UMD Statesman Article

by Mary K. Tennis (link)

In a small, sunny office in downtown Duluth, kitty-corner to the casino, a small, diligent group of artists are making movies-full-length, edited-to-perfection, feature films.

Think you need to move to Los Angeles to make movies? Think again. Jason Page and Carrie Boberg, UMD theater grads, have created a little corner of Tinseltown right here in Duluth.

Boberg and Page flourished in the UMD theater department. Both wanted to pursue acting after college and decided to try their chops in the most obvious spot: Los Angeles.

“We felt like we were unstoppable,” Page said.

After five years, L.A. stopped them. Acting work was competitive, and getting a film made was only possible if it included a bid to re-launch a fading gay porn-star’s career-a story, perhaps for another time.

The unsuccessful quest for work there lead to an epiphany of sorts: they both wanted to make movies, on their own terms, with their own company, in any place they wanted. Duluth beckoned.

The struggle to complete their first film in Duluth, “Newton’s Disease,” led to a big payoff: willing investors, miles of experience and human resources-people like Erin McConnell, a Superior native who has become an integral force in the group.

So here they are, a bona-fide film company, 4 Track Films, with three feature-length movies under their belts and more on the way.

The films feature Duluth actors and cost-effective Duluth locations. Los Angeles, on the otherhand, is prepared for the hordes of fledgling filmmakers who attempt to film there.

“Every place, every gas station in L.A. would pull out a rate sheet,” Page said. “In Duluth, it’s just a matter of asking when the location is available.”

The company, despite their small-city location, has not been afraid to take risks so far.

Their most recent film, which debuted in Teatro Zuccone, the small theater on Superior Street that is downstairs from 4 Track Films’ headquarters, is a mocumentary based on the film company itself: “White Man’s World.”

McConnell, who co-wrote and co-starred in the film with Page, talked about the sometimes difficult process of making the more provocative scenes in the movie.

“There were a lot of times we would cover our faces and look away,” McConnell said.

The film follows Page’s desperation to make a successful film, regardless of the odds, and despite his relationships with those around him, including Boberg and McConnell, who was Page’s girlfriend at the time and plays in the film.

Page is brutal at times in the film, a misogynist and a user, willing to do anything to get what he wants.

“It’s the bastard child of ‘God Rocked!’” said Boberg, speaking about “… and on the 7th Day, God Rocked!,” a film they released earlier this year.

“God Rocked!” featured a character study revolving around a Christian rock battle of the bands. It’s high on good-natured laughs, and offers an even-handed commentary on a somewhat controversial subject-Christianity. It is almost cuddly compared to “White Man’s World.”

The film, even in its so-far limited release, has already sparked controversy with some Duluth viewers.

“We got a letter,” said Boberg, who acts (as herself) in and produces the film. “A woman took her 17-year-old daughter to see the movie. They walked out. She called it porn.”

There is full-frontal male nudity, contributed by Page, and this is the rare moment in the blazing self-satire when the movie’s intentions, or some of them anyway, come to the surface.

Every caustic impulse that was suppressed in “God Rocked!” comes out in “White Man’s World.”

Mostly, though, Duluth audiences are supportive of the new film company. Minneapolis, though, is another story.

Now that the company is paused from production, they have the time to promote. They resume in spring with a romantic comedy, a collection of short films and a thriller. Right now, however, the team is working on getting an audience outside of Duluth.

“It’s not impossible, but it just hasn’t been done,” Page said.

This outreach includes entering their work into the film festival circuit, dredging for contacts, making phone calls and sending DVDs to any and all interested parties through their Web site and word-of-mouth. Stacks of cardboard boxes line the office’s walls, full of copies of “God Rocks!”

“If we made it into Sundance, we would be ‘Minnesota’s Own’,” Boberg said.

But for now, they are just a crazy couple of 30-somethings, living in a northern city, who are busy telling stories.

“We get reviews saying, ’4 Track Films is one of Duluth’s best kept secrets!’” Page laughed. “We’re not trying to keep it a secret! We’re not trying to hide our treasure.”

From Misc | posted by carrie on March 7, 2009

WMW – Duluth News Tribune Review

Read it here!

From Misc,White Man's World | posted by carrie on November 13, 2008

Be-Fan us on FACEBOOK!

Check out my profile (under Carrie Boberg) and become a FAN of GOD ROCKS! Spread the word. The release will be here before we know it!

From Carrie's Blog,God Rocks,Misc,News Flash | posted by carrie on June 4, 2008

GOD ROCKS world premiere set!

Mark your calendars for the World Premiere of GOD ROCKS!

June 27-28, 2008

7 & 9 pm

Teatro Zuccone

222 E. Superior St

Duluth, MN

AND

July 10, 2008

7pm

Heights Theatre

3951 Central Ave NE

Columbia Heights, MN

From God Rocks,Misc,News Flash | posted by carrie on May 13, 2008

And That’s a Wrap!

Okay – we have officially wrapped God Rocks! Yes, I know what you’re thinking…didn’t you wrap that last year? Well, yes and no. We were finished with principle photography but through the edit realized we were missing a couple of key audio elements. The last of those was captured today!

So now we will slot them in, finalize our edit and send it off to our sound designer with a bright red bow on it and get ready to release the film to the world!

Stay tuned…

From Carrie's Blog,God Rocks,Misc | posted by carrie on April 29, 2008

Almost There

So we’ve got ourselves a trailer. Must mean a whole damn movie is on the way. After a long dark winter spent in the edit suite, God Rocks has finally taken shape. The movie is currently in rough cut form and we have begun the sound design process – a very BIG part of the final feel of this flick. I am excited and more than a little relieved to report that it all seems to be coming together. Sometimes when you’re on the inside of the process you just can’t tell. Lord knows we had our trials making this thing, but at the end of the day I think our collective talents trumped the adversity. Again I want to thank everyone for their hard work and enthusiasm and hope we can rely on you all in our efforts to “Spread the Word”. Make sure to check back in the coming months as we near our June premiere of God Rocks.

P.S. – To our wonderfully off-color White Man’s World family, we have not forsaken you. You are on deck and slated for a fall release.

From God Rocks,Jason's Blog,Misc | posted by jason on April 5, 2008

Get Exclusive FREE Downloads NOW!!

Check out the God Rocks page for a free download of the first single “Testament” by Savior and the Sons of Abraham. Also watch our newly posted ‘Behind the Scenes’ video and see pictures from the shoot.

From God Rocks,Misc,News Flash | posted by jason on December 27, 2007

Sneak Peek of GOD ROCKS this Friday!

Join us this Friday for IFP Minnesota’s special edition of Cinema Lounge!

The fun starts at 8pm with several area filmmakers’ short films or excerpts from their larger works. We’ll be showing a few minutes of GOD ROCKS – the first time anywhere!

Cinema Lounge will be held at The Duluth Playground (11 E. Superior St – First Floor of the Tech Village).

More information about the evening’s events are posted here.

Hope to see you there!

Carrie

From God Rocks,Misc | posted by carrie on November 14, 2007

Jason wins “Judges Choice” at Dance Competition

jason-at-dance-competition.jpg

Leave it to Mr. Page – jack of all trades – to master the ‘Contemporary Tango’ at last night’s “Celebrity Dance Challenge” put on by the Minnesota Ballet. He & partner Amanda Abrahamson did a sexy & stunning job of this tricky & technical dance which left the judges with thoughts of smouldering Buenos Aries nights.

Congratulations Jason!

From Carrie's Blog,Misc | posted by carrie on September 21, 2007

Support Jason as he Dances for Charity

Join The Minnesota Ballet for their annual fundraiser – CELEBRITY DANCE CHALLENGE featuring local celebs matched up with members of the Minnesota Ballet Company. Jason will be performing the tango with dancer Amanda Abrahamson and it will be a night to remember!

Thursday, September 20th at 7pm

Marshall School’s Fregeau Auditorium
1215 Rice Lake Rd.
Duluth, Minnesota

YOU decide the winner! The audience votes for their favorite couple so come on out and vote for Jason!

More info here: http://www.minnesotaballet.org/events/ 

From Carrie's Blog,Misc | posted by carrie on September 10, 2007

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