Make a donation on the short film: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/371602595/when-the-gods-trembled
Interview by Kierston Drier
- Tell me a little about yourself, your background and your work as a filmmaker/creator.
My name is Ryan Oswald. I very first started out as an actor when I was about 12 years old. I landed a few smaller roles in indie films at the time in LA, and then transitioned to mostly theater acting throughout high school. I fell in love with the ability to express and share stories in different ways and film making gives you should a wide array of opportunities to do just that. My friends and business partners ended up meeting me here in Idaho several years later after graduating film school and we saw the opportunity to start working on the projects we wanted to work on. To tell the stories we wanted to tell. I started out as an assistant director on most projects, with a few stints since as a script supervisor, and so on. This is my first project as the Director, and I am loving every minute of bringing this story to life.
- Let’s talk about your project! What is your Short about?
My short film, When The Gods Trembled, is a short – silent film. The story follows two soul mates from a world long before our own, when gods like Zeus roamed the earth. Our two protagonists lead passionate and free lives together, until an angry Zeus has had enough. He curses them, and all humans, by separating them to the far ends of the earth, making life this search for your missing half. The story picks up during this time frame and then follows the two women through different iterations of time. From a prehistoric time frame to the 1920s prohibition, to modern day on their search for their missing half.
3.Tell me about the origins of your project? What was it born out of? What inspired you to create it?
I was inspired to tell this story originally many years ago. When I was in 7 – 8th grade I was took Latin and courses on Greek and Roman mythology. I loved it and was fascinated by the stories they would tell, they would they would explain the world through these very elaborate and winding stories. I read the symposium by Plato, and in it he uses different characters to debate and explain the origin and meaning of love. The one that stood out to me, and if anyone is familiar it’s probably the one they have heard of before, that humans were once physically connected one to another, making one whole human. Soulmate to soulmate. I loved this idea and the imagery and symbolism it represents and wanted to see what would happen if I were to introduce characters to this world. When The Gods Trembled is the result of that idea.
- What about your upcoming film really excites you?
I am really excited to finish the project first off. I first wrote the story about two years ago, we began filming a little over a year ago, and now have just the final scene to produce. I am most excited about the period we are shooting this scene in. I love the 1920s and am very excited to be working in that time period on this story, and I’m excited to show it off.
- You are running a Kickstarter right now, correct? What are the basic details?
We are running a kickstarter campaign right now. It has 7 days to go as of writing this piece on September 7th, 2017. The basic details are this; we are shooting the final scene we need to finish making this film. The scene takes place in the 1920s during prohibition in a speak easy – jazz club. To make this scene come out looking like its in the 1920’s and not a costume party gone wrong, we need to put 20 extras, 7 band members, 5 featured extras and our 2 cast members in period appropriate costuming. We also need lights and set decor to bring it all together, and all of these things cost money, even with all of the generous folks helping us along the way.
- What will the funds you raise go towards?
The funds specifically will go towards: costuming, lights, hair and make up, props, lights, and a gimbal we need to pull off some of the shots on my shot list.
- What are some of the rewards you can get through funding it?
There are several fun rewards you can get through our kickstarter, but some of my personal favorites are; a one of a kind transfer art piece made by Cochina Transfers of the cover art and it’s the only one like it in the world. Backers can also get a handmade replica of the bracelet worn in the movie in beautiful wood carvings, t-shirts with different cover art options, tickets to the live premier, and every backer – big or small will get a personal thank you video live from set!
- Tell me why you think everyone needs to check out your film?
Everyone should check out When The Gods Trembled because it tells the story of enduring love throughout the ages. This story hits a nerve deep inside all of us, I believe, that we all ultimately hope there is that one perfect soulmate, that missing half out there and what we might do to find and hold onto it if we ever found it ourselves.
- Tell me some inside scoops- have any wonderful anecdotes come out of your short so far? Fun facts? Fun stories?
We have had a blast making this project all the way through. I have such an amazing team of people around me that I love working with, cast and crew, that it’s hard not to have fun working with them. I could tell several stories about funny things or even misadventures along the way so far, but I will tell you my favorite so far. We were shooting on location outside of Garden Valley, Idaho out in the woods and rivers. This beautiful and rugged terrain. The cast and crew camped near our shooting locations for four days while we were doing the first round of shooting. We were walking Josh, the actor who plays Zeus, down the river to his first location while in his full costume and makeup. We decided to bring along a few sidearms with us for safety since this is definitely grey wolf territory. So here is Josh dressed up in full costume looking like Zeus, 3 crew members and myself all with holstered guns and a camera walking down the path, and here comes this family complete with mom, dad and little girls all coming back from the hot springs that walk right past us. We couldn’t help but laugh as they walked by just thinking at what a sight we all made, Zeus and his body guards carrying a camera and gear to the hot springs. I hope they see the short some day and have a great laugh realizing they saw us out there and this is what we were working on.
- What is one thing you want to aspiring filmmakers everywhere?
I guess I would still consider myself an aspiring filmmaker to some degree, but if I were to pass along any wisdom to any others out there it would be to surround yourself with people who are talented and hungry to make movies, and go shoot it. Perfect is the enemy of good, and in no budget film making you may need to beg, borrow, and steal your way through every scene but just go do it. I think the rest will come and we all get better with practice, with learning and opportunity, but especially with this business you need to make those opportunities for yourself.
- If I wanted to go check out your Kickstarter right now, where would I go?