The Big Picture

"I'll tell you what freedom is to me. No Fear." - Nina Simone

This past weekend we screened my second short film, The Picture Room, at our local theatre before it heads off to the festivals. It’s a film noir set in 1946, presented in black and white, and it’s really something magical. I’m at a loss for words to describe how I feel at the moment. All I can do, is think back to the process - to the days and nights of production, and how I was just shooting and watching the actors and the crew do what they do best. We were constructing and building and designing this… this thing - this world.

All we had was a script, some lights, a camera and trust. To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure if at the end that everything would cut together. All I knew was, what I was seeing unfold before me was beautiful – inside the frame as well as outside of the frame. It was sort of unbelievable and I just had to stay in it. I had to let it take me, and when I surrendered to it, I felt unequivocally free. I already miss it.

Well, it did all cut together, and it turned out to be so much more than I ever expected it to be. The Picture Room screened six times over the 4th of July weekend at the Liberty Theatre – a lovely historic theatre here in my hometown of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, where we shot 98% of the film. I find it so appropriate that we had screenings on our Independence Day. I love that, actually, and we damn near packed the theatre out! Save a seat here, and a seat there. It was quite amazing.

The applause and energy in the room at then end was otherworldly. I'm hoping we struck up a sense of nostalgia for our audience, sitting there watching a film in black and white, after the thrill of the fireworks… I mean, how cool is that? 

Before I step away from the keyboard, I just want to say; know that the seemingly impossible is always possible. We make all of this happen, this life and this world, and that’s seemingly impossible. Yet here we are, day to day, doing it to death. So make it count. Just step up to the plate. Take a swing. You'll be surprised at what you can do when you put your mind to something, and if you strike out on the first swing, get back up there and swing again...and again. Don't ever give up.

- Jared C. Shumate    

Watch the Official Trailer for The Picture Room, posted below.
Watch the full film and go behind the scenes at: