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You are here: Community Features ‘Mud’ film now enters post-production

‘Mud’ film now enters post-production

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The film crew for “Mud” (Hashtł’ishnii) wrapped up their three-day production Sept. 11.

The film crew shot their production in three separate locations in Gallup.  Other scenes were in Lupton, Arizona and in Black Hat, N.M., at a convenience store.

A challenging scene was filmed in a Chevy pickup truck while in motion on U.S. Route 491 and State Highway 264.

“Filming in Gallup and on the Navajo Nation was a great experience for us,” said Shaandiin Tome, writer and director of Mud. “We had the best team I have ever worked with on a production.”

Members of the film crew are from Grand Rapids, Mich., to Los Angeles, Calif.  Other members are from Taos, Santa Fé, and Albuquerque, N.M.

Mud was one of two selectees at this year’s Sundance Institute’s Native Filmmaker Lab the renowned organization backed.

“Our story is about Ruby, a mother who is mending her relationship with her son,” Tome said, “which is hindered by alcoholism.”

Ruby is played by Trini King, who from a theater background. Her acting credits includes Edge of America, a 2003 drama.

Forrest Goodluck, an actor and a fellow Native American filmmaker, plays the part of Joseph. He is known for his role as “Hawk” in the acclaimed “The Revenant” in 2015, with Leonardo DiCarpio.

Ruby’s cousin Harold is played by Ernest Tsosie III, an actor and comedian best known for “Legends from the Sky” in 2015, Drunktown’s Finest in 2014, and Turquoise Rose in 2007.

“This is resonate of the energy we beheld the entire time,” during filming, Tome said.  “Our characters did a phenomenal job in their roles. We want to tell a human story that will provoke thought as much as it sheds light on the challenges of alcohol.  Isolation is often overlooked, yet it is a huge factor of individuals who consume excessively.”

Although Tome grew up in Fairfax, Va., Denver, Colo., and Albuquerque, N.M., she spent time in Houck, Ariz., Red Valley, Ariz., and Manuelito Canyon, N.M.

“Many of my relatives succumb to alcohol,” Tome said. “I see them as I do all others, as people with a different set of challenges. I love them.”

Tome explained that in the film, Ruby is the generous and loving mother.

“Our desire is to tell the story that people can relate to,” she said. “Behind the statistics, there are unheard voices.  While Ruby is a fictional character, we believe, she is the gateway for those voices to be heard.”

Mud was filmed on a tight schedule.  There were some 22 members of the film crew.

“We wanted quality,” said Aroonsri Khamsamran, the film’s producer. “We painstakingly used 16 mm film to accomplish this end.”

Khamsamran, from Taos, N.M., enjoys challenges.

“All good work requires depth, extraordinary effort and talent,” she said.  “It’s why we carefully put together the best team and went after actors who will best tell our story. Everyone we encountered while shooting Mud were endearing. When we finished our production, we were relieved from our exhaustion working long hours. We were also sad to see everyone leave.”

While Mud Films production has received enormous support even with a public financing campaign, cost overruns have left production in a financial challenge.

“We spent nearly four times the amount we budgeted for insurance,” she said. “We were required to cover our crew and most especially our talent.”

A film’s biggest challenge is the role of an executive producer—raising money.

“Continue to like us on Facebook, share the word,” said Khamsamran.  “Every dollar we receive is an investment in production quality. We are proud to have a Native American express her perspective and represent her culture.”

“It was a pleasure working on the Navajo Nation.”

Visit: www.mudfilm.com

Staff Reports