‘Taken In’ premieres in Tryon July 18-19

Published 11:10 am Friday, July 15, 2011

Crewmember Daniel McCord shoots the first scene of “Taken In,” featuring Brooklyn, played by Madelaine Hoptry. (photo submitted)

Innovative funding source helps Greenville filmmaker
Though South of the Border in Dillon, S.C., radiates with kitschy neon signs and sombrero-topped towers, filmmaker Chris White of Greenville found it the ideal location to shoot his lonesome, black and white feature film, “Taken In.”
It seemed a fitting location, White said, given lead character Simon is aiming to reconnect with his estranged daughter, Brooklyn.
“Her childhood is long lost, and that innocence of youth is long gone, and I could see this man maybe taking his child there to try and capture what had been lost,” White said.
“Taken In” will have its premiere North Carolina screening at the Tryon Theatre Monday and Tuesday, July 18-19, at 7 p.m.
White discovered his inspiration for the film after building relationships with students at Carl Brooks School in Virginia. This boarding school serves as a respite for students struggling through school and family life. White served as an artist-in-residence there, teaching art, leading plays and hosting film festivals.
White said the kids at this therapeutic boarding school touched him.
“They started formulating into a composite in my head,” White said. “This sort of story formed about a father and his teenage daughter. In my head I started imagining this touching image – it wasn’t of them crying or begging for forgiveness – it was of them holding hands. That’s what I want them to do, I just want them to touch hands.”
For the first 20 minutes of the film nobody speaks, because they have nothing to say, White said.
“I hope it doesn’t bore you, but it kind of seduces you into this relationship,” White said. “The movie is just a big lead up to the last shot, and that’s what I’m excited about, just to see if it lands with people.”
White co-wrote the film with his wife, Emily, and produced it over the course of just five months. He said he wanted to see if he could make a feature-length movie that connects with people, and does everything he wanted it to do, for less than $8,000.
On Jan. 15 of this year he began raising funds through Kickstarter, a free fundraising tool available to artists.
Projects currently on the site involve everything from hanging swings in random public places in Bolivia to installation artists aiming to build life-size art. For more information on this funding source, visit www.kickstarter.com.
The idea is to create a page for your project and then share the link with friends and family to “pass the hat,” White said.
“I think it’s good for the artist because it allows them to sort of test the idea,” White said. “I’ve got to kind of prove myself to you a little bit. I think it’s good for artists to have to do that, but it doesn’t work for everybody.”
Within 42 days, White collected more than $8,000 from 120 sources. On March 1 he started work on the film and by April had begun devoting what would be two months to editing. Since then he’s been prepping for premieres such as the one to be held here in Tryon next week.
The local filmmaker said his aim is to make at least two movies a year to improve his craft. White is currently working to prepare for “Get Better,” another father-daughter story to star Tryon resident and actor Robert Linder.
This new project will be shot, at least in part, around Tryon.
The funding post on Kickstarter goes live this week with the aim of raising $12,000.
White hopes to begin shooting “Get Better” in late September. His plans are to release the film in January 2012.
The last time White made a movie in Tryon was during the Christmas season of 1994. The movie, “Night Divine,” was screened during the holidays the next year.
A short film entitled “Good Life” stars White and his youngest daughter, Harriet. It will also be shown Monday and Tuesday before the premiere of “Taken In.” Shows begin each night at 7 p.m. The Tryon Film Society is sponsoring the event.

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