On The Rocks - Production Diary #2

I’ve always wanted to shoot something down in the Badlands. Something about the place has always intrigued me – the danger, the scope – just miles and miles of rocks and dirt. The perfect place for a survival story, really. And that’s where it started last summer (2014). “A survival story set in the Badlands.”

Through months and months of planning and writing and rewriting came On the Rocks. A survival story that revolves around an infatuated couple that runs away from home and gets stranded in Alberta’s Badlands without any food or water. In fact, I think the first draft of the 40 page screenplay was finished March 9, 2015. It’s crazy looking back at the writing process, which dates back to November 2014, and seeing development of ideas and themes that are present in the final draft and most importantly, in the film.

8 days of shooting, 3 blocks, and several working hours later, here we are, 90% finished shooting the film. It seems like yesterday we were asking for money for our Indiegogo campaign and now it is almost done. It’s almost surreal seeing it all come together – perfectly and exactly how I envisioned it, might I add. I loved every minute shooting On the Rocks. It was a dream project and to have it come to life – words cannot express how cool that is.

Block One saw us finishing the first section of the script. We had the pleasure of shooting in St. Albert, Edmonton and even Two Hills (a very cool farm house location).  Our amazing cast (which we are releasing this week), background talent, and hard working, dedicated crew made these days go by so smoothly. We even had an on set dog named Oscar grace us with his presence.

Block Two and Block 3 we were in the Badlands in Drumheller – Horseshoe Canyon, Horsethief Canyon, Wayne, Dorothy, and the Hoodoos. The shots down here look fantastic and not to mention, our actors, Carlee Ryski, Riley Alexander, and Gin Fedotov acted their hearts out while the hot desert sun poured onto them. We encountered no rattlesnakes but we had our fair share of intense moments mostly involving grasshoppers (just kidding, Carlee).  We also had some hilarious moments as well {most of which can’t be said here but maybe on the DVD commentary ;)} . But, it was here where our cast and crew really became a family.

It was sad saying goodbye to everyone yesterday on our final shooting day in the Badlands. We came from all parts of Alberta and together we became a team, a family and a great group of friends. Together, we have created a magnificent film. I feel honored to have worked with such an amazing group of friends and filmmakers.

On the plus side, the film is not done shooting just yet. There’s still second unit work, inserts, a special scene in November, and a one-day shoot in Calgary before we can officially say we are wrapped filming. Then, the real fun begins in post-production…

To our amazing cast and crew, thank you, thank you, thank you! You are all so very talented and I feel honored to have been able to work with every single one of you. You guys are the reason this film is going to be a complete success. You guys rock!

To everyone who has supported us thus far, thank you! Your kindness and generosity, along with your support has kept us motivated and determined to make the best film possible. It’s amazing to see how much love we have received thus far and we can’t wait to show you the finished film.

As for me, well I’m off to catch up on the sleep I’ve missed for the past three months. Then, it’s on to the next project.

Your friend,

Justin Kueber