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production stills Archives - Filmstigator

Alex Whitmer


February 24, 2014

Guest Post: Screenwriting for Filmstigator

February 24, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

by Alex Whitmer

As there are many bits and pieces of my own childhood in the screenplay and story, ‘GIFT’ holds a special place for me. With that in mind, having ‘GIFT’ in the hands of the right crew and the right director with as similar a vision as possible was paramount.


A page from the ‘GIFT’ shooting script

I believe all writers are possessive about their stories, and, like me, hold a few near and dear above all others. Over the course of 50+ produced short scripts, I have come to terms with letting the creative collaboration process take over once a script is picked up. Most often that process brings many wonderful surprises and ‘hadn’t thought of that’ moments.

Katherine Shepler gets a touch up from makeup artist Tara Lynn Overby & 1st AD Melissa Bowers.

The creative input from the lighting folks, the sound folks, script supervision and costume, and on up and down the line, all coalesces to move printed word into moving pictures.

Michael liked the story, and he saw opportunities through a director’s eye that could bring ‘GIFT’ to fruition. After just one read-through of Michael’s new draft, I knew he had the intuition on where to take the story.

There was still casting to be done, and it is this process that gives the absolute and final voice to the characters on paper.

Sound man Tom Boisseau prepares to roll on a take.

Of course, there is a tremendous amount of support and direction, takes, make-up and editing–but in the end it is the actors an audience will attach to.  All the arts and technical knowledge and selecting just the right shirt and lens and light and cut all melt into the background. It’s just us and them.

Royce Mann, Katherine Shepler, & Michael Curtis on the set of ‘GIFT.’

I really can’t say enough about the chosen cast, and the beautiful and heartfelt performances they gave. I sincerely hope this film opens both big and small doors for them.

Being the quintessential hermitical writer, I was not on set during production. I much prefer the abstractness of pen and paper.  But from what I can see in the behind-the-scenes photos, the production stills, and the trailer, there was nothing but professionalism on the set. It just shows.

The locations are far better than I imagined. Beautifully haunting comes to mind. I’ve always been of the school that locations ought to be treated like any cast member, and chosen just as carefully. They bring that much to a story.

Working with Michael and this crew has been very pleasant, with communication open and thorough. I would recommend to writers looking for that special feather in the cap to leap at the opportunity to work with the Filmstigator team.


Michael Curtis


January 20, 2014

More Poster Possibilities

January 20, 2014 | By | No Comments

We’re having fun playing with various poster designs for ‘GIFT.’  Let us know what you all think of the various options!




Michael Curtis


January 19, 2014

Production Stills from ‘GIFT’

January 19, 2014 | By | 4 Comments


Aaron (Royce Mann) makes a friend in the forest. ©2014, Filmstigator, LLC.

For the last few weeks we’ve been developing an electronic press kit to accompany ‘GIFT’ at film festivals. EPKs make it easy for festival organizers and journalists to quickly get lots of information about your film at once–production notes, synopses, reviews, cast & crew lists, posters, production stills and so on.  They’re an essential part of the overall film package that helps people get a sense of what the film is about and what went into creating it.

We thought it would be nice to share a few of the production stills here to give you all a sneak peek at what ‘GIFT’ looks like.  We’ll also be editing a trailer over the next couple of weeks, and we will certainly post that on this site as well as a new standalone web site we’re developing just for ‘GIFT.’

During pre-production I had developed detailed “mood boards” showing the looks, color palettes, and overall visual tone I was going for.  I went back and reviewed those notes recently, and I was struck by how close we had come to those early concept images in the finished film.  Other posts on this site have talked about how hard our amazing crew worked to deliver this level of cinematography, and I am excited to finally have the chance to share production stills with you.


Zoe (played by Katherine Shepler) discovers something unexpected. ©2014, Filmstigator, LLC.

An action sequence from 'GIFT.'

An action sequence from ‘GIFT.’ ©2014, Filmstigator, LLC.

A major prop in the film:  a 1926 Underwood typewriter that I found on e-Bay and had refurbished by Fielding Whipple, an octogenarian office equipment repairman in my home town.

A major prop in the film: a 1926 Underwood typewriter that I found on e-Bay and had refurbished by Fielding Whipple, an octogenarian office equipment repairman in my home town. ©2014, Filmstigator, LLC.

An action shot from 'GIFT.'  Actor:  Royce Mann.  Location:  Jekyll Island, Georgia.

An action shot from ‘GIFT.’ Actor: Royce Mann. Location: Jekyll Island, Georgia. ©2014, Filmstigator, LLC.

Zoe leaves the shed.

Zoe (Katherine Shepler) retreats to safety after an altercation with Aaron (Royce Mann). ©2014, Filmstigator, LLC.

Aaron in the woods

Aaron seeks solace in the natural world. ©2014, Filmstigator, LLC.


Royce Mann plays Aaron, one of the main characters in ‘GIFT.’ ©2014, Filmstigator, LLC.

Please let us know what you guys think of the production stills!