity,” and was lead puppeteer on Diego and Death at the New York City Fringe Festival.
Outside of his puppetry Kristoffer has appeared several shows in the last few years: The Chef in Fine Dining for Hooligans in the Kitchen, Michael, the lead, in Baby Steps, written for the 2003 Toronto Fringe Festival. Currently Kristoffer is working on a project for Hooligans in the Kitchen and on his own script “Rodeo Clowns.”
Adam Revesz (Director) began his entertainment career as an actor and trained in
So Ryerson it was where he made many short films, was nominated for an award, and started his production company ‘One Inch Punch Productions’. Most recently Adam: has directed and edited his first feature film ‘Fall, Hot Rain’; produced interstitials and a segment for the TV show ‘Cosmetic Innovations’ on SUN TV; and is currently pitching ‘Mall Cops’ a comedic TV show that he has recently developed.
B. J. Castleman (Writer) has been involved in theatre since the first grade when he played a daffodil who summoned all the second grade roses to dance. He has been a performer, a director, a producer and a teacher. The
Andrew currently is teaching film & video production and media literacy to elementary and secondary students in
ROGER Norbert Orlewicz
STEVEN Matthew Hunt
WAYNE Anthony Johnston
MORGAN/MORGANA Charlton Szapiro
BUTCH Clarence Sponagle
PHIL Kristoffer Pedlar
GRETCHEN Melissa Jane Shaw
Produced by Matthew Hunt
Directed by Adam Revesz
Written by BJ Castleman
Director of Photography Andrew Forbes
Music Composer Konrad Pluto
1st Assistant Director