Tag Archive for cory ring

Top of the Hill – A Tom Sawyer Film

This is a Nomadic Ape Production.

The final edit draws near for the short feature we filmed this summer. Although Something Clever did not take a direct role in this guerilla film, I wanted to write about the greatest production adventure I’ve personally experienced thus far in independent filmmaking.

Shooting in Austin Texas

The shoot on Barton Springs Road in Austin.

Imagine a modern day, urban Tom Sawyer character who is slightly older – and the trouble he finds holds greater consequences. This was the basis of the script and the themes came naturally, Tom runs into an older character who is further on Tom’s chosen path so he looks up to this brotherly figure… we call him Calvin.

Calvin positions his shopping cart.

The most valuable part of the learning experience for this film was credited to the amount of time spent on the project from day 1 to the last day. Literally, we shot from wake up until bed time – although sleep was never truly sufficient.

Day 1: we spent in San Antonio in the sewers for a couple of hours and at a motel we rented for an important climatic scene. That particular scene was shot from 7pm until 3am.

San Antonio film shoot.

Day 2: Another day in S.A. gathering footage from many locations – primarily gas stations and shops around town.

Day 3: Our first day in Austin – a lengthy one. We had our second greatest scene that was shot on and under the Barton Springs Road bridge next to Zilker Park. Cameras rolled at 9 am and didn’t stop until 11 at night, rarely enforcing breaks.

Calvin makes a deal.

Wilson West Bondesen and Anthony Wofford run lines.

Jacob is sunburnt.

Day 4: Another day in Austin – we had many locations planned for this day including the outskirts of draining tunnels, convenient stores and alleys downtown.

Calvin looks through a dumpster.

Day 5: Wake up for some shooting on Town Lake in Austin – the “Tom and Calvin meet” scene – then off to the Four Aces ranch near Seguin, Texas.

The tunnel provides cover from the random downpour.

Day 6: The last full day of shooting took place at the ranch. It was quite leisurely but at this point we all were ready to finish the project. It was a good six full days spent together (plus a few more here and there) and the film will hopefully show this tight production relationship we developed throughout the shoot.

Tom hangs by Town Lake.

I’m overly excited to see the final product as it is being edited by my brother and his roommates in North Carolina at the moment. More posts to come soon.


Town Lake Austin Texas