Oh yes, I’m still here. And yes, this film is still happening.

Someone on the outside looking in could easily draw the conclusion that with no update in over a year, this project is dead in the water. A reasonable supposition, given the lack of information, but I’m here to explain what’s happened in the past year, what’s changed in the project itself and where we stand today.

First, and most importantly: YES. The film is still happening. I’ve spent more than a few years of my life on fulfilling this dream, and you can rest assured I have zero interest in ever abandoning it. The film is still in editing, and as “proof of life” I’m posting this scene from the “Spring” portion of the film, from Eric’s segment. The scene uses a temp music track that was previously used for the trailer, composed by Adonis Aletras, and features Eric Kunz and Lisa Ortlieb, a high school teacher. Think of this as a small window into how the rest of the film is shaping up.

So, why is this taking so long? For three principal reasons: 1) I’ll be the first to admit that having only worked on scripted short films, I woefully underestimated how much time it would take to compose an unscripted, feature-length film. 2) There were work and life issues. My loving family, new responsibilities at my career/job, and a brief stint as an elected official to very low public office were all factors.

…but it was really the third reason that led to an over six-month hiatus from the project.

3) Risk management over rights issues.

Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that there were some concerns over some footage that was captured at a location that I mistakenly thought we had permission to use. After a bit of very amicable and good-natured discussion with the concerned party, it became clear that this was, quite simply, a miscommunication that we were all very glad to resolve on very friendly terms and in good faith. So this was not, itself an issue (with my thanks again to them for their understanding.)

The bigger issue was rather what OTHER, as yet unknown surprises might come down the line.

I have a friend who was one of the subjects of a different feature documentary, completely unrelated to the topic of this one. That great film was completed, released and distributed, only after which the filmmakers received legal notice from a rights-holder that their film’s title had inadvertently infringed on an existing trademark. That was ALSO resolved amicably, but THAT incident gave me pause.

For about six months I weighed the benefits of completing this project against the possibility of unknown legal problems down the road, simply for wanting to tell a story. In the end, completing the film wasn’t something I was willing to simply walk away from. Instead, to mitigate risk, ***I made the decision that this film will be released for free.***

This is no longer a commercial venture, it is now truly going to finish as a labor of love. CAPTIVATED will be released as a not-for-profit film, likely on free streaming.

I’ve been back in the swing of editing since late last year, and after unraveling a bit of the film to minimize risk issues, things are moving forward once again. The wait is admittedly longer than any of us would have anticipated, but don’t count this film out. It’s absolutely in progress. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the scene, and I thank you for your continued patience…

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