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March 22, 2014 | posted in Filmmakers
What would you do if your best friend and girlfriend were leaving you behind in your small town for new adventures? Rob your boss of petty cash? Maybe.
Brothers Zeke and Simon Hawkins, co-directors of “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” know a little something about relationships, good and bad. Their film is a Texas thriller where everything goes wrong from the very beginning.
Though presenting their first feature film, Zeke and Simon have been working together since they were teenagers.
“Simon did the editing while I sat close by and did things like drink coffee,” jokes Zeke. But he adds seriously, “The process of working together makes total sense and is a natural ebb and flow.”
Making the film took two years, according to the Hawkins’ brothers. Producers Brian Udovich and Justin Duprie were originally inspired to tell the story because of their own family ties.
Duprie is a fourth-generation cotton farmer, and the co-producers built the idea around his community. Screenwriter Dutch Southern came into the mix and wrote the script based on the producers’ stories.
The Hawkins brothers were last to join the team.
“In making a lower-budget movie, things tend to take longer,” says Simon, “but we always have each other to utilize to make things happen.”
Zeke adds, “We have differentiated roles in the process. We each have our own specific thing, and we talk a lot about what we want to do.” So why did they choose this film to be their first co-feature? “We saw a script we believed was unique, and we thought it was an opportunity to make something special,” says Simon.
“We Gotta Get Out of This Place” is unique in that it is accessible. Desperation, confusion and sexual tension abound in this thriller.
Just like characters in their film might not always agree, Zeke and Simon have had their doubts. However, they consider themselves lucky.
“With the two of us, we have a support system,” Zeke says. “You get to push for what you really need to do rather than listening to the million reasons telling you to stop.”
— Molly Drake
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ICYMI: The CIFF staff was thrilled to have welcomed National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu to the office on Thursday morning. Our friends from Ohio Arts Council, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, and Community Partnership for Arts and Culture joined in on the fun as well. What a perfect way to start the day! (And yes, Beth is wearing a flag dress.)
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