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Bangor resident's film 'Do You Take This Man' needs your help

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Anthony Rapp and Jonathan Bennett star in "Do You Take This Man." Anthony Rapp and Jonathan Bennett star in "Do You Take This Man." (Photo by Andrew Hreha/Modern Love, LLC)

Filmmaker Joshua Tunick looks to Kickstarter for funds to complete movie

BANGOR A local filmmaker needs a hand in getting his latest project to the finish line.

Joshua Tunick's film 'Do You Take This Man' a movie that he both wrote and directed was shot last year in Los Angeles. It's the story of a gay couple about to get married and all that that entails but ultimately, the film is about marriage, no qualifier.

While the lion's share of the work is done, a number of post-production tasks are yet to be done. Things like sound design, color correction, mastering these are the things that take a film from 'almost finished' to 'finished.'

They are also things that cost money. In an effort to raise the necessary funds, Tunick has created a Kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/118474767/do-you-take-this-man) so that he can get the film ready for screening at film festivals and venues across the country including one at Railroad Square in Waterville.

As of this writing, the project was over halfway to its funding goal of $35,000, but with just over a week left - the campaign ends on July 2 - 'Do You Take This Man' still needs your help.

Tunick took the time to answer a few questions about the film and the experiences and obstacles that have come with the process.

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What prompted you to want to tell this particular story?

I've had quite a number of very good friends who are gay, and supporting gay rights has been a very important issue for me since the first of my good friends came out in High School. I've also been married for almost 14 years, and they have been the best 14 years of my life. Marriage has been a phenomenally important force in my life, and I wanted to make a film about why marriage matters, and why it is something everyone should be able to experience for themselves if they so desire.

I didn't want to make a film specifically about gay marriage, however. Really, I just wanted to make a film about two very different people and the challenges they face in trying to make their relationship work. The fact that this story is about two men is not the point - the point is marriage can be an amazing, wonderful, yet extremely difficult endeavor for any two people. My larger hope is that by telling this story through a gay couple without climbing up on a soapbox, it might have a positive impact on those who may not previously have supported gay marriage.

What kind of obstacles have you faced in trying to make this film happen?

Independent films have always been a struggle to get made, and it's only gotten worse over the years. While digital cinema has lowered the cost to some degree, it is still an extremely expensive process. The decline of cinema-going, coupled with the decline of the DVD/home market, has seriously crippled the ability to get most projects funded. Raising money to get this film made has unquestionably been the biggest challenge.

Believe it or not, getting the cast and crew together was the easy part. The response to the script was incredible, and people were excited to get involved in the project. I think that as Hollywood shifts more and more to the 100-million dollar plus filmmaking model, there is a strong desire from both cast and crew to make these smaller, meaningful, character driven films.

 

This was your first time making this sort of film - were there any big surprises?

I guess the biggest surprise was that we would end up with the cast and crew that we did. I just didn't expect the kind of reaction to the material that we received, and that we would attract the level of talent that we did - at all levels. I had pictured the film a certain way when I was writing it, and the reality of it exceed my expectation in every possible way.

I suppose the other big surprise was how smoothly the production went. Raising money was a challenge, and getting the film finished has been a challenge (again, a money issue), but actually making the film was a pleasure. One wonderful thing about making a film like this, this way, is that the people who are involved are only involved because they want to be. Money was not a motivating factor for anyone, believe me. The actors all worked for the absolute minimum the Screen Actors Guild allows them to, which is next to nothing, and our crew all worked for absolute bare minimums as well.

How long has this process taken, from the story's conception to now?

The process of making this film has actually gone unusually fast. Most independent films take at least five years to get going. I started playing with the rough story idea at the end of 2013, I wrote the script in the spring of 2014, we started attaching cast in the fall of 2014, and we shot in June of 2015.

I had an initial cut of the film together in October of 2015, but getting from that cut to a finished film has taken these last eight - nine months. We never had money allocated for post-production, so while I knew I could edit the film myself, hiring a composer, doing the sound design and mix, getting the color correction done - these have been challenges.

There are phenomenally talented people out there who are excited to help us with these things, but there are very few people who can afford to do it for free - at least not at the level we need. There is a real catch-22 with that; no one can buy the film, or even see it, if we can't get it done, but if we don't get it done to a certain level of quality it won't matter if it's completed or not, there won't be a buyer for it. I've made several films by just running out by myself with a camera and doing it - this isn't a film like that, and so finishing it the right way has been a financial struggle.

What's your connection to Bangor?

I live and work in Bangor (as an architect), and my wife Allison (maiden name Bragg) was born here and grew up here. We decided to move here after having our two children, Sawyer and Alexandra, to raise them in this wonderful environment, with the incredible schools, and to have family nearby to help out and be a part of their lives. I grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia, which is very, very similar in a lot of ways, and we both wanted our children to experience the kinds of childhoods we both had. It has been a wonderful decision and we are very happy here.

Feel free to add anything you'd like our readers to know about the film, about the campaign, about whatever you like.

I'm very grateful to all of the people who have contributed to our campaign so far, but we're still a fair way from meeting our goal, so any additional help would be awesome. The Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville has generously offered to have a special screening of the film, where I will talk about it and do a Q&A - and that is one of the Kickstarter rewards we are offering.

Maine is a wonderful place to live as an artist, and I'm really grateful to the community, and for their support. It's a joy to live and work here, and I'm certainly hoping to be able to shift to doing more of my films here. I have several ideas that I am working on that I hope to shoot in Maine, utilizing some of the incredible talent and resources we have in this state. I would love to help bring more production to the state, and to foster the growing community of filmmakers here.

(Again, if you'd like to donate to Joshua Tunick's Kickstarter for 'Do You Take This Man,' you can find it at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/118474767/do-you-take-this-man.)

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 19:45

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