After an unforgettable evening as the opening night headline presentation in Santa Ana, VOLITION took home the festival’s top prize as Best Feature! What a way to start the film’s festival run! Members of the Volition team in attendance included Tony Dean Smith, Ryan W. Smith, Adrian Glynn McMorran, John Cassini, Amroe Anderson, Dusty Anderson, Pia Edberg and Martin Smith. Congrats to the whole team!
More good news for this mind-bending thriller! Volition is an official selection of the Phoenix Film Festival, screening in Arizona multiple times, from April 4th-14th. For schedule and festival information, check out the festival site, and if you’re in the area, grab some popcorn and join us!
Artist, Author and Creativity Consultant, Ellen Palestrant, was kind enough to include us in her series of interviews on Creativity. Check out the full interview on her blog. A collection of her interviews will soon be published as a book. More details on www.ellenpalestrant.com.
An Interview with Filmmakers Smith Brothers: Playing Singles or Doubles – The Many Angles in the Game of Creativity
Well, this Volition train is moving at full speed! We’re having our final rehearsals and table-reads today and tomorrow, and then we’re off! Our first day of Principal Photography is this Sunday. Insane! Amazing! Thanks for joining us on this trip. More exciting content to come!
Well, we’re 21 days away from rolling those cameras and things are getting busy! Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve exercised the full spectrum of our skills, from mental flexibility in finding creative ways to have our script conform to reality, to practical dexterity in securing locations, working with our team to gather wardrobe and props, and cementing the various looks for makeup and our FX department. It’s been a whirlwind, and the fun is only just beginning! We’re also diving deep into re-shuffling our schedule to meet various demands, and collaborating with our department heads to gain their input on manifesting the script. Cast rehearsals are continuing and we’re prepping for an upcoming stunt rehearsal. It’s amazing to see it all coming together! We’ll keep you posted and all continues to build!
Vancouver, B.C., May 2nd, 2017 — Multi-talented actor Aleks Paunovic will play the role of a warm-hearted criminal in the Smith Brothers’ sci-fi thriller, VOLITION. Paunovic’s heat is picking up, with his recent credits in War of the Planet of the Apes, Keanu Reeves’ Siberia, and his series regular run on SyFy’s Van Helsing. Paunovic’s previous credits also include series regular spots on Continuum, iZombie, The 100, and a turn in the highly anticipated Liam Neeson/Laura Dern starrer, Hard Powder.
Paunovic will join the impressive ensemble of Adrian Glynn McMorran (The Revenant, Arrow), Magda Apanowicz (Continuum, Caprica, Kyle XY), John Cassini (Se7en, The Game, Continuum), Frank Cassini (Good Fellas, Watchmen, The Bridge) and Bill Marchant (Chappie, Godzilla, Strange Empire).
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 murder. The Smith Brothers have partnered with Paly Productions, Inc. to produce the film, with Principal Photography set for June 2017.
“Aleks has that rare combo of captivating presence, and raw, human vulnerability. He’s a superb actor with the perfect instincts for the role,” says Tony Dean Smith, the film’s director, co-writer and co-producer. “The dynamic that Aleks brings to our team is immeasurable. We’re couldn’t be happier,” says Ryan W. Smith, the film’s co-writer and co-producer.
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. 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. is a U.S.-based investment fund, focused on high-quality artistic projects for the world market.
Finishing a screenplay is always thrilling! 90-120 pages of blood, sweat and tears, and its all right there before your very eyes. What’s next? A vacation to Hawaii? Diving into a bank-vault of gold coins? Ideally, yes! But generally, no. It doesn’t take too long for that overjoyed feeling to be replaced with one of self-flagellation: you see all the mistakes you’ve made, the shortcuts you’ve taken, and the glaring errors in logic. Hopefully, you also see the potential of what you’ve written, the mini-strikes of brilliance, the kernels of something truly unique! Either way, it soon becomes apparent that, if this piece is going to stand on its own, you have to keep digging. As cliche as it is, yes, “writing is re-writing,” so you dive back in.
In writing Volition, we churned through a huge amounts of drafts — sometimes shifting the entire plot-structure, other times, pulling out set-pieces, and other times re-thinking characters and sharpening their arcs. After this intense process, we finally felt that we had created a draft worthy of shooting. So, what was next? The trip to Hawaii? The Maldives? Well, that didn’t quite happen, but we finally did have a draft that we could send to financiers. After various stalled attempts, we finally reached Paly Productions, and here we are today, gearing up to shoot! But, if you thought that was the end of the re-writing process, you may want to think again.
We’re currently going through a unique round of re-writes, looking at the draft from a very practical perspective. While, initially, our draft existed entirely in our heads. Now, it needs to actually manifest itself in real-life, and this means, we need to find realistic ways of achieving our vision. For us, this has meant looking to reduce extraneous locations, unnecessarily complicated sequences, and impractical set-pieces. Of course, the battle we have internally is by wearing both our writer hats and our producer hats. We want to retain all that is special and unique about the piece, while still finding a way to shoot it on a budget. Sometimes, we have to push hard to find creative solutions, but we believe we’re achieving this goal.
The next round of re-writes will likely emerge once we start collaborating with our actors. They will have thoughts on their characters, or thoughts on the way certain lines are expressed. We look forward to diving back into the draft at that point, polishing it up so that on the first day of Principal Photography, we’re in the best position possible. And then there’s the re-writes that will happen on set, and, of course, in the edit suite. But, surely, once all is said and done, that vacation to Hawaii, paid for entirely by our vault of gold coins, will be just around the corner. Ironically, knowing us, that entire vacation will be spent inside, re-writing a brand new script!