THE ROAD TO GETTING GREEN-LIT
Volition, like a lot of movies, has gone through many ups and downs to get to where it is now: ready for production. As we continue to go through our prep, we thought it might be helpful to other budding filmmakers to give you some insight into our process, so that you can be even more prepared than we were for the road that leads to getting your film into production.
The main gist of this story is (spoiler alert): don’t give up! Seriously, this project took so much perseverance to get financed that we considered shelving it many times. Luckily, that little inner voice that gets louder and stronger through time and experience kept yelling at us, “Don’t give up!” So we didn’t.
The road to any success is filled with so much failure. But this “failure” is just information. Along the way, you learn who you are, what you’re about, what you’re into – and what you’re not into. We had a few offers from some very exciting companies in the US, who wanted to make the movie with us, but for various reasons (casting, tone, etc.), it just wasn’t the right fit. Here’s what we knew going in to our meetings. We wanted to make an “independent film,” where we could stay true to our artistic vision – and live/die by that mantra. We didn’t want this to be (respectfully) a TV Movie. We needed to take a chance and go for what we thought would be the right fit for this movie, which is a genre mix, of films like Memento and True Romance. So, with all of those variables in place, we finally realized that we weren’t interested in selling the property for another team to make. Rather, we had to become entrepreneurs and look for financing. This was a drastic shift in our thinking – and, while it came with far less guarantees, it felt right. This meant, we had to create a business plan, a marketing plan, a look-book and pitch documents. We had to be the driving force behind getting this screenplay into production. With these “sales tools” in place, we knocked on many more doors, and, while we had some promising leads, we couldn’t find the right match for financing. It was around this time that we began to chat with Paly Productions – who are all about giving the artists the opportunity to do what they do best with zero interference. Months later, and with everyone’s signatures in place, Volition was green-lit. An overnight success. And it only took 4 years. J
In part 2 of 12, we take you back to the early days of Tony & Ryan’s filmmaking collaboration, as they prep for filming their science-fiction thriller, VOLITION. Like the Smith Brothers Facebook Page to stay connected, and join us next, on Monday, Jan. 2nd, 2017, when Webisode 3 will be released.
Vancouver, B.C., Dec. 5th, 2016 — Award-winning Canadian actor, John Cassini, is the first to be cast in the Smith Brothers’
sci-fi thriller, VOLITION. Cassini’s prolific career spans from series-regular to recurring roles in critically successful series, such as Blackstone, Chris Haddock’s Intelligence and DaVinci’s Inquest, the comedy hit, Robson Arms, and Syfy/Superchannel’s Continuum. His previous feature film work has included performances in David Fincher’s Seven and The Game, along with many acclaimed independent films. For his role in Volition, Cassini will be channelling his darker side as he portrays the film’s antagonist, a ruthless and corrupt businessman.
Volition is directed by award-winning director, Tony Dean Smith, based on a screenplay written by Tony Dean Smith & Ryan W. Smith. It is a gritty sci-fi thriller, about a man, afflicted with clairvoyance, who tries to change his fate when a series of events leads to a vision of his own imminent murder. The Smith Brothers have partnered with Paly Productions, Inc. to produce the film, with Principal Photography set for Spring 2017.
In connection with Volition, the Smith Brothers are releasing a series of semi-monthly webisodes, offering fans a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of the film. The first webisode is now online, with additions added every second Monday. Fans are encouraged to visit the Smith Brothers Film Company Facebook page, www.volitionthemovie.com, Twitter or Instagram, for behind-the-scenes content, and news.
SMITH BROTHERS FILM COMPANY
Smith Brothers Film Company is the creative partnership of Tony Dean Smith & Ryan W. Smith. Tony is a filmmaker who has worked for Universal, CTV, Neill Blomkamp, and Syfy, among others. Ryan is a screenwriter, who has worked for Disney, Netflix, YTV and Syfy, among others. For more information, visit www.smithbrothersfc.com.
PALY PRODUCTIONS, INC.
Paly Productions, Inc. is a U.S.-based investment fund, focused on high-quality artistic projects for the world market.
John Cassini is represented by Tyman Stewart at The Characters Talent Agency.