1. More videos, music, and info to explore at :: thetreewheredeadpeoplegrow.tumblr.com
    Follow the truth trail!...!

    Sam is a freshman in college with an overactive imagination. His father is a historian and a descendant of Samuel Adams, whose most beloved American symbol is the Liberty Tree. When Arienette, a girl born in Iraq whom he meets in philosophy class, reveals to him the truth about the Sons of Liberty and the Liberty Tree, chaos ensues. They both come to question their cultural identities that have become intertwined by current events, in the context of the vastly different and sometimes bloody historical pasts.
    WHO ARE YOU!?!

    ***

    It began as a folk song. Kicking stones down a brick sidewalk, encountering lost loves, the homeless, fanatics, revolutionaries, historical conspiracy, in just a few steps. It was a simple idea about pride and the place you call home, all revolving around this one provoking line "The Tree Where Dead People Grow." The idea grew until a few verses couldn't contain it.

    The scriptwriting process began in a noisy dorm room. The document passing through the hands of friends and professors, gradually growing in pages for almost two years. Over the process, the character of Arienette started to claim her own story. What was more provoking were the responses it got from both people whose history goes back to colonial times and people who were first generation American. It evolved into a character study on cultural identity for these two flawed and confused kids, contrasting the dawn of this nation with current events. The script got a nomination for Best Dramatic Screenplay at the EVVY awards and kept getting positive responses for bringing it to life.

    However, production seemed doomed from the start. Cinematographers and actors dropped like flies and one actor even tried to sabotage the project. It first entered into production in late 2008 and had to be shut down very quickly due to weather and equipment. For some reason, the project kept on living.

    Our heroine was found purely by chance, through friends of friends and of course, the band Bright Eyes. Suzanna Kopec was a computer sciences major when she was asked to be the leading lady, and she was a natural. It was her unwavering faith in the project and her dedication that probably gave it a second pair of legs.

    For only having made one film before this, it was amazing how the cinematographer, David Robinson, handled one that was about three times longer. And also amazing how he put up with all the stupid requests and ideas, and of course for bearing with months of being without a computer in order for editing to finish.

    In October of 2009, production was completed. The film still plays out like a folk song and in that spirit, the soundtrack is composed completely out of local folk music (and one punk rock song) from Boston, MA. As much as the film is about individuality, in the end it embraces community and I'm proud to have it be a part of the extremely talented music and art scene that is thriving in Jamaica Plain, Boston and Cambridge.

    You can find the soundtrack to the short here: http://woolgathering.bandcamp.com/

    Written, Produced, Directed, and Edited by Lee Stepien
    Cinematography and Produced by David Robinson
    Animated by Emily Small

    Sam - Lee Stepien
    Arienette - Suzanna Kopec
    Samuel (Sam's Father) - Frank Morrill

    Music written and performed by Lee Stepien, Ben Potrykus, Greg Mullen, and Dan MacDonald.

    You can find the soundtrack to the short here: http://woolgathering.bandcamp.com/

    Uploaded 328 Plays 0 Comments
  2. A charming little 20 or so minute short film about love and lynching.

    Sam is a freshman in college with an overactive imagination. His father is an American historian, whose most beloved American symbol is the Liberty Tree. When Arienette, a girl born in Iraq whom he meets in philosophy class, reveals to him the truth about the Sons of Liberty and the Liberty Tree, chaos ensues. They both come to question their cultural identities that have become intertwined by current events, in the context of the vastly different, and sometimes dark, historical pasts. WHO ARE YOU!?!?

    Uploaded 141 Plays 0 Comments

The Tree Where Dead People Grow

Mango Nebula

A charming little 15 or so minute short film about love and lynching.

Sam is a freshman in college with an overactive imagination. His father is an American historian, whose most beloved American symbol is the Liberty Tree. When Arienette, a girl born…


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A charming little 15 or so minute short film about love and lynching.

Sam is a freshman in college with an overactive imagination. His father is an American historian, whose most beloved American symbol is the Liberty Tree. When Arienette, a girl born in Iraq whom he meets in philosophy class, reveals to him the truth about the Sons of Liberty and the Liberty Tree, chaos ensues. They both come to question their cultural identities that have become intertwined by current events, in the context of the vastly different, and sometimes dark, historical pasts. WHO ARE YOU!?!?

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