Trapped Main Character Steven Plays the Piano
Interviewer: I wanted to thank all of you for taking the time to interview with Prize4Life, and wanted to start off by asking what were the roots of this project?
Zach: Amy Yamner (Prize4Life Chairman of the Board) called us in March of 2008 and said she had found a short-film about Alzheimer's disease that got a lot of hits and put Alzheimer's into the public eye, and she thought [we] could do something similar to raise awareness about ALS. Then Jim and I wrote the script and after 2-3 revisions we starting shooting on September 15th, after giving our lead actor [David Rodgers] a month to do research. David Rodgers really did his homework and found stuff on Avi [Avi Kremer, CEO of Prize4Life]. He took the responsibility of capturing someone with ALS accurately.
Jim: I saw Zach’s talent and trusted him right away. Shortly after meeting him, we did another movie together.
Jim Mahoney (left) and James Takata at the Screening Event
Interviewer: What are your hopes for the film?
James: Even if the film doesn’t do anything beyond raise awareness, it is a success. I’m delighted to help push for a cure to ALS and anything beyond that is a bonus. But we’re really excited about this film and would love to see it go to a festival. I’m glad to be a part of it.
Steven's Hands Trying to Write His Music
Interviewer: Tell us about the production process? What were the challenges?
Jim: Most of the crew work 80-90 hours per week, but they still managed to work full days on the weekends to make Trapped. All of the crew were volunteers, and James offered up his house for 12 or so long days of shooting.
Zach: At one point, we had 10 people polishing a piano for one of the final scenes. It was great.
James: One of the challenges was trying to portray this fatal disease without being too sappy and sad. This was especially difficult because this is a short film and you have to establish understanding of the characters quickly.
Interviewer: What are some of the highlights of the movie and the process in your minds?
Zach: Michael Mollo’s music. He composed all the scores and soundtracks for the movie. He did this for free and wants to contribute to ending ALS as well. One of the other highlights was hearing from Avi on Skype during the premiere in L.A. People were on their feet and clapping.
James: One of the things I really liked about the script is that in the end, Steven is the same person as at the beginning of it. Even though the disease is killing his body, the person and his abilities are still in there.
Interviewer: Thanks guys. Any parting thoughts?
Zach: We did this because everyone enjoys making films, but mostly because people like James' wife's grandfather died from ALS and he couldn’t do anything about it. That’s a tragedy we hope the film will ameliorate.
The Trapped video is a fantastic story about the tragedy of ALS. The music is original and well composed, and the film conveys its messages artfully and powerfully, but in a subtle way. The Prize4Life blog will be tracking the video as it attempts to enter the festival circuit and will keep the Prize4Life community informed. Thanks for participating in the first Prize4Life blog posting, and please join us by becoming a follower, subscribing to the blog, or leaving a comment!