Steamboat Springs graduate looks to jumpstart feature film
May 30, 2012
"Red's" Kickstarter campaign launches Friday. For more information, visit http://red.filmsbyneptune.com.
Steamboat Springs — During his senior year of high school in 2005, Steamboat Springs' Ben Yennie made a film about his chosen career path of special education. He discovered that he liked the process of making the film even more than its subject.
Seven years later, Yennie is living in San Francisco and working in the film industry. And he's about to embark on a major feature film project.
"I love it. I'm really happy with where I am," Yennie said in a Wednesday interview with Explore Steamboat. "I didn't quite expect all this to pan out as it did — and as quickly as it did."
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A modern version of the "Little Red Riding Hood" fairy tale, the movie "Red" is in the preproduction phase. Produced by Yennie and his production company Films by Neptune, "Red" already has a distribution company on board and a rising star in Jodelle Ferland ("Twilight: Eclipse," "Silent Hill," "Cabin in the Woods") to play the lead.
Now, all it needs is funding.
On Friday, Yennie will launch a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds to start producing the movie. Kickstarter is an online funding platform for independent creative projects that solicits donations from the general public.
The 45-day campaign, Yennie said, will get his friends and family involved in the film by contributing a little toward their $50,000 goal.
It also will help entice potential investors to help fund the approximately $325,000 film.
"Red" was written by Dani Coleman, Yennie's partner and the creative side of Films by Neptune.
It follows the twisted, dark story of a rebellious teenager named Rowan who is sent to the city to live with her grandmother. She meets a man who, like the wolf in "Little Red Riding Hood," isn't exactly what he seems. He tangles her in a web of danger and deceit, leaving her to run for her life.
"Updated fairy tales are really hot right now, and we just kind of were batting this idea around about a year ago, with just a gritty, modern reboot of 'Little Red Riding Hood,'" Yennie said. "We went pretty Grimm in our research. That's what the impetus for the story was — it was really dark, the original tale."
In addition to working on the preproduction of Films by Neptune's debut feature, Yennie works for the Institute for International Film Financing in San Francisco.
His father, Bo Yennie, still lives in Steamboat, where he said his son was introduced to film as a career by high school teacher Steve Moos.
"Having a small school district for kids to develop that and have that opportunity, that definitely played a part in it," Bo Yennie said about his son's career path. "Of course I'm excited for him. I hope he gets to follow his dream; not everyone gets to."
While Ben Yennie said he loves the city, there are parts of Steamboat life that he misses.
"I like the fast-paced environment, and I like that there's stuff to do after 10 p.m.," Yennie said about San Francisco. "But Steamboat will always be my hometown, and I'll always remember the skiing and the beauty of it."
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com
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