On March 31, 2014, Richard Watts of Videology Productions in Naples, Fla., announced new film updates which include a brand new cast member. The film is a work of fiction, but aspects of the film are based on historical events. Watt's film is "The 4th Letter of Ponce de Leon."
Shooting any film requires specific steps.
"Shooting a historical or documentary type film, like Watts', requires a few more steps. A film's portrayal of the past depends upon thousands of choices about the physical, behavioral, and cultural details of the period and place being presented. Being authentic involves much more than getting the costumes and the architectural details right. There are usually advisors (such as re-enactors in this case) who are experts on the particular genre, period of history and more." - United Film & TV Artists
According to Watts, this film will be a blend of fictional and historical facts, thus research, documentation and authenticity are important aspects of it. Richard, has this film required any "special attention" due its genre?
"Yes, due to the film featuring local history, some of the shooting locations will be in Naples and on Lee County beach(es). Also, since it's about Juan Ponce de Leon a re-enactor group from Bradenton, and other groups, have "signed on" to appear in the film. Such groups are crucial to achieving authenticity (re-enactor Bill Boston)."
In addition to the re-enactor group's help, is there anyone else on board this film project that has to do with the historical side of it?
"Yes, one of the interesting aspects of our project is that an actual descendant of Juan Ponce de Leon, Austin Graham, has joined our cast. She will be portraying the character Frangiemil Malgarejo. That character is an architect renovating the old church in San Juan, Puerto Rico."
"Juan Ponce de Leon, the famed explorer, is Austin Graham's 14th great grandfather. Her grandmother spent most of her life documenting the lineage of their family and wrote a book about their heritage. Austin’s mother, Dee Graham, compiled their family tree with the help of an expert in Spanish paleography. Austin appears with us to explain the story and her role in it."
Are there any other facets of the film you want shared?
"The story in the film features an enigmatic Indian - Calusa shaman, (Coacoochee) who oversees a 500 year old secret that involves the Florida panther, the passion flower and the water of a spring on Pine Island, Fla. The character wears a bracelet (in slideshow) that identifies his role as overseer.
We searched until we found an artist who understood the spiritual significance of these elements to the story and had her design the bracelet. The instant you look at the bracelet you’ll sense an peculiar spiritual connection at work. Somehow our artist managed to infuse that bracelet with spiritual energy."
Thank you Richard Watts for sharing with us the many facets and updates with your film.
View and enjoy the "How To" list and photos below. This is a basic listing of 12 steps plus many sub-categories. Some films require less or even more and in a different order. Note use of "authenticity" in this case, as the film's genre is historical. Financial support can also be of concern, so raising funds could be considered another one of the steps!
"How To" of Filmmaking
- Story Idea
- Genre & Film Style
- Length of Film, Title, Rated (PG, PG-13, R... )
- Writing & Blocking of Story (Screenplay) - storyboard
- Authenticity - research, architectural, documentation, resources...
- Talent Agency (in this case, Protocol), Cast & Crew - castings, readings, background...
- Location(s) - transportation, permits...
- Wardrobe & Makeup - period costumes, appropriate makeup...
- Lighting & Sound
- Filming - equipment, types of shots, props, still photography...
- Editing - legal aspects, music, special effects, credits...
- Screening - promoting, media, premiere, trailer, locations, film fests...
Film's Historical Element - Jaun Ponce de Leon
"Juan Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer and conquistador. He became the first Governor of Puerto Rico by appointment of the Spanish crown. He led the first European expedition to Florida, which he named. He is associated with the legend of the Fountain of Youth, reputed to be in Florida." - Wikipedia
Prop - Bracelet worn by film's "Overseer"
"A character in the film wears a bracelet that identifies his role as overseer. We searched until we found an artist who understood the spiritual significance of these elements to the story and had her design the bracelet; The instant you look at the bracelet you’ll sense an peculiar spiritual connection at work. Somehow our artist managed to infuse that bracelet with spiritual energy." - Richard Watts
Film's Writer, Director, Producer Richard Watts with Cast Member Austin Graham
"One of the interesting aspects of our project is that Austin Graham, a descendant of Juan Ponce de Leon, has joined our cast. Austin will be portraying the character Frangiemil Malgarejo, an architect renovating the old church in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Austin is a young charismatic actress and model from St. Petersburg, Fla." - Richard Watts
"The 4th Letter of Ponce de Leon" has many props, and this is one of them.
Film audiences will enjoy the realistic efforts of the film's cast and crew when it comes to making this film come to life!
Film Re-enactor Bill Boston and Dixie
Bill Boston will be a conquistador in the film.
"Our film, a fictional story about the Spanish Explorer, weaves in some legends that you may have never heard before. Watch for it!" - Richard Watts
This is one of many props in the film "The 4th Letter of Ponce de Leon."
Props and the authenticity of everything film-related, an historical film, is important in order to carry the film off, make the audience believers!
Cast Member - Austin Graham
Austin Graham is a model and actress represented out of St. Petersburg, Fla.
Graham is the descendent of Juan Ponce de Leon and therfore an additional reason and asset to be part of the film "The 4th Letter of Ponce de Leon" written, directed and produced by Richard Watts from Naples, Fla.
Richard Watts and Austin Graham
Here is the writer, director and producer of the film "The 4th Letter of Ponce de Leon" Richard Watts.
With him is actress Austin Graham. Graham is a descendent of Juan Ponce de Leon!
Here is a passion flower that represents one in the film's plot.
These kinds of flowers are mostly vines, with some being shrubs, and a few species being herbaceous. - Wiki
Austin Graham is a model and actress and a descendent of Ponce de Leon.
Juan Ponce de Leon, the famed explorer, is Austin Graham's 14th Great Grandfather. Her grandmother spent most of her life documenting the lineage of their family and wrote a book about their heritage.
"The Florida panther plays a dramatic role in our film. In our film, Kowechube, is a panther that is sacred to the Calusa Indians. He is the Guardian of the Spring. When the Conquistadors arrive in La Florida they have a confrontation with Kowechube that leaves him dead. The episode echoes the current status of the Panther in Florida today. Its existence is threatened by the encroachment of land use." - Richard Watts
"The film will be a blend of fictional and historical facts. It will feature some local history, and I plan on some of the shooting locations to be in Naples and on Lee County's beach(es).
A re-enactor group from Bradenton has signed on to appear in the film, and they are crucial to achieving authenticity." - Richard Watts
Richard Watts shares about his upcoming film.
"Pine Island, the little Island off the coast of SW Florida, plays a pivotal role in our film. Most people don't realize it but back in 1521 Ponce de Leon landed either on it or nearby."