“It was about 30 seconds into the pitch that it was like ‘yeah, I’m in, I can’t say no to this.’”
That’s how Neuqua Valley Graduate Davide Tomei responded when he was approached in late 2015 to help co-produce “Unconditional,” an independent, feature-length film that released recently on Amazon Video.
At the time, he was still an undergraduate student at SIU Carbondale. But that didn’t stop him from diving right in.
He and his co-producer Molly Esling raised over $5000 on Indiegogo, and started on all the moving parts necessary to shoot the 124-page script.
“We used all our free time to scout locations and talk to owners to see if they’d let us film there. We were coordinating with our school’s theatre department and local furniture stores to get props and set decoration and how to secure those for our production designer,” said Tomei.
The nature of the film made producing it a challenge. It tells the story of Adam and Mary, father and 16-year-old daughter, who discover the double life that their wife and mother had been leading before her mysterious death.
“These illegal clubs have become quite common, it seems these places have no limits, hence the outfit and the drugs. And we think that’s what Evelyn was involved in,” says a woman in the trailer, hinting at the film’s mystery.
The crew had to create and shoot two very different kinds of locations – suburban homes, and underground clubs.
“Once we finished shooting it was a huge wave of relief. We have a film, we don’t know what it’s going to look like but we got it, it’s in the can,” said Tomei.
Tomei graduated from SIU in 2017 and is currently living in Los Angeles, working on a TV show and his next project with Braden Barton, screenwriter and director of “Unconditional.”
“One of the best decisions I ever made was saying yes to producing this, even though I had no idea what I was getting into,” Tomei said.
“Unconditional” is available now on Amazon Video, but word-of-warning to parents, it is an R-rated film.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.
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