The Last 40 Miles follows a condemned man on his last trip: a ride from his solitary cell on death row to the execution chamber in a facility 40 miles away. During the journey, his memories, the beautiful scenery flashing by, the unlikely warmth of the guard escorting him, and ever-present hope keep him company.
In 2004, British journalist Alex Hannaford began interviewing inmates on Texas's death row. One of these men had been in his solitary 6ft by 10ft cell for Alex's entire life. "I don’t think any case I had covered before or since impacted me more than that one did," Alex said. The character of "Ray" in The Last 40 Miles is inspired by his story.
With your help we can get this important film made. We need financial assistance to help offset the cost of completing production (animating is expensive), entering the movie into the film festival circuit, as well as expenses related to promoting the project.
The production costs
Rotoscoping (the animation process whereby real actors are traced around): $8k - $9k
Entering film festivals: a tiered approach. On average, festivals cost around $100 plus costs associated with producing submission materials, postage, etc. If we submit to five, it will cost in the region of $1,000. If we submit to 10, $2,000, and so on.
Actors: our actors have given their time for free. We'd like to compensate them adequately for their work.
Promotion: Submitting a movie to a film festival is the first step, but they can get lost in the noise of so many good films. We'd like to attend some of the festivals to promote The Last 40 Miles. That would require air fare, hotels, etc. for one-to-two team members per festival. This is the last thing funding would be spent on. Our priority is getting the movie finished.
We've already been working on The Last 40 Miles for a year. If we don't meet our target, we will get this film finished with what funding we do manage to achieve. Rotoscoping is incredibly labor-intensive and with your help we'll get this movie finished in time to enter it into the 2013-14 film festival season. And with your help we'll be able to promote it properly. The Last 40 Miles may be about one man's journey but his message resonates far wider.
Perks for your support
Our friend Luke Miller at Ptarmak has designed a really beautiful promotional poster for the film. We have The Last 40 Miles screen-printed posters and t-shirts which are available to donors, and we have opportunities for credits on the film itself when you donate.
The project has already generated considerable press attention and buzz. We're excited to bring it to a broader, international, audience. Regardless of your feelings about the death penalty, this is a compelling human interest story. We hope it will make people think more about justice and the way in which we carry it out.
The cast and crew
Alex Hannaford has been a journalist for 16 years, and contributes to publications such as GQ magazine, The Atlantic, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times, Guardian and others.
Jeff Roth is directing the animation and pulled the other filmmakers together to form our team. He teaches VFX and animation in Austin.
Meg Mulloy is a photography professor and freelance photographer in Austin. Along with serving as Producer, she also did the camera work on the film (half of the movie is live action that will be rotoscoped) and has been responsible for keeping us all to deadline and organizing the unorganizable.
Luc Dimick, our lead animator and production designer, is also an animation professor whose artistic vision informed much of the style of the portions of the film showing Ray's life before prison.
The above four members of the team have formed a non-profit company, Onalaska Films, to produce The Last 40 Miles.
Victor Steele is a local Austin actor who donated his time to play the part of Ray. He lent his considerable voice acting talents to the film, too.
Gary Warner Kent is a Hollywood veteran with dozens of movies under his belt. His amazing turn as the guard who escorts Ray along the 40 mile stretch is truly moving.
Al Dineen can be seen in various TV shows and commercials. He gave of his time to play the guard driving the van in which Ray and the other guard are riding.
Other crew members have also come on board to help us with production. A very talented guy called Brett Owens is painting Luc's drawings; Julie Schlembach is our sound designer, and Mayet Andreassen is our CG artist.
Ben Onono, a musician based in London, is writing the score for The Last 40 Miles.
Simon Cruise, a fantastic editor, also based in London, is editing the movie.
Other ways you can be involved
Want to support The Last 40 Miles, but not with your hard-earned $$? No problem. We still very much need your help.
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