The Phoenix Rises
by Drew Hall
The Phoenix Rises Poster
I'm Drew Hall the director of the independent science fiction thriller "The Phoenix Rises" and here's a brief synopsis of the film...
Special Agents Bob Smith and Tom Jones pick a team of brilliant scientists to work with a secretive government run operation called the Phoenix Program. Their goal is to develop counter measures for climate based weaponry which a newly formed terrorist group is using to hold the US and its allies hostage. The terrorists employ extremely low frequency delivery methods to force earthquakes, alter rain patterns, cause droughts, and create deadly storms seemingly out of thin air; but this threat is not the only challenge for the team. A dangerous mercenary from their past, Jamal Duegro, has launched a revenge operation to reacquire technologies his clients want returned and will stop at nothing in order to protect his interests.
Jamal (Philip Fornah)
The Phoenix Rises is a simple story with a very enriched science faction undertone
. In essence it deals with 4 characters seeking individual redemption. Tom
has committed his entire life to the military. He is a proud and talented warrior, but his heart yearns for something more. He’s hurt people both in his service and personal life - he seeks a redemptive heart. Jan’s
mother died when she was young and therefore she was raised by her workaholic father. Although he provided her with an immaculate education and science background, she still seeks that deeper connection with a man. She is searching for personal redemption for herself - and her mother. Jack
is easily one of the best scientist on the planet and yet his name is still not “labhold” brand. He thought he could divert his own desires by committing to a relationship, but his inner-self still drives him forward in pursuit of his dream. He feels that he missed this opportunity with the (successful) SkyHook program and now seeks redemption for a misperception. Jamal’s
past is bleak, but he somehow seemed to make a name for himself within the wetworks community. He never loses. His drive is so strong and his focus so narrow that a single mistake can eat away at him like rust on his heart. His failure to beat the Skyhook team at their own game has pushed him into this “rusty” state. Revenge is the other side of redemption.
Tom Jones (Adam Cardon)
The principles in The Phoenix Rises are all driven by an extremely important group of supporters. Bob
, for example, serves not just as the militant leader of the Phoenix Project, but is also a paternal figure to Tom. Bob can lead simply by listening, but can also push Tom where he needs to go, whether he sees it or not. The role these relationships play in the lives of the characters is crucial. This is their grounding factor. This is their tether to reality.
I was drawn to the storyline as I'm a bit of a conspiracy theorist
. The original concept of the film was to focus more on chemtrails, but the more I did research the more I was drawn into the concept of weather control via ELF (extremely low frequency) sequences. This is the science behind "mind control".
For me I like to build a world and the most compelling stories it creates are the legends I like to tell. In TPR, we have several references to a secret society based loosely on the concept of "the 9", coupled with the political implications of why "terrorist" do what they feel they must. For our villains it's to launch a revolution - what exactly that revolution is for is left unknown.
Here's the trailer for The Phoenix Rises...I hope you enjoy it :)
James Black (Out of Sight, Anger Management, Necessary Roughness), Adam Cardon (Ark), Catalina Soto Aguilar (SkyHook), Casey Myers (My Stepdad’s a Freaking Vampire), Robert Penny (Sweet Home Alabama), and Philip Fornah (Django Unchained).
It's been a long journey to finish TPR. We completely cut the film, but upon viewing it after a short break, we all felt that it was missing an element. We wanted the ELF (extremely low frequency) beam to act as a very "distorted" narrator - pushing and pulling our characters through their actions and reactions. We have finished the film and are in the process of negotiating the distribution minefield. We have several interested parties and hope to have a solid release on VOD, DVD, and Netflix.
The cast and crew
of The Phoenix Rises operated more like family than hired hands/talent. Sure we may have had a scuffle here or there, but in the end we regrouped, had a beer, threw some money in the swear jar, and pushed onward.
It’s truly an amazing gift to see so many talented people grow into their own - making that transition from green to getting it - and working with vets who have been in the business so long climbing mountains is second nature. That level of encouragement is truly a gift - and for many of us as a dysfunctional group of filmmakers The Phoenix Rises became our own epoch of redemption.
My goal as a filmmaker has been the same since I was a kid... I want to make science fiction films that leave me as inspired towards learning as Star Trek
does, or craft a world where the little guy can make a difference like in Star Wars
- all the while with characters as rich as those from Firefly
There's certainly a place for sharktosquid versus octomom in the marketplace, but I feel like that genre is overly saturated. I want to be inspired on an intellectual level. I want to live in a world where high action can be coupled with high IQs. I feel it's my duty to stop insulting the audience and start challenging them, just as they challenge me.