Shotgun Stories


1h 30m 2007

Brief Synopsis

When their father dies, two sets of half brothers launch a deadly feud.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
NR
Genre
Suspense/Mystery
Drama
Thriller
Release Date
2007
Production Company
Complex Corporation; Fotokem Film & Video; Io Film; Joe Dunton & Company International, Inc.; Magic Films & Video Works; Muskat Filmed Properties; NT Audio; Nt Video; Reder & Feig; Upload Films
Distribution Company
International Film Circuit; International Film Circuit (IFC); Asc Distribution; Genius Products; Look Now! Filmverleih; Vertigo Films (Uk)

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m

Synopsis

A feud erupts between two sets of half brothers following the death of their father. Set against the cotton fields and back roads of Southeast Arkansas, these brothers discover the lengths to which each will go to protect their family.

Crew

Randy Babajtis

Sound Effects Editor

Jeremy Balko

Adr Mixer

David Briggs

Grip

Dhyana Carlton-tims

Adr Editor

Dhyana Carlton-tims

Dialogue Editor

George Chavez

Color Timer

Raul Evirez

Assistant Camera

Glenn D. Feig

Legal Services

Brent Findley

Foley Editor

Lucas Ford

Adr

Renae Garcia

Adr

Jason Gaya

Assistant Sound Editor

Brennan Gerle

Assistant Sound Editor

Jerry Gilbert

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Jerry Gilbert

Sound Supervisor

Jenn Godin

Assistant Editor

Steven Gonzales

Editor

David Gordon Green

Producer

Tisha Gribble

Associate Producer

Aubrey Harris

Property Master

Chad Hughes

Sound Effects Editor

Hayden Jackson

Sound Department

Alex Jones

Assistant Camera

Alex Jones

Loader

Richard Kitting

Sound Recordist

Richard Kitting

Adr Mixer

Shawn London

Sound Effects Editor

Mark Mangold

Song

Bennie Mardones

Song

Bennie Mardones

Song Performer

Lindsay Millar

Production Designer

Lindsay Millar

On-Set Dresser

Lindsay Millar

Props

Andrew Morgado

Foley Mixer

Lisa Muskat

Producer

Ryan Nelson

Key Grip

Ben Nichols

Song

Ben Nichols

Original Music

Jeff Nichols

Screenplay

Jeff Nichols

Producer

Joan Nichols

Craft Service

Justin Nichols

Grip

Justin Nichols

Production

Steve Olsen

Gaffer

Emily Peresta

Production

Cosmo Pfeil

Makeup Artist

Cosmo Pfeil

Assistant Director

John Portnoy

Visual Effects

John Portnoy

Titles And Opticals

John Portnoy

Executive Producer

Scott Presley

Adr

Neil Rahilly

Script Supervisor

Cody Riggan

Production

Cody Riggan

Boom Operator

Louise Runge

Post-Production Supervisor

Jamie Rush

Production

Dana Sargent

Production

Brian Sides

Grip

Paul Skidmore

Unit Production Manager

Paul Skidmore

Associate Producer

Adam Stone

Director Of Photography

Heidi Sulzman

Adr

Sarah Tackett

Casting

Holly Terry

Production

Dacus Thompson

Production Assistant

Nick Thurlow

Executive Producer

David Van Slyke

Sound Effects Editor

Vicki O'reilly Vandegrift

Foley Artist

Gregory Thomas Wagnon

Production

Gregory Thomas Wagnon

Boom Operator

David Weatherly

Makeup Artist

Todd Williams

Executive Producer

Rachel Worthen

Costume Designer

Rachel Worthen

Wardrobe

Rachel Worthen

Photography

Film Details

MPAA Rating
NR
Genre
Suspense/Mystery
Drama
Thriller
Release Date
2007
Production Company
Complex Corporation; Fotokem Film & Video; Io Film; Joe Dunton & Company International, Inc.; Magic Films & Video Works; Muskat Filmed Properties; NT Audio; Nt Video; Reder & Feig; Upload Films
Distribution Company
International Film Circuit; International Film Circuit (IFC); Asc Distribution; Genius Products; Look Now! Filmverleih; Vertigo Films (Uk)

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m

Articles

Shotgun Stories (2007) - Shotgun Stories


The debut film of Arkansas-born director Jeff Nichols, Shotgun Stories (2007) is a genuine American independent film. It was shot outside of the studio system by a young filmmaker who drew from the character and lifestyle of the rural Arkansas settings - as well as his own life growing up in Arkansas - to offer a different way of life than we usually see in films through a movie that moves at its own pace.

The story revolves around three adult brothers--Son, Kid and Boy--in a rural Arkansas "dead-ass town" (in the words of the characters) who hold on to each other because they have no other family to speak of. Their abusive, alcoholic father walked out on them decades before and then, after getting religion and becoming respectable, started a new family with another woman. The former wife, an angry, bitter woman, raised her sons to hate their father and their estranged half-brothers, the boys who enjoy a close bond with their father. Shotgun Stories opens in the wake of the father's death, which brings the old resentments to the surface and prompts the eldest brother, Son (Michael Shannon), to speak his mind at the family funeral. His public display of contempt stirs the resentments to action and the grudge becomes a family feud that, inevitably, leads to violence.

The themes could play out as classic tragedy by way of the Hatfield and McCoy's clan war but the film remains modestly focused on the people and their lives. This is not about righteous vengeance (despite the Bible-belt backdrop), but long-simmering anger and resentment spilling out with fatal consequences. "You raised us to hate those boys, and we do. And now it's come to this," Son confesses to his mother as he continues down the road of revenge, almost helpless to stop himself. Nichols keeps almost all of the violence off screen, suggesting the escalation in discreet shots and loaded images. He's more interested in the people as they push the conflict to greater levels and then face the physical and emotional consequences of the escalating war.

Nichols has, in interviews, traced the inspiration of his script to the work of author Larry Brown in general and an image inspired from a scene in his novel Joe specifically. "Brown's short fiction set the bar for how to write about blue collar Southerners," Nichols explained in an IndieWIRE interview in 2008. "The first image I had for this story was a character with buckshot pellets grown over in his back. The title originally came out of this idea, people telling stories about how this man was shot. So I had the title and the image of this wounded man before I ever had the real idea for the film." This detail became a defining element of his main character. Yet it is only a detail in Nichols' original take on classic themes of vengeance and retribution dropped into a world of real people struggling with the real problems of making a living and taking responsibility for families and dealing with the betrayals of the past.

Nichols is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts film program and a friend of fellow student David Gordon Green (whose early films George Washington (2000) and All the Real Girls (2003) also share a sensitivity to rural lives in dead-end towns). Nichols spent a year developing the script for Shotgun Stories and designed the independent production around the means at his disposal. The funding came from friends and family and the film was shot in small Arkansas burgs around where he grew up. All of the parts were written specifically for people he knew, designed to play to their strengths.

The exception to this was the leading role of Son, which was scripted specifically with the up-and-coming actor Michael Shannon in mind. Though Shannon had been in numerous films, he was largely unknown in 2004 when the film began production; he was just beginning to attract attention for his unusual and intense screen presence in films like Bug (2006) and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) when Shotgun Stories was released on the film festival circuit in the fall of 2007. An Academy Award nomination in 2009 for Revolutionary Road (2008) and the lead in the Martin Scorsese-produced HBO series Boardwalk Empire has since brought him into the limelight.

David Gordon Green helped bring attention to Shotgun Stories when he signed on as a producer and Adam Stone, who shot the second unit photography of Green's first features, came on as Nichols cinematographer. Shooting on widescreen 35mm, Stone creates simple, spare, evocative imagery that captures both the gentle landscapes and the desolation of the hard existence in this depressed town.

The film was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award at the 2008 Independent Spirit Awards and won a number of awards on the film festival circuit. Those accolades helped save this small, unshowy film from oblivion, according to Roger Ebert, who championed Shotgun Stories and gave it a spot in Ebertfest, a film festival he created to celebrate overlooked and underappreciated films. "After being rejected by major distributors, it found a home in smaller festivals, where word of mouth propelled it into its current wider release," Ebert wrote in 2008. "It has qualities that may not come out in a trailer or in an ad but sink in when you have the experience of seeing it. Few films are so observant about how we relate with one another. Few are as sympathetic."

Producers: David Gordon Green, Lisa Muskat, Jeff Nichols
Director: Jeff Nichols
Screenplay: Jeff Nichols
Cinematography: Adam Stone
Music: Lucero; Pyramid (co-composer)
Film Editing: Steven Gonzales
Cast: Michael Shannon (Son Hayes), Douglas Ligon (Boy Hayes), Barlow Jacobs (Kid Hayes), Natalie Canerday (Nicole), Glenda Pannell (Annie Hayes), Lynnsee Provence (Stephen Hayes).
C-92m.

by Sean Axmaker
Shotgun Stories (2007) - Shotgun Stories

Shotgun Stories (2007) - Shotgun Stories

The debut film of Arkansas-born director Jeff Nichols, Shotgun Stories (2007) is a genuine American independent film. It was shot outside of the studio system by a young filmmaker who drew from the character and lifestyle of the rural Arkansas settings - as well as his own life growing up in Arkansas - to offer a different way of life than we usually see in films through a movie that moves at its own pace. The story revolves around three adult brothers--Son, Kid and Boy--in a rural Arkansas "dead-ass town" (in the words of the characters) who hold on to each other because they have no other family to speak of. Their abusive, alcoholic father walked out on them decades before and then, after getting religion and becoming respectable, started a new family with another woman. The former wife, an angry, bitter woman, raised her sons to hate their father and their estranged half-brothers, the boys who enjoy a close bond with their father. Shotgun Stories opens in the wake of the father's death, which brings the old resentments to the surface and prompts the eldest brother, Son (Michael Shannon), to speak his mind at the family funeral. His public display of contempt stirs the resentments to action and the grudge becomes a family feud that, inevitably, leads to violence. The themes could play out as classic tragedy by way of the Hatfield and McCoy's clan war but the film remains modestly focused on the people and their lives. This is not about righteous vengeance (despite the Bible-belt backdrop), but long-simmering anger and resentment spilling out with fatal consequences. "You raised us to hate those boys, and we do. And now it's come to this," Son confesses to his mother as he continues down the road of revenge, almost helpless to stop himself. Nichols keeps almost all of the violence off screen, suggesting the escalation in discreet shots and loaded images. He's more interested in the people as they push the conflict to greater levels and then face the physical and emotional consequences of the escalating war. Nichols has, in interviews, traced the inspiration of his script to the work of author Larry Brown in general and an image inspired from a scene in his novel Joe specifically. "Brown's short fiction set the bar for how to write about blue collar Southerners," Nichols explained in an IndieWIRE interview in 2008. "The first image I had for this story was a character with buckshot pellets grown over in his back. The title originally came out of this idea, people telling stories about how this man was shot. So I had the title and the image of this wounded man before I ever had the real idea for the film." This detail became a defining element of his main character. Yet it is only a detail in Nichols' original take on classic themes of vengeance and retribution dropped into a world of real people struggling with the real problems of making a living and taking responsibility for families and dealing with the betrayals of the past. Nichols is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts film program and a friend of fellow student David Gordon Green (whose early films George Washington (2000) and All the Real Girls (2003) also share a sensitivity to rural lives in dead-end towns). Nichols spent a year developing the script for Shotgun Stories and designed the independent production around the means at his disposal. The funding came from friends and family and the film was shot in small Arkansas burgs around where he grew up. All of the parts were written specifically for people he knew, designed to play to their strengths. The exception to this was the leading role of Son, which was scripted specifically with the up-and-coming actor Michael Shannon in mind. Though Shannon had been in numerous films, he was largely unknown in 2004 when the film began production; he was just beginning to attract attention for his unusual and intense screen presence in films like Bug (2006) and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) when Shotgun Stories was released on the film festival circuit in the fall of 2007. An Academy Award nomination in 2009 for Revolutionary Road (2008) and the lead in the Martin Scorsese-produced HBO series Boardwalk Empire has since brought him into the limelight. David Gordon Green helped bring attention to Shotgun Stories when he signed on as a producer and Adam Stone, who shot the second unit photography of Green's first features, came on as Nichols cinematographer. Shooting on widescreen 35mm, Stone creates simple, spare, evocative imagery that captures both the gentle landscapes and the desolation of the hard existence in this depressed town. The film was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award at the 2008 Independent Spirit Awards and won a number of awards on the film festival circuit. Those accolades helped save this small, unshowy film from oblivion, according to Roger Ebert, who championed Shotgun Stories and gave it a spot in Ebertfest, a film festival he created to celebrate overlooked and underappreciated films. "After being rejected by major distributors, it found a home in smaller festivals, where word of mouth propelled it into its current wider release," Ebert wrote in 2008. "It has qualities that may not come out in a trailer or in an ad but sink in when you have the experience of seeing it. Few films are so observant about how we relate with one another. Few are as sympathetic." Producers: David Gordon Green, Lisa Muskat, Jeff Nichols Director: Jeff Nichols Screenplay: Jeff Nichols Cinematography: Adam Stone Music: Lucero; Pyramid (co-composer) Film Editing: Steven Gonzales Cast: Michael Shannon (Son Hayes), Douglas Ligon (Boy Hayes), Barlow Jacobs (Kid Hayes), Natalie Canerday (Nicole), Glenda Pannell (Annie Hayes), Lynnsee Provence (Stephen Hayes). C-92m. by Sean Axmaker

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States February 2007 (Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (Forum) February 8-18, 2007.)

Released in United States March 26, 2008 (New York City)

Winner of the New American Cinema Award Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Seattle International Film Festival.

Released in United States 2007

Released in United States April 25, 2008

Released in United States February 2007

Released in United States January 2008

Released in United States March 26, 2008

Released in United States October 2007

Released in United States on Video July 1, 2008

Released in United States Winter December 14, 2007

Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (Forum) February 8-18, 2007.

Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (New Directors Competition) October 4-17, 2007.

Shown at London Film Festival (Film on the Square) October 17-November 1, 2007.

Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival (New Voices/New Visions) January 3-14, 2008.

Shown at Seattle Intenational Film Festival (New American Cinema Competition) May 24-June 17, 2007.

Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival (Cinema of Our Time) September 27-October 12, 2007.

Feature directorial debut for Jeff Nichols.

Released in United States 2007 (Shown at London Film Festival (Film on the Square) October 17-November 1, 2007.)

Released in United States 2007 (Shown at Seattle Intenational Film Festival (New American Cinema Competition) May 24-June 17, 2007.)

Released in United States 2007 (Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival (Cinema of Our Time) September 27-October 12, 2007.)

Released in United States January 2008 (Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival (New Voices/New Visions) January 3-14, 2008.)

Released in United States April 25, 2008 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States on Video July 1, 2008

Released in United States October 2007 (Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (New Directors Competition) October 4-17, 2007.)

Released in United States Winter December 14, 2007