Film and TV

"Love.Community.Recession." in PHX

Sure, she's played supporting roles on the silver screen, but our Phoenix hasn't had a lead role in many movies.

So it took us by surprise to find a glossy postcard at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market advertising PHX: a film by Stewart Schuster. Excited, we anxiously flipped over to read a small description:

Love. Community. Recession. These three ideas combined with a certain epic beauty of the city of Phoenix, came together to form the basis for my new film. PHX is about a different generation, one that is too young to remember any previous national economic crises, and one that is facing this crisis, at a time in their collective lives when they should be exploding at the height of their youth and creativity. And While this recession is a detour for them, they have also come closer together as a community. Using these moments of uncertainty, they build the kind of lives and communities they want to see, with very little resources, and a wellspring of hope, talent, and raw nerve.

Intriguing observations from the Tennessee native who now lives in L.A. and has driven to Phoenix a few times to visit friends.

Where can we buy tickets? Nowhere, yet.

The last paragraph on the shiny card explains that Schuster (a graduate of Watkins College of Art, Design and Film in Tennessee) is aiming to shoot his third film in Phoenix this June -- provided we give him the money to do it. He's asking for $15,000 that he'll use toward equipment rentals, actor salaries and food for the cast.

"We have something like 70 some odd days at this point [to raise the money for the film], and haven't even broken a thousand dollars," Schuster says."I'm hoping that people who love independent films, films as art as opposed to a lot of the hollow commercial blockbusters that are churned out year after year, and people who love Phoenix, will step up to help see this project come to fruition."

Don't get us wrong, we're all about Phoenix. And we're all about independent creatives. It just seems odd that Schuster created fancy cards to ask for money to shoot a film about a city he visited.

Maybe we're just protective.

So what does Schuster hope to give people that actually live here? 

"My hopes for people who see this film and live in Phoenix is just that they have a time capsule of their world. They have been through such a hard time with the housing market failing, then the job market failing there, and now the immigration law issues have become a divisive point. Hopefully they can look at this film and say, `You know what? Things were really bad there for a while, but, like these characters we survived,' and I hope that is an encouragement to them for future."

His PHX site on outlines a few different monetery pledge levels and incentives.

Schuster explains that if you donate $2,500, you can be named an Executive Producer.

"That's right. You're the head honcho. You get your name on its own title card at the beginning and end of the film, the IMDB credit, and the chance to tell your friends and co-workers, when they ask you what you did this weekend, that you executive produced a film!"

With $510 and 72 days left, hopefully your byline doesn't cost Schuster as much as the postcards. 

Watch Schuster's pitch for the movie or read his PHX update blog.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton

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