The most exciting element of this year's Sun Valley Film Festival has been its so-called "Works-in-Process" showcase. It's a film fan's dream and a reporter's nightmare. While buffs are getting a sneak peek at films before they are "locked" and ready for distribution, it's an agreed-upon preprequisite that journalists aren't invited to the screening. And if they do attend, filmmakers beg them not to critique a film that is far from finished.
Having said that, I can report that the four WIP's at this year's SVFF promise new, original, controversial and—in one instance—groundbreaking stuff.
"Film needs to be a self-fulfilling prophecy," director Randy Redroad told a roomful of budding filmmakers Saturday. "It has to be indefatigable."
Redroad joined his co-director Russell Friedenberg to talk about their recent film—An Unkindness of Ravens—and its journey from production in and around McCall during the summer of 2012, to Saturday night's screening at the Sun Valley Opera House. Friedenberg also wrote the film's screenplay, stars in the movie and co-produced the project with his wife Heather Rae.
Friedenberg and Redroad conceded that they were over-anxious about Saturday's screening, but Friedenberg said it was time to put it in front of an audience—even if it wasn't 100 percent ready.
"At a certain point, you have to just kick your kids out of the house," said Friedenberg. "And the neighbors will let you know if you screwed up."
Speaking of kids, Friedenberg's and Rae's young daughter, Johnny Sequoyah, makes a phenomenal debut in An Unkindness of Ravens.
"I cast our daughter because she refused to go to YMCA camp last summer," said Friedenberg. "And right after we showed the film to a small group of people in Los Angeles, she got an agent and has now been cast in J.J. Abrams' (Lost) new TV series."
The special screening played to a packed house Saturday night.
"I'm really, really emotional right now," said Redroad. "Let's just roll this thing."