In the summer of 2005, I left New York City to crew (for free!) on an independent film called Rain in the Mountains. Shot on location all over Washington state, the movie put to the test everything I learned in film school.

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The Story

Rain in the Mountains is about Eric Smallhouse, a Native American man who, thanks to the words of a Dead Man spirit he encounters when taking a new road home, believes it is his destiny to lead his people back to the old ways. The problem is, he was raised off the reservation and doesn’t know the old ways. But he’s not the kind of guy who will let that stop him. Against his wife Lindsay‘s objections, he teaches his 12-year-old son, Todd, various ‘authentic’ activities, failing miserably and learning the hard way that things weren’t any easier back in the old days. In the process, he discovers that some old ways, such as love of family, are still attainable today. Of course, before he can apply that lesson, he must realize that the Dead Man is a trickster spirit and that the U.S. government is all too ready to call a protester a terrorist.

The script won a six-figure grant from NYU; it has a light comedic touch and strong, universal characters that will appeal to anyone who wants to honor the past without forgoing modern convenience.

The Key Players

Selected Crew
Joel Metlen – writer, co-director, cinematographer
Christine Sullivan – co-director, producer
Lillian Parker – AD, producer
John Ott – 1st AC, Farmer Earl, blogger

Selected Cast
Steve Pierre – Eric Smallhouse
Nick Erb – Todd Smallhouse
Audrey Seymour – Lindsay Smallhouse
Robert Satiacum – Deputy John
Joseph Heldman – Dead Man

Rain in the Mountains Archive

To follow the progress of the film, bookmark by right- or control-clicking on this link. It will take you right back here, the clearinghouse for all my posts from Rain in the Mountains.

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