Zoe Miller is the idealistic, "straight-edge" 23 year-old "shoegazer" guitarist with a troubled past. To further her musical career, Zoe convinces her bassist boyfriend Jake Reed and slacker drummer Bill "Trippy" Hansen to play at the SXSW Music Festival. With no money and even fewer connections, they consent to drive a jet-setting Texas billionaire's white Cadillac from New York City to Dallas through a drive-away car service and soon find themselves stranded in Big D for 3 days and nights. Forced to befriend 2 nouveau riche douchebags who get the band embroiled in an underground ecstasy ring and beguiled by the decadent lifestyles of their scheming Texas hosts, the band go on the run to New Orleans.
At heart, the story of “Substance” is set against the backdrop of something I care very deeply about: the independent or “indie” rock music scene. To be even more specific, I am obsessed with British indie pop, rock, and electronica. In this story, the conflicts of the protagonist rocker Zoe Miller are examined as she tries to navigate through the difficulties of being a flawed human being because of a less-than-idyllic upbring against the idealism of the “never selling out” mantra which she has placed onto a pedestal. The inability to never let go of that ideal, ironically, is at the heart of Zoe’s own self-destruction. Because Zoe is in a sense an alter ego for me, this project is about the conflict and awe I have with the ethos embodied through this milieu in my quest to “be real” and how that struggle sometimes makes me feel like a fraud while at other times gives me strength. Furthermore, the story is a subtle examination of class issues in America literally through the lens of one of the most universally-accepted forms of storytelling.
The title of “Substance” is an homage to 3 sources: 1.) Factory Records (UK) seminal musical act Joy Division/New Order and the art they cross-pollinated through video, graphic design, and music (including their 1987 singles album of the same name). 2.) The illegal substance ecstasy trade which serves as the major sub-plot of the script when the band’s journey to the music fest is detoured and they are forced to go “on the run to New Orleans.” 3.) The search for people of “Substance” for whom Zoe has lost faith because behind her mask of wry, sarcasm, there is a silent, inaudible cry out for help hence the theme of the movie: “What is true cannot be seen."
Starring Billy Ray Gallion who portrayed the role of "Randy Nations" on the ABC series "Lost" and Ray Mapes on the CBS TV show "Hawaii Five-0" (http://www.cbs.com/shows/hawaii_five_0/). Music courtesy of Kristin Hersh and CASH MUSIC: http://kristinhersh.cashmusic.org
John Dean Alfone, a writer/filmmaker who is a native and resident of New Orleans where he owns and operates a video production company, Corsair Media Productions, LLC (http://www.corsairmediaproductions.com).
In addition to having produced/directed 13 shorts, John Dean Alfone has written professionally about the film industry for Scene (Louisiana), Curve, Studio Daily, Below the Line, P3-Production Update, Offbeat, AntiGravity, Advocate, Culture Dose, Delta Style, Louisiana Weekly, and Where Yat Magazine. He has also worked in video production for Telemundo affiliate KGLA, TopSpin Creative/Japan's Nippon TV, TV Asia (Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s Inauguration), Japan's Gazeta USA/TV ASAHI, and shot High-Definition video for FUSE TV during the VoodooFest Music Experience held annually in New Orleans.
Born in London England, Steven Alexander moved to New York City. He holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Legal Studies from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, attended City College of New York Film School before eventually getting his MFA from New York University Tisch School of Film and Television. Steven resides in Los Angeles working on his next Film when not producing commercials.
All money being raised will be going directly into the production value elements of the film. I don't want live off any of this money-I want all of it to be seen on screen. We've already spent $7000 on the trailer (out-of-pocket, cash--not "in-kind") and will spend more.
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