Thanks to your support, we can finish THE MISTOVER TALE and launch it into the world! If you still want to make a donation to make sure that THE MISTOVER TALE gets out far and wide, please visit our website for more information.
THE MISTOVER TALE is a moody, modern interpretation of Thomas Hardy's classic novel of isolation "The Return of the Native". It was filmed entirely on the hauntingly beautiful island of Martha's Vineyard, and set "some time ago", vaguely in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s.
This is a story of physical and emotional isolation, thwarted ambition, uncontrollable desire, misguided passion, and the impact of the natural elements around us on our moods, our outlook, and therefore our destinies. This story is as modern and fitting today as it was to Hardy’s generation.
All things have its season, and the same holds true for THE MISTOVER TALE: it is almost ready for the world to experience it.
This moving, timeless story, and the stunning beauty of Martha’s Vineyard, will transport you.
Check out the teaser below and visit our website to read all about it.
Writer/director Harry Tappan Heher has enjoyed Thomas Hardy’s novel “The Return of the Native” since first reading it as a teenager. One summer on Martha’s Vineyard, he discovered landscapes that spoke to him of Hardy’s moors and the sense of loneliness, isolation, and human vulnerability to nature that Hardy conveyed in his novel. He saw in this place of wild beauty the harsh reality of birth, death and rebirth in the natural world’s cycles, and he could understand its ability to affect the islanders - their emotions, choices, and ultimately, their destinies.
Martha’s Vineyard has a rich and varied history, but it is not just a beautiful playground for the rich - it also has a darker side that we explore in this film.
Hardy's major themes still hold true today, in our modern world: physical and emotional isolation, thwarted ambition, uncontrollable desire, misguided passion - experiences and emotions that we can all relate to.
The island, its people and its history helped inspire Heher to write and film a modern interpretation of Hardy’s classic novel, and deliver its universal message.
The Cliona MacEgan character in THE MISTOVER TALE is based on Hardy’s Eustacia Vye, one of most famous woman characters in literary history ("I like that Eustacia Vye." - Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher In The Rye"). She is a woman who “will not behave” in a culture that wants to force her to be a conformist. She wants to take risks, and yet the people around her, her family, her circumstances, and unseen forces conspire against her.
It is important that such strong female characters and roles be represented and shown on the big screen.
THE MISTOVER TALE is truly an “independent” film, made with sacrifice and passion - the old story of blood, sweat and tears. Until now Harry Tappan Heher has self-financed the project himself, holding to the idea and intention that today, thanks to technology, a filmmaker can “author” a film much in the same way a writer can author a book: with a singular vision, and full creative control to achieve that vision.
Photo: © Molly Peters
But this concept has made the creation of this film a long process. Heher wrote the original script in 1999, and the master cinematographer Michael McDonough, ASC filmed principal photography in the autumn and early winter of 2000/2001 (he then went on to shoot WINTER'S BONE and ALBERT NOBBS). Pick-up shots were also filmed in late Spring and in high summer, to capture all four seasons on the island.
Soon after production wrapped, real life got in the way: writer/director Harry Tappan Heher lost both his parents, and in his grief, he put the film away - it was too tough to revisit. After several years he found his own sort of rebirth, and went back into the editing room with Petra Lent and later Loic de Lame, and they toiled and tinkered away to make this film into a powerful, haunting tale of isolation, loss and rebirth - reflecting the cycles of nature, and ironically, some of the turns of Heher's own life.
The production has also cost more and taken more time than expected - although at its current production budget at $350,000, it is still considered a micro-budget indie film in Hollywood!
Today filmmaking is more expensive than ever: and while the film is cut, and the terrific original music by Jérôme Leroy (Credits: THE HUNGER GAMES [with William Ross], THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX) is composed, we still need your support!
Finally, this film is ready to be shared with you, and those who will discover it around the world.
The film’s ensemble cast included many talented New York, Boston, and Martha’s Vineyard actors:
Naomi Packard Dunn as the beautiful, wild-spirited Cliona MacEgan ( the novel’s controversial and ground-breaking “Eustacia Vye" character)
Heidi Pulkkinen as the torn “good girl” Tamsin Goodrich (“Thomasin Yeobright”)
Writer/director Harry Tappan Heher, as the idealistic but flawed Henry Goodrich (“Clym Yeobright”)
Patrick Henaghan as the suspicious but protective Redmond (“Reddleman”)
Lee Fierro as the proper, rigid WASP mother Mrs. Goodrich (“Mrs. Yeobright”). Lee is world-famous for her role as Mrs. Kintner in JAWS, Steven Spielberg’s classic horror film, which was also shot on Martha’s Vineyard
Kevin Rice as the crushingly handsome but self-defeating and doomed Ned Luce (“Damon Wildeve”). Kevin is a very successful model you may recognize from countless advertising campaigns, most notably for Ralph Lauren, as well as the films SERENDIPITY and THE WOODSMAN
The actors deliver vivid, emotional performances that make the audience believe that this story actually happened, on the island, years ago…they are people you “know”, and their passions, plights, choices and tragedies are true to life. This sense of authenticity may have been aided by that fact that the on-location production seemed to be haunted - cast and crew all fell under the magical spell of “Mistover", feeling the “high highs” and “low lows” of the characters' trajectories.
“Subtle yet real performances, befitting a story of a group of post-adolescents (and a couple of "true" adults) on the Vineyard all those years ago. The music carries you along…adding to its real timeless quality. Stunningly shot by Michael McDonough - it’s like a painting with a plot. I can’t wait to see it looking and sounding its best, this beautiful film deserves it!”
- K. M., New York City.
“It captures what Hardy saw in his own time, as agricultural culture was giving way to industrial revolution: the pleasures and perils of rural (or here, island) isolation, and the lure of cities. It’s the dichotomy we still all face: the allure of quietness and solitude in nature, in a place with a rich history that we feel is our destined mother-land vs. the push toward the bright, brash city and the social interaction, culture, and progress it offers. This story of opposing introversion and extroversion befits what we all feel in our modern lives, with the lure of all that is exciting (think 24/7 news channels and social media) - and the calm call of “home” or our “sacred place” that we know, inherently, will soothe us, but which we are pulled away from.”
- P.C., Chapel Hill.
“The mood - the sense of place, privilege, melancholy, and self-obsession - clearly dominates here. The look is clear. It has sex, angst, longing and the potential for suicide...with a kind of slowly unraveling dread. The sense of isolation, as integral to the arc of the heroine, is palpable and increases the dramatic tension, and is also personified by the island, with its stellar rough-edged yet idyllic beauty. Menace, in some internal way, seems to be what lies beneath the surface of these islanders’ instability. The demise of their rocky relationships is just under the radar, but it is coming...and so is what might save those who survive them. The penultimate lesson: keep going, as we all must.”
- J.G., Boston.
We seek to raise $16,000, which will go toward the sound mix, color correction, as well as output to masters, and DVD authoring. These improvements will ensure that the film will become the best that it can be.
Color correction and picture work: a proper color correction (or “picture work”), will give the footage bright, seamless colors and make them POP!
Sound mix and “sound sweetening”: this will equalize the actors’ dialogue heard clearly above background sounds, such as the crashing waves, birdsong, and wind of Martha’s Vineyard.
Output to Master for DVD production and downloads
DVD Authoring (NTSC & PAL)
To thank you for your generosity, we have collected and curated some fantastic incentives - be the first to reserve and enjoy them! Here are some of the great rewards:
The wonderful original soundtrack by Jérôme Leroy (Credits: music programmer for THE HUNGER GAMES [with William Ross], further credits include A VERY HAROLD AND KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS, and THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX)
The Digital Download of the film (naturally!)
For every pledge over $100, you can honor a Rebellious Woman in your life along with your own name on the Eustacia Vye Honor Roll on our official website, by emailing us at email@example.com, with your name and the name of your Rebellious Honoree
Inspired by Thomas Hardy's self-drawn map of scenes in "The Return of the Native", a custom, limited edition "vintage" map of Martha's Vineyard, featuring many of the film's locations, with notes pertaining to scenes and characters in THE MISTOVER TALE
Tote bag + Novel + Digital Download bundles
Thank You’s in the credits
Screenings and dinner events with members of the cast and crew, where we will serve delicacies from Martha’s Vineyard
And for the most generous, private tours of the film’s locations on Martha’s Vineyard with members of the cast and crew, private screenings - and producer credits!
All Photos © Molly Peters
We want to keep you posted on our progress – join us on our journey!
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- Visit our Official Website - themistovertale.com