A Different Type of "Blue" Movie
By Madison Jones
Cinema Alterna, a new production company, which dedicates itself to making artistic and meaningful films, introduces the film, "Blue," a story about a boy with blue skin hoping to find acceptance in a society that often judges by outward appearance. Director Charles Huddleston explains the story and concept behind "Blue," as well as his personal journey into the film industry and his passion for independent film.
How did you begin in the film industry?
I started as an actor. In the course of pursing acting in television and film, it became obvious that I was going to need to become more of a content creator than just an actor. That led me to this place where I am now as a screenwriter and director, and I believe it's the career I was headed toward all along.
You made two films before "Blue," what were they about?
The first one is called "Assisting Venus." It's mostly based on "Venus In Furs," the book by Masoch. It's different in that it's modernized. It really departs from that story. It's based on this concept of a relationship where the woman is the one in control; the one making the decisions and controlling where the relationship goes.
The second film is a comedy, a complete departure from "Assisting Venus." It's titled "Dadgum, Texas." It's a story about a girl from a small town in Texas. She wakes up one day, speaks with her parents and discovers she's half-Mexican, right before she's about to get married. It sort of throws her life in a tailspin. It's a wacky comedy but it also deals with important issues.
How did the concept for Blue come about?
There's an actual genetic mutation that can turn someone's skin blue. I think it was in Kentucky there was an incident of this. My family is from the southwestern corner of Virginia, and so my grandmother had heard stories of these people not far away in Kentucky, and she told me this story. She was always encouraging me to explore the world and think critically about what was going on with an open mind toward people who were different. That story stuck in my mind and was filed away as a potential storyline for later.
How would you describe the film?
It's ultimately a love story; a story about acceptance and seeing people for who they really are rather than what they look like. I believe many people of various different backgrounds will see themselves in the character of Blue. In many ways, I see myself as the character of Blue.
What do you want people to feel when they walk away from this film?
It doesn't matter who they are or how they feel, the person they are inside is the important thing in how they should be judged. But also, this film leaves you with the knowledge that we have more to do as a society.
Where can people see the film?
We are finishing up post-production now. Then we'll be at film festivals later this year, and a release sometime after that.
Where was the film shot?
We shot in a little town called Marshall in North Carolina. It's a beautiful little town; it's exactly what I was looking for. It was just perfect.
You've now directed three films, how do you think you've changed or grown as a director?
Each one gets better. Each one gets bigger. I've definitely learned quite a bit since my first time directing. This process with Blue is the first time at the end of the day I'm not really kicking myself and wishing I had done something different.
"Blue" is your first film under the Cinema Alterna company, tell me a bit about Cinema Alterna.
We founded Cinema Alterna as a production company to really start looking at the films we wanted to make. I've gone to film markets and have spoken with distributers and sales agents. One of them was blunt enough to say, 'No dramas, no female leads and no ethnic leads.' So rather than attempt to make movies that conform to what they want me to make, I've rededicated myself to making the kind of movies I enjoy watching.
What are your goals as a film company?
Cinema Alterna was founded on making artistic films that are commercially viable in that they are something that the mass public could consume. At Cinema Alterna, we are going back to independent film's roots, which is to tell good stories with the resources we have.
What other films are on your production slate?
The one that we've been working on for a couple years is a modern day adaption of the Ibsen play, "A Doll's House."
Huddleston is the co-founder of Cinema Alterna, and the director of "Blue." To find out more information about "Blue," Cinema Alterna and upcoming films, please visit the website www.CinemaAlterna.com.
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