Category Archives: Shroud

FWWeekly: David Jetre Unveils Shroud

Jetrefilm Entertainment is an independent film

My interview with Kristian Lin of the Fort Worth Weekly.

March 6, 2013

“We didn’t want to sell when we were desperate,” said Denton native David Jetre about his debut film, Shroud. The supernatural Western wrapped in 2009, when the country was in the depths of a major recession. With his film financed by himself and close friends, he could afford to wait until he could distribute the movie on his own terms. Last month, he made it available for purchase online, with iTunes and Blu-Ray releases coming up in the next few weeks. “Reselling portals like Amazon, iTunes, and the Google Play Store make this an ideal time,” he said.

Jetre (his last name pronounced jee-ter), who says he’s “over 40,” came to filmmaking from a background as creative director of the design firm Sandmerrick, Inc. The firm was originally established in 2000 under the name Studio 930 Intermedia, with Jetre hanging out his own shingle after working for various North Texas agencies designing everything from websites to business cards. In 2010, he changed his firm’s name. “We found there were too many clients mistaking us for a photography studio,” he said, adding that photography is only a small part of his business, along with shooting TV commercials and laying out magazines.

Making a film was a natural decision for someone who had spent his life in creative businesses, especially with his background in TV commercials. “It was a one-to-one transition,” he said. “I had already worked with lots of video and audio crews. It was just about telling a story over two hours instead of 30 seconds.”

He wrote the script for Shroud over “15 lattes” at a Barnes & Noble in Lewisville in late 2007. Wanting something to be shot immediately, he reasoned, “I live in Texas, let’s do a Western,” coming up with the story of a Dutch woman in the 1860s who tracks her disappeared husband’s whereabouts to a ghost town in Arizona.

Serving as writer-director, producer, production designer, editor, and fight choreographer, Jetre shot much of the film’s exterior footage in “Willieville,” the Western town built outside of Austin for the 1986 Willie Nelson film Red Headed Stranger. However, he couldn’t use any of the interiors there, since many of the buildings have been turned into museums devoted to Nelson. Instead, he shot the indoor scenes in various Victorian mansions in Fort Worth and Weatherford. “We scouted about 15 homes,” he said. “The owners were all very welcoming.”

The biggest hiccup came when his lead actress Nicole Leigh (billed in the credits as Nicole Leigh Jones) revealed she was four months pregnant, midway through the shoot. “We had her outdoors in November wearing a metal suit of armor, which was like a refrigerator, and she was being thrown around” in a climactic fight scene, he recalled.

Jetre shut down production for six months, which wasn’t a problem with his investors. In fact, the delay allowed him to rework some action scenes and recast a major role with a better actor. “It all worked out in the end,” he said.

He acknowledges continuity problems in the story, caused by the loss of some scenes to technical problems, but he’s proud of his work on the film’s visual side. Indeed, despite its opaque dialogue and some amateurish acting from the supporting ranks, the movie is a handsome period piece that looks far more expensive than its $150,000 budget. Still, he’s not eager to repeat the experience. “On my next movie, I’m going to have an art department,” he said. “I don’t want to wear so many hats.”

He clearly loves the creative decisions that go into the filmmaking process. “Pre-production is where a movie is made or broken,” he said. “Accidents will happen, but having everything planned out just helps so much.”

My appreciation to both Kristian Lin and the Fort Worth Weekly for this inaugural review of my first film.

The original article can be read here: http://goo.gl/f8wGEW

Shroud is Released

2013Shroud-8

Shroud was written and directed by David Jetre and produced by Edgar Pitts.

The film stars Nicole Leigh Jones, G. Russell Reynolds, Morgana Shaw, Charles Baker, Larry Jack Dotson, Chad Briley, Dylan Barth and Jodie Moore.

Read the unabridged version of the script here: http://sandmerrick.com/Shroud.pdf

Victoria Celestine (Nicole Leigh Jones) braves a transatlantic journey from Holland to America to search for her missing husband. Accompanied by her young brother Abraham she discovers Shroud—a ghost town deep in the Arizona Territory. There she unravels a conspiracy involving a misplaced Mayor (G. Russell Reynolds), his wife (Morgana Shaw), a renegade marshal (Jodie Moore) and his posse of cruel Confederate defectors.

With history wrapped in superstition and murders masked by myth, Lady Celestine reveals the grisly secret of a dead Spanish Conquistador, a heretic hanged, and the 300-year old Apache legend of an abomination that feeds on innocence.

Production Company: Jetrefilm Entertainment (www.Jetrefilm.com)
Format: NTSC, Dolby, Subtitled
Subtitles: English Rated:
Unrated Run Time: 101 minutes
Average Customer Review: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

Available on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AAJ1MR6

Available on iTunes: Soon

David Jetre
Writer | Producer | Director | Designer
flickr | twitter | www.sandmerrick.com | www.jetrefilm.com

Shroud DVD Sleeve for Amazon.com

Shroud DVD Sleeve

The final DVD sleeve for Jetrefilm Entertainment’s gothic western film Shroud.

Shroud stars Nicole Leigh Jones, G. Russell Reynolds, Charles Baker, Morgana Shaw, Dylan Barth, Larry Jack Dotson, Chad Briley, Jodie More, and Donnie Blanz.

Follow this link to Buy Shroud DVD on Amazon.

Shroud DVD Now Available on Amazon.com

Shroud

Jetrefilm Entertainment’s first feature length film is now available on DVD at Amazon.com.

Follow this link to Buy Shroud DVD on Amazon.

David Jetre
Writer | Producer | Director | Designer
twitter | www.sandmerrick.com | www.jetrefilm.com

Nicole Leigh Jones

Shroud DVD Sleeve

Nicole Leigh Jones is a remarkably talented Dallas-based actor which we had the privilege of working with on our first feature film, the Civil War thriller Shroud.  The film also stars G. Russell Reynolds (Chuck, Prison Break), Charles Baker (Breaking Bad), Morgana Shaw (I Love You Phillip Morris, Dr. T and The Women) and Larry  Jack Dotson (Deep in the Heart).

In Shroud, Nicole plays Lady Victoria Celestine, a Dutch wife who travels to Civil War America to find her missing husband only to discover the creature responsible for his murder: Cinecusa, a former foot soldier cursed by the conquistador Francisco Coronado
three hundred years earlier.

Nicole brought not only a commanding beauty to the role, but also an elegance, fashion and femininity so often sacrificed these days in the pursuit of female action roles.

Shroud is a prequel to a famous 19th century novel of international acclaim.

Despite our ruthlessly modest budget, the grueling schedule, and the demands of so complex a character, Nicole displayed consummate professionalism through every hardship. Throughout our multiple locations across the great state of Texas, pistol training, hatchet fighting, fight choreography, swordplay, a dozen wardrobe changes including medieval plate armor and shield, Nicole brought a calm dedication to her work, the set, and her fellow actors and crew.

I have worked with Nicole now on three different projects and remain quite impressed with her hard work, punctuality, professionalism, range and charm.  She is a talented actor capable of virtually anything you throw at her, and we expect to see a great many more achievements from her in the coming years.

Thanks, Nicole.

See Nicole in our Official Trailer for Shroud: http://Jetrefilm.com/

Shroud Excerpt

PAGE 90/91

INT. SHROUD – SALOON — EVENING

Victoria returns to the saloon, passes through the doors and sees FOUR GREYRIDERS (30’s – 40’s, haggard, cruel, dusty) standing at various stations in the saloon. They all turn to the Hollander, and exchange guessing glances. When, they wonder, were the townsfolk they rule going to mention the beautiful visitor and her little brother?

BRISBY (late 20’s, leering, stocky). Brisby’s eyes are always darting around, his weight always shifting with the anxiousness of Billy the Kid. He is impatient one.

“GULCH” GUILLORY” (30’s, quiet, Confederate). Guillory has a mechanical disposition and is always analyzing things rather than people. He is frequently  fixated or fidgeting with an object. He is the curious one.

JAMES TRUEPENNY (50’s, overconfident, disinterested). Truepenny always wants to be somewhere else and is rarely paying attention to the present. Wherever he  is, he is ready for the moment to be over. He is the bored one.

SLOAN (40’s, weathered, confident). Cold with a thousandyard stare that tells everyone he’s seen it and done it all. The leader of the posse, the others all respond to his commands. He is the calculating one.

Victoria raises her chin as Sloan walks up to her, spurs jangling. Sloan removes his hat.

SLOAN
(curiously)
Lady.

She doesn’t reply as the gunslinger admires her fine European dress and the young, firm figure to which it is enviably fitted.

SLOAN (cont.)
You’re as lovely as rain.

VICTORIA
(flatly)
Rain is common in England.

SLOAN
Not in Arizona. Here it is a rare and beautiful
thing, a thing for which all men thirst.

VICTORIA
(sharply)
And here I believed that to be whiskey.

At the bar, Comorro smiles.  Brisby is attentive.

Sloan’s false smile weakens a bit. The outlaw looks out the window and sees Elizabeth Undercroft approaching under parasol. Sloan turns back to Victoria.

SLOAN
I’ll see you again.

VICTORIA
Only if you can find me, I would think.

SLOAN
I’ll just follow the rose oil. Or maybe those
cute high-heeled footprints you’re leaving
wherever you go. Easy to follow a Lady
when there’s only one around.

Elizabeth glides into the saloon.

VICTORIA
How fortunate for me then that you can’t count.

Sloan puts his hat back on and smiles broadly, amused by her fiery ways. He runs his finger across his brim and glances at Elizabeth.

SLOAN
(whispered)
She’s no lady.

Victoria shudders at the evaluation. Elizabeth raises her chin, and her voice.

ELIZABETH
Mr. Sloan.

SLOAN
Why, Mrs. Undercroft, whatever brings
you to such an undignified place.

ELIZABETH
Why, your lack of dignity, Mr. Sloan.

SLOAN
And Mr. Undercroft, I reckon.

ELIZABETH
At once, if you please.

Elizabeth condescends with a smile and leaves. Sloan gestures for his men to follow him, which they do, one by one. Brisby lingers a bit, drinking in Victoria’s figure. He leaves the saloon. In the street, he glances back at Victoria through the saloon window.