I’m an actor, writer, and producer, and back in 2015 I was itching to do a project that would catapult me into a dreamland of true gritty adventure.
Usually filmmaking is a lot of make-believe. If you need to get a scene of people walking in a forest, you drive to a destination that looks completely remote and have the actors take a stroll into that “deep dark isolated forest”. Truthfully though, if you were to turn that camera around, you’d probably see a road behind them. Usually that’s how it’s done. Smoke and mirrors. How we made At Your Own Risk is pretty much the exact opposite.
In 2015 I was obsessed with the world of geocaching. I pitched a concept to filmmaker friends of mine Alexandra Boylan and John K.D. Graham, a film about two career driven women deep in the New Mexico desert doing something along the lines of geocaching or treasure hunting. Alexandra and John had wanted to get back to their filmmaking roots for quite a while and do something just for the love of the art and the fun of it, so they immediately said yes.
We enlisted Alexandra’s brother Andrew Boylan to pen the script, and along with their usual filmmaking partner in crime cinematographer and camera person extraordinaire Richard Galli, our tiny team was formed. What followed was one of the greatest adventures of my life.
Shooting a movie in “the elements” is tough enough, but it’s especially difficult when you are a ridiculously small team of only four people. Rick was in charge of all things camera oriented, John was directing while running sound on location, and Alexandra and I were acting while keeping track of props and wardrobe, making sure we were staying on top of the shooting schedule and generally being in charge of the producer-type jobs. We looked at it all as a giant experiment in independent filmmaking. Could we film an entire feature film in two weeks with only four people lugging gear day in and day out, hiking up and down mountains to get the perfect shot? The answer is yes.
At Your Own Risk is a movie born out the pure joy of finding adventure in the craft of filmmaking and also a love for the great outdoors. It’s a story that I am very proud to bring to audiences all over the world which shows multifaceted, capable women braving the unknown, all with the will to survive. It’s a project that seems like it would have far too many obstacles to succeed, but it did (check out John’s article in MovieMaker Magazine about shooting this movie with only 4 people and a $1,000 production budget). And I’m very excited to share this next part of the adventure with you.
We released At Your Own Risk on Amazon and iTunes in the fall of 2018 and I’m very excited to say that it is NOW AVAILABE on Amazon Prime as well in over 60 countries!! Check it out, leave us a rating and review, and check out our Behind the Scenes video below to see how on earth we shot this film!