Rogue Cinema Sleepover Girls – July 2011
East of Nowhere Pin-Up Special
Having followed Rogue Cinema for sometime, the filmmakers of “East of Nowhere” were inspired by the Sleepover Girls section. Co-Director Nichole Root thought that it’d be a great way to have the leading ladies of the film in completely different looks, but surrounded in a similar gritty atmosphere and locations that the girls are often in throughout the film.
The phrase that has been thrown around set on this film for it’s look is “dirty pretty” meaning, although we aren’t filming in the most exotic or breathtaking locations, we’ve attempted to find the tragic beauty of those locations that mirror the tragic beauty of life’s complications that the film explores.
Root, along with Co-Director Matthew McCrory and Writer/Producer Kiowa Ackley, quickly began putting together plans for this photo shoot. The film has a large cast and the 7 actresses involved were eager at the opportunity to showcase a completely different look than that of there characters in the film. The Producers quickly looked to East of Nowhere’s Makeup Artist Cara Digate to transform these ladies into the lovely Pin-Ups they became that day. Photographer Marianne Bay had to work with several actresses, locations and costume changes in very little time and did an amazing job on the photos. Root arranged much of the costumes and look of each of the girls herself and even the actresses helped each other out given the high amount of work to be done and little time. In all, it wasn’t much different than the stresses we found making the film, always being pressed for time.
At the end of the day, everyone was exhausted, but the photos are turning out amazing and a behind the scenes video of the day’s events is almost complete. Making a film with little known stars and crew members and a tight budget, you have to be able to think on your feet and come up with some quick marketing strategies to stand out, we thought this would be the perfect solution.
Info on the film:
Based on a collection of true stories from the filmmakers themselves, the film delves deep into the emptiness felt by all of its characters. The small unnamed town where the film is set is much like one you’d find anywhere in the heart of Middle America, if you looked hard enough. Unlike the usual portrayal of small towns in cinema, “East of Nowhere” focuses on the archaic nature of such a town and its inhabitants where even those with the brightest of ambitions find no way out and how people surrounded by nothingness and the lack of chaos can pit themselves against each other and create their own chaos.
Making and funding an independent film in the Midwest is no easy feat. We have been very fortunate to get the support of various businesses and individual sponsors, but most of this film was paid for out of the meager pockets of its Producers and our minimal equipment access.
We wanted to make a movie about people that don’t have the worst possible circumstances and hardships, but about capable people who supply their own problems and just get comfortable with the consequences. Often in cinema the goal is escapism and happy endings that rarely mimic actual experiences. We felt like the grit of this story is something people often don’t see in traditional cinema and we felt it was important to bring that experience to the screen and challenge the tradition. Cinema has told some amazing stories of triumph over hardship, which is commendable in its own right, but everyone can relate to dealing with the issues and struggles of everyday life and how our reactions impact those issues.
We filmed a majority of the movie during the summer of 2010, knowing we’d all be off to find jobs in the industry in a few years, it was going to be the last chance we would have to create a film that was wholly our own and truly independent with no studio influence from the onset.
Given the dramatic circumstances the characters find themselves in throughout the script, we knew that if we didn’t have the right cast that this movie could not be believably made. We faced the challenge of finding young actors who could not only carry the emotional impact of the film’s scenes, but also make these characters charismatic. To our surprise, we had amazing turnouts for auditions and were able to put together a truly authentic cast. There are no elaborate set pieces or special effects, just the story of 6 young adults whose biggest struggle in life is their own apathy.
Link to the Teaser Trailer for “East of Nowhere” as well as some Cast and Crew Interview videos:
5 Years Ago, a tragedy changed the lives of Deacon and his friends forever. Now, Deacon returns to his small hometown; a place where everyone knows each other and no one really seems to have left. His best friend Marlon has fallen deeper into a lifestyle filled with random acts of violence, substance abuse, and criminal behavior and he is all too willing to bring Deacon into that lifestyle.
While rediscovering the monotony his hometown has to offer, Deacon meets Lydia and soon realizes that Marlon’s infatuation with her has begun to dangerously impact her life and her relationship with her boyfriend Dave. Everyone begins to turn on each other and the secrets and resentments they keep lead them towards a chaotic and devastating climax.
Bios for Actresses:
Mia Favela: Mia Favela auditioned for the role of Lydia in East of Nowhere after being encouraged by her friends who saw a casting call flyer. Her audition wowed the Producers and Casting Director with its authenticity. Her character, Lydia, becomes the object of affection for the 3 male leads in the film so it was difficult to find just the right girl, until we found Mia. She had no prior on screen or other acting credits but has since appeared in promotional campaigns and modeling work. Mia has also been involved with music from a young age and has publically performed in a variety of different venues when she was the lead singer for Looking for Astronauts.
Makenna de Vaux: While East of Nowhere marks Makenna’s 3rd on screen credit, she has been acting in theater since she was a child. Her former credits include Grease (2005), Crazy For You (2007), Beauty and the Beast (2008), No Sermon for Potluck on Sunday (2009), and she was a News Sentinel Nominee for Drama for Joesph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. She starred in a 2009 music video for Unlikely Alibi, in the independent experimental feature Beneath Shadows and was a regular on the web series In Good Time. She plays the young care free mother of two boys in the film who’s decisions don’t always have the best outcomes.
Amelia Windom: Amelia Windom has studied acting at Indiana Purdue University, St. Francis, and will be going on to pursue her BFA at Ball State University. Throughout auditions and callbacks Amelia read for every female character in the film and she was able to switch it up very well. She has endless amounts of charisma so she fit the role of Gina perfectly. She recently starred opposite East of Nowhere co-star Andrew Meredith in the short film Unfortunate and on-stage in Anton in Show Business.
Kayla Crance: Kayla Crance plays, Missy; the acid tongued short tempered younger sister of Deacon in the film. Kayla Crance grew up in the Midwest where she was actively involved in theatre for more than 15 years. She fell in love with theatre and performing after appearing in her first show, leading her to major in theatre in college. Her involvement in theatre does not stop with appearing onstage; she has been involved in many aspects behind the scenes as well including lighting, sound, costume and makeup design, set design and construction, stage managing, and even directing. She also worked as a stage technician for two and a half years where she learned how to survive long days solely on beef jerky and Mountain Dew. Kayla has a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Crance recently began exploring her interest in film and television, appearing in independent films such as East of Nowhere, Inferno: A Short Film, and Three Tears on Bloodstained Flesh before heading to Los Angeles to further pursue a career in acting. Kayla’s film and television ambitions are not limited to acting; she enjoys writing short films and screenplays and would eventually like to get around to directing and producing as well.
Toni Stanely: Toni Stanely plays the role of Shauna’s back-stabbing friend Jenny who is married to the local drug dealer. East of Nowhere marks Toni Stanely’s acting debut. She has wanted to act for a long time and is currently pursuing additional acting and modeling work. She also recently starred in a promotional video for Knew Frame Productions.
Stephanie Adams: Stephanie Adams plays the often incoherent and irresponsible soon to be stepmother to Deacon and Missy in the film. She has modeled and acted for a variety of Print and Television Campaigns including Victoria’s Secret, Pamper’s, and Igg E-Threads. She also had a supporting role in Season of Darkness with Fangoria.
* Photos courtesy of Marianne Bay from Marianne Bay Photography