I have the privilege today of interviewing Dan Long from Long Winter Media about their upcoming movie Invention. We discuss their movie, the Spice Girls and getting punched in the face so please take a minute and read and you might even win 2 free movie tickets from Dan if you do. Details below…
1. Tell us a little bit about the premise of your new film.
INVENTION is about a creatively forgetful young girl, Ana, who’s afraid of forgetting her late mother’s voice. So when her inventor father leaves her alone one Saturday, Ana creates an invention from her mother’s old radio that can play back memories as she feeds them to it. But when Ana runs out of good memories, she’s forced to feed the bad ones to the invention… and that’s when trouble begins.
2. If this film was a Spice Girl, which one would it be and why?
Both actresses playing the young girl and mom are red heads, so I think Posh Spice may be the closest to that. Actually, when Carolyn (who plays Ana) saw that Jennica (who plays Mom) was also a red head, she turned to me and said, “By the way, red heads rock.” That was at her first audition…before reading any lines to us. We liked her immediately.
3. What was the inspiration behind making it?
The film began as a chapter within a larger story where I was wrestling with having a father who invents machines (heart assist devices) while I invent stories. Based on reactions from friends, the chapter became a short script that eventually took on themes about grief, loss, and human connection through the stories/memories we share.
I haven’t lost a parent, but I am forgetful. My mom wrote me post-it note reminders when I was a kid. So in the film, Ana’s memories that she feeds to the invention come from post-it notes that Mom used to write her.
4. Within the movie, an “invention” exists that can recreate someone based on the memories you feed it. If someone was applying this purpose to you, what is one memory you would decidedly not want fed into the machine?
I’ll give you two:
1. I’ve only been punched in the face twice. I called a kid a jerk, so he punched me…twice. AND I GOT IN TROUBLE FOR IT.
2. I once told my little brother (when he was maybe eight) that he could hang out with my friend and me. Five minutes later, I ditched him. My mom came home to him crying because I didn’t want to hang out with him. I was a jerk sometimes.
5. You have a kickstarter set up for the movie. Tell us the details and how people can most help.
There are a few ways people can support us, do one or all three:
(1) Visit the Kickstarter page and donate by July 12 if you believe in the project.
(2) Spread the word by sharing the Kickstarter link (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/977574538/invention-1) with friends and family (Facebook, Twitter, email). And
(3) This is an option no one has done yet – Send us your own memory like people in the Kickstarter video. Begin it with, “If I could feed the invention a memory, it would be…”
Email it to Howdy@LongWinterMedia.com.
6. My favorite kickstarter level is the awkward side hug level. When indulging in a collaborative but cordial celebration, do you prefer the fist pump, the exploding knuckles, the high five or the jump and chest bump?
When I started dating Michaela, I brought the High-Five to her friend circle. Based on their stunned faces and my wife’s rolling eyes, I have concluded that the exploding-knuckles are more socially acceptable (and hip) these days than the high-five. But I’m cool with doing the socially awkward thing. High five slap to that!
7. When do you plan to release the movie?
November, just in time for you to get a copy as a stocking stuffer for your wife, Knox.
8. If one movie star came to you and was like, “Hey, I’ll be in your movie for free because I like you and your side hugs so much,” which movie star would you want that to be and briefly describe the role you would have them playing.
Serious version: Emma Thompson as Mom. Mom is 50% real, 25% the projection of an invention, and 25% Ana’s mythical distortions of Mom’s emotions. Few actors can pull off so many facets in one moment, but I think Emma Thompson and our actress Jennica are two who can do just that.
SNL version: The cast of Good Will Hunting, with Matt Damon mentally age-locked at 9 until his psychologist dad (Robin Williams) helps him break free of the troubling childhood memories he has of his mother (Minnie Driver) who died decades ago from mathematical brain overload.
9. Ultimately, what do you want this movie to convey and how will you be distributing it once it is complete?
INVENTION is about the fears children (and adults) have over death. Ultimately, it conveys the role community has in walking that journey with them. So, while we will enter the film in festivals, our larger distribution will be to families that have lost loved ones in hopes that the film can aid in the grieving process.
We’re teaming up with child psychologists and school counselors to create grief resources with the film (i.e. activities for parents to do with their children, articles about child development and how that influences their grief process, etc). We have the support of a number of national organizations, too, that will help us distribute the film.
10. Talk about some other projects you guys have done and where to learn more about Long Winter Media and Invention.
If you visit www.LongWinterMedia.com, you’ll see that we’re Dan and Michaela, a left-brain/right-brain sort of couple. Together, we help individuals, businesses, and non-profits connect their stories with other people through video, web, and graphic design.
We’re currently working on corporate and educational videos, and recently filmed in Omaha, NE for our upcoming documentary titled, “What the Hell is in Omaha?”
Which kickstarter level for this project is your favorite? Check it out here and comment your answer to enter to win a chance for two FREE movie tickets.