There are some great viewer reviews on our forum here
There is also around 3 hours 45 minutes of great extra features including original documentaries. Snapshots of reservation life and small town America. I’m very pleased with it. A bit excessive but I am very keen to share these docs with the films audience as combined with the movie they’ll gain an understanding of a unique part of America that is rarely exposed. (both the Lakota and white communities). I love the whole area very much and hope that all the locals will be excited and proud to see these snaps shots of their life.
The extra features are: Russell Means interview 48mins
Snapshot: A day in the life of Russell Means (We film a Russian film crew at Russell’s house as well as me filming them filming the filming of one of Russell’s regular video blogs and also a snapshot of some of his campaigning) At home with Arlette Loud Hawk (Arlette who is in the film shows us around her home and chats a bit about her life) Director Steven Lewis Simpson at Wounded Knee (I give some background to the significance of this sacred place to me as well as my history with the reservation) Pine Ridge drive around (a narrated look around Pine Ridge with some great photography). Rushville locations tour (I take you on a tour of some locations Sheridan Livestock Market (11min a tour of a Rushville market by it’s owner Dan) Sheridan County Players (14 mins some of our supporting actors are members of this theater group who became a major support for us in the film. Some of the performers are amazing) Ranch Life (17 mins with a wonderful guy Ron Fisher who has a fabulous, clear world view and takes us through the background of his family homesteading in the region) Trailer (also on Youtube) Nine minute opening of Scottish version (starring Henry Ian Cusick from Lost) A great photo gallery
Full directors commentary
All and all it is a package I am very proud of and gives great added value to the purchaser. The shop link is below. Roaring Fire Films Store
If all goes to plan we should start screening Rez Bomb at venues throughout Pine Ridge this week. Some will be organized at short notice so we’re asking those on Pine Ridge to follow is on twitter.com/rezbomb or myspace.com/rezbom or the fan page on facebook as we’ll be posting details of the screenings and when and where they shall be.
So please if you have friends on Pine Ridge please pass the word out for them to follow us.
Well I always knew Rez Bomb would appeal strongly to both men and women but an extraordinary 90% of orders so far are from women. Now this makes me curious as to why? Are women smarter (well of course) and that makes them happy to take up the free shipping for pre-orders? Or just more decisive when it comes to the retail experience? (few would argue that point) Or is it that they know how hot our Trent Ford is? Well that might explain where the 10% of male orders came from ? But then our Tamara Feldman is also stunning to look at (not that these things should be important in a substantive story like ours but it does help in a good love story if you fancy the protagonists). Or are guys reading it too much as being a love story? But then there is a strong thriller aspect. The trailer proves it is far from a sappy romantic story. Well I guess I shall just have to ponder this but I am overjoyed to have such strong female support for the film that for once you have really strong women characters on screen. Though Lakota women in general are very strong indeed and are absolutely the engine that makes the reservation the film is set on function. Considering the average life expectancy for men on Pine Ridge is mid 40’s the burden on the women is greater than usual.
Anyway thank you all who have ordered so far. I hope you’ll love the film certainly we’ve had amazing feedback from those that have seen it so far.
Right now I am preparing a load of extra feature to go with the DVD release of the film. They include documentaries, a commentary, a trailer as well as tours around the films locations and photo galleries. The biggest feature includes a never before seen 45 minute interview with Russell Means recorded back in 1999 during my first meeting with him.
The aim is to provide around three hours of extra features. A formidible package but my feeling is that a lot of our viewers will have a great interest in the setting of our film and I want to provide as much information to with it as possible. Also I have built up a strong relationship with the people in the locations and wanted to put together some of the mini documentaries for them.
It does not just include ones on Pine Ridge but also ones on Rushville Nebraska a wonderful small town in a part of America that is dwindling population wise. We drew some cast from the wonderful theatre there and have a lovely little documentary on them.
All and all it is a package I am very proud of and gives great added value to the purchaser.
We have a street date for the DVD set at the 8th of June 2009 and it can be ordered via the store on www.rezbomb.com that will be up and running by then. Also follow our blog here for updates. Also on tweeter.com/rezbomb (had one on CNN today) join fan page of www.facebook.com/rezbomb and www.myspace.com/rezbomb.
The plan is to go to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation & Rushville, Nebraska where we shot Rez Bomb in a few weeks time and and tour the film commercially around halls and other venues we can book with a mobile projection system. The big question is what size of audience can we drum up and what will be the right price to charge to get an audience in and that will also cover our costs. Would be a great trip though. If it goes ahead then hopefully we’ll be able to upload new content that we shoot on the tour.
When I first was contacted by the Indigenous Image Awards to submit our feature film Rez Bomb for potential nomination I was excited to see what seemed an exciting new development of people within indigenous communities celebrating those taking charge of their own advancement and promotion in the entertainment industry that is so heavily prejudice towards these communities when it comes to giving them a fair shake of the stick. Also I was excited that my supporting cast from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation might have a chance of being honored, particularly Russell Means who has a formidable presence in his supporting role in our film.
But I was very disappointed when the organizers of the awards notified me that they wanted $50 for every person submitted to the awards. To me this is truly extraordinary as for any awards to have any validity they need to be a true meritocracy where the best of the best in peer groups run next to each other. Because of this I refused to submit our film or any of the cast on principle.
So it was to my great surprise to see that Rez Bomb was nominated in the best film category. I am most concerned that either the organizers never even saw the film before nomination since I refused to send them through a copy or they managed to get a copy that was not distributed for that purpose. The film is being released in a month or so and the only way people can see the film is via illegal download unless they have managed to finagle a copy from the office of a film festival or suchlike. What concerns me also about this is that although I’m happy the film is nominated anywhere it means nothing if the jury can’t even see the film since I did not submit it.
But also because the film is nominated it makes it look like the rest of the cast would have also been in contention and their lack of a nomination is a reflection of their work. The reality is however that they were not even in contention because I refused to pay money for the privilege.
Imagine if the winner of the Oscars won because say Daniel Day Lewis’s agent refused to pay a fee for him to be in contention as well. Nobody would take it seriously.
As I said at the beginning it is great to see endeavors like these awards popping up but for me this time around they have really shot themselves in the foot as they have pushed away very credible film makers like myself from their process rather than gaining our support and encouragement.
I wish congratulate all the winners and certainly there is some great work represented. But if they were told that a chunk of their potential competition were barred from the competition due to not paying for the privilege I’m sure it would take a great deal of gloss of the glory and that is not fair.
Anyway we’re preparing the DVD and a wealth of original extra features (new documentaries etc) to be released on the 25th if May. Anyone who wants on the mailing list for the release can email email@example.com
It is interesting as I’ve been putting Rez Bomb out into the world that some of the gatekeepers have actually been having issue with the fact that the film is potentially the first universal story ever set on an Indian reservation as they often express that the film is not “culturally sensitive enough”. Bullshit to that I say. The moment you want all the films and stories from a particular community to fit into a certain box even if its a well meaning cultural one then you are creating an Apartheid situation. We are failing progressing into a world of equality until all stories are being set anywhere a storyteller chooses for them regardless of context.
Besides the truth is and the cultural gatekeepers always fail to note this, is that if you live in a shitty environment whether in the projects of Chicago, the Favela’s of Rio, a housing estate in Glasgow or a reservation in the USA you don’t want to watch films about your own life and how shitty it is, you want to be entertained and taken out of that world while being able to relate to characters that reflect you and those you relate to. Poor people don’t want to watch Ken Loach movies as they are for middle-class intellectuals. Those communities want comedies and dramas and action and adventure.
The gatekeepers who have been the biggest stumbling block for us so far have been ones in the American Indian film festival circuit even though Rez Bomb has played in far more major festivals than the majority of films they show. The irony is that the American Indian/First Nations audiences that have seen it have had the greatest response to the film and it has been very moving to hear their words of support and thanks for the film.
Those gatekeepers need to watch Sullivan’s Travels to set them straight on this.
Well I guess I’ve got to pull my finger out and get into this blogging routine .
Rez Bomb had its European Premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival last week and it went down really well despite a couple of technical problems with the cinema. One online reviewer had it as his film of the festival. It was like there were three different tiers to the audience for me. The general audience, who seemed to respond well, the audience who had a deeper interest including ones knowledgeable about reservation life as well as those with relatable experiences (eg. a Syrian Kurd who could relate to the oppression of the Lakota and was deeply moved by the film) and then there were some other directors in the audience. They all responded well to the film but were even more impressed when they heard how small the production was and how quickly it was shot. The directors included Steven Morrison (Frog) David Mackenzie (Hallam For, Young Adam etc) and David Baker.
Not long before was the Victoria BC Film Fest. and the reaction was great there particularly from the First Nations audience who got a lot of the subtlties in the film. One chap who was doing the Q&A with me spoke to the audience about how he’d had some of the exact conversations in the film with people before.
The highlight of the recent festivals though was Santa Fe, and not just because a woman told me she’d driven two hours just to see the film but because it was the first time Russell Means had seen the film and we did a Q&A together that was a lot of fun. Russell spoke of his pride in being in a film that showed contemporary Indians and where none are alchoholics o (or old guys with all the answers) but just people in a universal story. He was also shocked at how good the film looked bearing in mind the production was so tiny. It was a great moment for me.
Next is Bermuda in late March. It’s a hard life.
Thoughts about the new feature film from the films maker Steven Lewis Simpson