This weekend White Knuckles – a film by sabi will be playing at the Derby City Film Festival in Louisville, Kentucky on Sunday at 1:00pm Eastern. Both Larry Strauss and Martie Ashworth have been nominated for best actor and best actress respectively for their portrayal of William and Julie in the film, directed by yours truly. It was a labor of love for all involved, and I’m excited to also share with you a wonderful review from industry veteran Carol Green on White Knuckles.

William and Julie. Been Married 40 years. Can't take another day.

“WHITE KNUCKLES took me by surprise and has stayed with me ever since I visited the home of Julie (Martie Ashworth) and William (Larry Strauss) to see how they were doing. At least the way it feels in the aftermath of viewing a film by Sabi that takes us into the world of an older married couple whose time together could have, should have, maybe would have brought them closer after all these years. Instead, they are walking on egg shells, sitting on pins and needles, and closing their fists until their knuckles turn white with the frustration of a marriage gone awry. They are in pain.

Like visiting old friends or neighbors we’ve known for years, WHITE KNUCKLES invites us into a home filled with plants cared for by a wife who tenderly removes each aphid and a husband who could care less. As visitor/moviegoers, we are allowed an intimacy far greater than what is shared between Julie and William. And yet, by our witness, we come to explore the moments, the misses, the what-could-have-beens of theirs and our own lives.

White Knuckles - a film by sabi

WHITE KNUCKLES resonates deep within us. We become lost in our own reverie, falling in and out of the story as our emotions take us to places we often leave boarded up. And yet, we return to revel in Julie’s luminous smile, to support her in her quandary, to rejoice when her friend Dora (Sue Gaetzman) arrives for coffee and a little levity. Dora has no idea that her casual conversation has provided her friend with a DIY scheme that Julie can easily create right there in her kitchen to manifest a relatively quick and dirty resolution to the marriage. Oh, what evil lurks behind the gingham curtains…

Kevin Shah and his collective known as Sabi no doubt created an environment of such trust that actors were comfortable enough to reveal the essence of their characters with brutal honesty. I know these people. I knew these people. We all do. They are our mirrors.

Days after seeing WHITE KNUCKLES, I remember my late mother, my former husband, the road taken and the road not taken. How did I end up here at this chapter of my life? It must have been the kind of little, incremental events and their effect on my path that lead me here. And like, Julie and William, what’s next?

If film is art, what is its purpose? To look at a painting and walk away or to feel something, to remember that feeling long after that moment is gone? With the experience of WHITE KNUCKLES, it is to see powerful actors commit to their characters and their audience, to enjoy beautiful cinematography and music and intimate direction rare in mainstream offerings, and to suffer with these people whose lives reflect our own.

Carol Green Producer, Publicist

A Short Film About Letting Go: World Premiere – a sabi pictures memoir

A Short Film About Letting Go world premiered at the Dances With Films 2010 festival in Los Angeles to a crowded audience gathered for the Fusion Shorts program at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 theater in Hollywood. This film has achieved beyond our expectations financially & creatively, and the life-long relationships forged by taking a chance on this art film has expanded the Sabi family and our brand of films in immeasurable ways.

A Short Film About Letting Go: World Premiere – a sabi pictures memoir from The Sabi Company on Vimeo.

All of us at Sabi Pictures are proud of this film and the talent behind it & in the coming weeks we will continue to get the word out there about this work of art. A Short Film About Letting Go recently played at the Hollyshorts Film Festival on Sunset in Hollywood, as well as at the Sacramento Film Festival. Letting Go is also on DVD with 40+ minutes of bonus content at cinefist.com

This sabi pictures memoir features J. Erik Reese, Daniel Carmody, Joshua Nitschke, Mark Ridley, Christopher Sowers & Aqua Yost. Narration is by J. Erik Reese. Music is by Deklun and what you hear was composed for the film.

Kevin K. Shah www.sabipictures.com

BOSS OF ME – A WEB SERIES by SABI

Boss of Me tells the story of a new Creative Director and Producer of Marketing and Distribution that is sent down from “corporate” to manage the newly acquired independent feature film production company Sabi Pictures. What ensues is a systematic restructuring (“Side-Shifting” as the star calls it) by Bret Donovan to the chagrin of the employees. But Bret is also an idea-man, and he alone believes his ideas are the one thing that can keep morale up and save the company.

A WEB SERIES FOR OUR FANS

It was created to be distributed on the web for free for our fans, with a healthy amount of humor and poking at both ourselves and this business we’re in. With all the talk about how Independent Film is dead (which it is not by the way) we felt a show like this couldn’t come at a better time — and setting a show in a production company was ripe for funny material.

Click here for the :60 BOSS OF ME TV Spot:

CREATING THE SERIES: Co-Creating the Boss of Me web series with John T. Woods was a convergence of several factors. First and foremost, we (at Sabi Pictures) were looking for a fun way to connect with fans, and specifically our films and our company and who we are — with those that watch and enjoy our content. Reach out to fans and learn who they are — and at the same time (hopefully) entertaining them. Thus, the series extends out into Facebook, where the star of the show (Bret Donovan) has a very active Facebook profile. Often ideas offered by fans are certainly food for thought for future seasons…

Bret Donovan in deep thought.

We are excited to get some recent press from PopCultureMonster — where the :90 spot is featured exclusively for it’s first week of release. Exclusive interviews, pictures of the Cobb-Boom Helmet in action (see below) — as well as a write-up about the series is featured in the article on their site.

Please check out POPCULTUREMONSTER.COM & the article.

Our hope with Boss of Me is simply to stimulate discussion, interaction and as Bret says ‘smiles.” The entire notion of our having intentionally crafted ‘branded content’ was just a bonus — not the intention or the goal. We certainly do want more attention on the work of Sabi, but practically speaking, we just wanted to create something that wasn’t expensive so that we could offer it for free to our amazing fans without having to justify a return.

THE PROCESS: We shot everything on a Canon 7D, and used the prototype for a Cobb-Boom Helmet (which is an audio booming aid that you wear on your head invented by Jamie Cobb) to record sound. We used Pluraleyes to sync sound & Final Cut Pro to do the rest. Of course, these minimal resources isn’t ideal but it well suited our needs for keeping this small and on its feet. Often the shooter was wearing the Cobb-Boom Helmet to get the sound while also getting the picture — which aside from getting the job done, was a funny sight to see.

BOSS OF ME key art

Much of the dialogue is improvised, and was guided by myself and John T. Woods through several phone calls, text messages with jokes, emails and a rough outline before going in. But it’s all really Bret Donovan. Bret was a find for us like no other, and of course there would be no show without him. His sincerity on and off camera is what keeps me as a co-creator interested in exploring new ideas and avenues while the camera is already rolling. The real investment with this series was our time and energy — so it was important to keep it a fun (and very fast) working atmosphere. We hope this translated into the series.

Boss of Me is certainly not for everyone — and it’s not something we were intending on getting on something like HBO for wide release — but at the very most we hope that fans subscribe & interact and want to see more (and at the very least — we hope they find it funny. In parts, anyway.) We look forward to your feedback!

Click here for the PILOT & entire BOSS OF ME series

INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF LOS ANGELES DUST REQUEST: A WORLD PREMIERE A SABI PICTURES MEMOIR by Kevin K. Shah

Starring Kevin K. Shah, Surya Chandra & Zak Forsman WHY THE INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF LOS ANGELES? In my humble opinion, there is a very short list of second tier film festivals that pay careful and much needed attention to both audience and filmmaker experience. The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (@IFFLA) is on this list – and anyone that has screened there or attended would agree. Executive Director Christina Marouda and her staff & army of volunteers provided better-than-red-carpet treatment to both emerging artists and the VIP’s — all the while planning excellent parties, awards ceremonies, networking sessions and highlighting everything we love about Indian culture, music, art and movies (both independent and studio-scale).

DUST REQUST: A WORLD PREMIERE: We made a nano-budget interdependent art film called Dust Request: A Last Will and Testament which was finished earlier this year at Sabi Pictures & the film was shot entirely in New Zealand. It was based on Arjun Chandra’s Last Will and Testament & the film debut’s Surya Chandra in a quiet, simple emotional experience. The film highlights one woman’s journey into nature to fulfill her husband’s final supernatural request. My favorite audience-related memory was a couple letting me know how effected they were by watching the film and how they’ve been talking about what they wish for their ashes after they pass. The wife told me she and her husband were holding each other’s hand tightly as the film was playing. Comments like that fill the well.

PREMIERING YOUR FILM AT IFFLA: I was most impressed that the festival provided rich promotional opportunities (including a radio interview I was invited to with Joe Sutton (for the Heart of Hollywood show) as well as 1-on-1 sessions with executives and agents such as Caleb Franklin from CAA. Regardless of whether one made a short or a doc or a feature — the filmmakers had equal access in an atmosphere where like minded artists and individuals can converge and share inspirations. I was thankful and glad to be accompanied by the star Surya Chandra (@suryachandra) who flew for the premiere from Washington D.C. and Sabi producer Zak Forsman (@zakforsman). A week of festivities, two screenings, great parties, a stack of business cards and several people we’re glad to be a friends with… I’m not sure what else a working-class filmmaker should desire from a film festival? The exposure to films that would otherwise never find themselves in a multi-plex alone makes attending the festival worth it — but the extra care and attention to both filmmaker and audience experience really makes the IFFLA stand out.

For me, hearing the music by R. Carlos Nakai with the imagery on the big screen & seeing the poster up at the Arclight — and ‘a film by sabi’ & logo prominently displayed in the theater before the film was a shameful & secret delight. How else but through legit film festivals & a concerted effort to promote your own art can we as filmmakers get word out there about our work? The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles for Sabi Pictures forged a springboard for other festival & audience interest in the film — as well as a wealth of sold DVD’s from our cinefist.com site. In a large part because of the exposure generated by the Indian Film Festival in Los Angeles, Sabi Pictures glad to announce Dust Request is continuing on to the Bollywood and Beyond 2010 film festival in Stuttgart, Germany in July.

To premiere the film alongside such significant works as The Sun Behind the Clouds and Women Rebel by Kiran Deol to a cultured audience twice at the Arclight Theaters on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles — it’s an experience that every passionate filmmaker deserves. With an average attendance of 7,000 and steadily growing — IFFLA has completed it’s 8th year & I look forward to attending next year. This festival here in the heart of LA is where Indian filmmakers and films about India would want to premiere.

Kevin K. Shah Director

DUST REQUEST – A WORLD PREMIERE AT INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL LOS ANGELES – a sabi pictures memoir There was random moment of fun when I was standing with Hash Patel (who provides the voice in the film for Arjun Chandra’s Last Will and Testament) — a staff member walked by and said, “They’re ready for you on the red carpet now.” Hash looked at me and said, “It’s not every day you hear something that. Enjoy it.” This video highlights some our personal memories from that experience.

The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles 2010 & Sabi Pictures: Dust Request – A Last Will and Testament.

(c) Sabi Pictures.

Directed by Kevin K. Shah (@drmental)

INDIE THRILLERS: 3 Things you Likes about Thrillers and 3 Things you Dislike.

As we’re continuing to develop Falling Rock at Sabi Pictures, we’re looking to our fans and audiences for creative input and interaction, in hopes to better guide the creative team  as we embark together across multiple media platforms to tell this story.

We’d love to begin by asking you to contribute to the following list (please add your own).  We are particularly interested in your Dislikes, so as to avoid them with Falling Rock – a Thriller.

For Example, my responses: 

3 Things You like about Thrillers.

 1. Thrillers can make me feel real FEAR in thinking the worst, while HOPING for the best.

2. Thrillers can deeply explore the darker side of the human condition.

3. Thrillers can stay with me long after the film is over through the experience of suspense.

 3 Things You don’t like about Thrillers.

 1.  Thrillers that exploit violence gratuitously, unrealistically, and sadistically – causing trauma and diminishing of our capacity to empathize with real suffering.

2.  Thrillers devoid of any real meaning, hope, or possibility of redemption.

3.  Thrillers that use effects, music and shock-editing to manipulate its audience into thrills rather than suspense, mystery, and a willing suspension of horror & disbelief.

 

I would love to read your list!  

Please reach me here, or on Facebook or @drmental

Best,

 

Kevin

 

www.sabipictures.com

Sabi Pictures is pleased to announce the production of ten new films in Sweden, from director J. Erik Reese.

Sverige: a series of short films by Sabi Pictures

Sabi Pictures is excited to announce the start on production of a new series overseas slated for completion in 2009. From the creative team that brought you Moments and Take 2 comes a series of films shot in Sweden that were highly influenced by Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Decalogue.

The starring role is Mikael Ayele (This Can’t be Heaven, Elle’s Kite, Tired of Dancing by Myself).

Creative Producing is Daniel Carmody (Take 2, Moments),And creative team includes Joshua Nitschke (Take 2, Moments), Kevin K. Shah (White Knuckles) and Zak Forsman (Heart of Now).

“Sa – veh – ree – ya. Now try it over and over again… you’ll sound like a perfect Swede! Sverige simply means Sweden… These episodic series revolve around the character Jonas (Mikael Ayele). Inspired by Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Decalogue.

Sverige embodies events that take place in one area. In Sverige, a young man arrives in a small town in Sweden where he resides. There he begins to find himself changing with life: pain & growth.

–J. Erik Reese

Understandably, many actors are simply uncomfortable with the idea of using your own words for the character, but what should be happening is that the director and the actor are together finding the character’s voice.  

The Screenplay: Discarding the Words for Dramatic Improvisation in Interdependent Films.

Freeing oneself from the confines of the words on the page sometimes makes for a more authentic route for the actor that seeks to explore and refine his/her craft.  Often actors feel this process is more artistic, more “experiential”, and ultimately, more fulfilling when executed well, with a director that nurtures the kind of atmosphere necessary for good dramatic improvisation to occur.  What’s fascinating, is that often when it’s all said and done (and the film is put together) most of the beats and the words that were true in the original locked script, end up on screen anyway – but filtered through the heart and soul of the actor/artist.   And most of the scenes that never rang completely true – now do.  I wonder what it would be like to reverse-write White Knuckles or Heart of Now (which was a terrific script written by Zak Forsman all on it’s own) – just to see how the words have changed and/or stayed the same.  I’ve never gotten around to doing something like this, but someday maybe a huge Sabi fan will transcribe our films.  It would be interesting at the most – the final film is the ultimate tale:  what happens on set, and what is carved in the edit – is the truest story.

However, back to writing a screenplay to discard it:  in discussing problems that might happen during Directing Improvisation by asking your actors to discard their words, there are instances in directing improvisation in interdependent films where an honest performance is given and the emotions and words shared are true — but the beat is not honest for the character at that particular point in the story.

EARLY EMOTION

With improvisation, actors tend to courageously dive into the conflict head on – floodgates tend to open early on for an actor once they get the hang of it (and a lot comes out in particular scenes at the top of the production schedule where critical emotions that are to be explored later are felt “too early”).  That is ok.  Everything is useful.  Chemistry that will be explored later is sometimes put down here as a ground-work, or a foundation.   And I believe this happens generally, if the scenes’ intentions & objectives are not structured properly.  Again, that is ok.  Every production is rusty at the start, particularly on feature films heavy with dramatic improvisation.  There are ways to prepare for this.  Rehearsals, meetings, and call back-auditions are a way to kick start everything (if each are done as if we were shooting the scene).

With White Knuckles we had a full rehearsal with the actors doing character exercises – and it happened a) on set, b) in the scene, c) with lights, d) with camera and sound — i.e. full on.  And still we called it a rehearsal (though we were prepared to use it somewhere if it was needed – it wasn’t).  The idea was to get moving, slowly – pushing the train the first few inches…  

With Heart of Now, we got things rolling with what we called “Pre-Shoots” – 5 days of shooting with a bare-bones crew – which I think helped us ease into production (Note: there was also a million other things the core team – Jamie, Zak, Kester & Sam did to help the actors transition into this feature that would last 30 amazing and memorable days of everyone’s life – like White Knuckles).  

HONEST BUT NOT TRUE OVERALL

But when discarding the words (which takes some time at the start) there are times — fascinating moments where the actors have a legitimate feeling about something and go with it – but it is incongruent to the journey of the character in a way that would alter the story to its detriment.   I.e. change the direction of the story too far in an unrecoverable direction.   Sometimes it’s compelling, real, honest, and exciting – but just not right for the overall arc of the story (which the director and producer and editor carries).  Sometimes it is right, even though it was totally unplanned – and we must adjust the story around the moment accordingly.  But again – if it is not honest for the overall journey of the story – or if the new material doesn’t excite and challenge the director to explore a new direction with everyone & the entire production schedule – then it must be lost immediately.   Cut, clear our minds, re-set, move on.*  

WHEN TO CUT, KEEP ROLLING

*It is important for the director here to be as quick and decisive as possible about where to stop an actor during improv, i.e. when to re-set rather than give a note and keep rolling, trying something different.  On one hand all the previous takes are explorations of the take/moments that will be used (and should be allowed to play out) – on the other hand, a director doesn’t want to exhaust an actor (and acting for dramatic improvisation for all actors involved is physically exhausting).   Also, too many different options without clear direction leads to confusion (for the actor on set, and the editor in the bay).

Of course, this happens (exhaustion, confusion) – and there is no way of avoiding it.  8-10 hour days max for the actors I believe is a great help to heavily improvised shooting – to stave off the exhaustion factor.  But I say this to say, it’s important for a director to be fully aware of what will and will not be used in the final edit – on set – as best as possible.  And rather than cutting these moments off too soon – in directing improvisation, it helps to let them play out, let the emotions rise and fall again naturally.  Especially when discarding the words of the screenplay.   There are awkward silences in these moments that are real and could otherwise never have been staged. There are glances of a deeper understand, and the struggling to find the right words.  All of this is real.  And conversely, there are often beats that happen just after an intense improvisation scene where the actor may say the perfect line — out of real exhaustion — long after a conventional filmmaker would call ‘cut’.  A glance often says everything without all the words before it, and to help ensure we get these kinds of looks when directing improv – we often do what we call a “silent take” after all the other takes are completed.  We did this quite a bit with White Knuckles and it helped us tremendously in the edit (though it’s not necessary if you’re actors don’t rush through improv – as in comedic improv).  

Often, that little tiny silent beat where the camera kept rolling might end up being the only part used in the final edit, if that is what is honest in that moment – and right for the overall story.

It’s hard to argue against the fact that the process of making a worthwhile interdependent art film begins in the audition.  When it comes to the actors that will ultimately play the part for a film by Sabi – we hope that not a moment is wasted for either the filmmaker or the cast, and we hope that the casting process is creative and insightful, and useful to all parties involved.  

posted by Christopher Sowers (“Moments”, a film by Sabi) in the Sabi Forum:

Christopher: “I found the audition process at Sabi very intriguing. Auditions can be very uncomfortable experiences but that wasn’t the case here. It was a very warm and welcoming environment. There was no vicious casting assistant staring at me with daggers and I got the sense that I was more than valid as a human being. Ahhhhh…. back to the real world.”

Chris, thanks for posting. It’s nice hearing about what an actor feels and thinks during our auditions at sabi.  We try to keep them warm and inviting (and creative) as often as possible – and also we try to keep them useful to both the filmmakers as well as the actors that graciously share their time with us.  There are times that this process doesn’t go as planned, and there have been people we have collaborated with that initially didn’t fully understand why auditions at sabi pictures are handled so delicately and carefully. 

THE ACTOR:

Often it is our duty to inform them immediately, that quite simply, the Actor is to be regarded as the star from the moment they walk through the door and should be treated with kindness.  We let them know that the actor that is ultimately cast — is the guide that holds the key to unlocking the deeper, inner workings of the character.

When Sabi sets out to make a film (and begins the casting process) we’re ultimately not looking for a pre-conceived notion of the character that already resides in our head (if we were satisfied with the depiction in our head, why make a movie?) Rather, I believe at this stage, sabi’s casting process tries to find the actor that can teach us more about the character we’re creating… real, human details and insights into fears, emotions, and hidden qualities that we couldn’t have otherwise known. 

These details, and what happens in the casting process (which is really the first rehearsal) often find their way into the film – and every moment during auditions and rehearsals help develop the chemistry of emotions that we will circle around for the duration of production. Most importantly, the audition begins the actor-director relationship. 

EXAMPLES:

It was amazing watching how Zak integrated things he saw, tried and learned from the audition process of “Heart of Now” right into the production phase of the film.  I too changed scenes to better fit who Julie and William were becoming when I had finally found Martie Ashworth and Larry Strauss for “White Knuckles”.  The insights that Kelly and Marion brought to Zak and vice versa during the auditions created a bridge.   And to see J. Erik Reese and gang do it once again in Moments with you, Aqua, Mark and Malcolm, was once more – a truly remarkable process to watch*. 

All three films were ultimately enhanced because of this attention to an otherwise mundane, and often cold, calculating experience (as you described).  

We learned a great deal from the process of a film called “Blue in Green”, which was a feature that Zak and I produced along with 5 others in a collaborative called Unica, and under the auspices of producer Ron Austin and Poet/Journalist Gabriel Meyer.   In “Blue in Green”, we didn’t even have auditions – we just staged group meetings where everyone discussed issues personal, social and spiritual – and then six weeks of rehearsals.  Both the group sessions and the rehearsals were critical to the telling of the deeply improvised film.

In the cast of “Blue in Green”, Unica had found the story of the film with the actors that stayed – and Unica developed these unique characters in complete collaboration with the actors that would play them.   In my opinion, it was a completely successful experiment.

*I want to reiterate that the processes described above may be unique, but are by no means new or original or exclusive to Sabi Pictures or Unica or otherwise. 

EXPLORATION:

Really, whenever a filmmaker casts for a project they are deeply passionate about, they intuitively settle on the final actors for the same reasons, using the same techniques involuntarily. 

The real fundamental difference lies in the amount of exploration that happens after the casting decisions are made.   And the extent to which Sabi intends to explore in our films sets us apart (in my humble opinion) from most projects that are made more ‘conventionally’. 

The exploration – going deeper – is something that we try to do from the very beginning.  The peeling away at the character, at their emotions, at their deepest source of suffering – is pretty much continuous (and necessary to the success of the experiment) from initial casting to the final edit. 

 When casting for our films, Sabi filmmakers are often looking for an actor that brings to life the heart and soul of the character by giving us insight (or creating the right questions) which we then filter and translate into the story/characters/dialogue.  It’s an organic (or ‘natural’) process in our estimation – and there is never a script that doesn’t change because of auditions and rehearsals.  Simply put, it’s about respect. 

Respect for one’s fellow artist.  Respect for what the actor brings to an art film, and lastly, respect for a process that seeks to uncover fundamental and transcendent truths about the character through a collaboration between the director, all of the rest of the crew, and most importantly – the heart, soul and mind of the artist/actor.

Of course, we sincerely hope that you (the actor/artist) can let us know what we can do better, as all of the above is a constantly evolving, refining process.

And we’re always learning…

White Knuckles was born out of a deep desire to explore a story with a group of artists through the collaborative medium of film – and to explore it as much as possible while the story is happening – while it’s on its feet in production – while the characters fully inhabit the actors.

The means of accomplishing this would be a team of artists that could invest themselves personally in the shared vision of the project, and could work as a unified whole that could shift, adapt and adjust whenever the story changed based on the flexible nature of capturing dramatic improvisation. This could only be accomplished by maintaining a collective atmosphere of safety and trust with the crew, filmmakers and the cast. An atmosphere where the actors could feel like they can fully explore their characters without any judgments or self-direction. A creative space where the actors can go deeper in the improvisational present moment, and the filmmakers and the crew can support and guide them along. A truly interdependent process where there are no idle hands on set – a place where everyone is involved, and each member on the production is truly critical.

With White Knuckles, we wanted to see what would happen if we wrote a script and then took it away at some point during production – when the film begins to breathe on its own. We wanted to see “what happens with the characters” and we wanted to see “where will the story go?” It was in a large part about curiousity. Though we had a screenplay that would be great to shoot – we thought that perhaps guiding the improvisation initially, we could fully let go later and produce real surprises and true-to-life dialogue and moments that could not have otherwise been planned.

To do this in a drama that goes to the places White Knuckles does – it took the safety net of the rest of the cast and crew to make this work. Really, it took each other – and every individual working together as a unified whole to make this real “Interdependent” film happen.

There is a point in every soulful, artful film production where the actors seem to fully inhabit the characters, sooner or later. On set, sometimes this happens early – other times certain key aspects of the character emerge later depending on the circumstance. But ultimately – there is a collaborative search for truth that makes ‘a film by Sabi Pictures’ – and if the film is honest (as I believe White Knuckles is) than perhaps it will be blessed to find its audience.

It is a rare group of talented filmmakers that converged to create White Knuckles. And what we have in this film, is in my humble opinion, a true example of interdependent filmmaking. As filmmakers – we all simply wanted to be able to let go of pages and pre-conceived notions and rather listen very closely to what comes out of (and what comes from within the soul) of the character. We wanted to hear an authentic voice, and wanted to see the story that was the deeper, more meaningful, more real version (than the duplication of the intentions on the page). We want to see the sum that is greater than it’s parts – a piece of real art emerging from our collective creative contributions together.

This is ultimately the collective desire of a collaborative group of artists working on an Interdependent Film. Interdependent Filmmaking is the kind of filmmaking where one uses “us” and “we” and “our” more often than they use “I” when describing the process of making that film. We think that White Knuckles is unique because of the interdependent nature of the shoot. The WK website’s “Creative” section details examples of how many of us together collaborated on this film, and there will also be some behind the scenes posted to get a look at the faces that made it happen.

As with every interdependent film, there are so many hands on the work that it is hard to summarize or describe the process of each member that took part – but each person’s contribution made the film possible. And though the credits on the film will generally reveal every person’s name that contributed – there are so many more roles that were filled by each member than can possibly be listed.

Calling White Knuckles and interdependent film is a way to say Thank You – to acknowledge that the film could not be possible without the entire interwoven web of creative contributions, a network of interdependent people, that all get behind one idea. It’s a beautiful thing when it works, and it is the most fulfilling kind of filmmaking. And Interdependent Filmmaking is the evolution of the art form, in my humble opinion.

I’m honored to have been a part of this process at Sabi Pictures. Sure it is an ever-changing and an ever-evolving process with each new story – but the unique way of making each film bears one thing in common between everything we’ve made: there is simply no room and no time for inflated egos when a group of artists want to venture into the great unknown of making a film together. There is only room to learn from one another, for true collaboration, for support of each other under any circumstance, and for the collective desire to see the story through to the end no matter what.

We had a very talented group of individuals that came together to bring you the interdependent film White Knuckles – as well as Heart of Now. We guided the stories to the end rather than pushed them, and what resulted from the process thus far may move you, and perhaps even surprise you.

Kevin K. Shah Interdependent Filmmaker from White Knuckles