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
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.
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.
See Nicole in our Official Trailer for Shroud: http://Jetrefilm.com/
Get the camera out of the way of the scene.
Lose all the amateurs gimmicks and just let the camera “observe” the action, then use camera movement to convey energy, movement, emotional motion and tension.
Dolly Shots or tracking shots (originally called Cabiria movements, which I think sounds cooler) have their place. Crane shots have their place. Every type of shot has its place and its purpose, and there is no faster way to prove to an audience you have no idea what you are doing than to use specific shots randomly, without justification.
I know this cuts cross-wise with the hour’s fad of jarring hand-held and seizure-inducing camera work – but trust me, it is lame and inexcusable.
The best way to direct is to hire great actors. If you have an actor that is riveting, commanding and dramatically compelling – from wailing over the death of a loved one to a still contemplation – you will (or at least should) realize that moviemaking is not about the camerawork, it’s about the dramatic telling of a story. Now everybody get this: your movie is ultimately only as good as your performances. Everything else serves the performance.
Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Bruce Lee – just turn the camera on and let it go.
A tactical and wise use of camera movement announces a tactical and wise mind. Be discerning.
I love complex and stylized shots, but I don’t seek to employ them randomly or constantly. They have their place.
Even thought I can be meticulous in framing my shots, I love options so I get lots of coverage: establishing shots, interior masters, 3-shots, 2-shots, close-ups, extreme close-ups – I try to get them all so I have an abundance of editing choices should my original storyboard not hold up in post-production.
I have also noticed that famous directors who started out as art directors in advertising and commercials have a disproportionate affection for extreme close-ups – and I am no different. I am a staunch defender of the truth that a story happens on the macro level and the micro level.
Going back to framing your shots…
You know, quite frequently there is only one way to properly frame a shot. I know that sounds elitist, but I cannot tell you how many times I will go to check a frame and the camera man has just set the tripod up and aimed the camera at the action. This casual indifference to the setting of the action is a constant threat to a well composed frame.
Are you using the natural geometry present in the set? Are lines (vertical, horizontal, diagonal) engaged in the scene? Are present visual partitions (natural or forced) utilized? What about dominant objects, the play of light, the play of shadows, color, texture, angle, tilt, or grain?
If you don’t know how to frame your shot then go study the great painters. They had it down.
Lastly, and this is the most important part of being a director: if people will not or cannot do the jobs expected of them — namely, fulfilling your vision for your film — fire them.
Life, work and romance are delicate enterprises that simply have no partnership with the active or passive-aggressive weaknesses of the inferior, the insecure, the uninspired, the insipid, the intimidated or the envious.
Surround yourself with people who want to shine together in the 49th octave of vibration.
Actually, this is my last point: practice, practice and practice some more. Watch movies — watch them for dramatic value, then angles, then lighting, then dialog, then sound. Over and over and over and over.
Your visual hunger should be insatiable. All media is fair for study: advertising, painting, cartoons, animations, films, televisions, photographs. Then take what you know and get behind a camera and stay there for a while.
You should be a quantum sponge absorbing everything you encounter, evaluating it and discarding the trash.
The proof of desire is pursuit.
When we decided to do Shroud, we were very optimistic about our ability to tell a good story with compelling dramatic elements and brave art direction. Like any first film, it has been a long painful process, a mixed parade of brilliant successes, stunning achievements, unforseen setbacks, bewildering reversals, endless obstacles and finally — sweet, sweet victory.
We were very fortunate, given the ambitious nature of our first film: we worked with a lot of amazing people who understood this was our first major motion picture, and kindly forgave us the many missteps we made along the way. Many, who had made films before, offered us advise and guidance on many issues and aspects of the filmmaking process we either didn’t know about, or anticipated only in part.
We broke all the rules and reached as far as we possibly could.
Make no mistake, it was arduous, at best. But the great talent we surrounded ourselves with got us through it. We owe a great amount of thanks to the cast and crew of Shroud.
Also, like any business venture, our production was infiltrated by some persons who are best described as incompetent, while others were posers, passive aggressive, prickly, predators and some were just plain paranoid. Despite our best efforts, we failed to weed out these people before allowing them to work along our more generous and accommodating cast and crew. For our lack of judgment, we owe a great apology to the cast and crew of Shroud for forcing them to endure some plainly unprofessional behavior brought to both the production and post-production phase of our film by these people.
It is worth noting that some people are just deeply fractured, and in places not easily fixed. These people corrupt the hard work of their peers with suspicion, hearsay, slander and accusations. Despite the many extreme measures we made to promote a creative and safe environment — meeting as many demands and expectations as we were fiscally capable — some people simply preferred insults, injury and attempts at intimidation.
These people are so perversely biased toward their own interests, that no amount of diplomacy, negotiation or accommodation can or will please them. Instead, they prefer their minor tyrannies to the more advanced human tier of partnership. They keep their cold souls warm only through the thick blanket of arrogance in which they wrap themselves. Their belief in their own sense of entitlement is chilling and palpable.
Fortunately, these people are incapable of subtlety, and invariably play their poor hand in front of everyone, allowing us to finally see them for what they are…and more importantly, what they are not.
Yet, there are many we had the privilege of working with that did not behave so boorishly. Instead, a few of our cast and crew literally stand as examplars of professionalism, kindness, and cooperation.
One such person is Nicole Leigh Jones.
Possessed as she is of many flawless features and faculties, one might easily assume she is as cold-souled as many others in the entertainment business — I can assure you she is not.
Nicole, more than anyone else on the set of Shroud, demonstrated untiring dedication to our film, despite the long development, grueling hours, remote locations and demanding dialog of the project. As impossible as it may be to believe, her great beauty and her rare talent are exceeded only by her compassion and her sterling character.
Thank you, Nicole.