Friday, September 16, 2011

SoCal Independent Film Festival


To Rest in Peace will return to Huntington Beach for the SoCal Independent Film Festival! The festival runs September 28th to October 2nd. Our screening is on Thursday, September 29th at 1:10PM.

I say 'return,' because we shot our last day of principle photograph on Huntington Beach. People often point to this scene as one they are sure was shot in Kuwait. The Towers of Kuwait appear in the background, as Malek is contemplating the water. But these were filmed separately by Ali Younis, and then composited by Michael Ashton. The scene itself was shot by Sean Conaty with our priniciple photography crew in Huntington Beach, California.

Incidentally, if you would like to see more of Kuwait, Ali Younis has some beautiful nature videos up on his YouTube channel. Check out Kuwait's Desert in Spring. And did you know that Kuwait has flamingos?

The beach scene is one of my personal favourites in To Rest in Peace. It is the moment when Malek, having struggled with his choice of whether or not to risk his life and bury the two dead men himself, has reached the end of the road. There is no where else to go, and he is forced to contemplate his decision in a communion with nature. Part of the inspiration was this sentiment by Lord Byron, from Childe Harold's Pilgrimmage:

     There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
     There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
     There is society, where none intrudes,
     By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
     I love not man the less, but Nature more, 
     From these our interviews, in which I steal 
     From all I may be, or have been before, 
     To mingle with the Universe, and feel 
     What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.

Michael Benyaer gave a layered performance, underscored by Leah Curtis's music. This is one scene that stayed almost exactly the same throughout the editing process, from Zachary Dehm's first cut.

I look forward to revisiting Huntington Beach. It was the end of our production, but not of our festival run. More festival news is coming up soon, including our Canadian premiere. And we're off to the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival tomorrow! 

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