“Indie film making is tough, we either do it because we love it or we’re legally insane, probably both.” Richard Harmon
With a skeleton crew, hearts and insanity (check) cast and crew set out to the town of Port McNeill on Vancouver Island bringing to life Jon Silverberg’s directorial debut “Crypto.”
Have you watched the trailer? If not go…now! I’ll hold here until you have.
Ok – now that you have watched the trailer you can understand my excitement in seeing this film completed! This is a true coming together for the love of film. After years of bouncing back and forth between writing, editing, directing and producing, Silverberg says he felt “very strongly about developing my own script,” and “putting my best foot forward.” Silverberg has worked tireless hours for three years working and reworking the script and continued to do so throughout the shooting of this film. Every little detail counted. The rule on set, ”Reality Always Wins.” Far too often we see things in films that look cool but don’t ring true to character or story. Jon and Richard along with the other cast and crew members have diligently worked side by side giving the viewers a truthful, gritty, raw, unsettling, emotionally packed psychological thriller that is accompanied by the most beautiful original music score done by Chris Arruda, that compliments the visual perfectly – I am hooked.
Psst…For those of you who didn’t stop and watch the trailer the first time, I’ll hold…
Ok now that we’ve all returned let’s continue…
The genesis of the script has always been with Jon, as he has had a passion for photography since childhood. Fun fact, developing black and white print in a bath was Jon’s first science project in elementary school. While filming around the Prairies and up the coast of BC into the Territories Silverberg came across many lodges in remote areas, more notably; Haida Gwaii, BC. Filming here really “effected “Jon as he describes the isolation of the town and it possessing “prehistoric scenery” in that it is “raw and rugged.” It is here in a place, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, “with a combination of some of these elements” that the original story of “Crypto” came to fruition.
Shooting this complex feature film in eleven days…thinking back to Harmon’s earlier quote of love or insanity… for anyone who has been involved with the making of a feature film, this is insane! I am truly inspired by this team and their love of film making to take on such a large task in such a short amount of time. This cast and crew wearing multiple hats, everyone in the trenches together for the greater good of making a memorable film created an energy that manifested into something bigger than themselves. “A lot of really fortuitous little things happen that felt like was giving us a pat on the back, like we were doing the right thing and that story we were filming was valid and authentic.” (Silverberg) Even down to the exact airplane a Grumman Goose, that was written in the original script that Silverberg wasn’t sure they would be able to obtain. As luck…fate…the universe (however you color it) would have it, the town of Port McNeill was in possession of one. Another “fortuitous surprise” Silverberg added, while filming the aircrafts flying into one their shots, leading the way for the Grumman Goose is one of the takes was a flying ‘V’ of Canadian Geese. Another sign that this film is something special.
As with any film there were challenges that came along with this “gorilla” style of shooting. From the size of the crew, the long cold raining days “anyone could have broke but no one did we really just were each others support.” (Harmon) and “just the race against time,” but this sort of filmmaking is “exhilarating.”(Silverberg)
You will find NO HERO here as Richard Harmon takes on the role of Jake, a junkie photojournalist who takes up work in a Lodge in the middle of nowhere and sets up dark room. It is here where the story starts to unfold. As he develops his photos in his dark room, so does his haunting past and apparitions of the future. During our interview I asked Richard how he felt about his character and if there were any moments of reflection on his own life or one that the audience might take home with them.
“He’s not a very nice guy but that’s why I liked him so much because he’s not a hero, he’s the hero of the story but he’s not a hero. You’re just sort of along with this guy – his time with this world and him clash and we all know those people that they just seem to be allergic to life. Everything in him sort of rejects the concept of being a part of society and those people are out there and their story needs to be told too. Is he a nice person, no he’s not, I’m not going to make any excuses for him.”
“He’s a very selfish, egotistical guy with a lot of problems but at the same time he isn’t all bad he wants to be a nicer person he just can’t stop shooting himself in the foot at every turn and I like that, I like that about him.”
“You can’t try and do things alone all the time, you need help from other people.” In regards to our (non)hero…is it too late?
In preparing for this role Richard shared with me that he had to look into the affects of drug abuse, ”Not practically obviously,” and how they alter someone’s personality, an obstacle his character struggles with adding,” We’ve all been through stuff in our lives where were not the happiest people so it’s not hard for me to understand where he is at.“
“I really liked his work that I had seen him in he is a really powerful performer,” “very intense and very cerebral – where you can tell the wheels were turning with his character and whatever he was playing. He was very committed and very engaged so he just seemed like a great fit for the role.” (Silverberg)
Acting opposite Harmon is another incredible actor Phillip Granger (Ghost Wars, The Killing) playing the role of the old caretaker of the lodge, “Sparky”. Cast first in the film, Silverberg noted that he “tailored” the character with Granger in mind having previously worked with him. “Phil, in person, is just such a character he’s very colorful.” “I just really loved his energy and his voice, he has a really unique voice.”
“Their dynamic is so different and so interesting, ‘I felt they brought so much more authenticity to those characters then there even was on the page.’ ”
Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis) takes on a voice role in the film playing the role of Donna. She is the lifeline between Harmon and Granger’s characters at the lodge, the only connection outside their surroundings. Casting Amanda was “a no brainer” and “it’s just such an honor to have her.” Joining the cast “Stepping right out of a Cohen brother’s movie” Frank C. Turner, a long time character actor, will be taking on the role of Kohler. Cast out of the first round of auditions. Silverberg said, “He is just so unique and had the kind of presence I was looking for.” Lastly, no stranger to the world acting, a feature film debut for Theatre actress Catherine Jack playing the role of Anna. Attacking her character with “a totally fresh point of view, ‘She was just so great to work with.’ ”
A special thank you to the entire township of Port McNeill on Vancouver Island for embracing the cast and crew of “Crypto.” “We’re a different type of folk for them over there, they’re not use to having the film people out there but they really took us in.” “They really helped us pull through and make it the film that it is.” Also, to Andy Hodgson who “shot the living daylights of this movie, he’s going to be a star.” (Harmon)
Supporting him from day one, Jon, wanted to give a huge thank you to his Wife, as well his entire production team. “A shout out to my producing partner Andy Hodgson, ‘He’s really been the biggest champion for this film.’ ” (Silverberg)
HELP THIS PASSION PROJECT GET TO ITS’ FINAL CUT!
For more information check out their website at www.crypto-movie.com for behind the scenes footage as well as promotional videos that Jon and Richard have put together.
Every little bit counts, if you can’t afford to donate funds, please donate your time and pass on the website details for others to see or lastly spread the good works of this film by simply telling someone, anyone and everyone!
Let’s all come together for the love of movies and help this film reach the audience it deserves!