Local record label Post-Echo is releasing the final segment of its five-part film experience PASSAGE on Tuesday, December 3rd. What began as an almost journalistic exploration of abandonment in the South morphed quickly into a complex, multi-part movie. After putting out an audiovisual graphic novel called DRIFT last year, it seemed only fitting for the label to begin work on the production of its first interactive film.
Although Post-Echo was created in official terms in September of 2011, the idea to produce collaborative artistic content came almost a year earlier when Post-Echo founders Justin Schmidt and Franklin Jones formulated the idea that later became DRIFT. The collaborative hopes to act as an outlet for artists in which they are provided with resources that might not otherwise be readily available. Post-Echo certainly carries out the typical role of a record label through the CDs and vinyls it puts out. But the group also uniquely focuses on the production of content that displays components of all the visual arts.
The making of PASSAGE began with simplicity. The crew would drive around for lengths of time, searching for broken-down places – places whose own dilapidation provided life to the stories that Post-Echo wished to tell. Throughout the course of the five parts, the filmmakers delve into a variety of themes, including meta-interaction, voyeurism and post-industrial abandonment.
“With Passage, we’ve sort of mashed all of these ideas together to build a metaphoric Jenga tower of a narrative,” says Franklin Jones, who acts as writer, editor and director of the film. “Every installment has been about raising the height of the tower, and in part V, we hope to knock the whole thing down to better reveal the pieces.”
The final part of PASSAGE is 48 minutes, significantly longer than its predecessors. It features an original score from JFS (Jason F. Stroud) that Jones best describes as “electro voodoo folk metal.” The release will bind together the individual parts, while also providing viewers with an ending that is neither clean nor easily explainable. The creators hope to spark thoughtful conversation at the end of the film and allow room for the viewers to think freely and form their own opinions on the movie’s meaning.
“The conclusion won’t necessarily come with a nice, little bow, but the gift wrap will indeed be interpretative,” explains Jones.
Jasper music editor Kyle Petersen interviewed both Jones and Schmidt in the September/October issue of Jasper magazine. Petersen discusses Post-Echo’s creation and the various projects it has embarked on in thorough detail. The article can be read online at www.jaspercolumbia.net.
Several minutes of self-reflection were required after viewing each installment of PASSAGE for myself. The film strained my brain in the best of ways, and I have nothing but appreciation for the time and thought that went into its conception.
To learn more about Post-Echo, visit www.post-echo.com. All parts of PASSAGE are available on the site, as well as music from Post-Echo artists.
Movie credits are as follows –
Writer/director/editor – Franklin Jones
Principal Cinematography – Justin Schmidt
Additional Cinematography – Jason F. Stroud, Franklin Jones, Corey Alpert, Sean
Shoppell, Caitlin Hucks
Visual Effects – Jason F. Stroud
Visual Art – Eli Armstrong
Starring – Bobby Markle
Part I – Cancellieri
Part II – Koda
Part III – Forces of a Street
Part IV – Devereaux
Part V - JFS