Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Vision Realized, a Passion Fulfilled

Every writer's dream is to have his or her words come alive.

For novelists, the goal is to know that their words are leaping from the page to come alive for the reader. For screenwriters, it's to experience those words both visually and viscerally, as actors both make them their own and render them universal.

In each cases, having one's inner vision be realized in a way that others can share is gratifying beyond words.

Having my first novel, The MoonQuest, published and acclaimed -- by readers and critics, and through multiple awards -- fulfilled the first dream.

Now, with The MoonQuest on its way to the big screen, the second dream is on a rocket-charged trajectory to realization.

A major milestone on that path was realized today with the announcement, by production company Anvil Springs Entertainment, of the cast for our "sneak preview" trailer, a 20-minute film that will include scenes not only from The MoonQuest, but also from each of its two sequels, The StarQuest and The SunQuest.

You can see our cast in the above image. You can find out which part each is playing by visiting our "cast album" on the Anvil Springs Facebook page. And you can hear them introduce themselves and tell you why they're so excited by their characters and this project on our IndieGoGo page (click on the "gallery" link).

No, this is neither the feature nor the final cast. But it's this short film that will inspire investors to finance the feature. And given the incredible talent and crew we've assembled, I have no doubt that we're well on the way to a full-length, big-screen MoonQuest movie. Soon.

Our 14 cast members for this trailer don't know this, but when I stood up on Saturday to introduce myself and The Q'ntana Trilogy stories to them at our first full-cast table read, it was all I could do to not burst into tears. To be surrounded be people as passionate about these characters as I have long been and to know that their commitment and craft would be bringing these stories to life in a way I have never been privileged to experience was profoundly humbling and deeply gratifying.

That these gifted actors (and the professional crew supporting them) are working for free is an additional blessing for which I can't even begin to express my gratitude.

Many miracles surrounded the publication of both The MoonQuest and The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write, as well as the creation of The Voice of the Muse Companion CD. The miracles that continue to unfold with this project leave no doubt in my mind that not only is this trailer production charmed, but that the three features in The Q'ntana Trilogy of fantasy films will follow an equally charmed path.

I've sacrificed a lot for my passion: I now live two states away from my daughter, for example. And I no longer have either a home or car of my own...or much of an income. But technology and love keep me connected with my 11-year-old, and none of the rest really matters. In spite of my increasingly occasional lapses, I know that all that truly matters is that I'm listening to the voice of my muse and following the path of my heart. If I've learned anything over the years, it's that that's the only way visions are realized and passions fulfilled.

I mentioned earlier that our cast are volunteers. Our professional crew is also working for free, plus they're mentoring local film-production students, some of whom are interning on their first-ever professional production.

We've also already received donations from the catering services who will feed our actors on shooting days and by people like graphic artist Richard Crookes, who has donated his time to design our stunning trilogy posters. (Richard, by the way, live in Thailand. So the reach of this project is now global!)

Some of you have also contributed cash donations -- either to our just-ended IndieGoGo fund-raising campaign or directly to the production in our ongoing campaign. Those donations have been particularly welcome and just as miraculous. When you're shooting a medieval-style fantasy in New Mexico, there are some things that just have to be bought...not to mention film-location permit fees that are rarely waived.

If you haven't yet contributed to our fund-raising campaign, I encourage you to do so. Even donations of $1 help the cause! In doing so, you're not only helping my dreams come true, but you're also helping film students and professionals here in New Mexico to hone their craft. As well, you're giving them a shot at being part of a feature-film trilogy that could well employ many of them. That's because the producer's goal is, where possible, to bring many of these volunteers on board for paying gigs on the features.

You can find more information on this project on our Indie GoGo funding page. And you can make your donations directly to the project on the Anvil Springs website. Thanks for your support!

• Q'ntana Trilogy film posters by Richard Crookes; MoonQuest book cover by Angela Farley.


Dave said...

Wow. Congratulations, Mark. What an amazing, and well deserved milestone for you!

Mark David Gerson said...

Thanks, Dave! (Thanks, too, for your RT on Twitter!!)