By January 2, 2017 Read More →

FilmMakerView – Runnels Brothers’ Last Alleycat

FilmMaker View
By Chris Murphy

The Last Alleycat
Modesto will be home to an exciting film premier on February 2.
Over the last 2 years, the Runnels Brothers filmmaking duo of Greg and Mark have been making a film in and around Modesto, featuring the single speed cycling life that captures a down on his luck record label owner, looking to win his last big bike race. Filmed all over California, there are many great local scenes and the film is filled with local characters. The local elements end there, as this is a truly great film destined for national recognition.

We caught up with the talented film duo as they wrapped up their film release preparations.

ModestoView: What was like to make a film about Modesto in Modesto?
Mark: This is the second feature that we’ve shot here. We had a few days of shooting in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but the bulk of the story takes place in the Central Valley. Being a no-budget film, we have to be creative about our shooting locations, since there were zero dollars in our location line. The town, or namely the people, always treat us like we’re wanted.

Since we used a mix of professional and non-professional actors, we needed to use real people to play some of the smaller parts. One of our film’s strengths is the honest performances from real people.

MV: Who or what was your inspiration for the film?
Greg: We had a film, a feature about the writer Charles Bukowski, lose its option with a production company down in LA. The day after we got the bad news we went right to work on The Last Alleycat, a project we originally hoped to do for around $10,000. We didn’t want to waste another two years waiting around for nothing. Mark had been playing around with a screenplay blending an unproduced play with his own experiences as a cyclist. It was a lean script, based on the simple machinery of a fixed gear bike.

MV: Is it easier or harder to make a film scenes in your hometown or in other cities?
Mark. Way easier to shoot in the Central Valley. Places like LA can sometimes look at film shoots as a limitless ATM machine, plus the astounding prices for permitting. We’ve been on commercials shooting in a residential neighborhood and neighbors start mowing their lawns to mess with production sound. They know they could be looking at a few hundred bucks coming their way to keep them quiet. Hope we don’t create a bunch of monsters with this information!

MV: Will the film be part of the film festival scene this year?
Greg: We got into a few smaller festivals, but our campaign is over. We’re now doing what’s called four walling, a form of self-distribution. We’ll be showing our film in Modesto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and maybe a few more cities. Any profits will go toward trying to get our film on Netflix, cable and Video On Demand. For now we want to raise awareness for our film and give audiences the chance to see it on the big screen. Our film was built to be shown in a theatre.

MV: What will surprise audiences when they see the film?
Mark: How much the Central Valley works into the film’s narrative. Modesto, Oakdale, Knight’s Ferry and parts in between are well represented and play a big part in our story.

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