published: March 3, 2013
Independent film has a knack for offering its creators problems that sometimes become their own solution. When director Patrick Barry wanted to shoot his debut feature film, Veer!, on 16mm black & white film stock, production couldn’t afford that financial commitment; this limitation gave Barry the inspiration to break the film up into black & white film and color video portions. It is safe to say that this decision helps drive the narrative in an intriguing way, though I won’t spoil how, and it is this example of triumph-through-trial that helps give Veer! the bright spirit of independent cinema.
Veer!, which made its debut at last year’s Jax Film Fest, is a Jacksonville-based project from Blue Llama Studios that flaunts the city as a potential film production hub and a great pool of talent. The movie comes from the minds of the aforementioned Patrick Barry along with co-writer Jesse Gay who also stars as Jesse Sorensen, the wayward protagonist. All of the hard work began with a short film made in 2008, which was subsequently accepted as one of only seven films into the Gen Art Film Festival for Emerging Artists in New York City. The success of a festival run gave Barry and Gay the idea of making it into a feature length film with help from investors; and though significant funds were raised, Barry decided to max out his credit cards to reach the desired budget himself.
Though financing self-started projects can be trying, the actual production was a dream with the collaborations of Jacksonville artists. The designs for the film were done by local artist Chad Landenburger, and the soundtrack featured local music acts Crash the Satellites, After the Bomb Baby, Juicy Pony, Powerball, Christina Wagner and many others. Talent was also gathered from other cities in Florida with Erin Nicole Cline (Tampa), James Nguyen (Orlando), and Corsica Wilson (Tallahassee) rounding out the major players in the cast, while giving the movie regional credibility.
All of the elements add up to a perfect little indie film with a great human story, DIY sensibilities that provide an edge, and a fascinating look into a niche world (pro-skateboarding), which isn’t often explored in a mature manner. Veer! will be having a theatrical run at the Sun-Ray Cinema from March 1–7 with a special Q&A from Patrick Barry on opening night.