TRIGGERLAND, 59min., USA
Directed by Sean Edward Neukom
The filmization of Beo String Quartet's album, triggerLand. The movie, of the same title, is a fairytale-esque gun creation myth. Alvin, a construction worker, discovers a new material. This new material leads to the invention of the first gun. As the use of the gun is explored and expanded, a young girl is accidentally killed when a firearm falls from a table. Alvin is left to contemplate his course of action.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
-- In 2023, Beo (my string quartet) had a string of album releases through our own label. One album was triggerLand. The music and story evoked such strong imagery. Rather than produce music videos, it seemed like a natural step to produce a feature film instead.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
-- From the first story board to the final edit, the film took six sleepless months. The story, pre-movie idea, took 1 year to flesh out; the album took 3 years to produce; and the music took 10 years to compose.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
-- Humanistic journey
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
-- Time and money. No surprises there! I wanted the film completed before the release of the album.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
-- The viewer's life experience of course colors what they garner from any film. This allows me, in a way, to see triggerLand from fresh perspectives. It's marvelously helpful and illuminating.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
-- I made my first film as a 9th grader, at a chamber music festival in North Dakota. Jason, my brother, worked with me on it! It's been a slow process of discovery since then. I didn't realise how much the art of filmmaking meant to me until I was working on triggerLand.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
-- Oh wow! Probably "A Christmas Story". More by circumstance, though I do love the film.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
-- Every facet that I've experienced through your festival has been extraordinary. Keep up the amazing work!
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
-- This was my first time working with a platform like this. So far it's been a worthwhile effort.
10. What is your favorite meal?
-- homemade mole enchiladas. No question.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
-- I'm currently finishing up the edit/mix for a new Beo album, out this fall. Starting early 2024, I'll begin storyboarding a series of short films set to music I wrote about a year back.