YOUR BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT FILMS NOT COMING SOON TO A THEATER NEAR YOU...This blog is dedicated to promoting the art of independent filmmaking. The films profiled here are conceived and created outside the studio system and are brought to you, the public, without the aid of a major distributor. Though they might experience a limited theatrical release, they will largely be available to wider audiences through outlets like Netflix, YouTube or by direct purchase.

Monday, October 24, 2011

EULOGY MAKER written and directed by Leslie Langee

Greetings film fans and welcome to my first official post as the creator of the Off the Grid Film Club!  I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey to find the up-and-coming directors honing their craft without the support of a major Hollywood studio.

In my first profile I am featuring Austin-based writer/director Leslie Langee, a fine example of independent spirit.  

As a mother of two more accustomed to life in front of the camera as an actor, she serves as a true inspiration to those of us struggling to figure out how to achieve our dreams as filmmakers while fulfilling the myriad roles we all juggle in life.

As an actor on the acclaimed JUMPING OFF BRIDGES a few years ago, Leslie's interest in exploring life behind the camera was piqued.  Her enthusiasm must have impressed the production crew - she was anointed the title of Associate Producer on the project.  It was then that Leslie's professional endeavors took on a whole new dimension.

From there, she went on to collaborate with BRIDGES' director to co-write and produce NINJA JAMES AND THE BEAST BOY, an attempt to counterbalance the lack of female-directed action films.  While in post-production on NINJA JAMES Leslie took on an even greater challenge and wrote directed EULOGY MAKER.

A sweet and endearing little short film, EULOGY MAKER could fail to leave even the coldest heart unfazed.  It features beautiful cinematography and a cast of young ragamuffins whose understated performances are a welcome relief from the typical over-the-top, sugary-sweet performances elicited from the hands of most American directors.

As the film opens, the misty environs of rural Texas foreshadow a melancholy that persistently hangs in the air.  Standing over a makeshift gravesite, the young faces gathered here bear the mark of those experiencing loss for the first time.  

Here we see Elliott, the film's protagonist and official eulogist for "Mr. Peeps," stumbling through one of the saddest moments in a child's life - the death of a beloved pet. 

His performance is not met with the highest praise.

But cut to "Blacky's" funeral, and we witness a eulogist coming into his own.  As Elliott flows through the finer points of a beloved dog's life, he is filled with much more confidence in his ability to capture the essence of a being's existence.  

When one of the boys compliments his work by comparing it to that of his grandfather, it becomes clear that Elliott is preparing for something greater - to take on a legacy, of sorts.

By the film's final scene, the full truth of the story is revealed.  I will not bother to spoil it with my written words - at a running time of roughly five minutes, readers can certainly find that out for themselves...

For those who would like a more in-depth look at the film's writer/director please join me TUESDAY, OCT. 11TH from 12:30-1:00pm MST when I will interview Leslie live on the air.  Tune into 88.1FM on the dial or stream it live here.

If you miss the show, I will be posting a podcast of the interview here in a few days.

Thanks for reading!

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