Monday, July 12, 2010

Jacksonville Home to New Feature Film

VEER! is a new full-length film produced right here in Jacksonville, FL that stars an all-Florida cast and crew. The independent feature, based on director Patrick Barry's previous short film (of the same name), follows the story of Jesse Sorensen, an aging professional skateboarder, who is dropped from his skating sponsorship and finds himself coming face to face with something he’s never had to deal with before – responsibility. Shooting on VEER! took place in February and March 2010 in Jacksonville. Blue Llama Studios, a production company based in Jacksonville, is now in post production on VEER!, their first ever feature-length film.

“We got a little interest after the short screened at some of the festivals, enough interest to do a feature-length version. We knew from the beginning it would be close, but we went for it. Opportunities like this are rare in my experience,” said director/co-writer Patrick Barry. “We were working with a tight budget, even by indie standards, and shooting on Super 16mm gobbled up a lot of that. But the film community in town here is very supportive. We wouldn't have been able to pull it off otherwise.” Barry co-wrote the script with writer/actor Jesse Gay, who plays the lead role in the film. “On top of being a writer and an actor, Jesse really is a good skater, which helped. We didn't want to cast an actor and have some double doing all the skating,” said Barry.

“Being a skateboarding-related film, we were lucky to have Kona Skatepark in town. Kona is legendary among skaters. It is one of Tony Hawk's favorite parks and the oldest operating skatepark in the country. We got in touch with them and they were really supportive from the get-go,” said producer Antonio Sarte. “Jacksonville is a huge city, landwise, and has just about any type of location you can imagine. It really worked in our favor because we definitely did not have the budget to be traveling and shooting in other parts of the country.”

The filmmakers were also able to get the support of sponsors Etnies Skateshoes and Pabst Blue Ribbon. They hope to have the film ready for festivals by early 2011. For more information, please visit Blue Llama Studios.

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