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Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:16 pm
by Venus
Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist is directed by Jared Hess, written by Jared and Jerusha Hess and also stars Sam Rockwell and Danny McBride. They are currently filming in Utah. :)

Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:08 am
by Nancy
:clap: :thumb: :clap:

Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:01 pm
by mohumbhai mania
That could be hilarious.

Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:36 pm
by Venus
Behind the scenes:

Jared Hess: Behind the scenes at filmmaker’s next production in Utah
By Keith Manley on March 12, 2014 @keithmanleyjr

A very tall fellow sporting a long full beard, locks, white shirt, black pants, and hat meandered up a short but steep trail leading to the set. For a split second I had a flashback of living in L.A., eating breakfast at Lulu’s and watching groups of Hasidic Jews walking to synagogue on Shabbat. I looked again because I thought the big guy looked familiar. It was Jared Hess decked out in full costume.

Hess is here in Utah filming his new movie, Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist. The film is a comedy about an archeologist lured by the promise of cash and fame who falsifies his findings after his mishap filled search for the skull of Goliath. The film stars the likes of Sam Rockwell, Amy Ryan, Will Forte, Danny McBride, and Jemaine Clement and of course, Jared Hess.

Jared was polite and gracious but very focused on the task at hand. I turned to Producer Dave Hunter and with a huge grin said “I have got to interview Jared.” Dave quickly shot me down and with an uncharacteristic seriousness told me that “it would be impossible when Jared is in character. He’s absolutely 1000% focused on what he is doing.”

Hunter was right. Jared quickly took control of the chaos, did some brief coaching and started rolling film. Probability of interview, zero.

Hunter said that “normally, as a producer, I would be all over everybody trying my best to control normal inefficiencies in the film making process, but I have Jared and Jared is running the show. What am I going to tell Hess about staying on schedule and budget? What am I going to tell him about making a movie?” This coming from a guy with 16 films under his belt. Hess seems to successfully manage a balance between perfectionism and efficiency.

Hess is big time. Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre. Enough said. Although some would argue that considering his last few projects he may be in a bit of a slump.

Gentleman Broncos, to some, considered one of the strangest films ever made, sits with a 19% rotten tomatoes rating and a paltry worldwide gross of $118k.

Although I personally think the episodes were brilliant, Napoleon Dynamite, the animated T.V. series, was cancelled by Fox after only two months of air time.

Hess has his work cut out for him.

Since Jared was focused and busy, Hunter introduced me to a thin, short haired, strawberry blonde woman chatting with other visitors on set.

It was Jerusha Hess. I was instantly struck by her natural beauty and charm.

Jerusha is very easy to talk to. You kind of feel like you’ve been besties forever. She immediately began the inquisition about who I was and what I was doing there. She was interested and did not in any way come off superficial. She spoke to me the way you interact with someone you want to put at ease.

Jerusha is coming off co-writing and directing Austenland, starring Keri Russell. Although the movie received mixed reviews, the film shows flashes of directorial brilliance. It will be interesting to keep an eye on Jerusha Hess as she navigates her way to more solo projects in the future.

After some playful banter, I fired a couple of questions at her about Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist. She informed me that she and Jared had been working on the script for about a year, however, the project came together much quicker than expected. Three months quick to be exact. The time was originally scheduled for another project carrying the weight of a big named actor. Said actor ended up having a last minute conflict which pushed Team Hess to reschedule. The time was open so they switched gears to make Don Verdean.

Hess rallied Hunter. Hatfield rallied the production crew. Hunter rallied Andersen to raise the amount necessary to cover the budget.

Game on.

Sounds easy right?

It’s not.

Despite the smiles in the picture, these guys are stressed and none of them are green to the movie business.

A combination of having reputation on the line, their own and other’s money at risk, long production days/nights, multiple locations, constant meetings, keeping stars happy, closing distribution deals, etc. can take its toll.

Andersen said his son called that morning, crying wondering when he was going to be home. There was a tinge of guilt in his voice as he related the story.

Some may say, “big deal. It’s just a movie.”

I get it.

There are people away from their families, putting their lives on the line with no chance for significant financial upside, who may deserve much more sympathy. I’m not advocating the cause of sympathy for film makers.

My point is that the movie business is not all glitz and glam. The majority of the work is very unsexy and tedious. There are many long, intense hours.

Through it all, some of these folks just do not stop working.

Case in point, Sam Rockwell.

Each time during a break, I would look over to see if I could get some time with Sam.

There wasn’t a chance in hell.

He’d be walking around mapping out a scene, script notebook in his hand, and headphones on listening to his voice coach.

He’s the definition of intense.

All the intensity combined with financial risk and an uncertainty make for an interesting cocktail of anxiety and adrenaline.

Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords, Rio) summed it up best.

He said, “You can never tell how funny it is going to be… you know… and you try all different ways and different takes… from goofy ones to more serious ones…then leave it up to Jared and the editors to figure out the tone later…it’s really hard when you’re doing one job to see what the risks are going to be…” and Jemaine, in my opinion, is as funny as they come.

Hess and crew will wrap up shooting this week. They’ve filmed on location in St. George, Tooele, Mill Creek, and downtown Salt Lake City.

All Photos credited to: Anna Pocaro Photography


Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:21 am
by Venus
A bit about Jemaine's character in the film:
“I play an Israeli archaeologist/goatherd in a new film [Don Verdean, also starring Sam Rockwell]"


Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:03 am
by Nancy
I had forgotten about this. Looks like fun. Can't wait. :popcorn:
I've always loved Sam Rockwell, especially since seeing him in The Way, Way Back. :thumb:

Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:01 pm
by Venus
Another pic of Jemaine whilst he was filming Don Verdean :)

funny creative guy Jemaine Clement #jemaineclement#donverdeanbiblicalarcheologist#southernutah


Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:01 pm
by Venus
Jemaine is going to be a busy guy at Sundance 2015 because not only is People, Places, Things premiere there, Don Verdean is too! :yay:

Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:22 pm
by Venus
A still from the film :)


Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:53 am
by nonchalant obsession
He reminds me of Mandy Patinkin circa Homeland. (Not The Princess Bride :lol: )

Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:12 pm
by Venus

Here's the Sundance page/schedule for Don Verdean at Sundance.

Don Verdean is a man of faith who has devoted his life to biblical archaeology, scouring the globe in search of artifacts that back up the teachings of Jesus Christ. Now, traveling from town to town, he and his devoted assistant, Carol, spread the gospel by peddling books and DVDs out of his shabby RV while his Holy Land contacts, Boaz and Shem, do the digging from afar. When evangelical preacher Tony Lazarus offers to bankroll Don’s modest roadside operation, the escalating pressure to find increasingly significant relics leads Don and his team down a less-than-righteous path. With more than just the word of God on the line, Don finds himself in the midst of a spiteful feud between two opposing congregations, leaving him to question what is truly important in life.

With a fantastic ensemble cast in tow, director Jared Hess returns to the Sundance Film Festival with this hilarious and biting satire that explores the thin line between faith and fabrication.

Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:09 pm
by Venus
Don Verdean has already been picked up for North American distribution ahead of its premiere next week! :D

Lionsgate Acquires Jared Hess’ ‘Don Verdean’ In Return Of ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ Duo – Sundance
by Mike Fleming Jr
January 21, 2015 3:04pm

EXCLUSIVE: Out in front of its January 28 Sundance Film Festival premiere, Don Verdean has been acquired for North America by Lionsgate in the first significant deal of the festival, unless you count the sight-unseen prebuy that Fox Searchlight made of the Noah Baumbach film Mistress America. The film is directed by Jared Hess from a script he wrote with Jerusha Hess. It’s a return to Park City for the duo, whose 2004 film Napoleon Dynamite was one of those hits that shaped Sundance as a launch pad for prestige films that can do breakout business. The $400,000-budget Napoleon Dynamite turned in a domestic gross north of $44 million for Fox Searchlight.

Don Verdean stars Sam Rockwell, Jemaine Clement, Amy Ryan, Danny McBride, Leslie Bibb and Will Forte. Hired by an ambitious small-town pastor to find sacred relics in the Holy Land, a self-proclaimed biblical archaeologist comes up short, and his attempt to cover up his failure fuels a comic conspiracy. The film was brought to the studio by Barry Brooker and Stan Wertlieb of Grindstone Entertainment. It is produced by Brandt Andersen, Jared Hess and Dave Hunter of Buffalo Film Company.

Jason Constantine, Eda Kowan, Jean Chi, Brooker and Wertlieb negotiated the deal for Lionsgate, and Brandt Andersen on behalf of Buffalo Film Company. UTA is handling international sales.


Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:33 pm
by Nancy
How wonderful! Yay! :yay: :clap: :yay:

Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:08 pm
by Venus
Cast portrait with Jared Hess at Sundance :)


And here's a clip of Don Verdean (Jemaine doesn't feature in this clip though):

Re: Jemaine to star in "Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist"

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:54 pm
by Venus