CFDb Interviews Todd Freeman ~ Cinematographer/Editor/Producer/Director/Writer
= > How did you get involved in the filming industry?
Well it’s funny you know… there really wasn’t a start date that I can remember. We’ve always been fascinated with motion pictures because of our dad. He was an avid 16MM film collector when we were kids and would stand up in front of the screen to tell us the ‘making of’ story about the film we were about to watch. We were raised with film very much being a part of our lives. Since our dad is a pastor we were also raised in the church. Faith and film is very much interwoven into the fabric of our lives. So I guess we’ve been a part of the industry for a very long time.
That being said both Jason and I went to film school shortly after high school and made our first feature films when we were 22 years old. Haven’t stopped making movies since.
= > Since you have many roles in the filming industry which is your favorite and why?
Every aspect of making a movie is an adventure but also has its challenges. Writing the film is sort of the most pure experience there is. You sit alone with your imagination and the story is just yours. Filming the movie is a collaborative effort and it becomes everyone’s movie.
The shooting process is intense and always incredible working with actors and crew together with a common goal. Then it’s back to the room by yourself to edit. This process has often times been explained as writing the final version of the script. So many things change while shooting the movie and it becomes something completely new on the screen before you. Finally it’s time to promote the film and let it out into the world which is exciting as well as scary. All aspects are equally important, frustrating, and rewarding.
= > Has working with your family been challenging? Please explain.
I’d like to say there is a good story to tell on this but it’s actually quite the opposite. My brother and I work seamlessly together throughout all aspects of production. He’s my right hand man and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Working with my dad is the same. He oversees the productions to make sure his book is being portrayed in a way he’d like to see it done. We all have one common goal when making movies together and that is to make sure the story is compelling as well as relevant in today’s world. We’re all pretty close and love spending time together so it makes it easy.
= > Tell us a little bit about your involvement with “Wake Before You Die”.
Well my brother and I decided to shoot a few test scenes in 2009 to show potential investors what we were going for with look and feel etc. We chose a few scenes from the book that would showcase the dark elements working within this society as well as the faith of our main character. We then showed it to a few people and the amazing Roger and Jen Wood stepped up to finance the feature. My brother and I then worked on adapting our father’s book to a screenplay.
We began shooting the movie in early 2010 and post production completed on the film in 2011. Jason and I wrote, directed, shot, and edited the movie together. Last year we were working on a distribution deal with a Christian distributor and could not come to terms. We are now reintroducing the film to potential distributors as well as showing the trailer and new poster art to Christian Cinema fans all over the world.
= > Can you tell us about any other upcoming projects you might be working on?
Right now we have multiple movies in development including another adaptation of our dad’s books, “The Dinetah Tapes” into the feature film screenplay entitled “The Rift.” We are also developing a science fiction sequel to the movie that we made last year entitled “Cell Count.” Lastly we finishing up the screenplay to a thriller that we hope to shoot next year.
Most importantly we are promoting ‘Wake Before I Die’ and are excited to get it out into the Christian as well as secular market. It’s a movie that we are very proud of. It’s provocative, scary, heart warming, and most importantly has a Christian family as the center of the story who end up being the heroes. We need more of that in today’s movies and we’re excited to be a part of God’s plan for the movie. Where he leads it, and us, we’ll follow.
= > How can others learn more about you and your work?
Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview. We are super excited about this movie and can’t wait to hear people’s thoughts on it.
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