The Long Beach film scene has potential to exponentially grow. This city hosts writers, directors, producers, actors and some incredible scenic locations, but there still isn’t a large spectrum of film action taking place in this gem of a city.
The short film is set to shoot in Bixby Knolls at the end of August and is taking an innovative approach to being a very “green” and very “Long Beach” production.
The set will serve mostly vegetarian and vegan fare with compostable products, recyclable materials and bins, sustainable film materials, and cruelty-free makeup. Apunte will be planning digital meetings to avoid commuting and also digital notes and scripts to conserve paper and ink.
Most of the film and production crew live in Long Beach, including writer and director, Apunte, a Long Beach City College film production graduate. It is produced by Long Beach actives (and 562 City Lifer) Shawn M. King and Laura Marin. Logan Crow, Founder and Executive Director of the fantastic Long Beach Cinematheque, which coordinates the Long Beach Film Festival and movie screenings on the beach, is SOMA’s Associated Producer.
Filming will shoot at a house in an “Any Town, USA” part of Bixby Knolls residential and the SOMA crew really wants this filming to spark the idea about many more movie productions in Long Beach, by Long Beachers.
“Through this movie project and the people involved, we are trying to create a filmmakers outreach program in Long Beach,” said Apunte. “We are going out to the community to jumpstart that energy and represent Long Beach in a great way.”
Apunte has a portfolio of other short films, music videos and commercials, but this will be his first project to put all his Long Beach connections together, along with the Long Beach Cinematheque, and produce something great for the community.
The psychological thriller is based on a divorced male who essentially becomes addicted to his career as an engineer. Physical chaos begins to ensue, a disfiguring transformation occurs, and the protagonist is forced to choose between continuing his life’s work or salvaging what he has left of it.
The script was inspired by a few timely “coincidences” Apunte experienced while overworking himself. After undergoing a car, bike and work accident in close proximity, he had a broken face, collar bone, gashes and knee problems. Left feeling like a zombie, Apunte realized his 70+ workweeks essentially disfigured him.
“I basically lived out the story in a weird way. I was so focused on making money and paying bills, but at the end of the day I was losing touch with reality,” Apunte said. “I had no balance, and we all need balance.”
Once the film is complete, Apunte will be submitting it to film festivals, including the Long Beach Film Festival. He hopes it will do well in the festival scene and gain excitement for it’s red carpet premier in Long Beach.
Fundraising for the film has already begun, with the first official event already a success. July 15th, a Halloween in July costume contest took place at Apunte’s workplace, Art Du Vin. SOMA supporters and friends of the production crew dressed up, enjoyed some wine, made donations towards the film and appreciated the Retro Row wine bar. 20% of the sales and all tips (which Apunte made, while working) went towards the film and really created an excitement for the film.
“I really think this film will bring out Damian’s true directorial talent and this story will be a very artistic, informative and beautiful piece,” said Co-Producer Shawn M. King."
It should also be noted that just like the demographics of our city, the SOMA crew is a majority minority crew who are all focused on representing the film community of Long Beach in the most effective manner.
“We want to foster the film society here in Long Beach to spark up the community to work together, connect with each other and bring the scene here,” Said Laura Marin, Co-Producer of SOMA.
So, in addition to creating a movie that is fiercely local, SOMA is set to ignite some lifestyle thoughts for the viewers, while sparking an excitement for a larger, local film society.