As the last day of production on Of Dust and Bones draws to a close, it seems surreal that come Monday, we won't all be back with the same beautiful faces and spirits we've spent the past four weeks with, and won't all be driving that last patch of one-lane road through Joshua Tree to Champagne Ranch for breakfast, with the endless desert sky and hills on one side, and Matt and Lauren's Burning Man RV as our backdrop on the other.
The journey so far hasn't been easy. We've endured heat waves, broken cameras, "misplaced" walkie-talkies, and a scorpion attack on our Director! Lucky for that scorpion, he chose the person least likely to seek retaliation (Jerry would probably have army knife-d it and lit it on fire), and lucky for us, well -- she's Diane -- and brushed it off as if it were a mosquito bite.
But despite the seemingly constant film of dust and sweat that coated everything and everyone on set, we'd be hard-pressed to look back on this experience with anything but fondness. This was, and continues to be, a film born out of love of storytelling and cinematography in its rawest form. Our DP, TJ Hellmuth, may have put it best:
[This film] has been not just a reminder of why I work in film, but it basically is the actual reason I chose my career in cinematography. I'm so proud of the work that everybody has put into this austere beauty and while we're hustling to get everything done today I'm trying to savor every last moment of working with all my incredible collaborators on this project.
-- TJ Hellmuth, Director of Photography
What has made this film what it is, and what has driven every collaborator on this project to do his and her part to their utmost for 12+ hours a day has been ... our set mascot Tennyson. But in all seriousness, what's made us excited to come to work everyday and too excited to sleep every night after getting back to our houses or hotels or tents (or treehouse -- hi Brant!) has been the knowledge that we're here making the film we set out to make. It's not a superhero movie, and there aren't any pyrotechnics -- although there is fire -- but rather, Of Dust is the kind of movie that made each and every one of us fall in love with film and filmmaking in the first place. This is the kind of movie rooted in the beauty and ugliness of love and loss and the shared human emotions and experiences that we've all felt in one form or another in our lives. So while we leave the desert now -- one car or truck or motorcycle at a time -- to go sleep under some air conditioning on high for a few days straight, we've all left a little bit of ourselves in the desert.
As our most loyal supporters, we want to thank you for your continued support. This film quite literally wouldn't be possible without you, and we'd love to keep you updated on the next stages of this movie. The film that has already begun to make its way to the editing bay, and our team is already hard at work laying the groundwork for marketing and distributing this film.
And we would love your help.
Please share your favorite shots from our Instagram, featuring behind the scenes photos from set as taken by cast and crew alike (@ofdustandbones, #OfDust); tweet to us or about us at @rebelheartfilm; like us on the Of Dust and Bones Facebook page; and encourage friends, family, and fellow lovers of film to join our Newsletter at http://www.ofdustandbones.com/join-us/. We'll continue to post videos and photos from the past four weeks of production, and keep you updated on the latest in post-production, film festivals (fingers crossed!), and beyond.
Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts, and we can't wait to share this movie with you!
The Cast and Crew of Of Dust and Bones