Kent Quain, Jon Brand, Maria Sole, Brandon C. Lay, Jason Singer, James Mason, Josh Faturos and Nichi McFarlane
Jackie (Maria Sole) can no longer keep her boyfriend, Reza (Joshua Faturos) a secret from her overbearing family. Bonds begin to fray as the family motto "blood is like stone" is truly put to the test. Johnathan Brand, Brandon C. Lay, James Mason, Nichi McFarlane, Kent Quain and Jason Singer co-star in this searing family drama.
In 2005 writer/director Brandon C. Lay tried desperately to get permission to put on an original play at Northampton Community College were he studied theatre. After being turned down on numerous occasions Brandon formed his own production company Ocelot Productions and went forward writing a feature length script. That film would be Bloodstone. The cast was made up of all NCC theatre students who all rehearsed around classes, work schedules and the other plays going on at the college. Basic filming equipment including a camcorder, shotgun mic (with no boom pole), laptop and editing software was given on extended loan to the production by King Koffee's owner Jason George, who was a long time friend of Brandon and actor James Mason.
The Filming Process
Filming began in the Winter of 2006 in the hills of Mertztown Pennsylvania. The cold was merciless for the all outdoor shoot, especially during the extensive night shoots. The overly ambitious (and amateur) director believe it possible to shoot the entire film over the course of one weekend. This proved beyond impossible to the point of lunacy and filming came to span the course of the entire season. Despite the bitter cold and the occasional tension due to inexperience, spirits were incredibly high on set. The entire cast was made up of friends and peers that had already worked together in the theatre program together for a year and a half.
Behind the Scenes
The entire film was one location made possible by the Walker family who offered up their home to the production team on at least a dozen occasions. The film was a trial by fire for the inexperienced team however you'd rarely have noticed as everyone's excitement and passion was untarnished by the realities and difficulties of making a feature film. The team was held together by constant goofing off and frivolity and writer/director Brandon C. Lay's naive yet ardent auteur film making leadership.
A Wrap on Bloodstone
Bloodstone was shot before the easy accessibility of digital video and was captured on about twenty mini dv tapes which were then transferred on the computer and into the editing program. Due to horrific wind interference, planes and even distant traffic much of the film is hard to hear. The team attempted ADR but was too incompetent to really pull it off. Bloodstone was a labor of love created primarily by teenagers and a few people in their early twenties who had the time of their lives making a mediocre film badly. The end product has many fun moments and glimmers of real talent but what shows most of all is the tenacity and commitment a group of artists had to create their own opportunity when one wasn't afforded to them.
The film's final cut is just shy of two hours and black & white. It's original score by Tom DiGiovanni is one of the highlights of the film. A score actually too good for the film it belongs to. The originally composed score has subsequently been used as placeholder music for many of Living Proof Pictures subsequent films and is featured prominently in the short film The Subject from 2013. Once done the film had only one public screening for the cast and crew, friends and peers of the NCC theatre department. It was the first audience for Living Proof Pictures (pictured below)