I think I can speak for both Jason Outenreath (Director, Cinematographer, Producer) and myself (Editor, Producer) when I say that making a feature length documentary is a pretty gargantuan undertaking.
To make a movie like this, that is to say completely independently, requires a gung-ho and steadfast commitment to tackling difficult creative challenges on a daily basis. The kind of sustained mental and physical strain that comes with producing an independent film can lead to moments of doubt and often overwhelming fatigue, but what keeps us excited and energized and focused on the finish line is remembering the reason we decided to make this thing in the first place: to share the stories of rural Nicaraguans with as many people as we can, and to give audiences an entertaining and enlightening experience of these kids’ unique world.
One of the challenges I had in the months leading up to the launch of the website and the kickstarter page was designing an eye catching and unique movie title logo that comments on both the tone and content of the film we want to make. Since the movie is essentially about kids, I started with that.
Jason shot the entire thing in the schools where he worked in Camoapa and the kids who appear in the movie were his students. I had the same exact job teaching rural elementary school kids in a different town called Santa Lucía, not too far away from Jason. I thought it would be neat to include the kids I worked with somehow, if only in a small way, and it occurred to me to make the title logo using my students’ actual writing.
What you see below are the names of the sixteen sixth-graders at Rubén Darío Elementary School in the community El Llanito, municipality of Santa Lucía, Nicaragua in 2012. I had each kid write their name here and ended up using this sheet pretty much all year long to remember their names (I am HORRIBLE with names apparently) and for taking daily attendance. This was a really great group of talented and intelligent kids and I miss working with them.
|If you're compulsive like me, you'll try to find some of the letters that were extracted to create the title logo|
So, in order to make the title logo that you now see on the kickstarter page, the website, facebook and in the trailer itself, I first had to take a photograph of this list of names. I was still in Nicaragua at the time and believe it or not, I didn’t have access to a scanner, hence the photograph. With the names digitized in my computer, I went through the image in Photoshop and essentially cut out the most interesting letters in order to reconstitute them and spell out “Country Kids” and the Spanish title, “Chateles del Campo.”
What we ended up with (hopefully) is a creative yet authentic artifact of the rural Nicaraguan school experience that communicates a sense of positivity and lightheartedness. Maybe in reality it just comes across as another sloppy handwritten font, but in a perfect world my goal is to use the title logo as another way to prime the audience and hint at the ultimate tone and content of the film. At the very least I put a lot of thought into it.
For anyone who hasn’t yet made a donation, there’s still time, so head over to the kickstarter page NOW before it’s too late! Some of the fabulous prizes you’ll get for helping us out include original drawings by yours truly…maybe even something similar to the one at the top of this post.
We swear that with your generous support backing us up, we will put all of our efforts into making this film the best it can be. Jason and I are truly grateful for having been afforded the opportunity to make this project and we promise that it will be entertaining, evocative, and informative. So thanks again guys. Check back again soon for more Country Kids-related goodies!