Head in the ‘Clouds’
October 25, 2017
Nevada County now has its own film production company, and principal photography on its first feature film, "Clouds," has just wrapped in Penn Valley.
The production company, FilmProjects.org, is a registered 501c3 nonprofit and relies on donors to make its films, which promote the dignity of all persons, as they face life's challenges in extraordinary and positive ways.
Now that filming for "Clouds" has been completed, the organization will be seeking much-needed contributions from donors for the all-important postproduction phase.
"Without our unselfish donors, none of this could happen," said veteran film writer and director David Lewis, who along with the actors and crew began arriving in Nevada County on Sept. 24.
Filming began on Monday, Sept. 25, and finished on Friday, Oct. 6. Feeding 20 people every day was no easy task, but luckily, local culinary luminary Jim Eckhardt was on hand to provide hot meals for everyone.
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The process of creating a film starts with the screenplay.
"Clouds" went through almost 30 revisions over the past two years to ensure a compelling story. The tale concerns a young urban man named Tyler, who was physically abused by his father and separated from his ranch family for 10 years.
As the story opens, Tyler receives a call from his brother, who is now facing cancer. Tyler returns to the ranch, but must face the demons of his past, conflicts with his family, and new challenges on the ranch.
Lewis, creative director of Film Projects, said, "I believe we have a universal, timely story of a divided American family — the type of divisions that are playing out in households across the nation. We are in divided times, yet this story makes a plea for all of us to open our hearts and to listen to one another."
Lewis and Charles Grande, executive director of Film Projects, traveled to Los Angeles three times for casting. While all the actors came from Los Angeles, the talented crew came from the Bay Area.
The entire production was filmed at the ranch of Grande and Dennis Fournier in Penn Valley. Each day, work began at 7 a.m. and did not end until dinner at 7 p.m.
"We were lucky to have perfect weather conditions and neighbors were considerate in keeping outside noise to a minimum," said Lewis.
"Housing was provided by friends," said Grande, "without which we would not have been able to produce this film on our tight budget. Their assistance was invaluable."
Lewis has began postproduction work, a task equal to the work already done.
"Once the entire work has been completed," Lewis said, "we hope to have a showing in Nevada County."
To help make that a reality, donations can be made to Film Projects by visiting filmprojects.org or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 916-705-4434.