|"Restitution" was filmed with a Red Epic camera.|
"I am a filmmaker, not a painter. I have a gift for arranging men and horses." - Werner Herzog
On January 4th I spent some time on the set of a film called "Restitution". It was a KickStarter project that met it's donation goal thanks in very small part to DustyOnMovies' $10 offering. I've donated to projects before, but this is the first time one has been filmed within 20 miles of my home. So I contacted the director, Matthew Pickett, and asked if I could come for a visit. To my surprise, he gave his consent without protest.
|Matthew Pickett directs a shootout.|
Being a western, "Restitution" required a location untouched by modern civilization. Pickett found that location in the mountains of Blacksburg, VA near a horse refuge called Advantage Ranch. This was a double win considering horses would be needed for the shoot. I parked at the ranch and was led down a wooded path and over hills of frozen mud until I came upon a small clearing. Invading that clearing was a cast and crew of about 20 individuals. Reflectors, shades, a camera dolly, make-up kits, sound equipment; this was clearly a rare event in this clearing, whose only other inhabitant was a busted picnic table.
|Getting mic'd up.|
It's not all as glorious as it sounds though. After 3 hours of work, only about 2 minutes of usable footage was acquired.
- Take 1 - Before the scene even begins an actor entering left accidentally fires his gun as he unholsters it.
- Take 2 - Everything is fine until the end. But the final gunfire is mute because the gun wasn't reloaded fully after the previous misfire.
- Take 3 - Someone starts up an ATV ruining the sound.
- Take 4 - One actor attempts to kneel over a dead girl but misjudges his footing, kicking mud up her nose and falling partially on top of her.
- Take 5 - The actors perform flawlessly, the sound wasn't rolling.
- Take 6 - Everything is perfect, except for that slight imbalance in the camera dolly.
- Take 7 - A cowboy runs into frame from the left, his hat falls off.
- Take 8 - Not so bad, give me a few more like that.
- Take 9 - But wasn't she supposed to walk from the other direction? Screw it, we'll flip it in post-production.
|They were making bullet wounds, not sundaes.|
|"A 6 year-old can tie this knot." she says.|
|Deb Dyer and Brownie|
I'm hoping to contact Mrs. Dyer and get some more education on the misinformation that movies offer about horses. Check back with this site for that potential goodness.
I would love to tell everyone exactly what "Restitution" is about, but I can't. I asked several cast members and got lots of humorous workarounds with no direct answers. Then I modified my approach with, "Is it some sort of feuding family story?". The response I got was, "Something like that." Despite the ambiguity I think the project will be a success. When it's available you can bet I'll review it and let everyone know where they can attain a copy or catch a screening.