Well it’s been far too long since I last wrote a blog entry for this filmmaking blog journal. As some of you may remember, I started this blog in the summer of 2009 to document the process and needs of making my first feature film Love, Concord. But as finishing my first feature became a lengthy process as well as becoming a full time high school video teacher, my writing time crawled to a halt.
But it’s with great pleasure that I’m announcing the revival of the Opificer Media blog. What I hope to do is write at least two blog entries a month and aim for one a week.
So what’s the big announcement? What has caused me to brush the cobwebs off this blog?
Drum roll please…..
Opificer Media has begun developing it’s second feature film for a production start date of June 2017! While I wanted to start another feature almost immediately after I finished my first, my biggest challenge was deciding on what story to tell next. Also, the fact I didn’t break even on my investment in Love, Concord also meant it would be another challenge to finance my next project. So after years of struggling with ideas and attempts to write a screenplay I felt worth my time and effort to direct again, I finally got the kick to the ass I needed to finish a first draft.
The feature I’ve chosen to pursue is based on my college mentor and hero Dr. John Alfred Dennis who directed the High Potential Program at St. Mary’s college. To call Dr. D a unique individual would not do the man justice as there will never be another man like him. His astonishing intelligence, sense of humor, and ability to motivate even the most overwhelmed students was a gift to all those fortunate enough to have met and been taught by him. Unfortunately, today marks the 8 year anniversary of Dr. D’s death. He was murdered in 2008 just months before he was preparing to retire from teaching at St. Mary’s.
His death shocked and tormented his students who were all unprepared for not only his passing but the violent death this gentle and passionate man endured. Therefore, I have become overwhelmed with the passion to share to the world what this man’s life meant to so many of his students. He changed and influenced so many people to better themselves, that the early loss of his life to violence can not tarnish the positive inspiration this man was for his community and the human condition. Audiences need to see the brilliant teacher and mentor Dr. Dennis should be forever honored and immortalized as.
So that’s it, I’m making another feature film and like last time I’ll be asking for a lot of help and offering a lot of opportunities. For starters the script, like the High Potential Program, is rich with diverse characters so I’ll be seeking a diverse cast. If any of you readers know of young ethnic actors please point them in my direction as it’s never too early to begin casting.
Our low budget independent type of filmmaking means we’ll need to use young filmmakers to help crew positions during production, so if you’re a former student of mine please share this with any fellow film school students you know in the Bay Area as it will be a great opportunity to network with both established filmmakers and other up and coming filmmakers just as it was on Love, Concord.
So stay tuned as, again, I’ll aim to post weekly, but I guarantee at least bi-weekly posts up until production in the summer of 2017. Thanks in advance for your support now please follow us on this page or on social media so you won’t miss our next post.
I’ll leave you with the memorial video “….for Dr. D,” (which is the working title for the feature film) I made for him using the hours of HP footage he encouraged me to to record during my time as both student and peer adviser for the program:
-Gustavo Guardado, Jr.