After a wild run at London’s FrightFest, the VOLITION buzz is gaining momentum, as reviews come in:
★★★★★ “Volition is an exceptional genre flick with a shit ton of ideas and the limitless heart to express them in a way that charms rather than bulldozes.” —The People’s Movies
“Tony Dean Smith expertly keeps many story plates spinning in order to combine the pace of the crime thriller in progress with the sci-fi mystery VOLITION reveals itself to be. When the fragmented pieces of truth he’s given you begin to fit together the cerebral slight of hand of the Smith brothers script come into their own a la COHERENCE or THE INVITATION. You’ll feel smarter for the experience of watching it.” —Britflicks
“As the Smith Brothers work their way through this paradoxical conundrum, the result is Volition itself, an ingenious product as much of optimistic will as of entrapping design, with a miraculous, impossible ending.” — SciFi Now Magazine
“Winner of the best feature award at The Philip K. Dick Film Festival, where it fittingly made its world premiere earlier this year, director Tony Dean Smith’s Canadian indie gem (written by him and his brother, Ryan W. Smith) thrives not only on an enthralling, fast-paced narrative but also on the chemistry of its two stars, McMorran and Apanowicz, who you’re compelled to root for from the get-go. A no lesser contribution from Bill Marchant as James’ foster father completes the all-Canadian cast.” —HorrorDNA
“Thematically Volition is a rich and diverting experience, with moral and ethical conundrums orbiting the central concept of the pliability of fate. The choices finally made by the likeable James, as he seeks to break from the white knuckle grip of inevitability, are compelling and unexpectedly moving.” — The People’s Movies
“[A] script that borders on perfection stands out. The Smith brothers (Tony Dean, Ryan W.) have undoubtedly found a way to intrigue the viewer, leave him stunned, make him open his eyes wide and end up wishing for light in the thick plot with characters drawn to perfection… Apart from all this, it highlights the way it is shot. The director, Tony Dean Smith, opts for doing it in a murky way, alternating the action, in meritorious close-ups, with moments of necessary pause to digest everything.” —TerrorWeekend
“[I]t has you continuously guessing where everything is heading while never throwing in a twist just for the sake of it. As you keep watching, each step seems logical and will keep you glued to your seat.” —Nerdly
“The story is the key to Volition‘s success. Sibling duo Tony Dean Smith (who also directs) and Ryan W. Smith have clearly spent a lot of time and effort trying to achieve the perfect balance of several elements. All of their hard work pays off, and it’s a very special moment once the penny drops as to what is really going on. One that demonstrates the duo’s writing talents, and great promise for future projects. Visually, Volition has echoes of early David Fincher; think Seven meets The Game, as well as Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys. The style adds a layer of gritty realism to the film, helping to make it a grounded science-fiction story such as Looper and The Terminator.” —The Hollywood News
READ MORE AT THE LINKS BELOW!
Italy, here we come! VOLITION’s European Premiere will take place in Rome, at the OSTIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL! We screen at 9:30 pm at the Cineland di Ostia. Friends, Romans, Countrymen, if you’re a fan of cerebral science-fiction, please join us. More exciting European festival news still to come, so stay tuned!
Thanks HorrorBuzz.com for the shoutout about our BEST FEATURE win at The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival. We’re honored and thrilled to be part of celebrating PKD’s legacy! For more details, see the HorrorBuzz.com article. Next stop for the film is the Phoenix Film Festival. Hope to see you there!
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!
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!