So years and years ago, I came across a trailer for an independent film called Dust. It definitely piqued my interest because the visuals were stunning and there was a mysterious element to the story line. I followed the project for months and saw that the film eventually suffered setbacks from lack of funding and time for production. Then today, I found out the movie was actually completed in 2014 and is now available to watch for free on YouTube. This may not be a big deal to most folks but to me it is huge.
Some of my fans and clients may not know that I teach art at High Point Friends School. I currently teach Middle School Art and P.E. and I also do graphic design work to help with marketing efforts for the school. I work part time teaching and run my business of creating pet portraits and hosting paint parties part time. This is really fulfilling to me because I have my creative outlet and I get to train young artists the power of visual communication. The art curriculum I developed is catered to 5th-8th grade art students and considers how each year will build upon the previous year's skill set. We start at a very fundamental level with draftsman lettering and ruler skills, transition to one and two point perspective, advance to modeling and sculpting, learn about and implement the design process and eventually in the 8th grade year we focus on storytelling and make a short film. The 8th grade year is by far the most challenging part of the art curriculum, and the most rewarding. Our production level is super duper low, the acting is at times hilarious, but the core story is usually strong and our middle schoolers love to see what the eighth graders produce each year.
When we start to learn Storytelling, I introduce my students to Joseph Campbell and Christopher Vogler's work The Hero's Journey and The Writer's Journey. I have a handful of short films and commercials to help the students digest the concepts and internalize the fundamental structure of the craft. Dust was a film that I thought would exemplify the power of storytelling in a very compelling and creative way. I could not wait to show it to my students! Only, I thought it never got made. After a couple of years, I forgot about it. Then today, I was listening to a Podcast and the word dust came up, not in the context of the movie but towards some other reference. I was reminded of the film and decided to do a quick search to see if anything had happened. Lo and behold, the movie was completed in 2014, nearly SIX YEARS AGO! So I watched it. All 25 minutes of it right then and there. Couldn't help myself. Wasn't disappointed. Really truly blown away by the quality of this film.
So, I present to you the amazing Indy Film Dust, by Jason Gallaty, Michael Grier and Josh Grier. And I will definitely be sharing this film with my students in the years to come!