RAINDANCE SHORT FILM DIRECTOR KONRAD THO FIEDLER SPEAKS TO THE BLOG

14:34:00

Good Afternoon Lovelies, 

Long-time no see! How are you all? Are you well? I hope so! I have been at work all week and am now getting the time to share with you all this exciting new interview with the director of the Raindance short film, Running Eagle, Konrad Tho Fiedler, who is just incredible lovelies.


Have a read and get to know the film and director lovelies...

Firstly Can You Explain What The Film Is About For Readers Who May Not Know?
The film is about a young American Indian woman who fleas her sex trafficking captors in the oil fields of ND and fights back the bitter winter along the Hi-Line of the Great Plains to her home in Blackfeet country, Montana. 

Where Did The Idea For The Story Come From? And Why Did You Want To Work On It? 
The story for the film comes from the prologue of the novel Dakota by Gwen Florio. I expanded upon those pages imagining what Judith went through before we arrive with her in the eighteen-wheeler cab in the novel.  The short is the prologue to the feature, a screen adaptation of that novel.  I happened upon the book at Fact & Fiction bookstore in Missoula, Montana while on a day off from a photo assignment covering a trial there.  I had been recently driving across the country through the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota as well as different parts of native country and began to wonder about these two places, forces and how they were intersecting and interacting today. It was 2014 and North American oil production in places like Williston were creating a black gold rush where the old small towns of the area were growing at brake neck pace, man camps for temporary oil workers springing up, male to female ratios 100 to 1.  It became a wild west of sorts in this part of the Great Plains and Gwen’s book captured that world, culture of greed and compromise in such a great way in a stark snow-scape that it was obvious to me that this would be a great story for my first feature. It’s become even more timely these days with what is happening at Standing Rock with the demonstrations, the coming together of so many Native tribes to fight the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Film Has A Great Cast, What Was It About The Chosen Actors That Stuck Out To You?
Thank you.  It is a great cast.  Devery and Heath are the only actors with some experience under their belts.  I was so pleased with the other more inexperienced actors’ contributions as well.  Many have never acted before.  With Devery, we were pointed in her direction through casting consultants, specifically the great Blackfeet actress Lily Gladstone of the recent standout film Certain Women.  When I saw her tape it hit me that she was it.  I think it probably had something to do with how she carried herself.  She is such a natural raw talent. She emotes with subtly and quiet force and the little things like her breathing and walking are so engaging.  She can really hold the viewer in a close-up.  I like to linger and hold with many shots and she has a very strong presence in her eyes, her gaze.  Gravitas beyond even her young age, I think.  Old souls.  With Heath, it was also purely through tape.  His accent was unbeatable because it’s real, and him in that Oklahoma barn with that fly buzzing around him -- no brainer.  On set, he and Devery were such pros.  I feel like we got great work from both of them without needing many takes.  Not sure what that means, but it worked out that way and I’m happy.  He’s such a big teddy bear and a lot of fun.  Both he and Devery and Craig Falcon (cultural consultant and actor) and I had a brief but very productive rehearsal right before in Dev’s hotel room, where we made good changes to dialogue that felt right in the end.  I like to trust actors suggestions to dialogue adjustments.  I ended cutting a lot of the truck cab scene for the greater piece, but I’m really proud of its evolution and it was very important for me as the longest dialogue scene I’ve ever directed. 

Is There A Scene In Which You Are Most Proud Of That The Audience Should Look Out For? Why This Scene?
I guess I’d have to say the scene that we keep coming back to in the film with the buffalo.  It probably has too much to do with the circumstances of that shoot day and place.  It’s just extra special to me all the way through.  It had the obvious logistical complications of working with a lot of large wild animals.  It just unfolded with such real emotions as a shoot and then represented on screen with such grace and power through the help of my Blackfeet friends, with such beauty and handheld instinct from cinematographer Benjamin Kitchens, focus pulling from Leonard Walsh and the entire crew was affected by it all for sure.  Actor Red Plume was such a great presence, and it all culminated with such strength and emotion from Devery.  It still takes my breath away and I’ve seen it way too many times.  Despite the troubles and heartache, I will always remember that day fondly, vividly. 

Congratulations on Being Selected For the Raindance Film Festival! How Does It Feel?
It feels really good, thanks.  I’m just really happy and a bit relieved to have found a home for our premiere that seems like a great fit for Running Eagle.  We’re renegades of sorts and it seems like Raindance has a similar spirit the more I learn about the history of the festival.  They aren’t afraid to take risks and showcase uncompromising work.  I’m excited for the Ken Loach tribute.  Excited to study up, watch a lot of Ken Loach films.  

Are There Any Films At The Festival That You Are Looking Forward To Seeing? 
I am really excited to kind of roll with it and watch as many films as I can.  Can’t wait to learn more about the many that are there. 

What Is Your Favourite Thing About The Raindance Film Festival?
Not sure yet, but from what I’ve read, they seem to be running some fun talks and great seminars. Will have to check some of them out.  Hope to meet some folks interested in helping make the feature happen. 

Finally Can You Tell Us What You Are Currently Working On Or What We Can Expect From You In The Future? 
That feature. Got to get over that hump. More shorts, there’s a pretty well-known sci-fi short story I’d love to adapt into a short.  Oh what a crazy feature that could be too.  Have to see if they’ll let me at the material.  May be too expensive for right now, still paying off the last one.  

Blog Soon, 
Joey X

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