Logline: Deep in the woods of Maine, a broken promise made after the September 11th attacks forces two friends to confront the teenagers they were and the men they’ve become.
Length: 107 minutes
Director: Jake Hulse
Producer: Kelly Henshaw and Mike Haas
Writer: Jake Hulse
About the writer, director and producer:
JAKE HULSE (Writer/Director): started his filmmaking career at the concession counter of his local cineplex. He’d begged them to let him be an usher, but he wasn’t old enough and the closest he ever got to working in the theatre was shelling out bags of popcorn in the main lobby.
MICHAEL HAAS (Producer/VFX Artist): was heavily involved in all phases of pre-production, production, and post-production. He also created the visual FX for the film.
KELLY HENSHAW (Producer): has an Associates Degree in Visual Arts and a BA in Liberal Arts from Bay Path University. She produced the film and served as the production designer, UPM, and location scout.
Key cast: Andrew Casanova, Tyler McElroy, and Robert Schorr.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): All of the above.
Made in association with: Happy Wasteland Studios
Release date: World Premiere 06/08/2016 @ 9:30PM
Where can I watch it at Dances With Films or in the next month?
TCL Chinese Theatre: Wednesday, June 8 @ 9:30PM.
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I love movies. As a young kid we didn’t have much and when we would go to Blockbuster it was this incredibly exciting event for me, my brother, and my sister. So I’ve always wanted to make them. This journey has been amazing.
When it comes to “Heroes Don’t Come” specifically, I’m a teacher and coach and I made this film for my students who weren’t even born when 9/11 happened. My goal was to start a conversation. I think good stories get people talking, and I want Americans to talk about the role we as a country have played in the world and what they want our role to be.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
It’s a story about a broken friendship and that connects with all of us. We’ve all broken our word... 9/11 twisted us as a country and ripples throughout our lives even today. This is a story people haven’t seen...a reminder of what we went through on that horrific day and more importantly what coming back from Afghanistan was like. It’s a story where two men, who were incredibly close, say those things we only dare to think about.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
This film is about family and how we cope with loss. On a broader level it’s a story about revenge and how that shreds families apart. Whether that means broken promises or war.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
Every collaborator I worked with helped this film develop. The script evolved through numerous drafts as a I workshopped it with a local group of writers called the Noho Screenwriters. The script and my own thinking really matured when I sat down with veterans and discussed what this film meant to them and what they thought about its content.
The DP and I story boarded every shot and during those conversations we really cultivated how this film would feel. The actors all brought beautiful performances and personal touches that breathed life into the words on the page. Once our composer and Sound Designer put that final layer on the film it brought everyone’s work together in this great emotional symphony.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
We haven’t shown the film to anyone yet. I’ll have to let you know.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I can’t speak to the effect that feedback on the film has challenged my thinking yet, but the feedback I received from veterans during the script rewrites really challenged my perspective and I think they forced me to realize that war and why we go is so much more complicated than what most people understand.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I want an audience to see this film. The only reason I made it was so that people would see it. I’m so grateful that Dances with Films has given us this opportunity. If “wearemovingstories” helps us reach one more person then we furthered our cause.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
All of the above. I strongly believe in the message of this film because after watching it the audience will construct their own. It’s the spark to a conversation our country never has and desperately needs to.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I’d love to see this film used to get high school students and college students talking about foreign policy and why the United States should use military force. I think it’s easy to say “let’s blow stuff up,” but it’s harder to say that when we see the impacts those decisions have on the people that go and the people they leave behind.
Many of us forget about our veterans...our daily lives are so busy it’s easy to… I would like our country to think about the true cost of war and when they vote, I’d love to see Americans make decisions in light of that cost. I’d also like to see people disagree with one another about what the film is about - because that will get them talking - and that’s my goal. If they’re talking about who we are and who we would’ve been then the HDCH Team accomplished their goal.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
How do we as a country decide when to go to war and who do we send?
Would you like to add anything else?
Thanks to anyone who comes out and watches the film. Their time is valuable and I wouldn’t ask them to give up an evening if it wasn’t for a story I really believed in.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Jake Hulse has just finished a comedy, called Jumpers and Cutters, about a guy who wants to end his life and a girl who, despite his objections, is “going to help him find the best place possible” for him to jump off of. She grew up in a hospital and has recently escaped - she doesn’t get out too much. Together they set out on a road trip across the country and learn that life isn’t about what we’ve done, but how we make people feel.
With a writing partner, he’s also working on a thriller pilot, called Semblance, about the dark matter that exists invisibly alongside us and the race of beings that has been trapped there, until now. As a young girl, Sofia and her brother accidentally ripped a hole in-between the two dimensions and something came through. This story takes place in the industrial underbelly of Worcester Massachusetts, and follows Sofia and her nephew as they try to prove the horrific events of her childhood were not the hallucinations of a young psychotic girl.
Mike Haas: is working on Satan’s Bounty Hunter. Logline: Two angel warriors protect humans from demons for thousands of years until one of them turns, taking vengeance on wicked humans, breaking one of heaven's unbreakable laws. Now his partner must stop him and all of his followers from intervening in the lives of man – no matter how noble the intentions.