Release Date:July 31,2012
Mickey is looking to recover his losses from a botched counterfeiting transaction and has learned the coordinates of a looming drop by those who burnt him. Now, he must persuade his best friend, Jasper, to help him under the ruse of meteorite hunting. Jasper has imperative issues of his own to deal with though. His girlfriends pregnant and his job as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Chronicle is in peril. Eventually persuaded to hit the road the pair stumbles onto a major find, a discovery thrusting each into immediate danger and threatening to radically transform the fabric of their friendship.
When two friends take a road trip to the desert in search of meteorites they end up with more than they bargained for and something far more valuable. Consequently, they soon learn that what you find in the desert may not be yours. Written, directed and produced by Jeremiah Gurzi and shot on 16mm Eastman Kodak motion picture film stock with anamorphic prime lenses, HEAVEN STREWN is a dramatic, thriller with unexpected surprises.
Mickey (Wyatt Denny), a professional grifter, is in search of his next quick fix. After getting burned by some associates in a counterfeiting scandal, he learns of a cash drop in the desert that would make up for his lost funds. The only problem is he needs a ride to the location and ultimately an accomplice. Mickey goes to his most reliable and trustworthy counterpart, Jasper (Rob Tepper), his now-sober best friend. Jasper, a struggling Los Angeles Chronicle writer has a child on the way with his girlfriend Anna (Alexandra Williams). Mickey makes up a bogus story to convince Jasper to accompany him to the desert: to search for meteorites. Jasper has qualms about going, but feels like he has an obligation to help his friend and decides to join him as a last attempt to salvage their lifelong friendship. Unfortunately, for Mickey, this may be the last time Jasper ever decides to help him again.
Great performances and authentic dialogue drive this bravura first feature film by Jeremiah Gurzi, who is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). Gurzi received the coveted 2010 Panavision first time filmmaker grant package and support from the Eastman Kodak Company for HEAVEN STREWN. With years of television lighting experience under his belt, Gurzis eye for visual aesthetics have been enhanced by his decision to film completely in 16mm with custom anamorphic lenses built exclusively for the project by Panavision. After the project wrapped Panavision dismantled the lenses making this film one of a kind. Gurzi says that it was important for me to shoot on this format to gain a more natural and organic picture. I hope that with a slightly muted color palette it would accent performance, enhance narrative and hopefully lend itself toward an experience viewers could enjoy. The inherent artistry and skill set associated with exposing film stock is an art form entirely of itself and one that complimented HEAVEN STREWN harmoniously. However, after a year of prep, the original director of photography had to resign from the project just three weeks before the shoot, fortunately David Myrick was able to step in.
Gurzis inspiration for HEAVEN STREWN stems from his upbringing in Nevada and his circle of friends who experimented with drugs and alcohol, which later turned into substance abuse problems for some. Combining his fascination of societal outcasts and behavioral traits, HEAVEN STREWN became an exploration of the emotional characteristics of two such individuals. It may be the result of me questioning the idealistic notion that complacent patriotism within the fabric of our society can positively effect and shape change. Maybe this curiosity is rooted in my own developmental insecurities or just intrinsically imbedded within my subconscious psyche as a human being. Regardless of its analytical or psychological origins, the fact is these folks have helped shape and mold our planet. These are the pioneers of yesterdays industrial revolution and the promise of tomorrow's spiritual evolution, says Gurzi.